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Live Free or Die: Troy Rising I Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Prolific military SF author Ringo (the Posleen War series) imbues this near-future epic with a somewhat self-indulgent air, mixing lengthy and sometimes interminable discussions of science and economics with do-or-die action. Three years after the alien Grtul drop a transport gate in our solar system and welcome Earth to the galactic community, a Horvath warship shows up and destroys several major cities before extorting protection payments. Fast-thinking entrepreneur Tyler Vernon exploits the literally universal appeal of maple syrup to make a fortune, defies the Horvath, and reveals his ideas for keeping Earth safe, but intergalactic war threatens to derail his plan. This extended thought exercise is infused with plenty of old-fashioned two-fisted can-do attitude, a heavy dose of science, and occasional bursts of dry humor, but shallow characterization and an ambling plot detract from the overall experience. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
This irresistible action-sf tale launches another series, deriving partly from a webcomic (Schlock Mercenary) and partly from Ringo’s amazingly fertile imagination. In the near future, humanity enjoys (or suffers from) first contact with an entire galactic federation, one of whose unfriendly races goes to war with Earth for our heavy metals. A more benign race works through crusty Vermonter Tyler Vernon to exploit nonhuman technology in developing a space program and defenses. Eventually, Earth lives up to the title (New Hampshire’s state motto), with Vernon taking his mobile asteroid, in essence a Death Star in good-guy hands, on humanity’s first interstellar war cruise to settle some alien hash. --Roland Green --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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I found the space-tech to be fascinating, well thought through by the author and believable. He creates a vision of alien culture with hard edges to constrain the action of the characters, the various alien species act only within their natural limits. They are not super beings. They are however very dangerous beings with a much advanced technology and not the least concern for human kind.
As we might expect from the title Ringo has the very nature of freedom as one of his recurring philosophical threads through out the book. But more and better are his explorations of American political culture. He puts an alien microscope on our political 'tribes' and savagely dissects them. Not everyone will agree with his analysis but everyone will get a shot at clarity from these pages.
And Ringo does pay off in terms of high speed action and vast battles. He is well known for his depictions of fighting, battle and general violence and it does not come short of his reputation here.
I recently re-read the whole series, I liked it so much. "Live Free of Die" is entertaining at a high level and also has a good message about human liberty.
When aliens put a transportation gate in L2 orbit near the Earth and say that anyone can use it for a fee. We can't get to it without better space technology - but aliens can. The planet is held hostage when the Horvath come through and demand tribute in order to save the earth from their orbital bombardment. Earth is a back-water planet with limited technology and nothing to offer other than all our heavy metals - all of which are now going to the Horvath.
One man has the ideas and the drive to get the Horvath off our necks and the human race into space - this time to stay.
Even his Christian female heroine book had 10 times more excitement. Not one of his better stories but still not bad.