Book Review - The Last Centurion, by John Ringo

Normally I wouldn’t post a book review of a fiction book on RedState, but bear with me here. It is topical. Some of you here, whom I’ve argued with repeatedly, know that I was one of the last people to get on, albeit very grudgingly, the McCain bandwagon. And I’m still furious about having to make the choice between a socialist and someone that a different socialist four years ago thought would make a pretty good running mate. So I understand about all those still on the fence. Believe me, I understand. But for those on the fence who enjoy military fiction, I believe this book is a powerful argument to push them off of it.

John Ringo is probably best known for his military science fiction, but he’s also written a bit of fantasy. From his bio, he served in the 82nd Airborne. Having read most of his stuff, I can tell you that he’s one of us. The Last Centurion is set about ten years in the future. It’s set in the second half of a very thinly disguised Hillary Clinton administration. And while it is ostensibly about the adventures of a single company that gets stuck in the Middle East during a worldwide disaster, what it’s really about is a believable set of responses to that disaster from the US government at the time.

I’m not going to spoil the plot for you, although just reading the book jacket text will spoil things somewhat, but this book was clearly influenced by both the government Katrina response, and the media coverage of the same. It lays out a number of things going wrong, very wrong, and the Democratic responses to them are plausible. It says “You think what happened at Katrina was bad? Here’s how bad it could really get.”

And that, my friends, is why it’s important. Because for many of us, comparing McCain and Obama, there’s a tendency to go “How bad could it get? We survived eight years of Clinton I and came out OK.” This book points out, in great detail and entertaining fashion, just exactly how bad it could get.

Note – as this is military fiction, it contains quite a bit of rough language. Most people who enjoy military fiction probably won’t be put off by it, but it may not be the book to give to your mother to convince her.

Right now it’s available in an electronic edition from Baen Books, and it will be out early next month in hardback. This review was based on the electronic edition, which I paid for myself.