[Book Review] ‘A Hymn Before Battle’ by John Ringo

A Hymn Before Battle
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With the Earth in the path of the rapacious Posleen, the peaceful and friendly races of the Galactic Federation offer their resources to help the backward Terrans—for a price.

Humanity now has three worlds to defend.

As Earth’s armies rush into battle and special operations units scout alien worlds, the humans begin to learn a valuable lesson: You can protect yourself from your enemies, but may the Lord save you from your allies.

A Hymn Before Battle is the first novel in John Ringo‘s Legacy of the Aldenata series.

Earth finally encounters alien life, unfortunately the Galactics are only here to tell us that they’ve been fighting for their survival against the Posleen for years and that Earth is next in line for an invasion force of Posleen.  With Earth’s military forces and the Galactics technology can the invasion force be stopped? And can we really trust our allies, when they consider us only one step above an ape?

A Hymn Before Battle

This is a reprint of the first novel of the Posleen War, which was first published in 2000. This novel marked the true beginning of John Ringo’s popular writing career. Since it’s beginning, this series has expanded to twelve novels, many of them with co-authors.

The novel starts off slow as they introduce the main characters and lets you a get a feel for them. You learn some of their history and their drive. Then you begin the journey as they each go through their own journeys as mankind joins the fight for their species, their planet and the universe.

The book could almost be divided into three short novellas as each of the three main characters take a separate journey along the path of war.

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Michael O’Neal is recalled to active duty as a consultant, his history as a Sci-Fi Author is as valuable, perhaps more so than his military experience. Retired Gunnery Sargent Ernie Pappas is pulled out of retirement and given life rejuvenation treatment, so he can kick the new trainees into some semblance of shape before they face the enemy. Last, but not least is Sargent Major Jacob Mosovich who leads a black ops recon team onto an alien planet to gain valuable intel on an alien species.

Each are assigned a valuable task and each risk their own lives and the lives of those that rely on them to complete those tasks. The fate of the universe may rest in their hands.

Ringo is a masterful storyteller that excels at putting the reader into the military mind. His skill with words puts you in the middle of the action and you feel the emotional intensity during the battle.

If you haven’t read any of the books, this is the place to start.

We give A Hymn Before Battle 4.5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 4.5 Stars
PopCultHQ Rating – 4.5 Stars



Written by: John Ringo
Cover Art by Patrick Turner
Published by Baen Books

How we rate our Books

1 = We finished the book with effort

2 = Readable, but more fluff than substance

3 = Good

4 = Pretty Good and worth passing on to your friends

5 = We couldn’t put the book down