Book Review: There Will Be Dragons by John Ringo

I’ve previously reviewed several of John Ringo’s books, including The Troy Rising series and Gust Front, part of the Legacy of the Aldenata series (also known as the Posleen War series).

This book is about war. Ringo’s writing is straightforward, and a lot of what he delves into is the logic inherent in the story. In the Posleen War series he goes into depth about how the aliens work, how to fight them, and what a war on the Earth would look like, all within the logic of the series. He does the same here.

He also does a good job in pacing. Early on I was a little worried that it was lagging too much, but right around the 100-page mark the story shifted dramatically and my interest was rekindled. Ringo setup a LOT in the early chapters, and the pay offs were worth it. If I have one complaint it’s that I couldn’t really follow a protagonist. Ringo sort of drifted between several POV characters, but ultimately seemed to “zoom in” on Edmund Talbot and Herzer Herrick.

From there, however, the book takes a turn. Instead of being a fantasy book set in the far future, it becomes military fantasy. I’m not complaining, I like that genre, but it wasn’t apparent from the beginning.

Also, if you don’t like discussion of sexual assault this book may not be for you. There’s a prominent attack, which hangs over the head of most of the characters the rest of the book.

Ultimately, I like the book a lot. After burning through the first two hundred pages, I got hooked. If you like military fantasy it’s for you.


You may like some of my other reviews:

Book Review: The High Crusade by Poul Anderson

Book Review: The Ship of Ishtar by A. Merritt

Book Review: The Dragon Masters by Jack Vance

You may also like some of my other work:

Writing with Inspiration

How to Tell if Your Writing is Improving

Poetry: “Rusted Theme Park from My Childhood”

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram!

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Other Projects

I’ve been pretty busy with, not just writing, but other projects I’ve got in the works. My main effort is in refining my novel from NaNoWriMo in the beginning on 2017, but I also want to make progress on a series of efforts I’m making on YouTube.

Some of you may not know this, but I do a lot on YouTube. I’ve got a film channel where I go into detail about movies as far as the film making that went into them. I attempt to make it more academic than typical reviews. My film channel is here: https://www.youtube.com/c/frankfilmfreaks

But in addition to this channel, I’ve got another few bits of writing in the works. I have a short story I really like that needs some revising, and another novel idea that will take a huge amount of effort to get right.

Add to all of this I’m reading through John Ringo’s “Posleen War” series of books while also reading through Ben Bova’s “The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells”.

The other goal I have is to grow this website into something that can be used to show my new books and short stories. I’m hoping over the next two years to have some writings to advertise!

Book Review: Gust Front by John Ringo

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The sequel to A Hymn Before Battle, this book takes place after the events of the first. The Posleen are on their way, and it’s up to Mike O’Neal and the rest of the military of Earth and the Galactics to defend the entire galaxy from their invasion. Unfortunately, their path leads them straight to Earth.

Gust Front is an interesting form of military science fiction, a book that takes the combat and strategy seriously in the face of fantastical scenarios. Ringo knows about the military, being a veteran of the 82nd Airborne, and it shows. The combat is realistic and the jargon used is effective in conveying a living military.

The story is that the impending invasion of Earth is coming, so the forces of the planet focus on defending large fortresses while essentially tossing away sections of the country. The planning as far as deciding how to defends specific regions of the United States are interesting, and show a knowledge of military tactics missing in other books of this genre.

However, the book does get bogged down in battle so much that it seemingly forgets about characters or certain storylines until the end of the book. Mike gets stuck away from the battle, and the focus switches to the battle in Virginia. The entire plot thread following Mike’s wife on a starship is essentially forgotten about until a short sentence is thrown in at the end of the book mentioning it.

Without spoiling too much, the story develops exactly as expected, and certain things from the first book are brought back for lighthearted effect. It works well, and is a fun addition to see elements from the previous book. Mike is still an interesting character, though I felt like he’s almost “hero man” without flaw or development. However, that’s not so much a detraction if you know that he’s that type of character.

I should also mention the book is over 700 pages long, but I read through it in about two weeks. It’s captivating, interesting, and a perfect example of how to do ground combat right in military science fiction.