Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Gust Front by John Ringo

Gust Front is the second book in the Posleen war series and a direct sequel to a Hymn before battle which I reviewed here.

Despite the victories in the first novel, the best of Earths forces are still stuck in bloody stalemate defending two alien planets. Over three years have passed since the events of a Hymn before battle and the first wave of invasion is less then two years away. Earths defences are still being built and the navy is still under construction in the shipyards. In the early chapters there’s a real sense of urgency but a hope that things may come together in time for the first wave of invasion.

Unfortunately nobody told the Aliens the schedule and some of the Alien forces arrive early. It's not hard to guess that all hell breaks loose.

Most of the action in Gust front occurs in the USA describing the landings their. There are a lot of references to roads and cities which probably make more sense to American readers but despite that the action is still fast paced and relatively easy to follow.
It's good to see that despite the nature of the story it's still believable and easily draws you in. Despite the threat of invasion hanging over the earth, people still fight, still bicker and put their wants and needs first. Politics is also still around and the actions of politicians almost lead to disaster for the US forces.

You rejoin the main character and his family and experience a lot of the action through their eyes. However it was extremely shocking to me when one member of the family does not make it through the book as I really wasn't expecting it. Several other characters also fail to survive and casualties among the Earth forces mount with horrific speed.

The Aliens are defeated if only just. However the cost is huge as a large part of the earths planetary defence centres are in ruins, several cities are lost, casualties among earth forces are high and this was only a small attack, the first invasion wave will be ten times as big. The situation is desperate and you realise that the Earth needs some kind of miracle if it's going to survive.

Four stars out of five and this is only because the focus is kept firmly on the US relegating the consequences of the landings around the rest of the world to a few small paragraphs. The world is in danger so let’s hear about it rather then just the USA!

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