Kiri's Reviews > Into the Looking Glass

Into the Looking Glass by John Ringo
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Apr 10, 10

bookshelves: book-club, dont-read
Read from April 02 to 07, 2010

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 no description of an interesting alien world, alien physiology, alien culture, alien psychology, or alien interactions. Our interactions are limited to one alien race trying to kill us, one race who betrays us, and one race who aids us -- all very human activities. Boring!

The physics in this book is ehhhh -- but it isn't a book about science. My first clue should have been the cover blurb, which says "Ringo excels in the depiction of combat!" Well, it's clear that combat is where he invested all of his effort (as opposed to, say, character development, plot, dialogue, etc.). I honestly don't care how many millimeters the bore is on a gun, and if I read the phrase "lay down lead" one more time, I'm going to throw up.

But let's just say that writing truly isn't John Ringo's strength. This is just one example that I think speaks for itself:

"Robin had squeezed into the door behind him and it was a sensation he thought he'd remember for the rest of his life, of watching mushroom clouds reaching for the troposphere, roiling and pregnant with evil, while two small but firm breasts pressed into his shoulder blades. He noticed that he was extremely horny."

The "him" referred to here is the main character, who aside from being obnoxiously arrogant, is also literally unbelievable. He is introduced on page 35 as having grown up "with a body that only required two hours of sleep a night, a mind like an adding machine and the energy level of a ferret on a pixie stick". If this kind of thing annoys you, stop there. Or better, earlier.

And someone PLEASE give John Ringo a bag of commas (or at least give them to his editor). He is a master of the run-on sentence.


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