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When the Devil Dances (Posleen War Series #3) Hardcover – April 2, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743435400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743435406
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This latest in a series depicting the invasion of our galaxy by a rapacious alien species isn't as much fun as its predecessors, A Hymn Before Battle and Gust Front. Unfortunately, as Ringo, a military affairs adviser to Fox News, indicates in his afterword, what was escapist entertainment before 9/11 no longer provides the same escape. Five years after the Posleen made their first landings, most of the world lies under their control. By squandering precious resources, the leaders of North America have contained the enemy to several bridgeheads. Major Mike O'Neal commands the only force capable of engaging the Posleen in a war of maneuver. Even "Mighty Mite" O'Neal despairs of victory, as clueless politicians and self-serving "allies" cause his soldiers to die in battle against hopeless odds. We were living in a Golden Age, muses O'Neal, before the Posleen came, and he struggles to prevent his troops from becoming mere killing machines by keeping alive the memory of what was once and might be again. Despite the novel's somber tone, there's hope that the schemes of our supposed allies to see the Posleen and us destroy one another may fail. For thoughtful readers, Ringo raises some tough and highly relevant questions about the conflicts of interest between Americans and allies who don't share our ideas of individual dignity and freedom and about our leaders' inability to advance beyond narrow parochial interests toward the common good. Military SF fans should be well satisfied.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The invasion of Earth by the Posleen, a vicious alien race, results in the conquest and devastation of much of the world; in the United States, however, a few enclaves of humans make a stand along the Appalachian Mountain range using guerrilla tactics, modern weaponry, and a host of dirty tricks. Major Mike O'Neal and his forces, used to fighting the Posleen in space, now wage a desperate battle for survival on their home ground. Continuing the story begun in A Hymn Before Battle and Gust Front, Ringo demonstrates his flair for fast-paced military sf peopled with three-dimensional characters and spiced with personal drama as well as tactical finesse. A strong addition to most libraries' sf collection.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I continue to enjoy John Ringo and the continuation of the Posleen War series.
Joseph G. Lurker
I like John Ringo and this is a great series and look forward to reading more of is work.
DWTD is a great book and heavily recommend it for Military Science Fiction Fans.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Jerry W. Burnett on April 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is the third in the "Suits" series. Here is a series of random observations:
* Great characters, and I like the choices the author made as to which characters to focus on. I'm not sure he's playing entirely fair with us ... at least one main character he 'killed off' will, I'll bet, be resurrected "next week".
* Speaking of resurrections .... naw. Read the book, you'll see it for yourself. Just keep in mind that there are a LOT of different NGO's in this universe, and some of them do indeed work in wondrous ways.
* I was looking for more of the "Suits" in action, with emphasis on hardware and tactics and all that Military SF stuff. Instead I found REAL people instead of characters (generally speaking), and the author worked hardest on developing people so interesting that I cared about what happened to them. Ringo isn't just a Hardware Guy after all. Like Heinlein, he can write a story; like Drake, he can invent interesting situations; like Weber, he can invent complex interstellar societies; and like the very best of writers, his stories take over and hold you spellbound. I would recommend ANYTHING John Ringo writes. Ever.
* This book actually develops the story, instead of just giving us more of what we saw in the previous book. It's refreshing to see a writer who actually seems to be going someplace and writes for other reasons than to fulfill a 3-book contract.
* Sure, the equine antagonists still smell bad and have a disconcerting tendency to slice 'n dice your neighbors, but even they are developing so they seem more real to the reader. When you compare them to Turtledove's invaders, they seem quite interesting even if you wouldn't want them to move in next door.
Or on top of your house, as it were.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ringo's Posleen books (A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, and now When the Devil Dances) are powerful, near future combat sci-fi. If that's what you like, these deliver a complex plot, detailed characters, and compelling action. I think Gust Front (at least) should be read before WTDD to get a sense of the characters and context.
My only, small, disappointment with WTDD is its cliffhanger ending - but as my review title says, I look forward eagerly to Mr. Ringo's next Posleen book.
I highly recommend this series.
Mr. Ringo is a very accessible author, who discusses a number of subjects (including previous and future books) at the Baen's Bar website. It's surprising and gratifying to receive an author's response to questions about apparent inconsistencies in his books, as well as his writing schedule.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mopholo on April 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you enjoy Military SF Ringo is great.
The first book sucked you in, the second was a little slower but good and you said "Hey it'll pick up again" but then the long awaited final installment arrives and... it just creeps along, still good but a lot of hand waving in my opinion, you almost feel like the story is on hold for some reason.
Still if you liked the first one then your hooked, and well... your hooked! Now we have to wait another year for the next "Final" installment!
The only other criticism is he hasn't let us in on the behind the scenes conspiracy. Who are behind the Posleen? Who are the players in the galatic chess game? Come on John add some meat here!
I dont think he can apply the richness that subplot deserves in that last installment, unless this is going to be another 15 book series ala a certain roman alternate history series (Every one of which was suppoesd to be "Wrapping things up")
Anway, he is still better than 80% of the Military SF Wannabee's so take the plunge and buy all 3 (4,5,6,7?)
Ringo actually knows the difference between tactics and strategy so if you like technically correct and interesting military stuff he's your guy. Don't get me wrong he also has a pretty good handle on military culture and his stuff is anything but a dry read...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alan Deikman on July 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
John Ringo treats us to yet another cornucopia of inventive and lethal sci fi weapons systems, high tech, rendered in tender, loving detail. The star of the show is the SheVa gun (shown on the back cover of the hardcopy version), weighing in at 7,000 tons and 100 meters in length. It is fueled by a pebble-bed reactor and unfortunately is so big it has a tendency to crush small villages in the way of its present mission. Its crew calls the infantry that gets in the way "crunchies."
Har har. Read all about it and there's a lot of jarhead humor in here for you. And lots more weapons systems.
The bad guys are aliens, who have mastered interstellar flight but are completely hopeless when it comes to ground battles, where they get waxed over and over again in fights with Americans. Somehow they can handle powered missiles but not ballistic artillery. They overran the rest of the planet without much problem but the good ol' US of A has what it takes to fight a holding action with kill ratios of thousands to one. Problem is there are so many of the enemy it is a losing war of attrition.
If you can get past the implausibility, you have a setup for plenty of heroism, which is what Ringo is clearly after in this story. In this kind of story there is no one central protagonist, so you are never really sure who is going to die and who isn't. The pace is quick and detailed, so it keeps your interest.
The story is leavened with plenty of non-violent scenes, to give the "human" side of events without which we would have nothing but a series of battles. The non-battle events seem disjointed and almost random, which gives the impression that Ringo is anxious to get that part done and back to the joy of mayhem. Either that, or there is a sequel in the making.
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More About the Author

I'm a professional author of... Well, I used to say "science fiction." Then came There Will Be Dragons, which is sf with a distinct fantasy twist. Then came Ghost which is techno-thriller crossed with porn. Then came Princess of Wands, a Christian soccer mom battling demons through the power of God. Who knows what's next? Children's books? (I've actually got that one mapped out. You see, there's this girl who is raised by dolphins... You think I'm joking, don't you?)

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