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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to a obsolete genre
As has been mentioned in earlier reviews this is most certainly *not* Mr. Ringo's usual fare (to say the least).
The first thing that should be mentioned is that this is definately not science fiction rather it is a return to a genre that I haven't seen since the mid to late 80s - Two fisted (or rather twin pistoled) men's action adventure, the most...
Published on 19 Mar 2006 by Patrick Mathews

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In which John Ringo goes seriously over the top ...
John Ringo normally writes military SF and most of his offerings in that genre are extremely good. This one is more of a freelance war on terror book, and he seems to be in grave danger of crossing the line between challenging the reader and going out of your way to see how many people you can offend. That goes even for his existing fans among military SF readers, who are...
Published on 8 Feb 2006 by Marshall Lord


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to a obsolete genre, 19 Mar 2006
This review is from: Ghost (Kildar) (Hardcover)
As has been mentioned in earlier reviews this is most certainly *not* Mr. Ringo's usual fare (to say the least).
The first thing that should be mentioned is that this is definately not science fiction rather it is a return to a genre that I haven't seen since the mid to late 80s - Two fisted (or rather twin pistoled) men's action adventure, the most populous would have to be the old Mack Boland "Executioner"&"Phoniex Force" series. The enemy now is Islamic terrorist rather than the Soviet Union as was most common in the 80s, but that was the past and this is now. In addition to this Mr. Ringo has clearly stated this himself.
The book is rather right wing politically. To anyone who had not realised this about John Ringo already - "Are you awake?". Ringo has never hidden this, quite the oposite the man is the science fiction version of Fox news:), which I believe he occasionally appears on.
There is quite alot of erotic S&M fiction worked into the stories as well (the book is more akin to 3 short shorts in one volume then 1 novel)- the second story reading more like an erotic story with some action/adventure as an excuse for the setting. However any fan will recognise references the bondage/S&M in his earlier work which most acertainly come to the surface in this book (or rather series of 5 books [Go John, Go!!!!]). You'll note Duncan in "Hymn before Battle" and his reference to knots and the talk of the theory of sexual dominance in "There Will be Dragons". I think this man is deep down kinky...
Now this book is not for every one, but I enjoyed it. If you liked John's earlier work and Tom Clancy or just enjoy reading John's unique take on mayhem with a side of humour then you might just like this (having a secret kinky side would help too).
Now of course if you don't like right wing politics and S&M sences but still find Ringo enertaining, do not buy this. Try "Into The Looking Glass" instead - mayhem, humour, evil aliens, sub-atomic physics, heroic humans; It has them all.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars In which John Ringo goes seriously over the top ..., 8 Feb 2006
By 
Marshall Lord (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost (Kildar) (Hardcover)
John Ringo normally writes military SF and most of his offerings in that genre are extremely good. This one is more of a freelance war on terror book, and he seems to be in grave danger of crossing the line between challenging the reader and going out of your way to see how many people you can offend. That goes even for his existing fans among military SF readers, who are probably neither the most prudish or left/liberal of audiences.

Two thirds of the book reads like a manifesto for the hardline neo-con wing of the Republican party, complete with a defence secretary who appears to be meant as a sympathetic portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, explicit insults aimed at Democrats in general and a thinly veiled one aimed at Hilary Clinton in particular.

For those people who don't have a problem with that, the middle third of the book reads like a top-shelf SM sex book, so that may offend a good chunk of the religious right element among those who are not put off by the politics.

The "hero" spends much of the book telling people that he's not a good guy, he's a bad guy who happens to be on the right side: towards the end of the book he proves convincingly that this is absolutely true. Ringo isn't quite the only author to cast a rapist as the anti-hero (remember Thomas Covenant?) but "Ghost" probably wins the prize for the least sympathetic central character I've read for a long time - even over the same author's "Watch on the Rhine" in which the heroes were reformed Waffen SS men.

The action scenes in the book are mostly very exciting, if occasionally a bit "with one bound Jack was free." There is a lot of humour, much of it outrageous or sick, but the book often had me laughing, sometimes against my will.

I rather admire the courage of the publishers for releasing this, but they probably should have put a "The publishers recommend that this book should be sold only to adults" warning on it. As a broad litmus test, if you were against the Iraq war or are even a little bit prudish, do your blood pressure a favour and leave this one alone.

I see that Ringo has written several sequels. I will probably read them, but in the spirit of the proverbial fitness report on an indifferent officer, that his men would follow him anywhere but only out of a sense of morbid curiosity. And I'll wait for the paperbacks.

POSTSCRIPT - APRIL 2008

I did eventually get round to reading the second book in the series, "Kildar" and was pleasantly surprised. Although I had read it out of the sense of morbid curiosity referred to above, I found the second in the series, while still a lttle "off the wall" is much less outrageous and a vastly better book than the first one.

So I do now plan to read the whole series which as at April 2008 consists of -

Ghost
Kildar
Choosers of the slain
Unto the Breach
A Deeper Blue

Ironically the most entertaining part of the book Kildar comes before the body of the novel itself: it's the disclaimer facing the title page which clearly demonstrates that John Ringo has a sense of humour about the controversy which was stirred up by 'Ghost'. That disclaimer deserves to be the last word on 'Ghost' and reads as follows

"This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental. This book and series has no connection to reality. Any attempt by the reader to replicate any scene in this series is to be taken at the reader's own risk. For that matter, most of the actions of the main character are illegal under US and international law as well as most of the stricter religions in the world.

"There is no Valley of the Keldara. Heck, there is no Kildar. And the idea of some Scots and Vikings getting together to raid the Byzantine Empire is beyond ludicrous.

"The islands described in a previous book do not exist. Entire regions described in these books do not exist. Any attempt to learn anything from these books is disrecommended by the author, the publisher and the author's mother who wishes to state that he was a very nice boy and she doesn't know what went wrong."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 27 Oct 2005
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This review is from: Ghost (Kildar) (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book wasnt what I expected it to be but its a good yarn.
It is split into 3 parts the middle of the 3 is perhaps the weakest but overall I enjoyed it.
Do not read if you are offended by lots of sex as its full of it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hurah for the seals, 27 Sep 2006
This review is from: Ghost (Mass Market Paperback)
fantastic starter book for the trilogy(ghost , kildar , and choosers of the slain) i dare anyone to start to read it and try to put it down. it had me gripped from page 1.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Ringo's usual style - or qualtity, 6 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Ghost (Kildar) (Hardcover)
This book falls far below the author's usually quality of writing, even aside from the amount of sex in it - which completely displaces the (military) action.
In the first part of the book we are introduced to the hero who although ill-health retired from the military has sufficient skills and attitude to make Rambo seem an incompetent wimp. This hero then as a one-man band manages to foil several terrorist plots.
The only part of the book that might have some virtue as a piece of writing is that in the first part we are given some information about the 'dark side' of the hero - the hero constantly has to surpress his rather disturbing sexual tendencies. It was somewhat of a novelity to find that this almost super heroic character had such major flaws.
However in the second part of the book - which is largely about the hero's sexual activities, this darkness isn't revealed or resolved - and in fact the writing was mundane/pedistrian/boring.
The last part of the book, never quite gets underway after we have become bogged down with part two.
For those who like erotica/adult fiction, the writing isn't up to scratch. For those who like military fiction, the story is too disrupted by the sex. For those who like John Ringo's writing, then I'd suggest that you avoid this book, it will almost certainly dissapoint.
Everything else I have ever read by Ringo has been worthy of a 4 or 5 star review. This is lucky to scrape 1 star (mostly because you can't award zero stars)
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Reptilian, 11 Nov 2005
By 
Marc Wilson (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ghost (Kildar) (Hardcover)
I managed to read to the end, in a slightly horrified way like waching a car crash. A truly horrible book; the protagonist is an unpleasant right-wing racist, contemptuous of human right or any viewpoint to the left of George Bush. The book is a sleazy wish-fulfilment fantasy, simplifying complex issues into a black and white (and I use those terms advisedly) clash between "us and them".
Avoid. I only regret that there isn't a "no stars" selection.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ghost"John Rimgo, 30 May 2011
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This review is from: Ghost (Mass Market Paperback)
if you read John Ringo, no explanation neccessary, otherwise, sci fi and millitary warfare excellence, sorry but these are just unputdownable ? to the fact stayed up all night to read a good section,enjoy worth the time and effort.
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Ghost by JOHN RINGO (Mass Market Paperback - 31 Oct 2006)
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