The Tuloriad by John Ringo and Tom Kratman
I borrowed this book because I had just read “Eye of the Storm” by John Ringo and had read “Caliphate” by Kratman last summer. I had a good idea of what I was in for, but found much more.
Both authors write excellent military scifi—good action, believable (?) characters. They also find a way to get you thinking (yeah, I know—these are action based stories).
The Tuloriad is part of “The Legacy of the Aldenata” series. Several books long, there is not a need to start at the beginning, although I would recommend reading at least one other (“Eye of the Storm” would be a good choice) before reading this one. There are just enough references and characters that evolve from other directions that it makes the book much richer if you know the universe Ringo has created.
To put a framework together—1st book in the series—earth is approached by aliens. The Federation is under attack by the Posleens. They are conquering planet after planet .Only the humans, because they are can actually fight a war can save the universe. One of the novel things in the series is that most of the races involved can’t fight (it is set up quite well to be logical). As the series unfolds, the humans succeed.
The Tuloriad starts after the war. A small group of the Posleen is rescued by a core group and transported across the galaxy to rediscover to where they actually came from. You could say, they discover their roots. At the same time, spurred by the pope, a sentient ship (this is really cool stuff) which also has a human body (she is beautiful) and a special team follow to convert the Posleen to a human religion with the idea of saving their souls.
Do aliens have souls? What religion should be presented? Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, and others are all presented. Did I mention, one of the Posleen ‘rememberers’ has developed his own version of their old time religion.
The action is ongoing and includes Swiss Guards (I did say the Pope was behind the mission, didn’t I?) The puns and one liners give great groans, at the right times. The past is re-discovered but many questions remain to be answered at the end. One must have a sequel after all.
Some great scenes include the ‘ship’ talking with the Imam who represents Islam. He states that he has lost the verbal battle to convince the Posleen to his religion. “But now you are going to give the Posleen something far better than words to persuade. You are going to give them living examples.” This occurs when the priest leading the exhibition and the swiss guards are on their way to possibly sacrifice themselves for a Posleen who believes in the Christian god. By the way, the priest is married to the ship and the Pope has reinstated marriage by priests and has actually commanded it for up to 4 wives at a time. It works better than you may think in the story.
All in all I found this a great read. It made me think at times; at times I laughed; at times the action was intense; and it never failed to entertain. What else could I want? I’m now working on the first book in the series (yes I went out and found it and will look for the others as well). If you enjoy a good action tale that has a sense of humor and will go beyond the action to make you think, this is your book.
This review was written by Dan Italiano.