32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
The Posleen War is over: the good guys won. . . or did they ??? Set in the 2040's, Cally's War is the tale of Cally O'Neill, who, along with her grandfather, Mike O'Neill Sr., "died" in "Hell's Faire". But the Darhel and their agents are still trying to control the human race, who they see as a threat to their control of the galaxy.
Jump to Cally O'Neill: last seen as a heavily-armed teenager during the latter days of the Posleen War on Earth, she's now an accomplished assasin for the Bane Sidhe, the combined Indowy-Human resistance against the Darhel. . . Cally changes outward personalities and appearances the way the rest of us change clothes. We follow her on a trip through post-Posleen America, on a hit, and on to her most dangerous mission: find out who the Darhel spy in the Bane Sidhe is. . .and stop the leak.
All in all, a most entertaining read, with the most dangerous woman in SF I've seen in a LONG time. . . .the continuing adventures of Cally O'Neill should prove to be interesting, as it's quite obvious this is NOT her last story. . .
Like the Himmit. . . . I'll be watching the continued adventures of Clan O'Neill. . . .
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Despite the names on the cover, this book was primarily written by Julie Cochrane, (at least according to Ringo.) With that being said, the reader has a somewhat different picture of what to expect. It's not written like the previous books in the "Posleen" series. There are no large-scale carnage-fests. Instead, Cally's War is a far personal look into the world Ringo created several years ago. The story is set many years after the defeat of the Posleen invasions, and the young (in previous books) Cally has grown into a cold and ruthless killer. She, among others, are members of a resistance group, the Bane Sidhe, fighting the Galactic-dominated American/Earth government. Cally must take the role of a military officer, and infiltrate the Terran military base on Titan.
The world itself is dark and pessimistic. It's not a nice place. Cally herself is a manifestation of that world, and thus a cold killer. She's a typical anti-hero, albeit in female form. For me, the pessimism and darkness of the book was really a turn-down. The world is detailed, and realistic, given the considerations of the story. The side trips Cally makes, while distracting from the plot, break even as they make the world more dynamic in my eyes. This book is far more suited to a fan of the Posleen series specifically, rather than a Ringo fan in general, due to the dual authorship. I recommend the prospective reader look for the book at their local library, the Baen electronic versions, or in a used bookstore. I felt it was worth the five dollars I spent on the Baen Websubscriptions electronic version, but it probably would not have been had I spent the full cover price.
45 of 55 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
When I began reading John Ringo's work, I went into it wanting to like his stuff. After all, he'd been Airborne; I'd been Airborne. He makes his living as a writer; I make my living as a writer (albeit he writes best-selling novels and I write articles for gun magazines). You can understand how he had some good will coming his way before I ever started reading his Posleen novels. And those books rocked, all the way from A Hymn Before Battle right through Hell's Faire. Ringo's gift for characterization and plot was strong, his imagination and sense of humor deranged. I mean, really, how can you NOT love a book where one of the main "characters" is a mobile-Big-Bertha-on-treads-super-sized tank named Bun-Bun?
One of the most vivid characters from the Posleen novels was young Cally O'Neal. I think we all fell a little bit in love with that girl. Thus expectations were high for Cally's War. Okay, I read it. And Cally's War....well, let's just say that every person to whom I've mentioned this novel, who's actually read it, has summed up their impressions in three words: "Cally's War sucks." Though that critique lacks something in length and depth, I can't dispute it. Cally's War sucks so hard I'm not even going to critique its content myself. Others have already done that, and to me that would be too much like kicking a one-legged dog.
Cally's War is credited to John Ringo and Julie Cochrane. A few pages into the book, I knew John had subbed it out to Julie. I said to myself, "This book was obviously not written by John Ringo - because if it had been, it'd be one helluva lot better than this." Cally's War is a victim of the tendency, unfortunately common these days, of writers who've created a popular "universe" to let other authors write novels using their milieu and characters. The published novels always, of course, feature the "name" author first in the byline, thus, a cynical personality might say, to lure in the suckers. I have yet to read a decent novel written under this system. (Hey, here's an idea: if you're too busy to write the book yourself, don't take the publisher's money. Radical concept, huh?)
Then I read John Ringo's comments at the head of the Cally's War's Amazon.com web page. Obviously I was not the first person to be disappointed at the quality, or lack thereof, of this work, and some of those folks have expressed that displeasure in print. Ringo's response can be summed up as, "Yeah, I subbed it out. And I like it. If you didn't like it, tough, because there's more just like it where that came from. And by the way, here's a plug for my next book."
I was amazed. Appalled, actually. Now, obviously John Ringo is not a stupid man. His IQ probably looks like a zip code. I can only assume he thinks his star shines so brightly he can get away with that attitude toward his readers. After all, Harlan Ellison has been insulting fans for decades and they still buy his stuff, right? But the difference is that, for all his attitude, Ellison still delivers kick butt stories. Even people who don't like Ellison personally can't deny his talent, or the quality of any story featuring those three little words that mean so much, "by Harlan Ellison." As a matter of fact, the most common description of Harlan Ellison I hear from his detractors is "talented a-hole." If you're going to pull a millionaire rock star attitude, man, you better be turning out millionaire rock star quality. And Cally's War ain't it.
Pulling an arrogant, dismissive attitude toward your fans, then blowing their socks off with your next work, well, that's less than ideal but you can get away with it. Subbing out your universe and your name, turning out a bad novel that debases one of your most popular characters, THEN pulling that arrogant, dismissive attitude toward fans' justified complaints is only going to alienate formerly devoted readers. When this many long-term fans dislike a book so intensely....it's not the readers' fault. I'd like to see John Ringo, (a) quit subbing out books, (2) formally apologize to his readers. A simple, "I screwed up, I apologize, I'll try to do better in the future," would suffice. I was taught in the Army, when you eff up - which we all do occasionally - and you're standing at the position of attention in front of the First Sergeant's desk, the correct attitude is, "No excuse, First Sergeant!" You do that, you'll be perceived as a stand-up guy who's willing to take responsibility for his own actions, and you can probably skate out of things just fine. You start trying to justify yourself, or, God forbid, pull an attitude, you're going to get hammered.
I still want to like John Ringo's stuff. As a matter of fact, I'm looking forward to reading We Few in the very near future. Just no more Cally's Wars, PLEASE.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
While this is not, in almost any way, the same kind of book as the previous ones in the series (from A Hymn Before Battle to Hell's Faire), the plot and style connection is strong enough for anyone familiar with the rest of the sequence to feel right at home reading Cally's War. It's fast, it's visceral and it's action packed - just in a different way. We're not in the middle of an open war, but in the middle of a secret war between the manipulative Darhel and those who know the truth and are trying to break free from their control - a war of intelligence and counter-intelligence, of spies and assassins, of close, personal contact.
The pace and substance of the plot itself cannot be flawed, even if the book requires close attention at points for the connections to become apparent. There's something missing, though, when you consider it as part of an ongoing series with characters we were already introduced to - the link from what we knew of the characters and what they've become by the time of Cally's War is not fully hashed out, and perhaps could have used a bit more work.
Overall it's a great read and, as with all other books in the series, my only real complaint is that it was over too soon - can't wait for the next book. Go buy it.
21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Dexter aka 3FgBurner
- Published on Amazon.com
Ringo fans should be warned -- John and Julie have some differences from John by himself. John tends, when writing alone, to write for the body-count audience. Any boy-girl stuff tends to be off-camera and PG or PG-13.
"Cally's War" is different. It's somewhere between PG-13 and R, for starters. It's also not a war novel - it's a spy / secret agent novel. The body counts are lower, although the action scenes are just as intense.
Some Ringophiles will be turned off by the emotional and personal content -- "Fergit the feelings, I wants me some antimatter bombs!". Personally, I figure that if I'm going to be reading a novel with a viewpoint inside a female character's head, I'd expect her to think like a female. I suspect that I see Julie's hand in the better insights, there.
When all's said and done, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I'm in the middle of a re-read, having finished the first read-through in about 48 hours. The intrigue is sneaky, the plot complex, and the action will get your blood pumping.
I can't wait for the sequel.