From Publishers Weekly
Prolific military SF author Ringo (the Posleen War series) imbues this near-future epic with a somewhat self-indulgent air, mixing lengthy and sometimes interminable discussions of science and economics with do-or-die action. Three years after the alien Grtul drop a transport gate in our solar system and welcome Earth to the galactic community, a Horvath warship shows up and destroys several major cities before extorting protection payments. Fast-thinking entrepreneur Tyler Vernon exploits the literally universal appeal of maple syrup to make a fortune, defies the Horvath, and reveals his ideas for keeping Earth safe, but intergalactic war threatens to derail his plan. This extended thought exercise is infused with plenty of old-fashioned two-fisted can-do attitude, a heavy dose of science, and occasional bursts of dry humor, but shallow characterization and an ambling plot detract from the overall experience. (Feb.)
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This irresistible action-sf tale launches another series, deriving partly from a webcomic (Schlock Mercenary) and partly from Ringo’s amazingly fertile imagination. In the near future, humanity enjoys (or suffers from) first contact with an entire galactic federation, one of whose unfriendly races goes to war with Earth for our heavy metals. A more benign race works through crusty Vermonter Tyler Vernon to exploit nonhuman technology in developing a space program and defenses. Eventually, Earth lives up to the title (New Hampshire’s state motto), with Vernon taking his mobile asteroid, in essence a Death Star in good-guy hands, on humanity’s first interstellar war cruise to settle some alien hash. --Roland Green