Patrick A. Vanner
Baen, Sep 7 2010, $14.00
In 2197, humanity and Xan-Sskarn are at war with atrocities being prevalent. The enemy destroys worlds with no concern of the genocide they commit to the native population. The aliens want earth’s pristine clean water, which over time they will pollute before heading to the next orb they will devastate.
Two years ago, then Terran Navy’s elite Dead Jokers Captain Alexandra “Alex” McLaughlin survived an encounter with the deadly salamander like enemy, but most of the subordinates under her command died. She is loaded with guilt, but learned a lot about the enemy. However, someone high in the Terran command is a Quisling, but she is unsure who that person is as the clever traitor has made it appear she is selling valuable information to the Xan-Sskarn. Her only hope and that of her endangered species is to take the war to Ragnarok.
Although there is nothing really new here (think of Marvel’s Galactus or Star Trek’s the Borg) and the overall plot contains spins that wobble similar to the tilt of Uranus, Ragnarok is an entertaining military science fiction thriller. The action is fast paced especially when Alex tries to take the war to the enemy in honor of her fallen comrades, but a traitor has left her and their species vulnerable. Fans will appreciate the water war as only one side will survive and increasingly it looks like it will be the alien invaders.