Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Hymn Before Battle

by John Ringo

I was intrigued by this first contact tale because it contained a favorite trope--the quirky underdog ends up making a major contribution to the cause. In this book, the quirky underdog is the human race. The cause is the survival of a federation of races in the local part of the galaxy. This federation is advanced (compared to humanity), stable and peaceful. It's also being systematically slaughtered by an invading race, the Posleen. At wits' end, they decide the best thing to do is contact a primitive and warlike species (us) and enlist humanity to wage war on behalf of the Federation. (The motivation for humanity is that the Posleen are on their way to Earth anyway and it would be in our interest to face them with advanced Federation technology rather than simply rely on ourselves.) As far as the first contact aspect of the story goes, it's rather minimal. It's pretty much the setup for a military SF tale. The characters and action are good, however, so I didn't mind that so much. While Hymn is not a book I'm going to keep, I think I may try to check out its sequels.

LibraryThing link


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