Top critical review
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Concept good, follow through not so much
on January 27, 2004
There Will Be Dragons is the start of a new series by Ringo in which a utopian world (there's enough energy to re-work other solar systems) is taken down through a power (pun-intended) struggle between factions of what passes for the current world government. With most energy sources used in attacks and defenses for those factions, the rest of the world's populace is forced to make due with, at best, medieval technology due to limits placed on maximum temperatures and pressures by an artificial intelligence acting as "Mother" to the world. The central characters have to find shelter, grow food, develop communities, and defend against the bad guys with those limitations while thinking long-term of how to eliminate the deadlock between the two warring forces.
It's a good concept and the first parts of the book handle it well, but the second half ends up being extremely Heinleinesque, devoting itself to a young man joining the defense forces. He has a complex past and has been misled by his "friends", but comes around. He goes through basic training, saves a few lives, finds sex and possibly love, and battles the bad guys. But because the book ends up about him, rather than the rest of the characters (and they are an interesting lot, or would be if they had more "screen time"), it simply is not as interesting as it could be.
It is quite readable, but it is not the best of Ringo's work.