Not much sauce in this. It was so flimsy that I quit half way through. It initially appears a Star Trek knock off and gets much worse as the book progresses. I like Star Trek, but I'll not bother with another book by this author.
Wonderful depiction of an insightful peek into the"reality " behind the scenes of the happenings on a starship. Makes perfect sense to a long time fan. Wheaton's performance is incredible adding to the pleasure of this story. Laugh out loud funny with twists and turns that delight.
Geeky, photography-loving stitcher. Hobbits, zombies, space cowboys, agents, avengers, & clones are welcome in my post-apocalyptic dystopia.
The dialogue was excessively punctuated by "he said", "she said". This was especially annoying when listening to the audiobook.
I was also a bit thrown by the change in tone in the Codas. This section of the book was very different from the rest of the story; a marked shift from the dialogue driven, action-based plot. I understand that this was a very deliberate choice on the part of the author, and once I had adjusted, found this section very enjoyable. I ultimately wish, though, that some of the same kind of character development that we find in the Codas could have been present in the rest of the story.
I very much enjoyed the pacing and humor in this story. I found the "meta" review of writing and overall critique of modern storytelling via TV very interesting.
I thought that Mr. Wheaton was a very good choice for this story...first for the obvious connection that he has to the Star Trek universe, but also for his overall reading performance. He injected sincerity and enthusiasm into his narrative. He understood the underlying tone of lighthearted sarcasm in the writing. He also carried off the more emotional parts, particularly in the Codas, very nicely.
Absolutely. Interesting story concept. Fun characters. Nice reading. I am very interested in reading more by Mr. Scalzi.
I am a big fan of Wil Wheaton as a narrator (like in Ready Player One), and he again does a great job with this book. For anyone who is a fan of Star Trek or any sci-fi spaceship show, this is a great jab at the tropes of the TV genre.
This book was an EXCELLENT listen. Wil Wheaton did a fantastic job with the narration, but the book -- the story itself -- was the most fun I've had with a book (audio or otherwise) in a long while. I'm not really even a Star Trek fan (only seen a handful of episodes in my life), and I still enjoyed the heck out of this.
Despite the ridiculous overuse of the word "said" in Redshirts, I was not disappointed in what I expected from this book. In fact, it turned out even better than I had hoped. It's a fairly short read/listen, but there are almost constant laughs, especially for fans of Star Trek. The jokes are plentiful and well-delivered, the dialogue is snappy and surprisingly real in how Dahl and the other Ensigns banter, and there are a lot of small details that tie into themselves nicely at the end. And then there's the last chapter, which I won't spoil, but believe me, it will leave you with a great feeling.
Then... there are the three codas. Think of them as unnecessary to the plot of the book, but it's almost like bonus material. The codas tie up some points I didn't really realize needed tying up, but I'm glad they were there. The three of them together equaled about a quarter of the total novel, and they're well worth the time. All the laughter I spent on the book itself was balanced with some truly heartfelt tears (yes, tears. And I listened to it at work, so yes, I was crying a little at work) at the end of the final coda. I think that was a masterful addition to the novel.
I found Redshirts to be two books in one, divided roughly in the middle. The first part being about the cliché-packed adventures of the Intrepid and the horrible (yet many times hilarious) ways in which their redshirt crew is mauled constantly by increasingly ridiculous aliens and bad luck. This first segment, which follows Andy Dahl and his group of friends, is fun, engaging, and it really makes you feel nerve-wrecking tension for finding out whether or not Andy and pals will survive their next Away Mission. I found the sub-culture that forms around the Redshirts and their ingrained superstitions to help them survive for another day to be really compelling, a topic which I think can be successfully applied as well to the henchmen of a James Bond supervillain or similar groups of extras that are routinely killed on-screen just to raise the stakes for the audience. It is interesting to imagine what kind of superstitions and methods of survival these hoards of "bad guys" would develop over time. Perhaps an idea for a future novel Mr. Scalzi?
Also in this segment, a most special mention should be made for Wheaton's narration, and also most especially, his hilarious performance when he reads the drunk dialogue of a wasted Kerensky who sort of "oozes" all over a highly uncomfortable Andy Dahl on a bar's couch. ANY previous complains I had on Wil Wheaton's narration skills dissipated after that scene. Bravo!
However, all the fun, terror and nerve-wrecking action in this first half of the book quickly morphs into a philosophical meta-commentary of the storytelling industry and the difficult relationship between author and character once Dahl and Co. break the fourth wall and discover that the hazards they face on the Intrepid are anything but accidental. I felt that after this point, the tone of the book changes completely, and while the humor remains and the story stays equally engaging and thought-provoking (even tear-dropping I must say, at the end especially), I couldn't help but feel as if I had been unexpectedly betrayed and someone had swapped my book for someone else's. The new book I was reading was good, no doubt about that, but it left me wondering what had happened with the events and characters I had been following for whole first half. And even when we eventually returned to them, the Intrepid felt alien and fake by then after having spend a good section completely isolated from that narrative.
Still, I must admit Scalzi does a good job transitioning between these parts, and I should also admit that I found enough clues on the beginning of the book to be able to guess this is where the story was taking me.
However, I remember speculating constantly as I enjoyed the first part of the book on what was the ultimate cause for the unfair death toll on redshirts that Dahl and Co. were also trying to discover along me. I even imagined a long list of things that could be the cause, like some sort of conspiracy between the captain and the higher officers where they had agreed on having "fun" in their adventures on the expense of the crew, a sort of "Hostal" concept. Or perhaps, this was caused by a Larry-Niven-kind of genetic factor which had caused the captain and officers to be unusually lucky, allowing them to survive any adventures the rest of the crew couldn't. I even remember getting excited about this possibility. Imagine that! I thought. Perhaps you could even understand star trek or similar space adventures with the explanation that the cast of main characters was a statistical fluke, a group of humans that had the luck of being in the right place at the right time and had the universe on their side for a limited amount of time, like a chamber full of gas where every now and then, out of simple probability, every single particle in the chamber converges on a corner, only to disperse later.
But then again, my hopes to receive some ingenious (albeit highly speculative) explanation were not to be heard. And while the plot revelation I received was both good, satisfying and self-consistent, I couldn't help but feel as if it wasn't... how can I say it...? It wasn't sci-fi enough.
Perhaps I'm asking too much with that, perhaps I shouldn't impose on Scalzi, or any author, to stick to their chosen genre and follow its rules to the letter. But meh, I still felt slightly betrayed, and for that, and ONLY for that, I give it a 4 stars.
Because in everything else, all other details, characters, emotions and events displayed on the book, it's a top-winner :)
As a trekkie, I can appreciate the ironic humour in having Wil read this particular book. He does a brilliant job. His expressive voice and cadence is a real pleasure to listen to. I can envision the characters & conversations actually taking place.
What a wonderful twist on the pop culture scenarios that were taken for granted and expected. References to the old Star Trek situations are hilariously convoluted when perceived from the perspective of the "minute-men" actors. Follow along and discover how a few of these moment-by-moment actors figure out how to survive one more "away mission" and live beyond the 1/2 hour we watch them on TV.
If you're a Star Trek fan, you will enjoy this book
the intermix between reality and TV reality
he's understanding of sci-fi words used. He spoke them very fluidly.
the codas really moved me. I thought they helped give closer and meaning to those parts in the story line.
I was expecting a humorous book on the Red Shirts--the cannon fodder in the Star Trek universe. The premise of the book is intriguing. I was expecting non-stop jokes about crew in-fighting to avoid going on missions.
The story was cute--not a deep book.