To John Ringo,
I'd never read one of your books. I had seen them at the library along with several other bestsellers as books I'd always intended to read but never had. In fact I often have had to resist the allure of their glossy, hard-cover jackets because I had plenty more books to read. Of course I always had that sneaking suspicion that one day I would have to take the plunge and read one of your books. It always ends up that way with the glossy best-sellers...
Eventually this book caught up to me thanks to my mother reading it and recommending it. So I picked it up curiously and I must admit that you won me over with the simple foreword. You wrote about how you had 'stolen' the idea for this novel from a web-comic. You mentioned how you had no intention of this being a great literary read, a tale about the 'other' or 'alienation' through 'othering'. No you had planned this as an entertaining space story and I respect that, above all I read for joy and entertainment.
When I begun I found that this was one of the most fun books I've read all year. Not the most unique (but you mentioned that it wasn't meant to be 'unique') and not the best book but one of the most fun. The whole opening with aliens dropping a intergalactic doorway in our solar system was very clever twist on that whole intergalactic 'stargate' idea. Following that up with traders from friendly alien planets coming through and then tyrannical aliens was also great. You had a set up that placed humanity under the boot of stronger and more advanced aliens. But then you went and came up with one entrepreneur who fought his way and humanity's way into power. A man who discovered that the aliens had an addiction to maple syrup. And how he traded up to gain alien technology for humanity was brilliant. I loved the way you showed an alien first encounter and humanity entering into a proper space age.
I loved the humour of your book, the jokes made through your story. I loved the entertaining action and the protagonists with their banter. I get that there was some politics in the story, which I'm probably not American enough to understand. I did like how you showed that sometimes governments can spend too much time working out the proper way to do things rather than the right way and the way that works to help its people. Are governments there for themselves or the people?
Most of all I loved the way all the elements combined in this story. It was a fun read, a book I will not regret having read and definitely a book for action adventure junkies. Thanks for writing this fun book Mr. Ringo!
a new reader of yours