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on 7 November 2015
This is a cool story. I enjoyed it immensely. Well worth the read.
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on 26 April 2014
Great read, well written and easy to read. I am adding this author to my wish list and looking out for more books
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on 27 December 2004
I like John Ringo Books - he usually has a good, adventurous story with fairly reasonable characterizations. The underlying plots gradually develop and are usually quite sophisticated - all without being too 'heavy'
This one, follows the Ringo pattern down to a T. We are introduced to the rather strange world of the future, with amazing technology based miracles - and then these miracles are snatched away from us (and the characters) - but at least we know the basis for some of the things that will happen.
We get good character development - it is not long before we know who the heros are and who are the 'baddies' and by the end of the book the heros have won some battles - but the war is definately still in the balance.
The book itself was fairly enjoyable, but I got the feeling that really a lot of the writer's effort in this book, was to set the scene for the rest of the books in the series (this is why it only got 4 stars from me).
Howwever I enjoyed reading it, and I'm looking forward to the rest in the set. (not enough to buy the hardback though!).
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on 12 January 2008
The premise is fine. A fall of society, how dragons/elves etc.. co-exist with sci fi. Execution is something all together different. Minor conversations between characters become long winded explanations to prop up the concept/premise. What is worse is the really annoying and highly contrived additions of medieval/fantasy expressions into conversations. Naye, me'thinks etc.. The only minor defense the author has is that the characters in question are reenactors ( future eutopia people who play live action D&D in VR and in life ). Even with that, far far too contrived. The baddies ( yes baddies ) in the plot are also very very one dimensional and poorly conceived. This thing had a lot of potential and was a great idea - but is over laboured and really badly put together. Will not be picking up any more in the series.....
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on 24 February 2005
I'm coming to think of John Ringo as probably the best 'Sci-Fi Ground battle' person today.
His books are normally well thought out, with both some really good set pieces which are well written to boot.
Ok whats good?
I think the world he has created is genius, how humans, dragons, elves and such like could exist in a sci-fi world, the concept itself is worth 6 marks out of 5.
Now Whats bad?
I have read all of Johns soft back books and I'm starting to come to the uncomfortable opinion that when you read one you read them all. The situations and people change but the pacing of his books are such that you can normally tell what is about to happen, not by whats being written, but by where in the book you are.
The second problem with Johns books is I feel he gets partway through a book then thinks 'hey I can make a sequel out of this' as he done with the Posleen war books (the second book should of been the final one).
Be that as it may, he is now ranked second in my list of Sci-Fi authors (begin David Weber), and I will buy the second book in the series when it comes out on Soft back.
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on 15 November 2003
Well what can I say? After reading Ringo's fantastic "March To" series, I had very high expectations for this book. My expectations were realised for the most part, but although some of the ideas were really excellent, Ringo spent (in my opinion) too much time on them. A very large part of this book is given over to the technology of the net, nannites, AIs, and lots of other really neat stuff, but then when the Fall occurs, all this great stuff is pretty much irrelevant because without power it is all useless.

This is an End of The World story like no other you have read. Think Stirling's Island in a Sea of Time without the back-time travel, but apply the idea to the entire world and a Billion lost and frightened people. Reading about Talbot trying to set up a viable community without all the tech he is used to, reminded me strongly of Stirling's book about Nantucket. Making use of natural resources, training people to work instead of play... all great stuff.

The only problem I had with this book, was that nearly all of it is about setting up a new society. We hear about the Council's conflict, but it is secondhand for the most part. I wanted to be involved in the war a lot more... maybe that will come in the second book.

Buy this one, its worth the hardback price despite needing more conflict :¬)
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on 11 April 2016
Really really advanced, you know like showing an iPhone to a caveman. But us here now are the cavemen, the things they can do, you can work in the heart of a star, take samples from the core of earth, pop to the moon for a coffee, and be back in minuets, fancy being a unicorn for a day, no problem a dolphin a dragon a snap.
So what do you do when your wonderful world goes awry. And find that being a dragon may not be such a good idea if you can't get back to human.
Your limited by the power of muscle and wind, if we in our world would cope badly with all our toys gone, how in hell are they going to fair.
An hidden gem.
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on 28 April 2014
Another Ringo peaen to the ultimate, unquestionable superiority of the late 20th century United States. At everything. Forever.

Forget the clumsy, contrived premise, it's just a hook to reset the world to a state where Ringo can moan "Murrrrrca", while bashing away one-handed at his keyboard. The slivers of interest that I felt at a post-industrial society trying to eke out a living in a pre-industrial milieu were quickly dispelled when it became clear that Ringo was going to simply ignore that and magic up whatever resources were necessary to support the 'Nam era military infrastructure that he obsesses over.

Every character is present for one thing: to evangelise the awesomeness of the proxied US military, or to serve as an example of what happens to those who don't. And that's death or rape. He just can't stop going on about it. It hovers like an ever present threat over all the female characters. Got another clumsy point to make? I'll rape it into you! The sequel continues in this vein, and despite all the glaring continuity errors and premise shredding, you can be sure that anyone who so much as sniffs at Ringo's military ubermen will end up as a corpse or a contrite, humbled rape survivor, wringing their hands as they bemoan their previous ignorance.

This book and its sequel are actually sickening, and I've read Heinlein's later works. One to avoid, unless you too love a-whoopin' and a-hollerin' and a-masturbatin' over the systemic brutality of Full Metal Jacket.
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on 15 April 2015
As nutty a read as I've ever read, starts as ultra techno science and drops into medieval combat pretty quickly, enjoyably demented.
I loved the apocalypse based simplification of life that leads to the more interesting story.
Get past the first 75 pages or so and you have another Ringo classic.
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on 7 March 2014
A little laboured for me. Perhaps aimed at a younger adult audience, new to Fantasy. Will read the sequel just make sure.
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