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A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War, #1)
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A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War #1)

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  9,826 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
With Earth in the path of the rapacious Posleen, the Galactic Federation offers help to the backward humans -- for a price. You can protect yourself from your enemies, but God save you from your allies!
Paperback, 467 pages
Published June 15th 2006 by Baen Books (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30)
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MILITARY SF that hits the G-SPOT and causes a FULL ON HAPPY!! Interesting POLITICS, unique ALIEN CULTURES, intelligent PLOTTING, engaging CHARACTERS...oh yeah, and lots and lots of:

4.5 stars. I’ve said before that I like military SF, but it is not the sub-genre that I intend to settle down with and spend the rest of my life. Therefore, I am fairly prudish and selective about the books I engage with in this category. Well book bachelors and bachelorettes, this book is definitely ROSE WORTHY as
Jul 17, 2008 Matt rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Lovers of military pulp science fiction, most of whom have already read it
Shelves: science-fiction, war
In full disclosure, I've bumped into the author a couple of times online as we have certain interests in common. I hope he remains willing to talk to me after this review.

The biggest problem with the book is that it’s not really to my taste. Along with Jerry Pournelle, John Ringo is one of the main figures in the pulp military science fiction. You might think that's right up my alley, but really not so much. I just can't get into it. Whether it denounces the horrors of war or it glamorizes the g
Mr. Matt
Jan 21, 2014 Mr. Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, 2015, military
There is no leap of imagination, no stretch that I could make, no possible way that I could rank this as anything other than a solid three star book. Don't get me wrong. This book falls solidly in the "fun" category. I picked it up for free on Amazon and had low expectations. (No idea why). And I enjoyed every damn minute of it. It was a guilty pleasure.

The premise is pretty straight forward. It is the near future (well, actually 2000) and aliens have arrived on Earth. Yay! Unfortunately, they
Dirk Grobbelaar
”War! What is it good for?”

Military Science Fiction does come to mind…

A Hymn Before Battle is the first in the Posleen War saga. The series is also referred to as the Legacy of the Aldenata, which has a nice ring to it. In essence, it’s all about war. The aliens are coming! This theme, of course, isn’t new. Not by a long shot. There are different aliens involved too, some are nicer than others. Some are treacherous. Some are just plain evil. Not having much of a choice (with Earth being next on
Sep 24, 2007 Kelsey rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
A really good apocalyptic hard sci-fi series. Earth faces alien invasion without time to prepare adequately, and allies who may or may not be trustworthy. The series details the brutal struggle against an encroaching canninbalistic horde, on other planets, in space, and finally on Earth. The series predictably gets darker as it progresses, and it is definitely hard/military sci-fi. The books refer to the R&D, training, and brutal combat involved in the struggle, but also contain vivid charac ...more
M Hamed
Aug 02, 2015 M Hamed rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, space-opera
ومن الجدير بالذكر ان واحد من نخبة النخبة في الجيش الامريكي بيتهته فى الكلام و تم اختيارة في اخطر مهمة في تاريخ البشرية

و من الجدير بالذكر ايضا ان عصام حجي خد اعفاء من الجيش عشان بيتهته فى الكلام
May 04, 2012 Tina rated it it was ok
This, the first book in a series focusing on the character Michael O'Neal, is perhaps the best of them. It provided me with some hours of amusement, and for that alone it deserve its score.

The problem, as with the rest of the series, is that of Weberisms, so named in my mind after David Weber who - at his worst - tend to do the same. First, infodumps. These are frequent, and detailed; terribly, terribly detailed. So much detail is presented that one get the impression that a publishing agent has
Mar 27, 2011 Andreas rated it it was amazing
Alien invasion stories have been done before, but to my knowledge never quite with this much desperation, lack of hope, or heroism on the part of the defenders. This is rich military SF with a keen eye for the strategic dimension and human psychology as well as kick-ass fun. The “original” series consists of the following.

* A Hymn Before Battle
* Gust Front
* When the Devil Dances
* Hell’s Faire

The first novel is a sort of “eve of the war” story. I was put off by the cover for quite a while but
May 10, 2016 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun if a little uneven first entry in a series about an alien confederation that reaches out to Earth because they’re being conquered and literally eaten by a race of yellow lizard-centaurs called Posleen. Turns out that these races either can’t kill or literally don’t have the ability to, and given that killing shit is kinda humanity’s wheelhouse they logically hit us up for help. Giving us just a tiny bit more motivation to help them out is an impending invasion of Earth by the Posleen. The co ...more
Per Gunnar
I have generally liked the works of John Ringo so far. This one I didn’t really like. The story seemed quite interesting. First contact, Earth is enlisted to help defend the peaceful races of the galaxy, lots to learn, design new weapons etc. Sounded good to me.

Well it all slowly turns into a bloody mess. [Minimal spoiler ahead] It turns out that one of the alien races holds all the decision making power over the other ones. These are political vendetta makers which would make the political bull
Sep 13, 2012 Annette rated it really liked it
An impressive middling-hard-sci-fi war novel. Earth gets good news and bad news on the same day. The galaxy is full of sentient life, most of it peaceful and friendly. But the nasty ones are headed our way and will arrive in a bare 5 years! Solution: become the "good guys'" mercenaries. Basically, the federation of peaceful species transfers a boat load of tech and some good interstellar cash to the humans, who use it to build a competitive fighting machine and the men to use it. The hope is tha ...more
Sep 06, 2008 Adam rated it liked it
A bit jumpy, and mildly entertaining. Insufficient character development, excellent military empathy.

The deeper into the book I got, the more I empathized with the main characters. I found myself cursing under my breath at the politicians, the underhanded dealings, the insecure, power-mongering higher-ranked military personnel and the questionable motives of our new alien benefactors. The author does an excellent job in portraying the foolishness that costs lives, the greed that takes lives, and
Feb 22, 2009 CeAire rated it liked it
This person definitely has a military background with minute detail included about military organizations and strategies. However, the otherwise very action-packed novel gets lost in that very detail. He not only describes an action (such as lots of liquid traveled through some large plumbing pipes which the characters had to navigate through), but he describes everything from the circumference of pipes (in specific meters) to the volume of liquid (in liters or gallons) that can be passed throug ...more
Michael Barnette
Aug 09, 2010 Michael Barnette rated it really liked it
I just finished 'A Hymn Before Battle' and I have to say I greatly enjoyed the book.

The first half was beyond slow. Not much happened other than character introductions and a lot of people talking, which bugged the crap out of me since it rode along on the rule about never doing 'info dumps' in fiction. The action in the last half more than made up for the slow start/info dumping. Granted it wasn't done like a new author's info dumps, but still... On the other hand, I can understand why Ringo di
Sep 30, 2013 Ea_colon rated it did not like it
A few years ago I burned myself out on military sci-fi by binge-reading David Weber. I think I still have a rant I wrote about that. I have since been looking of Mil Sci-Fi authors I can stand because the sub-genera itself it very mature and exciting. John Ringo just didn't make the cut. I put the book down about 3/5 of the way through and skimmed to the end. I don't regret it. Saved me a lot of time and told me I wasn't missing anything. Part of the attraction to this book was the enticement th ...more
Aug 05, 2008 Jimmy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone over the age 15 who enjoys either sci-fi or military thrillers.
Recommended to Jimmy by: I actually found the 4th book on a free book shelf in Iraq and w
This book is the beginning of the Legacy of the Aldenata. It lays out a very plausible different future for humanity than the path we are on now. Right about the time the global war on terror is starting in our universe, earth finds out that a cannabalistic, carniverous alien race known as the Posleen are on their way to make serve man. On rye with a side of bacon that is. These vicious aliens have advanced technology, a voracious appetite, and they breed like, well rabbits. It will take everyth ...more
Jan 24, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Military SF fans
Shelves: scifi
An excellent combat series. This guy can write realistic military fiction. He uses the jargon of the military forces with such accuracy, he must be a former soldier. His portrait of the SF mentality is spot-on. The book takes a bit to get going and the science is pretty much skipped over (interstellar travel, galactic weapons tech, etc). But the battle scenes are vivid and how the missions are carried out seem very realistic. Last half of the book is great.
Mike (the Paladin)
Intergalactic politics and a bloody war (yellow blood as well as red...but hey that's variety, right?) Not a bad start.
Jul 10, 2010 Michael rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
This book sucks. It's like it was written by a 7th grade boy who really, really likes the military. Boring and unbelievable. Good thing I got it for free.
Siddhant Mohalanobish
Good fighting, hampered by stereotyping and poor consideration of sci-fi.

Telling a good story is essentially about telling a human story, otherwise we can't empathise with it.

John Ringo commits the cardinal crime of showing the alien point of view without really defining the alien terms. It adds signifIcant cognitive load on the reader, something Isaac Asimov warned us against. (-1)

Perhaps this is decades of Science fiction reading and gaming talking, but the usage of tech seems rather unimagina
Cara Schulz
Oct 28, 2013 Cara Schulz rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-sci-fi
I'm not normally too into military Sci-Fi or much sci-fi since they tent to focus too much on toys and tech and not enough on plot and character development. Hymn did pretty well on both - enough that I and my husband both enjoy this series.

The premise is very interesting - Earth gets contacted by aliens and they're here to tell us that some other aliens are getting ready to kick our butts (and eat us). We have 5 years to prepare and they'll help us with tech, but that's it since they are physic
Bigbear Beeguy
Jul 06, 2016 Bigbear Beeguy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bingo has become one of my favorite authors now

After having read two other series, I read the description of this book and wasn't sure about it. Too often, space/science fiction gets hokey to the point of yanking people out of their suspension of disbelief, if it is good enough to allow for it to begin with.

I am glad to say, other than being a little over wordy In a few places, this again is a winner. I find Dingo to provide consistently a good read. Very good story teller.
Jun 26, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a full-on military vs alien conflict by someone who knows his stuff. Enjoyed it a lot and will read the rest of the series. John Ringo co-wrote the "Prince Roger" series with David Weber. Clearly, much of the military tactics, equipment and military sensibilities came from John Ringo. Really enjoyed that series too.
Carolyn F.
This book is set mostly in the early 2000s but it's a world that has found out that aliens exist and you better start fighting them. Battle after battle is detailed in the book. I wish I could have found out more about the soldiers at home. Very good book.
Micki Whitesides
Aug 11, 2009 Micki Whitesides rated it liked it
It wasn't a bad read. It was alittle sluggish from the get go but once the battles started it was really exciting. If you can make it through the beginning and character development, then this is a good sci-fi, alien battling, kick ass book.
Neda Stojkovic
Mar 30, 2013 Neda Stojkovic rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Solidly written, testosterone based military sf with some impressive plot holes and lack of characterization. But I did read it till the end, so it must not be so bad. Oh, and the girl on the cover? Nonexistent.
Leon Aldrich
As a fan of BAEN publishing, this was the first Ringo novel I read. Epic, military alien warfare at its best!
Michael Chatfield
Mar 16, 2016 Michael Chatfield rated it it was amazing
Great book and one of the few series that I still re-read from time to time.
Feb 19, 2014 Shalla rated it really liked it
a very good, quick read... loved every minute
Glen Robinson
Jan 16, 2017 Glen Robinson rated it really liked it
The premise is that earth is contacted by a federation of alien races that are fighting a war–and losing. They haven’t contacted earth before this because we are so far behind everyone else technology wise, AND we tend to be a bit, ahem, aggressive. And that’s the problem they are having. They are fighting a losing war because none of the good races are aggressive–warlike–enough. They agree to supply us with the technology to fight if we agree to go and fight their war for them. And one other in ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: "A Hymn Before Battle" by John Ringo 1 2 Feb 26, 2012 10:54AM  
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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

Posleen War (5 books)
  • Gust Front (Posleen War, #2)
  • When the Devil Dances (Posleen War, #3)
  • Hell's Faire (Posleen War, #4)
  • The Hero (Posleen War, #5)

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“Peace through superior firepower.” 43 likes
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