Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Author Review: John Ringo, Part 3, the Thrillers. (Still, with Free Books.)

Here we go again.

As mentioned, John Ringo has written a LOT in the past decade.  He's only been writing since 1999, but he's been pumping out almost three to four books a year ever since.

However, despite the previous posts, he hasn't written only political-heavy science-fiction and fantasy novels. But, they're all published by Baen, so they're still free for download.

To start with there's this one character of his who's a navy SEAL ....

The Paladin of Shadows (series)

.... This one is odd.

Ghost (Paladin of Shadows Book 1)
Ghost --- This first book is made of a series of three vignettes, and stars one Mike Harmon, a veteran who is not a very nice person, but he does qualify as a good man. Ringo opens this book with a quote from George Orwell -- We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to do violence on our behalf.

Mr. Harmon is one such rough person.

“Ghost” is the code name of former Navy SEAL Mike Harmon. Trapped on a far-left college campus, the veteran feels isolated and discriminated against. But when he sees a co-ed being kidnapped, he charges in to save the day, only to find himself in the middle of a terrorist plot that takes him all the way to Syria, where he lands in the middle of a terrorist stronghold, and eighty hostages, all of whom are slated to die.

The second vignette... skim it. Trust me.  It's a thirty thousand word story that's twenty thousand words of bondage porn and deep-sea fishing.

Vignette three finds Harmon in Eastern Europe, and he finds himself hip deep in a plot to nuke Paris.

Kildar (Paladin of Shadows Book 2)Kildar—Harmon, still moving through Eastern Europe, finds himself trapped in the middle of a valley during a snowstorm. He buys lodging to hold up in during the winter, but this new home comes with an interesting piece of real estate -- the entire valley.  The home also comes with a title for the owner.  The title is Kildar.

However, Harmon still has a problem.  The Valley is in the middle of a pathway for Chechen terrorists killing everyone in their way. Now, Ghost has to train the locals to stop the invaders, or else everyone is going to die.

Choosers of the Slain (Ghost, Book 3)Unfortunately for the Chechens, killing is what Ghost does best.

Choosers of the Slain: A US Senator has a problem.  The daughter of a major money donor has been disappeared into the Balkan sex slave trade.  Here's five million dollars, could Harmon and his merry band of mountain warriors do something about the matter?

And when Ghost and company discover that some of the clientele in this sex trade happen to be from Washington D.C. ... well, there's a reason I picked up certain songs from this author.

And, there's a reason that the cover looks like the movie poster for a James Bond film.

Unto the Breach (Paladin of Shadows, Book 4)Unto the Breach.  After the incident with the slave trade, people in Washington figure that Mike "Ghost" Harmon is a great person to call upon when the situation is both dire, and politically inconvenient.

This time, a scientist has been kidnapped by terrorists.  The problem?  He's an expert in biological warfare.

And that's not even the problem.   The problem is when the terrorists follow Harmon home, back into the valley he has lived in for years. But the local people are warriors by culture, and by blood, and they've been itching for a good fight. And all Hell breaks loose.

Remember when I mentioned where I first heard Dragonforce?  This was the book.

A Deeper Blue (Paladin of Shadows, Book 5)A Deeper Blue.

Biological weapon at Disneyland, with a shootout at the Holy Rodent Empire.

I think that's all you need to know for this one. It was fun.

The Last CenturionThe Last Centurion. I'm still not sure what to make of this one. To start with, this is a non-Mike Harmon novel.  Technically, it's science fiction, but only because it's set a few years into the future.  The United States has invaded Iran, beaten it, and is still there, even though President "the Bitch" has ordered a half-asses withdrawal. This book was published in 2008, so you can guess who he means.  The world has been hit with a global pandemic, the Earth is in crisis, and American army officer "Bandit Six" is trapped in the middle of Iran, with no support, no help, and the only way out is through the hostile territories of six countries..

This is a heavily political novel.  Ringo WANTS to piss off everyone with SOMETHING in this book—he didn't piss me off, but I'm odd. It's a one-shot, and written in blog format, with all that the genre entails. It was written in early 2008, before Swine Flu, the rise of Obama, and the first 100 pages, you will NOT know what's going on... okay maybe you will, but it took me a few pages to get into this one. He shoots at Fox news, environmentalists, the army, the peaceniks ... pick someone, he shoots at them.

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