Book: Ghost by John Ringo

First part is very good action thriller, second isn't, third is pretty good

John Ringo
Baen, 2005
ISBN-10: 1-4165-2087-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-2087-0
502 pages

Ghost is is a military action thriller. The main character, Mike Harmon, is a retired Navy SEAL and he comes out of retirement to kill a few more bad guys. There's a lot to like about the book, but it's not politically correct even by the rather relaxed standards of the genre.

The volume is divided into three "books" which are semi-independant novellas. The first one is a good and exciting adventure that follows from an abduction in Athens, Georgia. It's improbable even by the rather relaxed standards of the genre, but I was sufficiently caught up in the action that that didn't bother me.

In the first ten chapters of the second novella there's a long and talky disquisition on kinky sex followed by some kinky sex. The last four chapters contain a short military action sequence. It's not bad but it's rather brief. I have nothing against reading about kinky sex, but it's not what I bought this book for.

The third novella involves Mike happening on the trail of a stolen nuke in Eastern Europe and working to chase it down. For relaxation, he badly mistreats a prostitute and then makes it up to her to some extent. The chase after the nuke is well done.

The book's action sequences vary between good and excellent. And it's just fine that Mike Harmon is a complex and flawed character, but I rather wish that Mr Ringo hadn't spent quite so many pages letting us know that, especially in the second novella. That rather dilutes the best parts. Still, I'll be getting the next book in the series.

The quote attributed to George Orwell on the dedication page has no citation and appears not to have been said or written by Orwell. Something similar may have been said by Winston Churchill. And, while it's not strictly part of the book, but the excerpt from a forthcoming book at the end of the volume has "shoe-in" which should be "shoo-in" (p. 512).

Posted: Mon - April 9, 2007 at 05:57 PM   Main   Category: