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Vorpal Blade (Looking Glass #2)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  2,821 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
1.  John Ringo has over two million books in print.

2.  He has written six New York Times best sellers.

3.  The first novel in his Posleem War series, A Hymn Before Battle has an 81% sell through in mass market from October 2001 to date.  Booklist called the novel, "practically impossible not to read in one sitting."  Gust Front, the second novel in the series, has equally h
Paperback, 576 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by Baen (first published September 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Mike (the Paladin)
I read Mr. Ringo's comments on the reviews of the book before this one (Looking Glass) that he found on Amazon. He was annoyed at the people who thought the book had "too much science", and he said so. Well, I will say that these books ought to satisfy those readers who pride themselves on liking "hard science fiction".

There was in this novel even more of the theorizing on physics and how the FTL (Faster Than Light) drive would work. We got discussions on gravity it's implications and we also go
Dec 01, 2008 Ron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sf, milfic
Ringo does Star Trek. Really.

While a sequal to Thru the Looking Glass, it is really a very different kind of story. Namely a spaceship - in this case a converted submarine - goes exploring the galaxy.

Unlike Star Trek the Captian and XO never leave the ship. Instead the Marines do the dirty work. We see navy life from the top and bottom.

While the body count is high eventually, I was shocked to be in a Ringo book and half way through with no one dying.

Very hard SF, and if you don't like physics
Apr 06, 2012 Sallye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the first book in the series (Through the Looking Glass) well enough to search this book out (and pay full price for it). It is another hugely enjoyable, hard science fiction book. Travis Taylor adds more science to this story, and a few in-jokes for those readers from Huntspatch. The story rattles along as merrily as ever on a Star Trek style series of adventures. I completely derailed my bellydance class this week talking physics (who comes up with those particle names, anyway?) and re ...more
Sep 21, 2015 Darin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Horrible writing!! Made up profanity is more offensive than the real thing especially when it sounds so idiotic!!!
Jun 18, 2017 RhC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military Space Lingo Lovers
Recommended to RhC by: GoodReads
Imagine that the human race discovers faster than light travel -- not DEVELOPS, DISCOVERS -- and decides to convert an old ballistic missile submarine into a spaceship to visit/explore the neighborhood! Think: 15-year old who just got a learner's permit is handed the keys to a brand new Corvette -- what could possibly go wrong?

Vorpal Blade is combination military action and hard science fiction novel. A little slow at first. In fact, the first half is bogged down in character (over) developmen
Dec 15, 2016 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Space Marines on a reconfigured Nuclear Sub.

Nov 30, 2016 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book Vorpal Blade is an excellent book one I recommend to those who like to read sci-fi. It is the 2nd book in a series of four. Just after their war with a hostile alien force the Dreen whom they met after a portal appears on earth and when they manage to destroy the portal that the Dreen come through, America with their alien allies, the Adar build a secret spaceship to go and explore space and find the Dreen or allies to fight against the Dreen before the Dreen find them. In this essay I ...more
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
From Publishers Weekly

Military SF specialist Ringo teams up with real-life rocket scientist Taylor for this far-out sequel to 2005's Into the Looking Glass. Much of the science deals with the arcane mysteries of quantum mechanics, lending the often grim events an absurdist twist appropriately reminiscent of Lewis Carroll. Several years after an experiment that opened a gateway from central Florida into other dimensions, Doc Weaver, a physicist turned U.S. naval officer, adapts an alien star dr

Per Gunnar
Unfortunately this book series by John Ringo didn’t improve with the second book in the series. The characters and the action are still written in the John Ringo style which of course is a good thing and it’s essentially what makes the book worthwhile to read.

The story however, is just so implausible that it drags down a lot of the book. The Higgs Boson nonsense continues of course but that would be expected since it’s pretty much the foundation for the “science” in the series. It’s still as muc
"Vorpal Blade" is #2 in the Looking Glass series. It was good but not as good as the first book. Nevertheless, it expanded the role of the little girl the author introduced in the first book and then used only sparingly. I was glad to see her return. It also brings back two other major characters and introduces many new ones.

The story: Using a warp engine design they have refitted a boomer submarine to be a spaceship. They are off to explore amongst the stars and to find their mortal enemy.

Any p
Oct 10, 2014 Balkron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: space, fantasy, reviewed, own
My Rating Scale:
1 Star - Horrible book, It was so bad I stopped reading it. I have not read the whole book and wont
2 Star - Bad book, I forced myself to finish it and do NOT recommend. I can't believe I read it once
3 Star - Average book, Was entertaining but nothing special. No plans to ever re-read
4 Star - Good Book, Was a really good book and I would recommend. I am Likely to re-read this book
5 Star - GREAT book, A great story and well written. I can't wait for the next book. I Will Re-Read th
May 10, 2014 R.G. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-blogged
I love how this shows how the world has evolved since humans have encountered aliens… and I loved that it wasn’t some panic… they’d destroyed the evil ones and the good ones, Adars, are accepted into society… especially considering how the Adar’s technology have seriously advanced the world… but the main story is the spaceship they’ve built and going out into space… Ringo does a great job with making these people normal in the most bizarre environments… they’re marines that you might meet on any ...more
Robert D
Jan 03, 2016 Robert D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Ringo returns to characters he created in the book "Into the Looking Glass". I would categorize it as military science fiction, but with actual science. Ringo builds a coherent story that relies on actual theoretical physics.

It is seven years later and Dr. (now Lieutenant Commander) Bill Weaver has gotten the United States to build a space ship around what he thinks is a FTL star drive. And what do you do when you have a new spaceship. You go exploring.

The mission of the Alliance Vorpal Bla
Benjamin Thompson
Amazing piece of science fiction. I say "fiction" in a rather loose sense because the amazing thing about this book is that it is almost entirely based on real theories and scientific discoveries known today. There is quite possibly enough information in this book to fill an entire textbook. This gives me an idea, perhaps science would be most effectively taught to public and high school students through science fiction novels like this one.

What's perhaps even more amazing, as this book shows, i
Seth Tucker
Sep 06, 2014 Seth Tucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a great follow up to Into the Looking Glass. Combining actual science with a great premise, we explore the worlds beyond our solar system and see how other worlds have evolved. I loved the portrayal of the converted submarine and the lives of those who serve aboard the Vorpal Blade. With Travis Taylor on board, the physics involved are explained in a very understandable manner, which I enjoyed. Also I was glad to see Bill Weaver and Chief Miller back in action. So I definitely recom ...more
The sequel to Into the Looking Glass takes up the story more than ten years later. The US is launching its first starship, based on a nuclear submarine and and alien propulsion system. The novel follows the mission. It is an escalation of encounters from very mild to extremely deadly, with quantum physics sprinkled throughout.

Unlike Into the Looking Glass, which I was somewhat disappointed with, I thoroughly enjoyed Vorpal Blade. It is a fun romp with the right doses of humor and action. The cha
Nai Wang
Jul 09, 2015 Nai Wang rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm writing this review as someone who likes hard core military sci-fi since I assume that if you made it to the second book, this would be your cup of tea. It was an improvement over the slaughterfest of the first book and the writing has improved. I really like the beginning, setting up the characters and the middle exploration but when we get to the end we always leave with chaos which gets chaotic. I guess this further exemplifies the crazy nature of battle and is intentional but my what cra ...more
Mar 06, 2010 Nihonjoe rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who like military science fiction and military action
Recommended to Nihonjoe by: Kai Hintze
The first book was quite good, but I liked this one better. It still has Ringo's charm (which isn't surprising since he co-authored it), but it has more of the sciencey stuff I like in science fiction.

This time, Weaver, Miller, and Mimi are off exploring strange new worlds and new civilizations in the first human spaceship (actually a converted boomer (missile sub)). It posits some interesting concepts regarding space travel, warp travel, and the various effects that are exerted by stars and ot
Marina Fontaine
As many sequels, this one doesn't quite live up to the original, but still a good story. More hard science, more military terminology, and enough action scenes to satisfy even the most demanding adrenalin junkie. I have taken off a star for a very slow beginning. Once the excitement gets going more than half way through the book, it starts to border on amazing, but by then the book is almost over. The body count would make Quentin Tarantino proud, but it's well earned. A must read for military s ...more
May 22, 2010 Bryan457 rated it it was amazing
Very different from the previous book. meshing a bit of barely understood alien technology with a nuclear submarine, the US military makes a spaceship capable of interstellar flight.
Has some great technology and some great characters.
This really fired my imagination.

I liked that the important people stayed at their command post or science post jobs and sent the marines into harms way. seemed more rational than the traditional star trek model.
Clinton Sheppard
I liked the science and military action. The pacing and some of the character interactions reminded me of Heinlein's Number of the Beast. I took away a star because of the gratuitous use of colorful metaphors and sexual innuendo. Most of the dialogue revolves around the Marines. I also liked the side references to other works of science fiction... e.g. the Forest Moon of Endor.
Sep 02, 2016 Syhkakka rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't think there is anything more irritating than made up curse words, if you don't like writing profanity then just avoid using any at all, it makes the marines sound mildly retarded. The "science" is pretty bad like in the first book but that is to be expected. I stopped reading half way through, don't waste your time with this book.
Nov 17, 2007 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great military science fiction. Takes place in the near future with characters that served in special forces in Afghanistan and the first human interstellar, FTL ship is a converted Ohio Class missle sub.

Note - there is a previous book, Looking Glass. I have not read that yet and am enjoying Vorpal Blade but given a choice, you might want to start with Looking Glass.
Richard Van Dijk
Jul 04, 2007 Richard Van Dijk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone...

Humanity is heading out to the stars, if we don't trip over the doorstep (edge of the solar system) on the way out.

Quite a few of the same characters as in 'The Looking Glass.' The thing I didn't like quite so much is the use of for a lack of a better word, Alien Slang. Some of the meanings are obvious, but some are not.

Doug Roberts
Feb 13, 2010 Doug Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good, although it fell into a pattern of "identify engineering problem," "debate engineering problem," then "solve engineering problem." All well and good, and rarely boring, but it started to feel like the author just wanted to show me how smart he was. Ditto for the lectures on particle physics.
Apr 07, 2008 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ringo fans, military SF fans
Shelves: sciencefiction
Good solid military SF. Some of the science explanations are very technical, and those passages are definitely written by Taylor and frankly lack appeal for me, but the characters are awesome especially Eric Bergstresser aka Two-Gun. 2nd in a series, so read Through a Looking Glass first. Oh, and other than the titles, they have nothing to do with Alice of Lewis Carroll fame.
Sep 07, 2010 Leons1701 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crazy action in the Ringo style. And bizarre particle physics. What's not to like?
Well, there are Ringo's political views for one. And perhaps he goes a bit over the top here. OK, more than a bit. Giant surfing space hamsters? Really?
Dec 22, 2012 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Another dandy - the second book in this series is as good as the first. If you're not interested in quantum physics and implications thereof, you won't like this - the authors are putting the science in hard science fiction. It's pretty cool.
Sep 30, 2010 Miles rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military, sf
Enjoyable military sci-fi. Nothing incredibly spectacular, but solid work and grittier than average for the genre while being liberally sprinkled with humor. Unusually high body count, so be warned those of you who get really attached to characters.
Mike Briggs
The first book in the series was quite interesting, but this one seemed to have way too much in the way of "fake" science gibberish. It went way past the "if they start talking one more time about" gibberish threshold.

Granted, the action was interesting. When action actually occurred.
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John Ringo is a prolific author who has written in a wide variety of genres. His early life included a great deal of travel. He visited 23 foreign countries, and attended fourteen different schools. After graduation Ringo enlisted in the US military for four years, after which he studied marine biology.

In 1999 he wrote and published his first novel "A Hymn Before Battle", which proved successful.
More about John Ringo...

Other Books in the Series

Looking Glass (4 books)
  • Into the Looking Glass (Looking Glass, #1)
  • Manxome Foe (Looking Glass, #3)
  • Claws That Catch (Looking Glass, #4)

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