Book: Gust Front by John Ringo

Fun and entertaining military science-fiction

John Ringo
Gust Front
Baen, 2002
ISBN: 0-7434-3525-7
ISBN-13: 978-0-7434-3525-3
713 pages

I've had occasions to say before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that John Ringo's military thrillers are good fun even though the plots are generally a bit improbable even by the rather relaxed standards of the genre. That improbability must not bother me since I keep reading them. Gust Front is the second book in Mr Ringo's four-book "Posleen War" science-fiction series. (The first is A Hymn Before Battle.)

In the universe of the series, the habitable planets near Earth are all populated by a federation of peaceful aliens. It seems that warlike species wiped themselves out before inventing interplanetary travel. That worked just fine for them a hundred thousand years or so. But then the Posleen, a space-faring centaur-like race that's not peaceful, attacked them and has been invading their planets for about two hundred years.

The alien federation would normally have had nothing to do with warlike humans but they need some way of fighting the Posleen. So they give humans some advanced technology and transport through space. And humans have an incentive to fight since Earth is in the Posleen's invasion path.

In A Hymn Before Battle, humans go to fight the Posleen on other planets. In Gust Front, the Posleen have arrived on Earth and they're a little earlier and in greater numbers than had been predicted. All of the America is on a war footing but no one is quite as prepared as they'd like to be. In America, most of the landings happen in the southeast.

The Posleen use some advanced technology on the battlefield but not so much that ordinary human forces are useless. Mainly, the Posleen depend on overwhelming numbers to win. But to have any chance of survival, ordinary forces must fight them from prepared positions. Movement by humans on the battlefield is limited to those few soldiers outfitted with galactic-technology armored combat suits..

There are a few valiant-but-doomed defenses staged by isolated forces (notably combat engineers) and the Posleen also do a great deal of damage to the main American forces arrayed against them. Until, that is, Captain Mike O'Neal and his cohort of armored-combat-suit-wearing soldiers arrives.

The book is a cracking read and anyone who would enjoy a military science fiction page-turner will find a splendid one here.

Posted: Mon - June 28, 2010 at 07:30   Main   Category: