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Into the Looking Glass

(Looking Glass #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  5,184 ratings  ·  156 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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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,184 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
While I rarely enjoy sci-fi, I found this listen to be quite worthy. I found the main characters interesting and worth caring about. I thought the story progressed well and I look forward to the follow-up, Vorpal Blade. 7 of 10 stars
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
Dec 13, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dont-read, book-club
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
Paul Weimer
Feb 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
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
Oct 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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
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
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
*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
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A very enjoyable read, this series is quite good, and fairly unique. 2019 reread: So enjoyable.
Mark Morgan
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is exactly what it promises to be - a fast-reading science fiction thriller. The cover shows you exactly what to expect and Mr. Ringo does a good job of keeping the action going. Nicely it is also reasonably clean, there is some swearing and lots of aliens die, but there are no torture or rape scenes which seem to abound in more “serious” books.
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
My favourite story by Ringo. It has interesting speculative science, and just hits all the right notes for an exciting story. Wish the sequels had been more focused on the original premise, which felt more like Starship Troopers jumping through dimensional gates to go fight the enemy. Not that the sequels are not fun, they are. They just go in a different direction to the first book.
Alex Shrugged
"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
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, space, 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
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
Dec 13, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Doug Dandridge
Jun 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Marina Fontaine
Sep 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jon Hodson
Apr 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
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. ...more
Michael Chatfield
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I love John Ringos books, but this one was a little too 'lucky' and not enough hard work. There were beautiful and terrible moments in this book series. Yet the characters seemed to fall into lucky situations that didn't let me immerse myself in the series like I was with other series. ...more
Gene Parish
Apr 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently listened to Into the Looking Glass written by John Ringo and narrated by L. J. Ganser.

When a sixty kiloton explosion wipes out the University of Central Florida it's pretty obvious you are about to have a bad day. On the positive side, the local military troops aren't detecting radiation, thus they are able to rule out nuclear weapons and meteor strikes don't match what happened either. On the negative side some sort of gateway stands in the rubble and an army of hostile aliens start
Apr 04, 2021 rated it did not like it
Every so often, I try a military sci-fi book because the premise sounds interesting. And whenever I do, I remember why I generally don't read them. This was advertised as containing inter-universe travel by means of quantum mechanics, and aliens who find quantum mechanics more understandable. Sure; they show up among the other aliens, but we barely talk to them before the war starts. And, the quantum worldgates are such a bad handwave that I groaned. No, the Higgs Boson does not work that way!

May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Soldiers that like Sci-Fi
Recommended to RhC by: good reads
Science fiction set in the present day! Those sensitive to political slants may be put off by some of the subtle comments and opinions that seam to leak through the narrative -- if it is even noticed. Definitely written with attention to a soldier's point of view.

That being said, beginning with an egg head's ezperiment going awry it is left up to a military egg head to come up with the solutions to save the Earth from the invasion of extraterrestrials coming through a myriad of interplanetary ga
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was expecting this book to be kind of like that anime GATE but with a scifi theme rather than a fantasy theme. This book was much more than that expectation and had a good level of detail beyond what I expected but nowhere near enough to scare me away, unlike some hard scifi books. The characters were fairly likable, and the mystery behind the portals in the book was fun to explore. The book had a solid ending, and there were things mentioned in the book that could easily be brought into the p ...more
Dan McDonald
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was pretty good. Similar to Ringo's "Black Tide" series, this starts with an incident that has global ramifications. It then proceeds to chronicle the life of the scientist who tries to fix it. Unlike Black Tide, this story does have a plot, or goal they're trying to reach and it concludes with some pretty spectacular action. Lot's of science, lots of guns, and good writing. Being an urban fantasy guy, and this being strictly sci-fi, I wasn't overly thrilled with it and will not be rea ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wouldn't call this sci-fi as much as I would call it bureaucratic-fi. It's a rollicking fun filled adventure through an imagined world of procedures and policies. If you long to live the thrill of wondering if you are following all the correct rules and procedures that a government agency could make up if they were to deal with an enemy invasion then this book is for you... not for me though. ...more
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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.

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)

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Believe it or not, we're halfway through 2021! As is our tradition, this is the time when the Goodreads editorial team burrows into our data to...
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“Son, We're in no mood for Mickey Mouse. Get out of the road."

Chief Miller, Into the Looking Glass”
“Close one Pandora's Box and we open another," the President said. "That's science for you, Mr. President.” 0 likes
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