I like John Scalzi's work since I listened to the Old Man's War audiobook. That was the first one I have read from him.
The story of The Ghost Brigades happens in the same universe as the Old Man's War, and I loved that Sagan was part of this story. (If you don't know: Sagan is the clone of Perry's wife, who dies before Perry joins the army. Perry and Sagan have an interesting relation.) It gives extra connection to the previous book. By the way, it really helps if you read the Old Man's War, because a lot of ideas grow from that story, and you can understand better what's going on.
The Ghost Brigades could be a simple space-military type of book if it hadn't several layers. The base of the story: the Colonial Defense Forces fights against the threat from three alien species, who made an alliance against the humans. This already gives reason for a few exciting actions, like taking a research base by force or kidnapping the heir of an alien race. Or blow up the generator and shot the bad guys' base to pieces.
But more is at stake, because by the end of the book we learn that hundreds of races making alliance and other races are making their counter-alliance, so something BIG is going on in the background.
If we go deeper, we see how the Ghost Brigades soldiers are born. Or made would be the better word, because they are clones of people who died on Earth and didn't have the chance to join the CDF as Perry did in Old Man's War. Which raises a series of questions. How can they coop with the fact that they are very young yet fully grown adults? By their "teenager" years they could be retired veterans. And how can they develop an own consciousness? The Brainpal implant seems to solve this issue by providing all the necessary information while they discover the world.
Talking about the brain implant: it is amazing. Not only because it's like an endless source of information, but because it provides deep integration between soldiers. Scalzi unfolds the possibilities of this technology to several degrees, and uses it's impact to create compelling situations and also trouble. Which makes the story more interesting.
The implications of the consciousness-transfer is well done, and its contribution to the final conflict is well played out. Also brings some interesting questions: who really is Jared? The newborn CDF soldier or the incarnation of Boutin, the bad guy? Can the consciousness of Boutin take over completely, or Jared develops his own personality?
There are some really good twists and turns in the story. And of course, there is the characteristic Scalzi humor (for example the stone throwing), which is like a good spice to a delicious food.
It may seem too sentimental, but I liked the ending: Perry, Sagan and Zoe will be a family most probably. I suppose I will know more when I read Zoe's Tale.
Too much blah blah dialogue. Clique plot. Simple characters.
Performance was Ok' "he said, she said, he said, she said, he said, she said"
Not really, your not missing much but not reading it.
A real let down, Old Mans war was funny, original, exciting, full of surprises.
Its sequel was dull, bland, and at times obnoxious.
Yes, the story is a well thought out sequel. I liked this universe a lot in Old Man's War and Scalzi does not disappoint in the follow-up. I have come to appreciate Scalzi's ability to provide advancement of the storyline through the dialog and not the narration. He manages to get so much natural depth without getting bogged down in one character "telling" another character something in order to get a point across.
The scene where Jared Dirac a cloned soldier of a scientist met the scientist's daughter , Zoe. Even though Dirac was not her natural father, being a clone of him, he had so much love and concern for her well being. Dufris was excellent in relaying the siginicance of the moment.
This series is the first Scalzi I have gotten that HASN'T been read by Wil Wheaton, who is one of my favorites. Dufris does a bang-up job on the reading. Voice characters are well done and easy to follow.
Among the four books (Old Man's War), this one is the most scientific... Kinda like Siii-fi...
In general, the storyline is very smooth but some parts, a bit detailed.
There is one question though... HOW ON EARTH he came up with such astonishing ideas?
It is very difficult for me to express my true feelings without spoiling the story elements... but SERIOUSLY... like the first book, Ghost brigades introduces several ideas which I not only HOPE to see but also MIGHT able to see in the next coming years!
Not able to answer due to SPOILER Issues
Well, let me say it this way, in some "scenes"; he SYNCs your BRAIN with the TEXT EMOTIONS !
I don't want to answer this question! ... for no particular reason ... U know
Ghost Brigades gives us a look inside the colonial Special Forces, which are mentioned in the previous books, but the details are vague - kind of the way the people in the books see them.
This time we get to see what it's like to be born full grown and trained to be a super solider. From the inside.
I called is smart sci-fi light because it does deal with a big philosophical issue, which is what science fiction is best at. But it doesn't get too preachy and takes a practical approach to the issue. That issue is "What makes us who we are?"
The characters are good, and we get to see Jane again, though she doesn't have a huge amount of page time.
I recommend the book to anyone, though I'd recommend starting with Old Man's War if you have already read it.
I was pretty disappointed that this book didn't even include the main character of the 1st book.
Overall I thought this was a slow and boring story and I just did not feel any connection to the characters. Not really sure if I will bother with the 3rd book.
Loved It. As good as Old Man's War and a perfect 2nd in the series.Scalzi is my new favorite SciFi author & this series is my new fave series. I had a real problem getting out of my car when i was listening! As with any story, there were a couple quirky moments that i would groan over, but for the most part Scalzi put together a compelling story with fantastic aliens, concepts & characters.William Dufris wouldn't have been my first choice but he grows on you. he does a fabulous job at isolating individual charaters, voices & timbres.I highly recommed this book and it's series.
Be sure to listen to the first book in the series (Old Man's War) before this one, otherwise you'll be a little lost. I liked the first book a little better - but this one had some good twists and kept things interesting. Also liked the story line with the alien prisoner.
No, not again. Great story, but something would have to be mind blowing for me to listen again.
The character development was very good.
Dead pan deliveries.
Not really. But the motivations of the traitor Butan (sic?) left me surprisingly conflicted. For 90% of it you think this guy is the devil. Then he is painted in a way that makes you wonder if he might be right.
Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.
I very much enjoy the Old Man's War series. It's a gleeful stomping of any trace of political correctness in regard to violence. Not really gratuitous, but unrepentantly raw and continuous. And yet somehow, Scalzi manages to insert a solid morale tale into the bloodbath.
I will say though, that some of the emotional connection development between characters can feel like being spoon fed straight saccharin. I'd rather be left to build some of my own inferences without several Nelsonian last words proclamations of love.