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4.6 8
by Patrick A. Vanner

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Mankind is Fighting a War for Its Very Survival—and Will be Defeated Unless a Human Traitor Can be Unmasked. Space Battle Action by a New Star of Military Science Fiction.

“The only thing better than kick-butt intelligent space opera is kick-butt intelligent heroines. Ragnarok is a two-fer.” —John Ringo, New York


Mankind is Fighting a War for Its Very Survival—and Will be Defeated Unless a Human Traitor Can be Unmasked. Space Battle Action by a New Star of Military Science Fiction.

“The only thing better than kick-butt intelligent space opera is kick-butt intelligent heroines. Ragnarok is a two-fer.” —John Ringo, New York Times Best-Selling Author of the Posleen War Series

Captain Alexandra “Alex” McLaughlin is not a woman to be underestimated. Under her petite exterior is a spine of solid steel and a disposition to laugh in the face of impending death. A former member of the Terran Navy’s elite force, the Dead Jokers, electronic-warfare pilots with a mortality rate to match that of old Japan’s Kamikazes, Alex is a born survivor. But sometimes survival can be a curse.

Humanity is locked in a war of survival with the Xan-Sskarn, an alien race that refuses to acknowledge the rights of “weaker” creatures to live. It is a war that will not end with a peace treaty, but only the complete subjugation of one species to the other. And right now, the alien side is winning.

However, the enemy on the outside is not the only one to be faced. As the battles take on an eerily familiar pattern of no-win scenarios, Alex realized the horrifying truth; humanity has a traitor, and it’s somebody close. As each battle brings more death, Alex’s ghosts grow and so does her desire for vengeance. There is only one way for this to end, and Alex is just the human to take it there—to Ragnarok.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a familiar story arc and bursts of awkward prose, Vanner's debut, the first in a planned military space opera series, doesn't leave much of a mark. In 2197, humanity is locked in a vicious war with the salamander-like Xan-Sskarn, unrepentant polluters who covet Earth's clean water. Capt. Alexandra McLaughlin, still gripped with survivor's guilt two years after an encounter with the enemy killed many of those under her command, manages to be one of Earth's prime assets, even as she's suspected of providing the Xan-Sskarn with crucial information about ship movements. Clumsy plot twists and awkward prose ("While his size was imposing, the bright cheerfulness dancing in his eyes and his jovial attitude put those around him at ease, but that brightness turned to hateful fire where the Xan-Sskarn were concerned.") make this adventure entirely forgettable. (Sept.)

Product Details

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9.46(w) x 11.28(h) x 0.92(d)

Meet the Author

Patrick A. Vanner was born into a Marine family, and, after attending Penn State University, majoring in aerospace and electrical engineering, he enlisted in the Marine Corps like his parents before him. After a successful military tour, he earned a degree in network administration and began a career in telecommunications and information technology. He divides his time between working, reading, writing, gaming and spending an exorbitant amount of money on anime, giving truth to the saying, “Anime, it’s more addictive than crack.” Patrick currently lives with the love of his life, Heather, and four insane cats that make their lives interesting in every sense of the ancient Chinese curse.

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Ragnarok 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
EerieCutie More than 1 year ago
Ragnarok is an action-packed thrill that kept me up at night reading just one more chapter until it was finished. Reminiscent of David Weber's "On Basilisk Station" and Michael Z. Williamson's "Freehold", it features a "kick-ass" female lead easy to relate to for this lady veteran. Seriously, Alex is charming in a hard-edged, slightly damaged kind of way and just the kind of person I'd love to share a beer with at a Dining In. The book is not a "light" read, obvious given s title and cover art that promises destruction and despair, but it has some hysterically humorous scenes and one-liners worthy of a Sheldon Cooper "Ba-Zinga." All in all, I can't wait for book two in the series to come out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An intense, fast-paced first novel with realistic characters and combat scenes, Ragnarok, provides a thrilling read. Set in the distant future, the humans are scrambling to counter the large-scale attack of the Xan-Sskarn, a militaristic race of aliens hell-bent on universal domination. As the protagonist, Alex McLaughlin, is haunted by the traumas of her past, she is simultaneously confronted by foes on both sides of the conflict. The dialogue, characters, and combat scenes are realistic and engaging, and the reader finds him/herself cheering on the Terran Marines as they enter into deadly hand-to-hand encounters with Xan-Sskarn 50% larger than they are. An entertaining read that leaves the reader wondering what will happen in the next installment.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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. Harriet Klausner
IvanIvanovichStreltsov More than 1 year ago
Good Morning, All; I believe I agree with one of the Anonymous Triplets. The reviewer was wrong. This is a fast paced, interesting book, that holds together well. As for the accusation that it wasn't original, read Shakespear and you have all the plots of drama, comedy, action and comedy. That does not stop this from being an interesting read. Well crafted, with believable characters and situations. Even the characters mistakes are believable. The only problem I have with any of this projected series is that the next book isn't out yet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't believe the idiot who wrote the publisher's review. If you like space operas then you will love this book. keep them coming Vanner.
TravelerOfSpaceAndTime More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RandMan More than 1 year ago
Lots of action. I could not put this book down. Vanner knows what a fire fight is really all about. Readers of Bujold, Weber, Ringo and Ruggiero will love this book. I cannot wait for the sequel.