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Hell's Faire (Posleen War Series #4) Hardcover – May 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Humanity's war against the nasty alien Posleens continues in military SF author Ringo's latest entry in his popular Legacy of the Aldenata series (after 2002's When the Devil Dances), but the unambivalent, almost innocent joie de combat of the earlier, pre-9/11 books is missing here. Having learned to combine human strategy with superior (although captured) technology, a Posleen overlord threatens to break through into unoccupied human territory. Opposing this effort are Major Mike O'Neal and his battalion of armored combat suits, plus conventional armor units lead by a Brobdingnagian mobile gun with a razor-wielding cartoon rabbit emblazoned on its side. The battle scenes are as vivid as ever, but the consequences lie more heavily than before on the warriors, as when O'Neal approves a nuclear strike near where his remaining family are located in order to save his command. It becomes increasingly clear that some alien "allies" would prefer that the humans and Posleens destroy one another and leave the galactic status quo undisturbed. Attentive readers may notice some overlap with When the Devil Dances, which Ringo explains in an afterword. Despite the overall dark tone, the author's trademark gallows humor shines through ("This is what you get for letting rednecks play with antimatter, boss"). So does a bit of hope: Ringo concludes his afterword by asserting "the good guys always win in the end."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The fourth and final novel (for the moment, at least) about Earth versus the Posleen--the same kind of glorious jumble of a book as A Hymn before Battle (2000), Gust Front (2001), and When the Devil Dances [BKL Ap 15 02] each was--brings the war for human survival to a thundering climax. Cally O'Neal and her father, Mike O'Neal, are armed and dangerous in the forefront of the action, along with a right good crew of relatives and friends. The supertank Bun- Bun and its crew also hammer their way through the Posleen, and are hammered in return. They are ably supported by voluptuous MI Major LeBlanc, now a tank battalion commander, and the superweapons created by Dr. Miguel Castanuelo; ably opposed by the Posleen, whose smarts and courage ensure real suspense right up to a slightly deus-ex-machina conclusion. Ringo most probably plans to resolve the human conflict with the Posleen's secret puppet masters, so, as before, enjoy in the expectation of more to come. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
I joined the US Army a few years after John Ringo had joined and we even served in the same areas, unfortunately I never got to meet him because I was only a truck driver that mainly drove for the Special Forces community.
Some of the details in this book is not totally accurate as far as the military goes, but it did drastically change after the author ETSd.
I am looking forward to buying the rest of this series and will recommend it to a few of my buddies who are science fiction fans.
1- A hymn before battle
2- Gust Front
3- When the devil dances
4- Hell's faire
It was absolutely exact & terrible, hehe... .
John Ringo shows basically that he knows everything about the military, but most of the time it's not relevant for the story itself => after having read everything up to 50% of the book I had to start jumping pages.
-1 star because I won't read it again
-1 star because I had to push to keep on reading
-1 star because there were too many people & situations involved - especially too many situation switches (I'm swiss, so no detailed knowledge of US geography)
#2, #3, #4:
Personally I give them all between 3 and 4 stars.
I did see a big improvement between #1 and the rest, but they're all still too detailed for my taste, and I don't think I'll read any of them again.
On the other hand, I cannot understand the sudden jump in quality from this to the extremes of the series "black tide rising", "troy rising" and the "looking glass".
So, in any case even if you do not plan to read this book (or did not like it), pls. still try "black tide rising" (zombies) or "troy rising" / "looking glass" (sci-fi).
Well believe it or not John Ringo's "Hell's Faire" is a tasty combination of all these genres and writing styles, as the previous volumes in the series!
I've already read some books of what is usually known as "military sci-fi" and with the exception of Joe Haldeman's "Forever Peace" the rest of them range from "very boring" to "just so-so".
That is NOT the case with the present volume.
Mr. Ringo instills a strange sense of reality in all battle accounts (they really made me remember Lt. Wells "Give me fifty Marines not afraid to die" prose describing his Iwo Jima experience).
When he portrays the general picture of a battle or campaign they come so true as if you were reading Toland or Beevor or even Hastings. He even provides maps!
In this fourth volume of the series (or as the author explains the second half of the third volume of an intended trilogy), the energetic "Mighty Mite" is still not the dominant character, yet he recovers part of the limelight.
In his place several figures that have emerged to the front in the last volume continue having the focus (Cally, Wendy, Elgars, Le Blanc, Major Ryan, Lt. Sunday and Captain Chan amongst other. All of them are fully described and the plot is enriched.
The super-gun SheVa is still having the floor (with some major last minute add-ons), followed and supported by a plethora of Abrams.
As a special treat, the author delivers some dark jokes and an acid sense of humor romps thru the whole novel.
If you haven't read the first three volumes, I'll encourage you to do so in order to fully enjoy this tale.
The story is as follows: five years has elapsed since Earth was faced with the first Posleen's disembarkations.
Planetary resistance is almost gone. Only the USA still keeps a big part of its territory and is entangled in a deadly stalemate.
A new Posleen war leader arrives to Earth and starts using new and more effective tactics endangering human defenses.
Humans as always put a rough defense with what they have at hand.
The novel focuses on the second part of a mighty confrontation (I dare to call it "The Return of SheVa").
Oh yes! It is the END of this segment. We may see more confrontations in the future, but they will be with new (and more dangerous) foes.
"Hell's Faire" is a high quality sci-fi novel deserving to be read by every true buff!
Do not let the series pass by!
Reviewed by Max Yofre.