Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Hot Gate by John Ringo

The Hot Gate: Troy Rising IIIThe Hot Gate is the third in the Troy Rising series by John Ringo. The story principally follows the life of one of his previous characters, Dana Parker, through the next set of challenges facing the people of Earth in their war with the Rangora and their allies. Dana starts out with a milk run, shuttling a group of precocious youngsters to the battlestation/asteroid, Troy, a publicity stunt to name the fourth station soon coming online and encouraging Earth's best and brightest to consider careers in space. She crosses paths once more with Tyler Vernon, the most powerful man in the Solar System, and their relationship grows just slightly.

Dana's next assignment is to a portion of the fleet where the South American nations have done most of the staffing, whose state of readiness is far short of ideal. Her assignment is to straighten out some maintenance and morale issues. Typically for her, she bulls ahead where angels (or Anglos) fear to tread, and she makes some powerful enemies on the political side while doing so. The Suds, as they are called, have major cultural issues at the root of the problems, and being told by a woman how to do their jobs doesn't go over very well.

When a problem crops up with one of the AIs, Granadica, that is responsible for "fabbing" many of the parts that go into the Fleet, Vernon gets a brainstorm and attacks the problem himself. He drags Dana into the middle of things, as she has a habit of treating all of the AIs in the Solar System as "just folks" and he has a hunch that she can help him get to the bottom of things. In the midst of resolving that problem, some of Dana's political problems also get resolved, and she and Tyler grow, again, a bit closer. Tyler doesn't have many friends, mostly just sycophants and users, and Dana's natural instinct to treat everyone as "just folks" draws him to her in a special way. Nothing romantic, really...yet.

When the Rangora violate ongoing peace talks with an attack, it will take everything Tyler and Dana, and the rest of Earth's forces can muster to defeat them once more. This novel delivers quite well on the promise of the first two.

One good quote, where I think Ringo and I see eye-to-eye:

Vernon said, "I tried never to talk down to my kids when they were growing up. Treat them as adult as you can and they learn to be treated like adults. It kind of pisses them off when teachers and such don't, but kids adjust remarkably well."

I tried to take that approach rasing my kids. Seems to have worked, they're both fully functional, competent adults.

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