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Watch on the Rhine

Legacy of the Aldenata
Written by: John Ringo, Tom Kratman
Narrated by: Marc Vietor
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The invaders are coming; the Posleen, a seemingly unstoppable horde who have conquered one star system after another, literally feeding on their conquests. Earth's dubious allies, the Darhel, have given the humans a number of highly-advanced technological devices, including a process for rejuvenating the aged, including trained and proven soldiers who otherwise would be too old to fight. Rejuvenation may give a critical edge, since to survive, the Earth must use every resource at hand. Every resource . . .

In the dark days after the initial Posleen attack, but before the primary invasion, the Chancellor of Germany faces a critical decision. Over the years, with military cutbacks, the store of experienced German military personnel had simply dwindled. After the destruction of Northern Virginia, he realized that it was necessary to tap the one group he had sworn never, ever, to recall: the few remaining survivors of the Waffen SS. Has he made a devil¿s bargain, or is this a chance for the reviled SS at last to fight the good fight? And, perhaps, gain redemption?

Watch On the Rhine, a new chapter in the New York Times best-selling Posleen War saga, is perhaps the most unbiased, and brutal, look at the inner workings of the Waffen SS in history. Meticulously researched, it explores all that was good, and evil, about the most infamous military force in history using the backdrop of the Posleen invasion as a canvas.

©2007 Baen (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Trip Williams
  • Upstate, SC, United States
  • 2013-10-23

Good, Just not on a par with the rest

I had listened to the entire "Legacy Of The Aldenata" series EXCEPT for "Yellow Eyes" (The Panamanian Perspective) and this book ("Watch On The Rhine", The German Perspective).. I skipped these two books initially because many reviewers said that they didn't add a lot to the Series as a whole, and it seemed to me that a lot of people were just skipping over these two books, so I skipped them also to get straight back to the Main Story Lines in the later books in the series ... I know, I know, Like your Mom used to say, "If everyone else jumped off a Bridge, would you jump off too"? WELL OF COURSE I WOULD (and HAVE.. Bridge Day in West Virginia.. uhhh on second thought, let's not discuss that)...

Anyway, When you listen to as many books a month as I do, for as many years as I have, you tend to run out of books that seem to interest you pretty quickly... It also seems to me that once GOOD authors start making money, they seem to just quit writing as much (until they need money again), so I find I go through long periods of "Book Slumps" where I can't find anything that interests me.... During one such Book Slump, I went back and picked up "Yellow Eyes" and found that I enjoyed it A LOT... Since I enjoyed Yellow Eyes, I figured maybe I'd enjoy Watch on the Rhine also (Hey, "It's Ringo", how far wrong can you go?)

It's a decent book. Not nearly as good as the rest of the books in the series, and it seems to wander in places, but it did hold my attention pretty well... I had to back up a few times and try to get some events straight in my mind, some parts seemed to be just "Stuck in the book as filler" with no real purpose otherwise, but after I finished it, I came away wishing there were MORE books left in the Aldenata series (and then getting bummed by knowing that there aren't any more books in the series to listen to now)...

...and I just had a feeling that if the Earth was desperate enough to "Rejuvenate Very Old Soldiers" to fill the ranks needed to fight the war, that SOME of the Rejuves in the German Forces were GOING to be Hard-Corp Nazis, with a hidden agenda to bring back "the Glory Days of the Master Race" now that they're young again... Yep, knew that was coming... HOWEVER, Ringo handled that VERY touchy and sensitive subject VERY well!! I was impressed with his handling of the problem, especially since Ringo doesn't mind "offending delicate sensibilities" just for the Sheer Joy of doing it.. which is one reason I like his work so much.. Life isn't always fair, the righteous don't always win, the bad guys don't always "Get what's coming to them", Crime OFTEN DOES Pay, etc... that's just the real world, and Ringo seldom shies away from pointing those facts out, and using them in his books.

As many other reviewers pointed out, Watch On The Rhine doesn't add a lot to the LONG Aldenata Series, and you don't miss out on much (if anything) if you skip it while listening to the rest of the series, but it's an enjoyable read even as just a "Stand Alone" book based in the Universe of the Aldenata

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • Lenoir City, TN, United States
  • 2013-03-11

The German Perspective

Another very intertaining Legacy of the Aldenata tale. The change in location to the European continent and the perspective of Germany and its past sins was a great backdrop to this continuation of the story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • David Lugaro
  • Charlotte, New Caledonia
  • 2015-11-20

Great read!

Kept up with the rest of the books. I enjoyed how some people are just what you expect and some people really surprise you. Excellent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob
  • Woodstock, GA, United States
  • 2014-03-08

Historical investigation with SciFi story

Interesting from the aspect of looking at the motivations of the Waffen-SS in WWII. Being of German decent, it is fairly accurately portrayed. Both good and bad. Even the some relationships to the Israelis in the book. There have alway been close ethnic ties between Germanic and Jewish cultures.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • gerry
  • 2014-02-08

Unexpectedly a Very Good

The idea of getting very bad people to take on even worse people is always a good story line to me. Not using all the Gal Tech was a great twist. Not every bad person is all bad, and not every good person is all good. John Ringo's politics don't shine through as they do in other of the series. Survival cancels out programming.
John, write Back to Baton.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • Oak Point, TX, United States
  • 2012-07-13

Good but not as compelling as the main storyline

What was one of the most memorable moments of Watch on the Rhine?

When the tanks were playing cat-and-mouse games with the Posleen landers.

What does Marc Vietor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Pronounciation of the characters' names, voice inflection and voice characterizations. Fantastic work by Marc.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Killing the old SS soldier in the tank "Anna."

Any additional comments?

I found the generalization of the storyline a little bit harder to "get in to" than the depiction of the stories in the other books. I found myself somewhat engaged with different characters but not as deep as I would have liked.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Jacobi
  • Michigan
  • 2010-10-24

Recycled SS versus Posleen

Great concept, Waffen SS versus Posleen. It's a great insight as to how blind cosmopolitan progressives can be when they resist the formation of a fighting force to counter the Posleen invaders which will surely devour them. Would love to see additional Tom Kratman novels on audio. PLEASE!!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 2012-10-29

BRAVO!!!

This book has it all, War,Action,Killing, a Good Story. It is so much better then the last two books, Cally's War and Sister Time. Well worth the listen!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dragon'sDen (el Jefe)
  • 2019-06-29

Not For Everyone... But,

Not an Aldenata fan, new to these books, like another reviewer I was in a slump not finding anything good on audible.

I read the negative reviews and waited weeks. I pulled the trigger on this one because I could not find something else I wanted to listen to.

Surprised that I like it.

The writing is at a very high-level. Heavily layered, many characters, some come off as a little flat, but that's understandable.

The scope of this book covers a big intergalactic war with many actors participating in it. Not a simple morality play with a small cast.

Holds your interest.

It's not dull and an interesting story. Having heard excerpts of their other works in the series, this is probably not the best written one, but you can tell they didn't just crank this one out to make dough either. It is well-thought out and intricate.

There are some tropes, but nothing I found that really bothered me.

---POLITICAL---

If you can't compartmentalise your feelings to be entertained and whatever politcal feelings you have or correctness, don't buy this book.

Remember the story itself is making villains into heroes. That's the twist.

I too was offended by the excerpt in the first or second book about illegal killings and death squads in Vietnam, but I kept listening because I wanted to hear where the authors were going with this story, and I knew they were introducing possibly an anti-hero and conflict.

If that stuff bothers you, stay away. Buy a book where people are nice to each other in the end, and are nothing but cuddles after the climax,

because you won't find it here.

--Narrator--

I'm impressed with the good job he does with characters and making funny alien voices, sounding like upper crust Englishmen.

His normal voice is adequate.

Review ends...

  • Overall
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  • Sir Strong
  • 2018-10-10

excellent, touching but yes has difficult to hear

I read other reviews warning about this book, the context and contents, yet decided to try it as I deeply enjoy the series and the unique plot lines in the series. I found this book excellent, action based balanced with character development, military scifi, touching at times, but ... Yes, it has difficult to hear historical war crimes and inhumane treatment of our own species. however i think it was handled well, and neither favored one side or other but handled horrors of world war 2 in Europe with factual aspect which then showed the impact then plus over time ... all while within the larger stage of human fight for survival against an alien species, causing a need for all experienced soldiers and the very difficult decision to select some of them for rejuvination and use. I can see how some may not like this book; however, consider giving it a try. the author's afterward states clearly the intent was to shock and cause discussion. i myself am not normally emotionally moved by many terribly sad parts or any narrative; however, as a parent I was touched by (trying hard to avoid spoilers) a specific parent's delima for young children and then the afterward portion. Compliments and thanks to all involved, for a really good story plus one more book in an excellent longer series.