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.
I think this could have been a pretty good audiobook. Mr. Dufris' narration is fist rate, throughout. Having said that, in my opinion, the author fails on two levels. First, it is too "cutesy". The dialogue used by all the characters smacks of a tv sitcom...maybe even not a bad one, by today's standards. But I can't take it very long. And, it never stops.
My 2nd dislike...overt and overwhelming "political correctness". One can call me a "male chauvinist pig" or something similar, and I won't argue the point. But, the idea of portraying all female characters acting like tough guys, and espousing violence and, in general, acting just like egotistic, alpha males minus the anatomical trappings doesn't seem to serve either the story line or provide any human insights of worth. It's just a form of social pandering that seems to be in vogue, I guess. So as to sell more books of this kind to women? I don't know. Scalzi has talent. Mostly, here, its wasted.
The stories and characters in this book are good and enjoyable, but since it is part of a bigger universe, there is the perennial problem that it must, of course, set up for the next book in the series, and this particular book leaves too many unresolved endings to be really satisfying.
Also, the author (John Scalzi) has got to learn to stop using the word "said". He does it in all of his books, but it is particularly bad in this case when it was written for audiobook. His editors should also wean him of this habit.
Say something about yourself!
The Human Division is organized as a set of Episodes, each of them involving the B-team, a group of low level diplomats with their side-kick and Colonial Defense Forces (CDF) technical expert Harry Wilson, well known to readers of Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series. The B-team is really an A-team that has been recruited to solve unsolvable problems, but they do not know how well they are regarded by the powers that be. This makes for some fun moments and interesting twists as our diplomatic heroes attempt to keep the Colonial Union out of fights it can't possibly win against a conclave of hundreds of other races determined to keep humanity from spreading through the galaxy as quickly as it would like.
You don't have to have read the previous Harry Wilson books to enjoy this one because the episodes are very self-contained and self-explanatory. Indeed, the one flaw in this collection is the redundancy that comes from assembling stories each of which was written so that it could stand alone. That means that the same background material often gets repeated. You will, however, want to read whatever Scalzi writes next in this universe because the episodes end just as new threats and mysteries are revealed. I can't wait to find out where he takes us.
Reader William Dufris interprets Scalzi's sarcastic and amusing characters exactly as I would have imagined them, so kudos on the performance as well.
Good book - it's the 5th in the series so I read it because I was already vested in what is happening. There are not very many previous characters in this book (which I personally missed).
Yes, The Old Man's War series, overall, are really good.
Yes (but I have no opinion on the actors).
after the last in his series Scalzi has a lot to do to make it as good and man, this guy nailed it. so it goes without saying, if you like his work you'll love this, if you don't like his work, well I don't know what to say....
Unfortunately, this story leaves out my favorite Scalzi character, John Perry. However, it makes up for it with new(somewhat) characters that are well written, charming, and you always want to know where their stories lead. Due to the episodic nature of these last two installments, this book does not end with a solid conclusion. However, as it was entertaining enough to make me want to pick up the last book in the series, I'm hoping for a more substantial conclusion with The End of All Things.
Absolutely... already have.
The loose connection between all the stories, finally coming together in a most clever and delightful way.
Harry, by far.
Laughed out loud a number of times, stifled unsuccessfully.
What can I say? I prefer the novels, which all get five stars in my estimation. With the short stories, characters and places change, and in the end, the listening experience doesn't flow as well as the novels. Would I listen again? Yes. I just want to differentiate my own listening preferences, and I prefer the novels for their succinct flow.
I read the first three Old Man's War books a few years ago, and loved them, but I'd had my fill. I jumped on here with the Human Division and was thoroughly entertained. In some ways, this is better than Star Trek. The characters are more believable and so are the situations. I realize many people would love to see this series wind up on TV, but I'm skeptical, since there have been so many bad sci-fi shows on Syfy and other stations over the years. Only HBO could do this series justice.
For now we have the books and Audible and I'm perfectly happy with those options. Bravo!
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