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.
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