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Claws That Catch (2008)

by John Ringo(Favorite Author)
4.12 of 5 Votes: 3
1416555870 (ISBN13: 9781416555872)
Looking Glass
review 1: Okay, so this series has always been a little bit silly up until now. Cat people, hamster people, humourous acronyms.... but this fourth and apparently final book in the series really ramps it up, especially towards the end. Now, I kind of enjoyed the extra silliness a little, but that's just the kind of person I am. I can totally see how other readers will say, "What the hell??", and I agree with them. You can't just completely change the tone of the series this late in the game!I think the author basically just gave up on the series and just started putting out all the stream-of-consciousness crap he could think of just to get the book out. Admittedly, this way is more in character with the title of the series (Into The Looking Glass) - but if he wanted to have it that w... moreay, he should have been doing it all along!This series was gearing up to be a huge saga of Earth's first forays into the galaxy and the war they were going to fight for their survival. Instead, it seems to have just fizzled out and flopped limply to the floor like a pricked balloon.There were so many parts that seemed like they were going somewhere but didn't. The alien intelligence that took root in Miriam's head seemed like it was going somewhere, but all it did was give her small hints and she didn't even try to communicate with it further. The second warp generator that they didn't know how to work... nothing came of that whatsoever. Like I said, it all just fizzled out.The scenes between Eric and his love interest were annoying in the last book. In this book they were EXCRUCIATING! I think the author wanted to virtually live out his ideal of having the perfect wife. She basically worshiped the ground he walked on, and made sure to let him know that his career came first. She wasn't a skilled cook, but she was determined to be a good wife so she got a job where she could learn how to cook so that she could make good meals for her man when he got home. And, of course, it turns out that she was a virgin, because, as she told him "good girls wait until marriage!"So after they have sex for the first time on their honeymoon, they start talking about how things are going to work, and how she wants to take care of the finances and blah, blah, blah....The only thing that kept going through my mind in all of this was. "Yeah, that's the perfect time for you two to start discussing how your marriage is going to work... ON YOUR HONEYMOON!!" Because planning ahead and figuring out how you want to handle your relationship BEFORE you get married is for suckers, I guess.And there was just SO MUCH of it! I was thinking, "C'mon already! Get on with the story! This is completely inane and lacking in any value to the story!"Anyway, spoiler alert, during the battle at the end they're joined by the ship that they captured in the last book, which has now been crewed by humans. The thing is, though, that them showing up makes absolutely no sense. First of all, they would have had no idea that the Vorpal Blade would need reinforcement, but fine - I can put that aside, maybe they just wanted to be better safe than sorry.The thing I can't get past is that the ship would have had no way to catch up and be there in time! The Vorpal Blade was using an advanced warp generator that nobody else had! Any of the other FTL ships should have taken weeks or months longer to get to the system!The only possible thing I can think is that they managed to figure out how to get the other wormhole generator working, but if that was the case they should have mentioned it. Like I said, I think the author was just trying to finish this book as fast as he could and putting down whatever came to mind.I still generally enjoyed the book for what it's worth, but I thought it was a disappointing ending to this series.
review 2: I enjoyed reading this book and I did find it better than the two first books in the Looking Glass series but I have to say that I did indeed, after having read the third book in the series, have higher hopes for this one.The book starts of well with the new Vorpal Blade II being made ready for a new mission. I’m so happy to get rid of this refurbished submarine crap. Naturally the ship ends up in one or two “situations” which require the marines to break out their “noise-makers” although these situations are much fewer and farther between than in the previous books.Quite a lot of the book is spent in preparations and a fair amount of the book is spent on the tension between the new CO and the kind of new XO (our hero Weaver). Naturally the CO learns his mistakes in the end but the road there is sometimes a wee bit frustrating to read. I find it unlikely that a person so restricted in thought that he gets a fit at the mere thought of having a woman on board his ship would be deployed as CO to the first ever human starship. Especially in such a dire situation. That was just silly. The guy is just plain stupid at times.The thing that drags the book down the most however is this silly “entertainment system” stuff that they find on the alien artefact in the second half of the book. I cannot be more specific without spoiling some of the plot but I did not enjoy that silly idea at all. I really wanted to scream when reading it.Otherwise the book is well written as one would expect from John Ringo. The, sometimes, dry humour and action scenes are quite enjoyable and I liked the surprise addition to the human “fleet” at the end. Unfortunately it looks like this is a book series that John Ringo has abandoned and left hanging, pretty much in the middle of the main story arc, when there was much more to tell. The last book was published in 2008 so I guess it’s safe to say that no more are coming. less
Reviews (see all)
Takes a long time to get to the interesting parts.
Fun space opera! Interesting music references.
Arugh, Want more.
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