The Hot Gate – John Ringo

The third book in the Troy Rising series picks up where Citadel left off. Dana Parker is transferred to the new Thermopylae station in order to stiffen up a screwed up squadron of Myrmidon assault shuttles mostly staffed by Latin American personnel. To say there is a culture clash is an understatement. Later, of course, the fecal matter hits the rotary air impeller in a big way as the Rangora decide it is time to deal with those pesky Terrans once and for all.

The cultural issues between Anglos and South Americans are dealt with humorously but with very serious undertones. Mr. Ringo has obviously spent a lot of time thinking about this. While it would be easy to think that he is just an American bashing what he perceives as an inferior culture, he is undeniable right about many aspects. For example the contrast between “honor” and “duty”, as well as the problems with a class society.

The way in which things go seriously pear-shaped at the end is vintage Ringo. Massive action. Massive losses. Heroics with that little bit of Ringo humor that just makes it so readable.

Engineer’s Mate Second Class Dana Parker (hang on, you say, wasn’t she a Coxswain’s Mate in the previous book?) is a perfect protagonist for this kind of book. A true hero.

This may be my favorite Ringo ever. The only niggling criticism is the lack of a dramatis personae. This is not much of a problem in the beginning, but lots of characters are suddenly introduced during the final action, leaving me occasionally confused as to who was who.

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