Following the events of The Last Colony, John Scalzi tells the story of the fight to maintain the unity of the human race.
The people of Earth now know that the human Colonial Union has kept them ignorant of the dangerous universe around them. For generations the CU had defended humanity against hostile aliens, deliberately keeping Earth an ignorant backwater and a source of military recruits. Now the CU’s secrets are known to all. Other alien races have come on the scene and formed a new alliance - an alliance against the Colonial Union. And they’ve invited the people of Earth to join them. For a shaken and betrayed Earth, the choice isn't obvious or easy.
Against such possibilities, managing the survival of the Colonial Union won’t be easy, either. It will take diplomatic finesse, political cunning…and a brilliant "B Team", centered on the resourceful Lieutenant Harry Wilson, that can be deployed to deal with the unpredictable and unexpected things the universe throws at you when you’re struggling to preserve the unity of the human race.
©2012 John Scalzi (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
This book expanded on the stories from old mans war series
Good Characterization of the voices
Looking forward to the next book
As always, Scalzi is very good at wry, cynical dialogue and his space-battle scenes are both exciting and horrific, but he seems to have concentrated more on the novelty of the episodic format here than on a coherent story. I get the feeling (or at least hope) that this book is mostly a transportation step towards an even better story to come.
To my taste, the book has too much politics and conspiracy and too little technobabble. I like my space opera technobabble-heavy.
Still, as usual, a great gallery of well-defined and convincing characters are given extra depth and plausibility by William Dufris great narration.
Worth the listen if you don't expect much from it.
Removing the "...said" at the end of nearly every piece of dialogue.
I've listened to two others (Android's Dream and Fuzzy Nation), both great books.
Complacent, unmotivated, telling
I nearly stopped listening due to the redundancy of the dialogue. The sarcastic wit and tongue and cheek humor were missing.
Editing would have really helped. I realize this was a combined serial story, but the writing was so amateur it was laughable. I'm hoping for better luck with Old Man's War.
This book is the usual Scalzi mix of characters, action, and story. The narration was good. The only thing I wish is that the narration would leave out the "he said" "she said" The narration is good enough that I know which character is speaking
First, I admit I did not finish the book. But I just couldn't go on. I did not hate the book, but I did not like it and had to rate it one star. The characters are flat and undeveloped. The dialogue sounds like the conversations you hear walking through a middle school. And the clichés! I think Scalzi needs a better editor, or a good advisor. The plot could have been something, but it wasn't. Looks like I'm hot and cold with Scalzi. I rated Fuzzy Nation really high, and Red Shirts really low. I haven't read Old Man's War yet, so that's next on my list. Hopefully it will be a five star.
Good characters, good plot and lots of laughs make this the best entry in the “Old Man’s War” series since the book that gave the series its title. The main character, Harry Wilson, bears what I think of as the typical Scalzi acerbic wit and ability to creatively solve just about any challenge thrown at him. I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud while listening to this on Audible. I tried bookmarking some of the places that made me laugh, like this part, where Wilson is telling an ambassador that something has gone horribly wrong:
“Humped the bunk … Screwed the pooch … Gone fubar… insert your own metaphor for things going sideways here.”
But somehow all by itself it’s not quite as funny as when heard as part of the flow of the story. The banter is fast and furious, and nearly all the characters talk like they are delivering one-liners from a sitcom, but somehow it works. I lay a LOT of the credit for that with the narrator of the audio version, William Dufris.
This book was definitely meant to be heard, not read. Eschewing his usual narrator of choice (Wil Wheaton) for Dufris was a good move. Dufris does a better job than Wheaton of giving the characters different voices, even though they are all dishing out one-liners at breakneck speed.
A good example is the story of the kingsflower plant. This is a huge, Venus flytrap-type plant that eats an ambassador’s dog. So naturally, our hero has to get swallowed by the plant in order to retrieve said dog. The laconic voice used by the narrator for the character of the gardener (“Don’t be alarmed when the plant starts cutting off the circulation to your extremities, it’s a perfectly normal part of the process,”) was the defining reason this section was laugh-out-loud funny.
It is definitely worth it to stick around after the main story has wrapped up to listen to two additional short stories set in the same universe. I enjoyed both “After the Coup” and “Hafte Sorvalh Eats a Churro and Speaks to the Youth of Today.”
After reading some of the other reviews here on Goodreads, I now realize that this was originally released as a serialized novel via Audible and that a sequel(s) are forthcoming. As long as Scalzi is writing and Dufris is reading, I will be listening.
Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!
Not only this book works as separate chapters but he continues to develop this huge universe and exploring human culture and condition through adversity and exploring new entities. If you loved Ghost Brigades this book won't disappoint you!
This book is really a collection of inter-twined short stories. Scalzi does a great job with his characters and there are some funny moments, and I really like the universe and science that he's created. Something just didn't sit well with me after listening and I was going to give it less than five stars, then I realized the reason was because I was left wanting more.
So I had mixed feelings. I loved the story it was so engaging. I didn't mind the serial format. You just have to keep it in mind when listening to the stories. I felt the pace was great and I really wanted to know what happened next but that was just it. I kept expecting to find out the big answers to all the questions and ... cliff hanger. I felt cheated.
Also the dialogue tags. Could the narrator have just skipped them? Is that allowed?
Average story for this series. Diplomatic drama in a sci-fi series that ultimately doesn't seem relevant to any potential sequels. Skip it unless you're a big fan.
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