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The Hero (Posleen Wars Series #6) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2005
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"Ringo has become one of the writers whose work I jump first to when books arrive. . . ." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Author
I've noticed a lot of confusion over the nature of the device. The following is a spoiler, so if you've read the book and didn't grasp the significance of the artifact, here it is:
Hardcover, page 310 bottom and 311 top Paperback, page 390 top to 2/3 down.
The device is a Lindal, an artificial means of initiating Lintatai--catatonia--in an empathic Darhel. This is the psychological danger Tirdal faces throughout the book. This genetically engineered trait is called Lindai.
Obviously, the Aldenata needed some way of keeping a race as dangerous as the Darhel from rebelling, and this was the extra safety--a psionic device to prevent them from entering controlled areas. Naturally, it would be disastrous to allow humans to study this device and possibly gain control of Darhel.
Which left as the ending of the story: which one of the three was the hero? --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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And then to start rehabbing the villain as the good guy, yeech. Just kill the damned things already, and quit dumping on the humans. We get enough of that form all the other advanced species of the universe, we don't need to do it to each other. A serious do not recommend. If you took out all of the chafe and just had the fight scenes, this book would be about 20 pages.
All the characters are more like poor caricatures for a long section of the early part of the book, and they have really stupid nicknames instead of the rounded, realistic characters you expect from regular John Ringo works.
That said, it does get quite interesting - I don't want to ruin any of the surprise, but suffice to say, if you are reading through the book and are frustrated by the things I have listed in my first paragraphs - push through! It does start to get much better, and if you have been reading this series for a while, you will be especially satisfied with the things you learn about the Darhel and the Bane Sidhe.
Taking place over 1,000 years after the end of the Posleen War, THE HERO begins by introducing some fairly interesting characters that make up a special operations team about to head out on a dangerous-sounding mission. A new enemy has been identified (sadly called the Blobs) and the team is to do some preliminary reconnaissance on a fringe world. Seems like a decent set up, but half way through the story Ringo and Williamson throw you a major curve ball and change the entire plot in a single page. From that point on you're left with a pretty nasty three-way fight for survival on a strange planet between three of the original team. Interesting looks into the psyches of a lunatic and a Darhel (the most mysterious of the aliens populating this universe) are interspersed with fairly tense but predictable action sequences. That is all you get through the end of the book.
Entertaining, but not a good fit into the previously excellent series. I hope that the other coauthored books in the series will please me more, or else I won't be continuing with the series.