A Hymn Before Battle is the first book in Ringo’s Posleen War Series. It is also Ringo’s first published book if I have my facts straight. Regardless, when I first read this book back in 2002 I thought then and have been subsequently proved right that there are authors out there that are just as good as Heinlein at catching the readers attention and keeping it and Ringo is one of them.
Imagine horse-sized reptiloid centaurs that think you are lunch, use advanced weaponry, and think the massed wave attack is the height of tactical finesse. The book is the story of how humanity discovers that not only are we not alone in the universe, there are bad aliens out there and that they are coming for the earth to not only conquer it, but to use humans as snacks. It starts fast and stays that way throughout the whole book. The story centers around Michael O’Neal, who not only designs the powered infantry combat armor to be used against the Posleen but is then instrumental in leading a platoon outfitted with that armor to save a big chunk of the first human expeditionary force to another planet.
This book is an outstanding page-turner that leaves wanting to know how the story continues. Luckily, this series has spawned a range of spinoffs as well as continuing. It is well worth reading.