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Into the Looking Glass (Looking Glass #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  3,562 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Baen now launches an exciting new science fiction adventure series by the New York Times best-selling author: When a 60-kiloton explosion destroyed the University of Central Florida, and much of the surrounding countryside, the authorities first thought that terrorists had somehow obtained a nuclear weapon. But there was no radiation detected, and, when physicist Dr. Willi ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Baen (first published 2005)
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Feb 02, 2009 Chloe rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and George W.
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
The next time I move, I'm going to remember to not stick all of my books at the rear of the moving truck so I'm not reduced to reading things like this.

Just for funsies, take a look at the avatars of everyone else who has reviewed this book. Notice anything? Yeah, 90% of them are older bearded white men. I think that most accurately describes Ringo's target audience. Ringo writes like a man with many axes to grind. Against intellectuals, against the French, against the Saudis, against universiti
Mike (the Paladin)
First I know this book isn't great literature that will probably shape the world... and I know when some of us give high ratings to "science fiction" books there are those who sneer and assume we simply "aren't in their league" when it comes to "critical reading"

Okay. Just so you know...I'm not "real bothered" by that.

No apologies, I liked this book. It's full of action, has good characters, is plausible within it's own reality (and since we're discussing quantum physics somewhat here why talk
I must heartily anti-recommend this book. The thesis is that a physics experiment gone awry has opened up a portal to another world. And then the portals start spawning all over the place. Unfortunately, some of them let evil aliens in that want to kill us all. So we have to fight back, largely by ratcheting up the kind of guns we attack with until we're nuking them and it's still not enough. Kind of interesting as a crisis. Not at all interesting in the execution.

The aliens are dull. There is n
Oct 15, 2008 Joseph rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: very few people
I love good science fiction. I can't call this good science fiction. Why? Perhaps it was the idea of the god-like neo-con physicist. Maybe it was the Americentric xenophobia. Then again, it could have been the constant vitriol the main characters express regarding the media or academia, or anybody who disagrees with his political values.

I like books that challenge the reader with different perspectives but this book doesn't challenge. It insults anybody who doesn't fall into step with the belief
Paul Weimer
Never let it be said that I don't give people second chances. After my unhappiness with the story buzz-killing politics found when I read his The Tuloriad, I decided to try John Ringo, straight up, to see if another novel of his might have more of the good stuff and less of the thud and blunder.

And so I picked up Into the Looking Glass, a completely different series and world, and unlike the Tulorian, written without a co-author.

The set up and the basic scenario are interesting and clever: A hi
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Into the Looking Glass by John Ringo is the first book in his Looking Glass series. When an accident in a physics lab at University of Central Florida causes a huge explosion, physicist William (Bill) Weaver and Navy SEAL Command Master Chief Robert Miller are sent in to investigate. They discover that an experiment in subatomic physics has produced a gateway to another world - and the gateways are spreading.

This is military science fiction novel. Ringo adds some humor along with the science (an
I thoroughly enjoyed this book despite having low motivation to read it initially. It was an impulse selection because the book store didn't have the title I wanted.

This book is enthusiastic about America and her military, and the main character is a cynical misfit redneck. You may want to consider your stance on these things before reading.

Into the Looking Glass is not a story about personal growth or the plight of man kind. There is little to no introspection, and few reflections on morality
*Warning, maybe a few minor spoilers but nothing more than it is in synopses*

Sure, characters are one dimensional, sure it's so pro-american, pro-militaristic, anti-french, anti-islam, pro-guns. But at the other side it is nerds wet dream. Americans are living American dream and all of the sudden evil Asian-American scientist doing something Godfearing Americans weren't supposed to do creates huge boson generator. And destroying small town in the process. Bosons in this universe make wormholes a
Kamas Kirian
What a fun, fast read. I quite enjoyed it. It was well paced, I found the storyline interesting and the characters engaging even if they were kinda shallow. I did think the characters were a little naive in their dealings with meeting new, sentient races. I just don't see us being that trusting.

This story very much had the feel of Ringo's other books I've read where there is a war amongst alien races that we are suddenly thrust into. The difference being in how the initial contact is made. And
First I have to give credit to the fact that every book in the series gets its’ name from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. Rather appropriate since such an event would definitely make the world seem completely turned around, and suddenly anything would be possible. Regardless of the fact that it does reference such a nonsense novel, it uses a lot of real scientific facts and theories to create a world where these events are possible, making this one of the best science fiction novels I ...more
I'd reccomend this book fr fans of military SF with low expectations. If a Cliff Notes version of a Tom Clancy novel was crossed with Heinlen's Starship Troopers, this is the kind of book you'd get.
"Into the Looking Glass" is the 1st book in a series by John Ringo but it stands alone as a pretty good SciFi novel and military fiction since most of the characters are Marines or part of the military side of government. There is some physics involved and the author admits that he may have some of this wrong. (He also admits that he purposefully misleads the reader at times, presumably so that the reader won't attempt to make an atomic bomb at home. Sheesh! Like I'm going to try that one. :-) ) ...more
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
Per Gunnar
I’ve read quite a few books by John Ringo and I think it’s safe to say that I’ve liked pretty much all of them. This one however, I was not as thrilled about as I usually am. Now, it is quite probable that I am somewhat biased from the start.

The author makes frequent references to CERN and more specifically, is basing most of his story on the Higgs Boson. Since I am an engineer at CERN I’m somewhat sensitive to bullshit about these subjects and unfortunately John Ringo’s depiction of Higgs Boson
An experiment gone wrong opens a gate to another dimension. Pretty soon more gates start to open. Mayhem ensues as evil demonspawn aliens pour through some of the gates and try to colonize by exterminating those pesky humans. Hot shot physicist, renaissance man and generally cool guy Bill Weaver teams up with some Navy Seals to figure things out and contain the threat.

As can be expected with Ringo, there’s a lot of action, all of it good and exciting. However, the books does get bogged down in t
David L
John Ringo can do better. The plot McGuffin is nice, and provides a better introduction to the premise than most alien invasion books. However relying on another McGuffin to save the earth, and yet another to set up the sequel, is being lazy as an author. Did somebody plot themselves into a corner?

The touches of humour rescue the book from being a 1950's style bug eyed monster book. But even with this the entire cast has a two dimensional quality and the intrepid jack of all trades scientist who
Masha K.
What a relief to find a book that delivers exactly what it promises: solid alien-invasion military sci-fi. I have stayed away from military sci-fi till now, only because I am not into reading about battle plans and troop formations. I am very happy to admit this was a very misguided attitude on my part because I enjoyed this book very thoroughly- the characters, the eye-glazing science, the cool aliens and the brave ventures into theology- it's all good. I have discovered a new author and, possi ...more
Let me start by saying I really, really liked Strands of Sorrow, the first book in John Ringo's "Black Tide Rising" series. It was definitely a great place to start with Ringo. Unfortunately, I haven't liked his other books quite as much.

Part of the problem with this one was the brief plot description I'd read. Minor plot spoilers ahead!

This is a traditional alien invasion story. It's not an exploration story. The book description totally set that up wrong, and so I had my expectation scomplete
From Publishers Weekly

At the start of Ringo's apocalyptic near-future SF novel, an experiment in creating quantum particles destroys much of central Florida, opening up gateways to other realities, some of which are inhabited by intelligent aliens intent on transforming our world into theirs. These new realities are as cosmically daunting as anything in the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft, to whom the author alludes, but a resilient humanity, instead of giving in to despair, fights back. Ringo (_Hel

Jon Hodson
Good idea ruined by TERRIBLE execution. Bad descriptions, plot points that end up being pointless, comma shotgunning, sudden leaps forward in time for no reason (usually right in the middle of a chapter), etc. It would not surprise me to find that the author works without an editor. Just goes to show you that "New York Times Bestseller" means nothing.
Robert D
An amazing mix of quantum theory, military action, obscure cultural references (well not to me I enjoy things like Cthulhu, Halo, and gaming), and redneck saviors.

A mad scientist creates a 'boson' generator (and blows himself and much of Florida Tech with him) which in turn starts causing 'gateways' to form. However it appears that many of these gateways are on planets controlled by an alien species intent on dominating the universe. Invasion is immediate.

Thus begins the tale of one redneck ge
Nai Wang
Reminds me of Starship Troopers on Earth, but without the fun, or the good writing, or caring about any of the main characters, or having any sense of intrigue, or enjoying the dialogue. What, was this written by a 10 year old playing with army figures and aliens? Seriously, this book was nothing but a military book with us vs alien invasion with a little bit of boson particles mixed in. I think the only saving grace was the author was clearly a sci-fi nurd making numerous references to sometime ...more
Jeff Rudisel
Not Bad.
It was determined that the fungus spread via a small wormlike creature that had been specially modified to convert terrestrial biology to Dreen.
As it did so, terraforming the soil, eating plant and animal material, the "fungus" spread behind it.
The fungus was anything but, an entity that not only gathered energy from a chlorophyll analogue but had an extensive vascular network for moving materials from one place t
Two stars means "it was ok", and I'll give it that much.

What was interesting: the physics (muons, bosons, quarks, etc), instantaneous space travel to other places in this universe, instantaneous travel to places on Earth, the God(s) that exists in the non-space between bubbles of reality.

What was tiresome: Heroic military guys who know everything and can do anything and survive anything, and who always disparage the dirty forking hippies and tree huggers who are soooo wrong-minded and deceived.
I hadn't actually written a review for this series before, but it's about time. If you like science fiction, military science fiction, and/or geeky science fiction, you need to read this series.

Over the years, John Ringo has kept improving his style and this series is a great mix of alien invasion, military SF, hard science, without being so over-the-top in jargon as to make it hard to read. He likes to make use of stereotypes...and then break them. This whole series is one of the best he's writ
87 out of 100 for 2010

My first John Ringo novel; I'm trying to make my mind up about it. Although marketed as 'military SF,' the main character is a physicist/government contractor who's a poster child for jingoistic conservatism. However, the novel is funny as hell in many spots (rednecks hold off a horde of alien invaders when the Army can't), and I wound up, for the most part, caught up in the story line. Someone likened this novel to Tom Clancy because of the action, and, to some extent I se
This book has to be one of the greatest science fiction novels I’ve ever read and the series is pretty amazing as well… I really love when these kinds of books use real theories and actual science to explain stuff so it’s not just hey aliens attack lets blow them up… this is a pretty intelligent book… and it’s no normal invasion… as the portals open these things are just walking through and it’s really the portals they’re fighting more than anything as the clock is ticking down… and the descript ...more
Mar 09, 2013 Jenz added it
Shelves: i-give-up
Still determined to struggle through and finish. If you love detailed descriptions of military weaponry and hate character development (seriously, halfway through we finally get some personal life details about the main character), this is the book for you.

It's not all bad, there is some humor, and in spite of the above complaints I do find some of the detailed physics and weapons extremely interesting (which is why a friend recommended it).

Perhaps the single most annoying thing is how the auth
Not a bad novel, not his best by a long shot. Decent science, enough to pique my interest, decent action, enough to keep me turning the pages, but not a strong page turner. I do want to get the next in the series to see where it does go though. I have read better, but I have read far worse as well.
Hard science and hard military action. Ringo knocks one out of the ball park again. The military/action sequences are hart pounding, with a ruthless foe. The enemy (Dreen) are not bumbling invaders stopped with silly little tricks. They are not inadequate invaders stopped due to their inability to adapt to human warfare, or overcome by microbes. The Dreen are a well concocted nightmare, steamrolling the galaxy with deft responses and assements of everything the humans try throwing at them.

The he
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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)
  • Vorpal Blade (Looking Glass, #2)
  • Manxome Foe (Looking Glass, #3)
  • Claws That Catch (Looking Glass, #4)
A Hymn Before Battle (Posleen War, #1) Gust Front (Posleen War, #2) Live Free or Die (Troy Rising, #1) Citadel (Troy Rising, #2) When the Devil Dances (Posleen War, #3)

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“Son, We're in no mood for Mickey Mouse. Get out of the road."

Chief Miller, Into the Looking Glass”
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