I've been on vacation all week, doing my best not to think about work. Since I knew we'd be spending a few days camping, I decided to push the review pile to the side and do a little pleasure reading. I didn't have any specific titles in mind, but I knew precisely what kind of books I wanted to enjoy.
I decided I wanted a decent techno-thriller to read - something along the lines of Tom Clancy, but a little bit . . . well, slimmer. Actually, I wanted more than that, I wanted something completely over-the-top, so I settled on Ghost, the first Paladin of Shadows book, from John Ringo. Now, to be honest, I picked up an e-book copy of this purely because so many people cautioned me against it. What can I say? I've discovered some great reads out of spite . . . unfortunately, this wasn't one of them.
Anyway, I went into this knowing full well that Ringo is a man's man, a red-blooded American man, and a vocal conservative. That's not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, it's just who he is. I thoroughly enjoyed what I had previously read of Yellow Eyes - I put it back on the shelf when I realised it was book 8 of the Posleen War, and probably not the best place to start - so I knew what to expect.
Where Ghost failed for me was with Michael Harmon, its protagonist. He and I got off to a bad start, rubbing each other the wrong way from page one, and I only persevered as long as I did because I was hoping he'd come to a brutal and bloody end, leaving a less distasteful protagonist to save the day. He's a racist, sexist, degenerative pig of a human being, with nary a single redeeming quality to salvage his character. When you find yourself almost ready to root for the terrorists and their deplorable campaign of sexual slavery, it's time to pack in it and move onto another book.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins