is your source for affordable electronic fiction


Powered by FreeFind

Site search
Web search

    A HYMN BEFORE BATTLE by John Ringo

    Baen, October 2000

    Mike O'Neal has left the military and is now firmly set on a new life as web programmer. The last thing he wants or expects is a call from his old boss--and a recall into the service. Of course when alien invaders threaten Earth, lots of people find themselves with new plans. Ex-Sergeant O'Neal is now Lieutenant O'Neal and expected to learn the new technologies 'friendly' aliens are able to share with Earth's armies and incorporate these technologies into tactics.

    O'Neal's powerful friends make him as many allies as friends. As a result, when he is pulled into a line unit, the commanding Colonel refuses to accept any of his recommendations and even orders O'Neal to stay far away from his soldiers. O'Neal knows the Colonel is leading his troops to disaster but cannot disobey a direct order.

    Once on Diess IV, O'Neal's worst fears are justified. In the face of total disaster, he is able to pull together a small group of armored infantry--but what can they do against the hundreds of thousands of battle-tested aliens who have already overrun dozens of planets?

    It is obvious that John Ringo(see more reviews of novels by this author) has a deep affection for the military and especially the NCOs who form the heart of any military unit. His descriptions of military training and of the political infighting within the officer corps ring of truth. In contrast, his battle scenes are a little too pat. It is difficult to believe that a unit which was so completely overrun would be able to so effectively confront the enemy only hours later. With some notable exceptions (Sergeant Pappas is a wonderfully drawn character), Ringo's characters are stereotypes. The alien culture Ringo describes is certainly interesting and is likely to be the subject of additional novels.

    Two Stars

    A HYMN BEFORE BATTLE is now available for free from the BAEN site. View it (complete novel) now at Check out the full listing of BAEN free complete novels at This is a great resource.

    Ready to buy it? Click the button:

    Want to learn more?
    Click this link and see more reviews, similar books, and other Amazon information on A HYMN BEFORE BATTLE from in hardback or paperback.

    Rather buy it from Barnes and Noble?
    Click this link for A HYMN BEFORE BATTLE from Barnes and