Title: Old Man’s War
Series: Old Man’s War; Book 1
Author: John Scalzi
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera
ROTS Setting: Distant-Future, FTL (Skip-Drive), Aliens,
Synopsis: The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce– and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding. Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
Recommendation: Highly Recommended. Gore and adult scenes.
This book was really good…..and I’m a little surprise. More about how much I liked it than that I liked it……If that makes sense.
The main character, John Perry, is pretty well done. Not annoying, still has faults but he has strengths too. He does lack a certain depth because the reader isn’t bombarded with his thoughts. The experience is first-person past tense, and has the feeling of looking through the characters eyes. Again, not bad but a bit different.
I really enjoyed how many of the technologies were attempted to be explained even in the most general or layman terms. It kept it real and applicable to the characters. Often the answer was, we have no clue, but it was enough acknowledgement of how crazy it all was. The universe is a crazy place and the motivations were kept deceptively simple but it felt like the other shoe was going to drop eventually and everything is going to get uber complicated.
I think about the universe I most want to see is the everyday life of the Colonies. What do “normal” people have or deal with as an average part of their life. For me that’s a big mystery and would round out the setting for me.
As for plot, I’m left feeling a little unsatisfied. Taking place over a year and a half, there’s a lot to cover and so it’s mostly just the highlight until the big stuff at the end. It wasn’t horrible or anything, I just can’t shake the feeling of where’s the meat? There’s an ethereal/insubstantial quality to the story. It needs something to ground it, but I have no clue what.
Regardless, it was an entirely enjoyable read and I can’t wait to read more in the series and by the author. When that will be is a mystery to me, but it’s definitely going to happen.
Coming Eventually The Ghost Brigades; Book 2 >>