John Scalzi: Old Man’s War

11 10 2008
John Scalzi's books

John Scalzi books

Just finished reading John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War Trilogy (plus 2)

1 Old Man’s War
2 The Ghost Brigades
3 The Last Colony
4 Zoe’s Tale
– The Sagan Diary

Book one is a must read as it sets the scene for all that follows.

“John Perry did two things on his seventy-fifth brithday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army”

That is, he joined the Colonial Defence Forces (off planet service). Part of the equipment is a new body. If he survives 2 years in the forces, he can retire to a colony world.

In reality, it will be 10 years of fighting all manner of aliens.

Book two: The Ghost brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defence Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead (those that signed up for service, but didn’t make it to 75). That includes Jane Sagan, the clone of John’s wife, but without her memories.

The timeline is after the events of bk1 and John doesn’t take part in the story.

Book three: John and Jane retire to a colony world with their adopted daughter (Zoe who was rescued in bk2). After a few years of the good life, John and Jane are asked to lead a new colony.

Nothing goes to plan as they become stranded (without tech) on the wrong world. They’re in hiding from  an alien alliance that wants to stamp out un-approved colonization. If found, the colony could be wiped out.

John must find the truth from the lies and half-truths spun by the CDF (that’ right, their own side!) and save the colony. Treason againt the CDF may be required.

Book four: This is the same tale as bk3 but told from Zoe’s view point. Scenes that featured John and Jane in bk3 are missing their dialog, but Zoe was watching (not listening). She got up to some adventures that John and Jane had no knowledge of, and went off planet to visit the alien alliance. In the end she brought back some tech that helped John to save the colony.

I’ve really glossed over the story, heaps, but you do need to read all four books in this trilogy.

The Military fiction (action) in bk1 is a great read. A new, interesting and insightful addition to the genre. Entertaining. Highly recommended.

The Sagan Diary: On the fence with this one. Wait for John Scalzi’s collected short stories!! Be warned, it’s data mined from Jane’s memories when her Ghost Brigade body was retired (B4 bk3). Some of it was a chore to read, other stuff (sorta) interesting. A shortish novella – hardback.




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