Book: The Hero by John Ringo and Michael Z. Williamson

Pretty good military SF novel

John Ringo and Michael Z. Williamson
The Hero
Baen, 2004
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-0914-1
ISBN-10: 1-4165-0914-1
392 pages

The Hero is about a team of future commandos: Bell Toll, Shiva, Gun Doll, Gorilla, Thor, Dagger, Ferret, and Tirdal. Tirdal is is a recent addition to the team and he isn't human. He's from a somewhat-telephathic fox-like species. The team is sent on a risky mission to see what they can find out about an enemy alien base on a planet that's a long way from any help.

The first half of the book is relatively standard military science-fiction with pacing that's perhaps a trifle slower than I'd prefer. Then there's a twist near the middle that turns the military drama into something much more like a psychological one. And that's actually rather more interesting. We get to look into several minds. One is rather likable, another is not. The second half is also a trifle slower than I think would be optimum. You'd expect a certain amount of rumination in a psychological drama, but we get rather a lot. As for the resolution, the issues in the book are really only resolved psychologically. That may be reasonable to expect, but it does mean that the book doesn't end on a strong or dramatic note.

There are a couple of tiny editing errors. There's a stray italic F on page 83, "envelope" (p. 216) should be "envelop", and "competence" (p. 345) should be "incompetence".

Posted: Sat - July 14, 2007 at 08:31 PM   Main   Category: