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Live Free or Die: Troy Rising I Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010
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A network of beacons allows ships to travel across the Milky Way at beyond the speed of light. The beacons are built to be robust. They never fail. At least, they aren't supposed to. Learn more
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Enter our hero, Tyler Vernon, who is struggling to survive in New Hampshire amidst the worldwide depression caused by the Horvath stealing Earth's precious metals. Tyler is an entrepreneur and seizes the opportunity when he meets a Glatun free trader at an SF convention. Just asking the question, "What could he sell the Glatun that would be valuable to an advanced alien race?" starts something big for him. How big was determined by a second question, "How could he become the indispensable source for that export item?"
As anyone who has traveled to New Hampshire knows, the motto for the State is "Live Free or Die." It's on every license plate. Tyler and a bunch of his neighbors take that philosophy seriously. What starts out as a commercial venture eventually turns into the war for Terran independence from the Horvath and Tyler Vernon leads the fight as the richest man on Earth from trade with the Glatun.Read more ›
The premise of the book comes from aliens putting a 'gate' in the earth system. The first set of aliens are good aliens interested only in trade. The second set take over and demand tribute. Earth is helpless.
Enter the hero, Tyler, who discovers an item that the good aliens are crazy about - maple syrup. He parleys this into a fortune which he uses to build an infrastructure to enable earth to resist the bad aliens.
One item I liked about this book comes from the author resisting the trap of having 'everything easy' once the hero gets some money and starts out on his quest. This is probaly a personal nit pick of mine but I hate the books where the hero discovers something - usually a technology - and then all things just fall into place, no problems are hard, the technology solves all ills, etc. In this book, without dwelling on them, the author has our hero facing bureaucracy problems from earth governments, politics from alien factions, resource issues, and just realistic issues in general.
Another good part of the book comes once the author finally gets a space ship - admittedly very old, bit run down, and only has tugs to use for transport. Then very well educated professionals show up willing to do anything just to get into space. The author did this well and in a humerous fashion without giving away details that may spoil the reading.
Instead of going on on this vein, I will summarize. This was an enjoyable book to read. There is good flow, character development, plot, etc that go into a good reading science fiction book. This is not a big battle action/adventure book. It is a good story to read.
And, it appears to be the first of a series.
I enjoyed the first half, with our hero Tyler Vernon the only person *both* smart enough to figure out what the aliens want *and* ballsy enough to claw his way to a standoff with the bad guys. Exhilarating.
The second half degenerated into a snarled-up knot of engineering acryonyms and perfunctory space battles. No suspense to speak of; the outcome is never in doubt, except for engineering details like how fast to spin molten space rocks to get the effect you want.
Still not a bad yarn as long as you remember another reviewer's advice that Ringo's "doing it all with mirrors" and just let it carry you along. A good airport read.
I'm giving it three stars rather than four because Ringo makes no effort to make the aliens, well, alien in any meaningful sense. They come across to me as humans wearing funny-looking foam headgear. The good aliens are Americans in space and the bad aliens are Soviets in space. (No kidding - he describes the Horvath as "communalist" at least twice). There's at least one first contact between an alien and a human that to my ear reads like a Happy Days scene with Fonzie and Ritchie horsing around in the garage ("toss me that wrench, wouldya?").
The most interesting character in the whole book, humans and aliens included, is an old New England farmer who believes everyone who lives in a city is a "Revenuer" and everybody from south of New Hampshire is a "Reb." I'd like to read more about him!
I don't mind the "culturally insensitive" stuff except that it sticks out like a sore thumb.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John has great imagination and knowledge which makes for an exciting Book!Published 13 days ago by Mike Wilcox
This book is great and really inventive, but I could easily do without the occasional multi-page political rants. Read morePublished 16 days ago by Renaldo, King of Thieves
The writing style is kind of chaotic and hard to keep up with at first. About a quarter of the way in you won't notice anymore and this whole series is fantastic.Published 1 month ago by Andrew
The prolific John Ringo begins his epic three volume series of alien invasion with the most excellent "Live Free or Die", a slogan taken from the licence plate of the state... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Andy McKinney
I'm doing this so I can read the book again for the second time. Five four three two one read!!!!Published 1 month ago by Philip Mazzarese Jr
This is my favorite of Ringo's books. ... The chapter on the discovery of the alien plagues was a great short story in itself. Sci Fi with GREAT imagination. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Gus