Citadel is the sequel to Live Free or Die by John Ringo.  I first heard of this series on the Writing Excuses podcast because the main character of the first book is loosely based upon Howard Tayler, the author of the webcomic Schlock Mercenary (check it out, it’s fun).  Fairly short intro to the book, I’m just going to get on with the review.

Book Stats

510 pages

Science Fiction

Sequel to Live Free or Die


Tyler Vernon was the main character of the first book, and while he is in this book, he wasn’t the primary viewpoint character of the book, he really doesn’t even show up until about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the novel.  This book is a little different thank most books because there really isn’t a “main” character, there are several characters that all have fairly sizable viewpoints.  The character with the biggest viewpoint in this book is Dana Parker, an engineer who later becomes a pilot for the navy who is stationed on Troy.  Another character who gets a lot of viewpoint sections is Butch (whose actual name I don’t remember offhand and I’m not going to search for it.  I had to double check Dana’s name as well).  Butch is a welder who works for Apollo (Vernon’s company) who does various jobs in and around Troy to help get the battle station operational.  Vernon was really interesting in the first novel, but none of the characters in this novel really stood out for me.


The same world from the first book, although this book has all of the characters spending more time in space rather than just Vernon.


This book picks up several years after the first book left off.  After the humans (led by Vernon) defeated the Horvath, they irritated the Rangora Empire who had been supplying the Horvath with ships.  The Rangora are a very warlike race who try to overtake the Glatun as the central race in the universe.  As they attack the Glatun, they also attack Earth and try to take over our planet.  This book is the continued story of the Earth trying to defend itself from the other races throughout the universe.


There were large sections of this book where I started to zone out and had to go back and reread them because I was getting lost.  In comparison to the first book, the characters seemed to get lost as the story progressed and the plot dragged for me as well.  The first book was interesting in that it was split into three separate plots, almost as though it were three shorter novels placed into one book.  This book was really just one main plotline, and it seemed too slow for me.  I also remember a lot more humor in the first book than this book contained (although there were some funny parts towards the end of the book).  I also had a problem with one of the viewpoints in the book, Butch was completely unnecessary (to me at least).  His viewpoints were maybe 1/4 of the size of Dana’s viewpoints, and I don’t think they really added anything to the book.  The end of the book was far superior to the early parts, and I’ll still read the next book eventually, but I won’t be in a hurry to go get it.

Overall Grade

Not as much fun as the first book was, but the ending rescued it enough to where I’ll still pick up the third book.


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