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A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War Series #1) Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 366 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Michael O'Shea, a fireplug of an iron-pumping ex-soldier, leaves game design behind to train and then lead power-armored infantry in a merciless battle against the equally merciless, centauroid Posleen for the sake of Earth's allies. Several subplots show Ringo's fondness for special ops types and marines, and his experience as a paratrooper shows in the way he handles military small-group politics and disciplinary problems. The subplots point up the potential grimness of Earth finding itself under siege, if not actually under assault. (Don't worry, that will probably come; this book has series written between all the lines.) The interstellar skulduggery is thick, and the final action sequence, occupying a third of the book, juxtaposes power armor, aliens, lasers, and leopard tanks, and is practically impossible not to read in one sitting. An exceedingly impressive first novel is what we have here. Standard military sf based on a standard premise--humans as the desperately needed warrior allies of alien pacifists--it may be, but it is executed with skill, verve, and wit. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Ringo is author of the New York Times best-selling Legacy of Aldenata (Posleen War) series, which so far includes A Hymn Before Battle and nine sequels, the technothriller series starting with Ghost, a dark fantasy titled Princess of Wands, and many other novels for Baen. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Ringo brings first-hand knowledge of military operations to his fiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 467 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (June 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416533214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416533214
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (366 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
It's books like this that make me a loyal Baen Books reader.
John Ringo has crafted a universe in which some aliens, themselves incapable of violence or, apparently, military strategy, have decided to use humans as literal "army ants" to destroy some other aliens who have been taking their worlds away from them one by one. And, of course, once the job is done and we're no longer needed...
Of course humanity has long had a history of wriggling out of binds and generally playing merry hell with expectations made of it, and in this book, we are no different. I won't spoil the fun, but it's interesting seeing Ringo deal simultaneously with High Strategy and Low Tactics at the same time, while giving us characters we can care about and follow around as they attempt to keep humanity alive.
This is the first book in what promises to be a series well worth following. The ending ties up the current set of loose ends very neatly, but I'm already salivating in anticipation of the sequel, which will be out in April, 2001, and I've already bought my "webscription" copy.
Read it and enjoy. Me, I'm going out to get a copy as a gift for my brother, and watch the smile on his face.
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Format: Hardcover
In the very near future, humanity receives good news and bad news. The good news is that Earth has finally been contacted by a superior alien society - and they're friendly. The bad news is, the friendlies are on the losing end of an interstellar war with an implacable enemy - and Earth is directly in the line of fire!
How would mankind adjust to the double shock of knowing that "we are not alone" and the fact that the Earth will soon be ground zero in a seemingly hopeless battle? More specifically, how would the military men and women on the front lines deal with such daunting responsibility? This is the premise of freshman author John Ringo's novel A Hymn before Battle - the first in a proposed trilogy to be published by Baen Books.
Ringo, an Army veteran and admitted fan of such suspense writers as W.E.B. Griffin and Tom Clancy, plunges us into the world of the grunts - the men and women of our armed forces who do all the dirty work, and who must live (or die) with the consequences of incompetent command. This book is tech-heavy and combat-detailed - fellow veterans and fans of the military SF which is Baen's stock-in-trade should love this book. Foul-mouthed, tough and quirky, Ringo's good guys are forced to deal with alien technologies they'd never dreamed of, face foes that make previous human adversaries look like prom dates, and work around short-sighted bureaucrats pursuing personal agendas. In the background, Earth's new allies (a motley collection of intelligent species) are enigmatic and conniving - and it remains to be seen if humanity can trust them in the long run!
Despite a few warts, A Hymn before Battle is a fine first effort and John Ringo a good fit with Baen's stable of writers. With additional experience (and under the tutelage of accomplished SF author David Weber, with whom he is currently writing another trilogy), John Ringo will very likely rise to the top of his game.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been reading this in pieces since it was available online at Baen. Take a little Heinlein, a little Clancy, mix in the imagination of this great new author and you have one of the best new SF books to come along in years. A stunningly realistic book that shows what would happen if today's soldiers wer forced to fight tomorrows war. Ringo accurately portrays the United States military, especially the Airborne warriors and writes a story that is amazingly real.
Read this book and then read it again so you catch all of the action. I sincerely hope that there is more to come from John Ringo.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have the paper book here somewhere... read the first four and just could not stop. Was kinda bummed the fourth book took a while to come out since it was the culmination of the series, or so I thought.

Turns out the series continues with a different characters but it was not yet available. :(
That was four or five years ago, probably 100 books easy in between but I would think of this series occasionally. Looked it up and am digital now so will definitely be buying the whole series again, including the newest additions.

This was my second space opera series, first one petered out after 3 books and was just boring boring filler with no content. Never even finished it... by this one- from the start, it is obvious of the actual experience perspectives and tone of the story, it isn't just another tale. I tell everyone I talk to of some part of the book or something that had me laughing from the mental imagery just laid out in spectacular fashion (if I can without being boorish).

For fans of true to life military science fiction, having read many others, this has to be my favorite. The believability of the story, the accuracy of the characters to what I remember and expect from persons in these scenarios... No ridiculous excessive drama that doesn't happen, no out of the blue special save the day surprises just to rescue the damsel in distress, just a real story about some real stuff that never happened. Probably.

to:dr great space opera. real to life military action. 10/10 am reading again
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