Books : reviews

John Ringo, Julie Cochrane.
Cally's War.
Baen. 2004

rating : 4.5 : passes the time
review : 12 April 2006

I've skipped a few books in the Posleen sequence, so here we are, after the Posleen have been defeated on a devastated Earth, watching a human faction fight covertly against the real alien troublemakers. Cally O'Neal, presumed dead daughter of war hero Iron Mike O'Neal, is living under cover as an assassin for the Bane Sidhe resistance organisation. Completely dedicated to her job, she shrugs off suggestions that she should "get a life", until her next mission finds her falling in love with an enemy.

For all that it is supposed to be some sort of love story, this is a curiously passionless book. Some of the early scenes are clearly there to show how damaged Cally actually is, so that's fine. But then we get a long trip across the ravaged US, which feels that it is there to give a guided tour of the aftermath, rather than to progress the story. And when we get to the final stage, what the book is actually about, there's still no passion. Oh sure, there's lots of leaping on and off beds and other pieces of random furniture, but it's still told in the same passionless style as earlier, and is all rather implausible, not least because there's no indication that either side is falling in love with the real person, rather than their cover persona. Also, there appear to be several places where "guns on the wall" are not later fired, but merely taken off the wall and waved around a bit (such as Cally's suppressed nightmares), or even, in some cases, never noticed again.