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Manxome Foe [Mass Market Paperback]

John Ringo , Travis S Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 6.50 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

27 Jan 2009
In the midst of recovering from their successful if casualty prone first mission, the crew of the Alliance Space Ship Vorpal Blade are suddenly scrambled back into action. All other priorities take second place as word arrives on earth of a gate colony which has fallen to an unidentified alien assault. As the only space ship currently available to the Human-Adar Alliance, the Vorpal Blade is dispatched to find out what happened to the colony, rescue any survivors and learn the identity of the attackers. With new complexities added to the universe started in the novel Into the Looking Glass and continued in Vorpal Blade, Manxome Foe continues the tradition of non-stop action, valorous if quirky characters and rigorous science drawn from the frontiers of current theory. The odd-ball crew of the Vorpal Blade is an unlikely savior of earth, but none dare say they quail at engaging the Manxome Foe.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (27 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416591656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416591658
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John Ringo is author of the "New York Times" best-selling Posleen War series which so far includes "A Hymn Before Battle," "Gust Front," "When the Devil Dances," and "Hell's Faire," as well as the connected novels "Cally's War" (with Julie Cochrane), "The Hero" (with Michael Z. Williamson), and "Watch on the Rhine" (with Tom Kratman), and is the hottest new science fiction writer since David Weber. A veteran of the 82nd Airborne, Ringo brings first-hand knowledge of military operations to his novels of high-tech future war. Travis S. Taylor--"Doc" Taylor to his friends--has earned his soubriquet the hard way: He has a doctorate in optical science and engineering, a master's degree in physics, a master's degree in aerospace engineering, a master's degree in astronomy, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. Dr. Taylor has worked on various programs for the Department of Defense and NASA for the past sixteen years. He's currently working on several advanced propulsion concepts, very large space telescopes, space-based beamed energy systems, and next generation space launch concepts. He lives in Auburn, AL with his wife Karen and their daughter.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 11 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
He just keeps it coming.
Great space combat action, winning against the odds AGAIN.
The irresistable rise of Staff Sergeant (but not for long) Bergstresser continues.
And the Alien Baddies are getting more threatening.
I can't wait for the next one.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Space Opera Done Right 26 Jan 2008
By Geoffrey Kidd - Published on
I found this to be a VERY fast-paced book that never let up from beginning to end. The story of the second voyage of the Alliance Star Ship "Vorpal Blade" was, if anything, even more exciting and danger-filled than the first one, and that was superb.

If you've read the earlier books, you'll already know the characters and basic background, but if not, there's enough in this to catch up in a hurry. I call it "space opera", which Wikipedia defines as "a subgenre of speculative fiction or science fiction that emphasizes romantic, often melodramatic adventure, set mainly or entirely in space, generally involving conflict between opponents possessing powerful (and sometimes quite fanciful) technologies and abilities. Perhaps the most significant trait of space opera is that settings, characters, battles, powers, and themes tend to be very large-scale."

I couldn't describe this book better if I tried. I liked the action, I liked the people, I liked the science, and I found the last third of the book utterly impossible to put down. I can't wait for the sequel, "Claws That Catch", which is due out in November 2008.

Given all that, though, this one gets only four stars for two reasons:

1. Two major characters from Vorpal Blade (Looking Glass) who are so important that the survival of the UNIVERSE depends on them are completely missing in action.


2. There's a new character you get to meet, know, and like a heckuva lot in the first half of the book who completely disappears from the story for about the last hundred pages. Where'd he go?

I still recommend this book highly, even with the above. It was fun.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now THAT'S Science Fiction 5 Feb 2008
By R. Foster - Published on
This is an excellent addition to a really great series of books. (See also "Into the Looking Glass," by John Ringo and "Vorpal Blade," by John Ringo and Travis Taylor.) Once I started reading, I literally stayed up all night to finish. (After watching the SuperBowl. Monday really sucked.) The story takes an old SF workhorse, mankind facing imminent doom from alien invaders, and has it running like Secretariat. The characters are engaging, the writing is smooth, and the science didn't have my physicist wife rolling her eyes every chapter. I highly recommend the entire series. This is as good as space opera gets.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vorpal Blade to the Rescue 19 Sep 2008
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Manxome Foe (2008) is the third SF novel in the William Weaver series, following The Vorpal Blade. In the previous volume, the converted submarine flitted around exploring various planets with little luck and numerous casualties. Then they reached the forested moon of Endor. There the crew were attacked by various types of demons, including spacefaring dragonflies with laser emitting eyes.

The Vorpal Blade crew also found nonhostile sapient aliens who looked like oversized chinchillas. The locals were also being attacked by the demons and asked for assistance from the crew. Eventually, the locals -- with a little help from Miriam -- saved themselves and the humans from the demons.

In this novel, William Weaver is enjoying a little vacation after the refitting of the Vorpal Blade when he is recalled for an emergency meeting in Norfolk. A scientific expedition had been sent to an interstellar planet via a Looking Glass Boson gate. Apparently the base had been attacked with kinetic missiles.

A major explosion had been detected from Earthside and a response team dispatched to the site. The team found the base destroyed, but did not find any living thing -- human or alien -- on the other side. As usual in a Dreen attack, even the bodies were missing. The gate was then destabilized with a small nuke and moved to the Antarctic secure area.

The Vorpal Blade is being sent to conduct a more thorough investigation of the incident. Unfortunately, the warpship will take up to thirty days to cover the five hundred and fourteen lightyears to the planet. All personnel are recalled and the ship is secured for takeoff.

In this story, the lost crewmembers have been replaced with more of the same type. William Weaver is still the Astrogator on the Vorpal Blade. He is also the science officer and general font of information on spatial affairs. Captain Blankemeier -- Spectre -- remains in command, but a new Executive Officer and Commander of Space Marines have been added. Other crewmembers have been replaced and several have been promoted.

Only five marines survived the first voyage. Eric Bergstresser is now a Sargeant and has received the Navy Cross. Two Guns has become a legend among the Space Marines.

Berg also has a new girlfriend. She knows about the casualty rate on the first voyage and is concerned for his safety. He is reluctant to become involved with anyone because of his risky profession, but what can one do when true love hits?

Since the mission doesn't involve spatial exploration like the first voyage, the scientific team is left behind. Only the Special Forces team and Miriam Moon -- the linguist -- are going along. The outward flight is very boring to Miriam, so she wrangles herself into the maintenance crew, doing low priority repairs. The crew already had a high opinion of her talents, but these newly demonstrated capabilities won their hearts and souls.

The nonmaterial hitchhiker in the waste-heat system finds a new home on the outward trip. During a chill cycle, it detects the mind of Miriam and moves into her brain. She starts hearing a voice in her head, but works harder to distract herself. Then it starts making sense.

This tale takes the Vorpal Blade to the destroyed camp, where they find one survivor. Then they begin looking for the attacker. In their investigations, they come upon evidence of a spacebattle and three stranded alien survivors. They also find the remains of Dreen ships.

The previous novel was a story of space exploration, but this story is more space opera with a hard SF background. The Vorpal Blade crew finds their ship to have definite deficiencies in their battles with the Dreen foe. Fortunately, the friendly aliens have some equipment which increases their effectiveness.

The next volume in this series is Claws That Catch. Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Ringo & Taylor fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of space battles, alien contact, and a touch of romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is there something wrong with me? I really like this book 29 May 2010
By clifford - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Manxome Foe... what to say. Everything here is exactly what I despise in genre writing. From the poor prose to goofy plot to 2-dimensional characters to sloppy editing. Ringo is no Shakespeare... neither is he a modern day Heinlein. I think that if I met Ringo on the street I would have a very poor first impression of the man. His personality comes through loud and clear on these pages with his rabid pro NRA stance, anti-French, pro military, definitely GOP attitude. So why is it that I enjoy these books so much?

First let me say that I listened to this... Maybe this is a book perfectly suited as a background listening experience.

This is the third installment of what promises to be a very long series. The first 'Looking Glass' was a classic 'Independence Day' alien invasion story that was pretty cool. Ringo and Taylor then have the idea of using a nuclear sub as a spaceship and this furthers the plots of the next two series entries. In Manxome Foe, the story starts off with a colony world being attacked. The colony was set up via a series of 'Gates'. In the first book, a gateway system opened up when a physics experiment went awry. People are able to step through the gate from one world to the next.

Ringo loves to talk a blue streak about theoretical physics. In a unique way, he manages to introduce several new ideas with each of the Vorpal Blade books. A lot of the fun was in reading about how the discover a new technology, discuss it, and then incorporate it into the ship.

This story mostly revolves around furthering human technology, the meeting of a new species, a space battle, and banter between the crew members.

This is definitely a story that should not work (in my opinion) but it does. One of my favorite reviews of all time on Amazon had this to say in the title for the 'Looking Glass' "Awful, awful, awful". I gave that book 4 stars and enjoyed it quite a bit. But I can see how both that one and Manxome Foe could be construed by anyone as exactly that, so I would recommend this story, but only with a bit of hesitation.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old School is still good school 25 Jan 2008
By Wiskeycharlie - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The "Looking Glass" series is well served here with this continuation. John Ringo again does a great job with combat and Travis Taylor handles the science with well done "possibilities". Good SF should assist your imagination with Science on the edge of the possible, good friendly interpersonal relationships, battles, and a respectable pace. This book and series meets all those requirements--in spades.
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