Into the Looking Glass (Looking Glass, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Into the Looking Glass (Looking Glass #1)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,590 ratings  ·  82 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinOld Man's War by John ScalziOn Basilisk Station by David WeberThe Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Best Military Science Fiction Books
51st out of 300 books — 306 voters
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry NivenBurden of Sisyphus by Jon MessengerEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardA Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor VingeThe Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
Best aliens.
54th out of 177 books — 160 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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....more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
Johan Duinkerken
John Ringo did it again! In a good way, of course... Slightly over-the-top (but not too much) Good Old American Military SF. Good read, most of the times nicely paced, although the occasional corner was cut. I won't spoil the story for you, but I can tell you that its' science is reasonably up to date.
Andrew Zink
I should start by confessing that I did not finish the book. Only fair to point that out.

The reason I didn't finish it is because it read like a newspaper article, fitting since ALL of the characters, scenes and plot itself seemed paper thin. It did not hold my interest in the least, despite the fact the idea behind it intrigued me a lot originally. The goal of the break-neck pace at the beginning seemed to be to introduce you to 50 or 60 characters and not tell you anything about any of them.

David Szucs
All four books include excellent science, include explanations of bits the reader might not have gotten in school, and have the expected well written combat sequences. The author allows realistic casualties and damage. The characters have full personalities, not all likable. The aliens are actually alien and very very dangerous. If you enjoy space opera skip over the particle physics explanations for a great adventure. If you enjoy a fully integrated, scientifically rigorous, dangerous space voy...more
Cole Simchick
Really interesting near future SciFi, combining quantum theory, detailed battles, and a little Cthulu. Read it or roll a sanity check.
Doug Dandridge
Another great start to a series by Ringo, along with Travis Taylor.
An experiment gone wrong destroys most of Orlando and opens a portal to
another world. It also spins off other portals that soon attract the kind
of attention that Earth wishes they wouldn't. The aliens use biotech and
hope to add the biomass of our planet, which they ruthlessly convert to
their own, to their Empire. A space scientist and a Navy SEAL are called
upon to combat the aliens, while Earth tries to bootstrap itself into...more
The first book of the Looking Glass series, it's very different from the subsequent novels. Although the main characters are the usual John Ringo super-competent and generally military types, the focus on civilian response to disaster sets it apart from the Paladin of Shadows series, or the military sci-fi/fantasy mashup of the Council Wars (which I also enjoy). The subsequent books take a more military, naval sci-fi bent and do it well, though it gets a bit draggy in later books with the evolut...more
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
Michael Perry
A good story for the opening of a series. I have already read the second novel in the set, so I had a bit of an idea of what was going on. An apparent nuclear blast at a Florida university is really an anomaly that spits out Higgs-Bosun particles. Each particle can become a gate to somewhere else. At one gate 'demons' come out and introduce humanity to a first class drubbing. Dr. Bill Weaver is a physicist with a clue as to what happened and how to stop things coming through the gates. Can he so...more
Richard Farnsworth
I read this one on suggestion of a friend that it was better than Ringo's Posleen series. Maybe, but I am only comparing this first book to HBB, which I thought was better than the Looking Glass.

Not sure why exactly. I enjoyed the actions of the indivdual soldiers and that rang failry true, but implausibe physics, the interactions with the National Command Authority, the reactions of the general populace to the changed world all just didn't ring true. And only people who read science fiction co...more
What a shame. The story was actually good but the writing makes it very painful. I wanted to stop reading it but because the underlying story was actually compelling I stuck with it and finished it. The author just rambles on about nothing all too often. Many times you don't even know who's talking. Just so haphazzard and a lot of nonsense for the sake of filling pages. I'm not talking about Steinbeck like discriptiveness. There was certainly none of that. I'm talking complete nonsense. Real ADD...more
OK, I've read this before, but just recently picked up a personal copy. Sure it's silly over the top gung-ho militarism will offend some folks (most of whom could use the occasional offending) and the hero is beyond ridiculous (I know he's based on a real person, but his traits are exaggerated to utterly absurd proportion) but it's still pretty darn good. I think it was the sequel that rather famously inspired an Amazon review claiming "it had too much science", a complaint the author has a good...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Apocalypse Troll
  • Better to Beg Forgiveness
  • One Day on Mars
  • The Way to Glory (Lt. Leary, #4)
  • Star Strike (Inheritance Trilogy, #1)
  • Boundary (Boundary, #1)
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
More about John Ringo...
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)

Share This Book

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

Chief Miller, Into the Looking Glass”
More quotes…