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Specifically, he is thinking about the super-monitor Lexington which was severely damaged while battling the third Posleen invasion force in early It was "not-quite-destroyed" that January and towed off for repairs, which would take "more years" than the Earth forces had available to it.

It seems to have taken months, not years. What I felt was another weakness was how Kelly's leg wound was forgotten.

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She was shot in the calf by the Posleen while the small party was trying to escape the Franklin Urb. Shortly after they discover an attached medical facility to the Urb, Wendy and Shari both undergo upgrades well, Shari is put inside to be "healed" from her spine-shattering wound to the abdomen that is going to kill her ; these upgrades turn them into "super-warrior women" and insanely beautiful which Wendy already was, but now she must be "goddess-level beauty" or beyond. In the "excitement" of it all, Kelly's wound was never healed.

I liked what another reviewer said: "What did she do? Walk it off? What happened to Kelly and her leg wound? What was the point of having her wounded in the leg if it was going to be "meaningless" anyway? It is not like she slowed the group down.

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She was not healed by the alien technology. She never complained about the pain or the wound. Of course, as hard as Elgars might have slapped her, that might have had something to do with it. But still. It is funny, but I never "noticed" this weakness about Kelly being injured in the leg and it being promptly forgotten before this reading.

I am not sure why; perhaps I was more interested and focused on the "action-stuff" as opposed to the "personal-stuff" in previous readings. Also, the story tends to leave out a lot of action scenes. Like, at the beginning of the book. It would have been interesting fun to have read how the three disparate units interacted with each other AND with the accompanying artillery bombardment that was going on at the same time.

Yet, one chapter ends with the SheVas being ordered into battle and the subsequent chapter starts AFTER the battle has taken place; Major Mike O'Neal is sitting in a chair that resembles a thrown with his feat on a God King carcass and a God King's head impaled on a boma blade like a head on a spike it's an oddly awesome scene, to be honest!

I kinda felt robbed, to be honest, as I was anticipating an awesome battle scene. Perhaps the author was wanting to "hide" the capabilities of a SheVa until later in the story? Even though Callie is thirteen years old, she is described as having the body of a seventeen to eighteen year old. I personally found it hard to believe, myself, but I suppose it could happen.

The next two "weaknesses" have to do with "continuity issues" in the series. First off, consider the technology available to the humans. In this book, the Lexington , a space-going dreadnought that is essentially a giant cannon with engines from my understanding of how the book describes it can only fire a shot that removes the "outer layer" of a C-Dec and cannot destroy the entire globe. On the one hand, it would be nice to know what a B-Dec and a C-Dec actually look like, so perhaps my understanding of the way the different Posleen vessels work and appear is incorrect and that is a part of my "issue" with the Lexington not being able to do more damage than it could.

Still, though, why wouldn't the Lexington have some of the Germanic guns as "close-in" weapons to defend itself? With the failure of the Lexington to adequately defend the Earth from invasion, why wouldn't the humans turn to creating "carriers" to transport flying models of the Tiger IIIs I had to seriously refrain from calling them "flying Tigers" hahahah that could attack the Posleen globes in space?

Or even equipped the "space fighters" with the German cannons? They could have had multiple weapons to use against the Posleen instead of a super-monitor or even "fleets" of super-monitors that failed to adequately do the job they were built to do. I realize a "big" part of the problem, here, has to do with continuity issues.

Production Notes from IMDbPro

Watch on the Rhine was written well after this novel even though it takes place "before" WTDD in terms of the timeline , thus creating the "continuity issues. The best the Americans could come up with was the SheVa? The Germans build a super-tank that can take on hits from Lampreys, B-Decs, and C-Decs and survive and conquer and ride head-long into battle, but the SheVa cannot because it is mostly open space under the turret?

The Tiger IIIs could hold more ammunition than a SheVa, were heavily armored than a SheVa, could move faster than a SheVa, and could wade into battle like the heavily-armored "war gods" that they were and control a battlefield. Again, I realize this "issue" has to do with a book written "later" that takes place "before" this one. I would love to see what would happen if Ringo took into account Watch on the Rhine and "re-route" this novel and the next.

He would either have to say that politicians chose the SheVa over the Germanic tanks for "political reasons" i. Well, that would be my guess, but I bet several units of Tiger IIIs would have easily made hash of the Posleen invaders and driven them off-planet especially since the Tiger IIIs could attack Posleen vessels while the Posleen vessels were still in orbit! This book does have a lot of humor in it.

It gets a little morbid, at times, but in a funny sort of way. In addition, there is the crew of the SheVa Bun-bun that is hilarious. They have great rapport with each other and their jokes are pretty humorous. Especially in conjunction with how they could not hear the SheVa gun firing its weapon when they were firing off their weapon pods. I thought these two "teams" of characters well, the ones that were mentioned by name from the Meemies had some hilarious interactions with each other and their character development was well-done for as limited as it was.

I could not quite decide if Buckley was back in it to be laughed at or not as he seemed exceptionally unlucky over the course of the novel. He is electrocuted, thrown from a Hummer that is thrown from the road, and is "drafted" to be a part of a patchwork unit attempting to take a pass and protect it from the Posleen. He ends up getting killed for his efforts. Poor Buckley. Tommy Sunday's hazing by the two female officers of the th was pretty funny, as was his response to their hazing. That was hilarious! Even then, it still felt like it was "missing something" never mind the abrupt ending as the book was clearly meant to continue but was cut off so it could go to the printer's and be put out on the market.

The author explains the reason why it ends like it does a combination of writer's block and occurring. The ending was pretty jarring and rather unsatisfactory. I know I "talked more" about its weaknesses and none few of the strengths. The battle sequences are pretty good, when they happen and he takes the time to describe them. At first, I loved the SheVas and thought they were pretty cool, despite their weaknesses. Now, after having read Watch on the Rhine , I still like them, but not so much.

After so many years of fighting humans, they had learned some new tactics. Watch on the Rhine would have you believe that they learned combined tactics from fighting the Germans; that could be the case. Their tactics have changed in the time between Gust Front and this book. They have managed to create "flying tanks" that are to be used against the forces defending the Wall at the Rabuun and Balsam Gaps. The unfortunate detonation of one of the SheVas guarding the pass and supporting the Wall's defenses destroys most of the flying tanks. That was one of the "crazier" parts of the battle at the end of the book.

Not just that so many Lampreys, B-Decs, and the occasional C-Dec were involved in the attack, but that so many of them and the flying tanks went after the lone SheVa.

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It was the flying tanks that destroyed the SheVa, but in the process their attacks detonated some of the explosive shells onboard the Terran mobile gun platform. As the shells were a mix of nuclear and anti-matter, it ravaged the Terran defenses. That gave the Posleen temporary unlimited access into the soft rear of the American defenses. He has learned from his defeats as well as the defeats of others against the Terrans, and he has new ideas on how the Posleen can learn from the humans as well as their own defeats in order to defeat the humans.

The humans were having a hard time countering him and it looked like they were going to lose the war. The Fleet arriving was a major "Deux ex Machina" that literally saved the day for humanity. Again, had the Terran Fleet not come when it did, the Earth would have been lost. Pretty crazy stuff. In general, I think it still has held up well over the course of time.


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I enjoyed revisiting it, despite its warts and weaknesses. I am glad I re read it. Apr 27, Shaun Thomas rated it really liked it.


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All in all, it was much different from the previous entry, and an enjoyable one, at that. Part of the issue I had with Gust Front came primarily from the author's propensity for excessively detailed military maneuvers.

The Devil Dancing

Given a map of the United States and an Axes and Allies game centered on US territory, one could easily plot out each action and count I took a break from the Honorverse for a while and dove into John Ringo again with the third book in his Posleen War series, When the Devil Dances. Given a map of the United States and an Axes and Allies game centered on US territory, one could easily plot out each action and counteraction for hours. That level of detail is fine, but I for one am not capable of retaining such intricacies in my brain for the duration of a novel; there's just too much going on to be constantly embroiled in minutiae.

There's still a certain aspect to that with When the Devil Dances, but it's much less pronounced. Instead, Ringo seems to have gone another direction entirely and instead launched several interwoven plot threads, some of which originate all the way back in A Hymn Before Battle.

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And once again, Mike O'Neal play the central role we saw in Hymn, yet clearly his involvement is intrinsic, as is that of his daughter Cally and his father. But instead of getting mired in these characters, we get to see what Jake Mosovich, Anne Elgars, David Mueller, Wendy Cummings, Shari Reilly, and whole metric ton of other characters are doing. Most amusing among these is Bun-Bun the SheVa tank. SheVa guns are new creations for this book which are basically stadium-sized mobile cannons armed with immense antimatter rounds.

Bunbun is actually named after a character from Sluggy Freelance, an online comic I read daily, and one I never expected to see in this context. It's clear Ringo is a fan, which just makes it more surreal. Though the Darheel are clearly still manipulating the situation, the state of the war is such that they're never really incorporated directly, but operating on momentum. I'd say I was disappointed in that, but the novel also abruptly cuts off right before O'Neal and his team dive into battle for presumably the last time against insurmountable odds.

That suggests to me that Hell's Faire , the sequel, is actually a continuation of what was becoming a book that was simply too long to publish without splitting it in half.