John Perry is a 75-year-old man on earth who lived a good life married to a lovely woman who died a few years back from a sudden stroke. In John’s world all humans register for government service at age 65 when they are given ten years to decide if they will continue to grow old on earth or enlist for a minimum two years of space service. All the humans know is that if they join the Colonial Defense Force (CDF) they will get a body upgrade but they will never get to return to earth. No one actually knows what happens as they have never seen any human who has joined the CDF.
The work of the CDF is to protect the human colonies all over space. Many species are fighting over the valuable asset of livable planet surface. The same environment is not suitable for all, but for those who share the same needs as humans, the competition is fierce. The new recruits are physically enhanced so they can have a fighting chance. Suddenly the 75 year olds have become 25 year olds with super strength.
John is one of many recruits who face their basic training drill sergeant who is the first, loudest and roughest to tell them this is nothing like earth service. Here in the CDF most recruits are dispensable bodies who will not make it through their two years and it is his job to push them beyond what they think they can endure.
John gathers a handful of friends who form a bond through training. Two females and five men who each contribute a special skill that make them a good team. John has a knack for seeing alternate approaches and solutions. This helps his team succeed in a training mission that gets him recognized by his superiors. The “gang” is assigned to different ships for duty but they design a way to stay in touch. On his first real mission John again discovers a pattern that saves his squad and the battle.
John continues to fight and be an asset to his teams. Then he meets the Ghost Squad – a special forces unit that is only rumored to exist. Among their ranks is a woman, Jane, who could be a double for his dead wife in looks although she doesn't possess the same human qualities. Although regular recruits are not to have contact with the Ghost Squad, John ends up being pulled into a special mission with that team.
I found John a wonderful, strong, warm character and his friends add depth and interest. The concept is fascinating with plenty of futuristic, creative technology and imaginative alien species. I was totally engaged with the story and John’s adventures and then enjoyed the addition of Jane and their slow growing relationship. John questions why there is no effort to negotiate instead of engaging in battle and the author’s discussion and examples were interesting.
There is some bad language which I passed over as much as possible. I really loved the action, the light humor and the character development. I found this hard to put down. I will want to listen to more in the series.
Audio Notes: William Dufris does a great job with this narration. I was soon pulled into John’s world and appreciated Dufris skillful presentation of the story from his view and with unique voices for other characters as John interacts with them. I am always glad to listen to Dufris narrate and he added to my enjoyment of this story.
Interesting premise for science fiction. U recommend it for a solid read, but I'm undecided as to whether or not I'll read the next book in the series.
I have read this book once and listened to it twice. The Old Man's War series is a sci-fi creation that uses orginal concepts in an overworked genre and blends in the perfect amount of "humanism" to make you feel truly connected with the characters. I tip my hat to you John Scalzi. Thanks for a great story.
A dystopian future where life extension comes at the price of ones soul and humanity. This one will make you hope humanity is alone in the universe.
I enjoyed this book. I am not a sci fi fan but was drawn to it because of the title. I am 68 and about the same age as the principle character so I enjoyed listening as he went through a rejuvenating experience and later ran into a version of his wife reincarnated in one of the Ghost soldiers.
This is the first audible book I have experienced. I played around with some of the features like speeding up the narration and slowing it down. I also found time to listen to these books rather than some TV show or the radio.
My daughter bought this book for me for my birthday because she likes to introduce me to new authors and story lines. I enjoyed the story line, albeit extremely futuristic, the characters were developed well and the narration kept me engaged the whole time. Not a real Syfy nut, I'm more of the shoot detective or assassin reader, this one had a little of both and made me want to know what happens next.
I would recommend. The best I can say is I bought the next book.
I can be summed up in one word. Handsome, intelligent, honest, humble, brave, exciting, fun, kind, trustworthy, sexy! All these words work.
This is not one of my favorite books by this author. It is more like a fictional memoir. It could have used more humor. I won't be listening to the other books in this series. But try some of this authors stand alone books. They are often funny and have engaging plots.
Innovative story. Kept my attention and Dufris again demonstrates he's an amazing performer. Had me in tears at one point.
It started slow but then let me tell you it changed as I couldn't stop listening and great ending to a great story
You did not see anything coming which was great
I've read this book at least five times, and just finished my third or fourth listen to the audio book.
That pretty much sums it up, I think!