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on March 12, 2018
I have been reading science fiction for over thirty years. Like many science fiction fans I have read MANY stories that are written in multiple books. I have liked many of them but I seldom do a review of them because I find it tedious to to comment on each book in the series. I just felt that I needed to do something for this series.

I have read John Ringo in the past and always liked his writing. When I picked up this book I knew I would like it because of my previous experience but I have to say that I was surprised. I have read all three books in the series and I will say that I was really PISSED!! I Loved the premise, I enjoyed the characters, I loved the space battles and even though I am no scientist I liked the science.The reason I was upset when I got to the last book was because I wanted to see the story continue. I was invested in the story and the people and did not want to say goodbye to them. In my estimation, that is what every author should be shooting for and in this instance that is exactly what John Ringo has achieved.

I think that if you read this book you will want to immediately pick up the 2nd and 3rd installments and be very happy to have spent your time because if you like this one you will like the next two as much or more.
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on January 4, 2016
The prolific John Ringo begins his epic three volume series of alien invasion with the most excellent "Live Free or Die", a slogan taken from the licence plate of the state of New Hampshire, where much of the action of the first part of the book takes place. We have space bombardment, a handful of alien races, technology from the future and best of all, Ringo gives us characters that we enjoy.
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.
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on September 13, 2016
Incredible start to a new series by John Ringo.

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.

Highly-highly recommended!
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on May 19, 2018
Some may be turned off by the politics. However, that is the main character. If hearing an opposing viewpoint is going to make you give a lower ranking for a good story, then you are too wrapped up in your political views.

The other possible turnoff is that it gets too technical at times. The technical descriptions are important but can go on for too long at times. This tends to slow the story to a crawl at times. That is why I gave it four stars.

All in all, a really good sci-fi book. Glad my brother recommended it to me.
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on October 27, 2017
This is another one of John Ringo's books that really hooked me. It's a great series with great humor, and very well written. As with most of his work there's only one flaw, one fly in the ointment as it were. There aren't enough of the books in the series! LOL when I see a new title anywhere by John Ringo I now just reach for it and go, because I know it will be good. A lot of fun, not too complicated, not too much math or science. Just a fantastic read.
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on March 8, 2015
Earth is minding its business when outta the blue some aliens show up in our space and installs some gate that links us with other aliens with stipulations that it can't be destroyed or blocked, free travel is required for any race that wants it. Well needless to say, since earth and humans aren't really a space power, it's not long that Earth and all its humans are basically attacked and forced to pay tribute to a vile race of aliens who want to dominate humanity. Well thankfully the world has An American who will not bow to these oppressors and stands up to them when all the nations of earth tuck tail and run. Well that's the basic storyline, it reads a lot better than I can explain. Simply put, this series is one that I look forward to reading, it's entertaining and lives up to John Ringos standards. I enjoyed it and if you like reading si-fi you'll like this one.
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on October 24, 2015
Anyone that's a fan of Schlock Mercenary will probably LOVE this book! Anyone that isn't... will probably still love it. Ringo manages to capture the wild, hapless mood that makes Howard's comic so successful, resulting in one of the first books I've read in a while that I had real trouble putting down. Tyler Vernon is completely over the top, delighting the reader time and again with his insane, absurd visions that he nevertheless manages to bring about.

The plot is a bit "predictable"... not in the sense of lacking originality, but in that Ringo sets things up enough that there isn't much in the way of things you don't see coming. However, the book is so thoroughly delightful in every other way that you won't hardly mind, and may not even notice until after you put it down.
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on February 2, 2013
Starting out reading this book, I almost couldn't "get into it" initially. I didn't read many reviews on it before buying it, so I didn't REALLY know what to expect. Just taking a shot in the dark on something interesting looking at first glance. I'm glad I read it and truly enjoyed it after my initial misgivings.

The Good:
The relatively fast pace of the story helped me keep interested in the story through what might be "boring" storyline details. 5 years to melt an asteroid? Skipped. I feel that the author didn't lose much in the way of detail by skipping through years in some cases during some mundane developments. Nothing happens quickly in space after all. It's not on B.V. Larson's level of fast paced (which I enjoy as well), but I would call it "streamlined". This point is just personal opinion, but I felt that it was refreshing having a book written from a politically conservative point of view. I've had to put down books written in overtly liberal tones, so anyone with a liberal point of view will probably have the same experience with this book. I liked it, but it will not be for everyone for that reason alone.

The Bad:
At times it felt like the author's personal vocabulary and grammar shone through to most or all characters. Phrases or words that aren't used by everyone in reality seemed to bleed through to many characters, even aliens. People just talk differently even in the same regions. "I tried my level best" might be a common enough phrase, but nobody throughout the book just said, "I tried my best" as an example. Minor gripe, just felt a little too much like the same person was talking no matter which character it was at times. Initially the book also seemed a little goofy almost starting out. A war over maple syrup? Really? This grew on me and I'm glad that I soldiered on through my initial impression to finish the book.

The Ugly:
The aliens. They drove me completely crazy sometimes which was probably the point. "We're being held hostage by agressive aliens for our gold! HELP!"... nope. "Sorry you can't have any of our military technology, but we are giving away a solar system with access to Earth to the agressive aliens"... Are you serious? I wouldn't say the book captured a true alien feel to the aliens, but they certainly didn't act terribly human either.

I recommend this book to any politically conservative sci-fi fans, apolitical sci-fi fans and liberal with thick skin sci-fi fans. I'm picking up the next book in the series, Citadel, now.

P.S. Please don't give my review negative feedback due to my political leanings. I harbor no animosity towards any political belief, but the tone of the book is likely to turn some readers off. I felt fair warning was necessary.
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on May 21, 2013
You can always tell when someone has lots of books under their belt. the craft shows. this book is science-fiction, pure and simple. As per his usual MO, the author infuses his characters with a pretty consistent opinion/attitude gestalt of what I assume are his own personal views. I do not care for most of them, but as a work of fiction, this was very well done indeed. Imaginative plot with real vision even though we've seen this particular template before, this iteration is as good as any I can remember. fascinating central character, aliens aliens, though it could be argued they still are a bit too anthropomorphic. trade, warfare, high tech, economics, this was a fun read. Poor title choice. It did not resonate with the content much, as the tone was pretty light.
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on January 11, 2018
The story moves you on a journey of discovery. How would lives be changed if aliens revealed themselves and what if anything do we as a species have to offer? The story moves from the individual to the world in a fast-paced character-driven study of one man's vision that encompasses the world. Great read - great series.
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