Hell’s Faire (Legacy of the Aldenata Book 4) by John Ringo. Baen Books. 416 pages.
In case you haven’t picked up my review of other books in this series, in the process of my browsing on the Internet, John Ringo’s Posleen War series came out as #1 as far as military science fiction is concerned. Now that I have read the first four books out of nine books, I will have to say that it’s pretty good, but not so sure it’s the very best.
The premise behind the series is that Earth is contacted by a Federation of aliens who have been fighting a race of ravenous aliens called the Posleen for a very long time, and losing badly. They solicit humanity’s help in fighting them. We don’t have the technology needed, but the deal is that they will provide the technology in exchange for our manpower (and womanpower) and one thing we have that they don’t: our ability to wage war. One more thing serves as a powerful incentive: the Federation lets slip that Earth is next in line for invasion.
We have five years to prepare before the invasion, and book #4 Hell’s Faire takes place five years after that. Humans are losing badly, and our survival depends on holding a wall that runs from Canada to Georgia along the Alleghenies and Smoky Mountains. At the end of book #3, the Posleen have breached the wall and are posed to send millions of aliens through into the only region that can still grow crops for the humans.
John Ringo states in his notes at the end of Hell’s Faire that he never intended to write more than three books, but with 9/11 he decided that he needed to add a fourth book. Hell’s Faire really shouldn’t be considered a book by itself, and isn’t really structured to stand alone. All it really does is complete what book #3 left incomplete. If you want to know what happened, it does the job. But I wouldn’t recommend you leave any time between reading the two books.
I mentioned at the beginning that there are nine books in the series. Someone else stated that only the first four books are worth reading. When you read Hell’s Faire, it becomes obvious why. Books beyond this one are in the same universe, but are written by other authors. And Ringo wraps things up pretty well with this book.
Like I said, it’s not a standalone book. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn’t if I hadn’t just completed the one before.
I give it three out of five stars.