Citadel (Troy Rising 2) by John Ringo [Book Review]

Story of a female Shuttle Jock

The second book in Troy Rising focuses on Dana Parker; a young Engineering Apprentice just arrived on Troy, the huge battle station that saved humanity’s behind in Live Free or Die. And I like the way the author uncovers the wonders and the engineering work to make the station battle ready.

In the first book Tyler Vernon a cartoonist and jack of all trades fought the Maple war, launched space mirrors, went to the stars and back, liberated earth from the Horvath and forged Troy. Tyler figures in this novel too but not as prominently. He is the driving force behind the defense of earth though and the author don’t miss many chances on demonstrating how ineffectual the government is and how much more effectual private enterprise is. But he never passes over to political agitation that others in this bracket does. I really don’t know why I had to tell you that now since this ought to be an entertaining read whatever your political affiliation is.

The second wave of trouble is about to hit earth as the Rangora Empire attack and crushes Earth’s only ally. It becomes a race of time and buildup where Tyler’s unconventional technical solutions are Humanity’s last hope of survival. So we watch a bit from Tylers perspective but experience it under the skin of a formidable female protagonist (I have to make a new post soon). I like the way the two POV complement each other. That worked really well for me. John Ringo writes likeable characters with some depth. The alien POV is always a nice touch.

The part about spacesuits and space safety got a bit tedious but otherwise I have no major complains on this book.

Earth threatened by alien invasion and genocide and a few special individuals stand between us and total destruction or slavery has been done often in military space opera but John Ringo brings his own flavor to the table and it is fun, fast and enjoyable. I doubt it would win any literary prizes but who cares. I can’t wait on the next book in the series The Hot Gate out in May this year.


Title: Citadel
Series: Troy Rising book 2
Author: John Ringo
Genre: Military Space Opera
Hardcover: 389 pages
Publisher: Baen (2010)
Order from: Amazon US | UK

Of all the hosts of Eurotas the Troias were the most fell. For they were born of Winter.

Between the Solar Array Pumped Laser and Troy, the two trillion ton nickel-iron battlestation created by eccentric billionaire Tyler Vernon, Earth has managed to recapture the Sol system from their Horvath conquerors and begin entering the galactic millieu.

But when the Rangora Empire rapidly crushes humanity’s only ally it becomes clear the war is just beginning. At the heart of nickel iron and starlight are the people, Marines, Navy and civilians, who make Troy a living, breathing, engine of war. Survivors of apocalypse, they know the cost of failure.

If this Troy falls, no one will be left to write the epic.

Citadel continues the saga begun in Live Free or Die, following the paths of several characters during the first years of The Spiral Arm Wars culminating in the First Battle of E Eridani.

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  • John Thorpe

    I’m a huge John Ringo fan, and thoroughly enjoyed his Posleen series—except for the later installments when it must have been the creative juices had run dry.  A Hymn Before Battle and Gust Front were both top notch.  Troy Rising I thoroughly enjoyed.  Citadel I did not enjoy very much at all until the final few chapters when the fighting begins.  I thought the climax battle sequences were reasonably well done but not in any wise as good as David Weber’s stuff, but few people can write space battle so well as DW.  My primary beef with this book was the almost obsessive devotion to one issue, and that is the intransigence of the aristocratic Latin American male versus necessary change.  From early on to practically the end of the novel the reader is subjected to discussion, debate, controversy, and conflict owing to this one issue.  Frankly, I don’t care to spend in excess of $25 CDN for the hardcopy edition for a prolonged evaluation of a single social issue.  Ringo has done this sort of thing before.  His Vorpal Blade entered into a 20 something page lecture on advanced physics that served no other purpose than to prove how well he’d done his research—and so the reader should have the benefit of it!  He does that again here, but with a far more mundane and even less interesting topic.  The reason I suspect this happens is because JR can see the benefit and potential of  additional volumes padding this series.  JR obviously puts in a lot of work in both the science and social aspects of living, working and fighting in outer space.  What he needs to avoid are embroiling his creations in sidetrack topics and issues that are less literary than they are indulgent.

    Here’s someone who’s attempting new interpretations of the traditional space opera and might be worth a look.