Anyone reading (or thinking of reading) John Ringo's Watch on the Rhine?

Light unboxed spoilers warning…though I doubt anyone who hasn’t read the series would even bother dipping a toe into this thread, and though I’ll try not to give too much of the plot away in case anyone is interested in checking it out, there will probably be some unboxed spoilers from this point. Fair warning.

So, I picked up John Ringo’s new book Watch on the Rhine. Its a parallel series set in the same ‘universe’ as Ringo’s A Hymn Before Battle series. The story line takes place on earth in the not so distant future, with the earth being invaded by omnivorous aliens bent on galactic conquest…and turning humans into snacks.

Anyway, the first series (A Hymn Before Battle, Gust Front, When the Devil Dances and Hell’s Faire) was some of the best military SciFi I’ve read lately…very entertaining. This new series though…its pretty, um, controversial right from page one. The first series revolved around the struggle to defend the US from the invasion, and so was mainly focused there, with whats going on in the rest of the world mostly just background (and pretty grim). This new series seems to be set in Germany (and I think it may branch out to include Europe as a whole).

One of the things from the first series is some alien technology that allows older people to be made young and fit again…and even enhanced with greater strength, stamina, reflexes, etc. With Germany’s back to the wall, with huge manpower shortage and faced with the extermination of most or all of its population the Germans decide to rejuv the old Waffen SS personnel. I was like…oh my. Thats only the first controversial thing…there are others, including some interesting comments about the German people (as well as some funny things with war protesters in Europe…here they are on the verge of getting eaten by blood thirsty aliens and they are actually protesting things like the environmental impact of making new tanks and the military build up :wink: ).

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has either read the new book, read the first series and is interested in the new book, or just wanted to discuss it…or discuss the first series for that matter. Whatever…I’m open. :stuck_out_tongue:


I’ve read the first four (I’m nuts for this kind of stuff; my list of authors has names like Drake, Pournelle, Flint, Weber, Ringo, Stirling, Laumer, …), and the Watch on the Rhine piqued my interest. I’ll pick it up in paperback (if I didn’t buy in paperback, my book collection would reach some kind of unsustainable critical mass and implode, taking me and my local township with it).

Sheesh. The Waffen SS, equipped with something like bun-bun. :eek:

Ringo definitely has a slightly absurdist sense of humor, like the Oak Ridge physicist who painted Georgia “Tennessee Vols Orange” with a nuclear round.

My only complaint is that his storytelling style seems a tad unfocused; I was never quite sure where he was going with the series, and when I completed the first four (which are supposed to be the “complete series”), I was left feeling slightly empty; the story felt incomplete.

So far I have read all four of the first alldenata series , and in my opinion the best of the four is gust front, with hells faire coming in second. Depending on when this book is gonna be released in paperback , determines if I wait that long , or pick it up in websubscriptions.

Rednecks and anti-matter, lol


Yeah, one of my favorite quotes is the (to paraphrase) ‘this is what you get when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!’

I know what you mean about the image of the Waffen SS getting a BunBun…and seems like thats a distinct possibility. I’m interested in how this next series will go, considering how bleak a picture Ringo painted for Europe (and the rest of the world). Maybe I’m misremembering but I thought Europe was completely crushed in the second invasion.

Anyway, glad to see I’m not the only one reading the first series. :slight_smile:


With the exception of North America ,and certain parts of the world , the world was effectively crushed.

China went out in a splurge of nukes

Persian gulf disintergrated , no cohesive govt to rally what militarys that survived.

Africa written off , pre invasion

So all that was effectively left was North America , and the space settlements , plus what ever nationalitys existed in Fleet strike.

As for bun bun , german style , I can’t see it happening , but we shall see :slight_smile:

Welll, there might be one or two like me who thought you might be referring to possible source material for the circa 1940 Bette Davis movie. Until, like me, they recall that the source material for the film was actually a play by Lillian Hellman. Sorry- no hijack intended.

undips toe

I was just reading some of the sample chapters on the baen website and it looks like a german version of Bun Bun is a reality , with a 12 inch gun , instead of the american 16 inch gun.


I’m intrigued by it.

The problem I have with Ringo’s Aldenata books is that, so far, Mike O’Niel feels like a Mary Sue to me. And a bad Mary Sue, at that.

I love the parts where he focuses on minor characters. I really don’t much enjoy any time spent with Mike O’Niel.