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The Last Colony | [John Scalzi]

The Last Colony

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up. That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game.
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Publisher's Summary

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.

That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game - as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.

Listen to Old Man's War .

©2007 John Scalzi; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"Scalzi's captivating blend of off-world adventure and political intrigue remains consistently engaging." (Booklist)
"The sequel to Old Man's War combines taut military action with keen insights into the moral issues revolving around developing technologies. Scalzi has a finely tuned sense of balance between personal drama and the 'big picture'....Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 06-19-13
    Katherine St. Johns, FL, United States 06-19-13 Member Since 2009

    I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!

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    "3.5 stars"

    Originally published at FanLit.

    The Last Colony, the third book in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR series, returns us to the perspective of John Perry, the “old man” hero of the first novel in the series, Old Man’s War. John Perry is only mentioned in the second novel, The Ghost Brigades, which told the story of how the cyborg Special Forces soldiers found and defeated the scientist Charles Boutin, a traitor to the Colonial Union. On that mission they also found Zoe, Boutin’s young daughter. Zoe has been adopted by Jane Sagan and John Perry and the little family has been farming on one of Earth’s colonies where John and Jane are the leaders.

    Life is easy for them until the Colonial Union comes calling — they need leaders for a new colonization effort and John and Jane have been selected. This new colony (named Roanoke…. hmmmm… I think I wouldn’t have signed up for that) will be comprised of people from several different human worlds and John and Jane are responsible for its success. However, the Colonial Union hasn’t been completely honest with them. It will be a lot more dangerous than the members of Roanoke have been led to believe. They are being played as political pawns and they don’t realize it until it’s too late. And it’s not just Roanoke that’s in danger, but the entire human race.

    The Last Colony (I keep wanting to write “The Lost Colony”) has a different tone than Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades. It takes place mainly on a planet, rather than in space, and deals mostly with domestic and political matters rather than space battles and espionage. Some of the political dialogue between characters we don’t know is dull, especially if you’re hoping for lasers and explosions, but Scalzi continues to explore the interesting theme of access to information and the problems that occur when the government controls the press. When and how should governments control information? That’s always a relevant topic, isn’t it?

    Like its predecessors, The Last Colony features John Scalzi’s engaging writing style and ultra-competent well-developed characters. Some of these are characters we already know and love (John and Jane) one is a character we are happy we’re getting to know (Zoe) and some are new characters that Scalzi makes it easy for us to love (e.g., the Mennonite leader, Hickory and Dickory) or hate (e.g., the journalists). And some are there to show us that our first impressions aren’t always correct.

    I mentioned in my review of The Ghost Brigades that the political situation was getting murky and it gets even murkier here. It is not clear to us (or to many of the characters) whose side we should be on. Readers may find it discomfiting to realize they are having trouble sympathizing with their home planet. It may be even more discomfiting to realize that Scalzi’s story doesn’t have to stretch the imagination too far. Sometimes “human nature” is not a pretty thing, but it’s what we know. What if someday we find ourselves needing to interact with beings who have a non-human nature?

    You can probably read The Last Colony without having read the previous books, Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades, but you’ll have some catching up to do. It would be better to wait on this one until you’ve read its predecessors. They’re both great books, anyway. The fourth book in the OLD MAN’S WAR series is Zoe’s Tale which tells the story of Roanoke colony from Zoe’s perspective. It’s mostly the exact same plot as The Last Colony with a few side adventures for Zoe. If you’re only interested in the plot progression, you can skip Zoe’s Tale. If you’re interested in getting to know Zoe, you should read it.

    I’m listening to William Dufris narrate OLD MAN’S WAR. I think he’s amazing. Macmillan Audio produced this installment.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Cornwinkle San Francisco, CA USA 02-21-12
    K Cornwinkle San Francisco, CA USA 02-21-12 Member Since 2008

    Say something about Yusef. Uh...he was a great horn player?

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    "NOT a worthy sequel to Old Man's War"

    this is one of my few recent listens that I did not finish. Not because it was SO bad but because I felt like my reading time was worth more. The conspiracy just doesn't seem to match the highly technological universe in which the story is set. Most of the tension of the first book -the one way departure from Earth etc -is not here

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 02-10-14
    thomas charlotte, NC, United States 02-10-14 Member Since 2012

    I work full time in Financial Services, teach part time, listen to music (a lot) and love Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction.

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    "Entertaining and Thought Provoking"
    Would you listen to The Last Colony again? Why?

    No, but that does not diminish the fact that this was a very good series. Modern Sci Fi in a Golden Age coat. Great characters, well plotted with big ideas about humanity, relationships and the ability to find truth in a tough universe. I really liked it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Perry. But I say that with some trepidation. Jane Sagan, Zoe and the rest of the characters were people that I was interested in and to me that is the sign of solid characterization. John Perry here is the character that you came to rely on, both in terms of action, intellect and the emotional arch of the story. I will miss him.


    What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought he was spectacular. I don't know honestly how he did it. He brought life to the characters and enriched the story.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I typically listen to Audible in my car and at the gym. But if a book really grabs me I will take it home and listen in my office. This book was one where I just did not want to stop listening. This is true about the entire series. A wonderful story with great characters and a clever plot.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has gotten good reviews. I agree with them and highly recommend The Old Man's War Series Books 1-3. Fundamentally however this is classic space opera with some conventional plot devices. So if you are into classic Sci Fi, I think you will very much like it. I am glad I finally got around to it on my Wish List.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DocJim Low Prices,Great Service - Please Keep it that way! 08-02-13
    DocJim Low Prices,Great Service - Please Keep it that way! 08-02-13 Member Since 2011

    Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist

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    "A nice balance of sci-fi battles plot twists"

    This could be said about most Scalzi books. Sci-Fi is fun, and nothing better than a great space battle. But without a plot, it becomes formulaic. Scalzi can write battles, comedy (SEE: Red Shirts, the rewrite of Fuzzy Nation) and deep sci-fi (see his contributions to: METAtropolis).

    This series is in the middle. Fun battles with great plot twists. If you have not yet become a Scalzi fan, you are missing out on what the next generation will call "classics”.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert College Station, TX, United States 01-30-13
    robert College Station, TX, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A bit too in touch with his feminine side..."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Teenage girls...under 14


    What was most disappointing about John Scalzi’s story?

    Predictable.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of William Dufris?

    Someone who can portray a young girl's voice without the whining.


    What character would you cut from The Last Colony?

    Zoe


    Any additional comments?

    Sometimes new ventures don't work out...keep exploring.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Montclair, NJ, United States 12-04-12
    Michael Montclair, NJ, United States 12-04-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent But Different"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. it was an excellent way to tie up the series.I know there is also another book from Zoe's point of view but for the story as a whole i really enjoyed the way Scalzi brought it together.The Last Colony is somewhat diferent that Old Man's War or The Ghost Bigrades...same Scalzi, MUCH less action. If you are expecting big battles (or even a lot of small skirmishes) this is not your book. This book could stand apart fror the Sci Fi genre & be set anywhere in history; I think that is testament to Scalizi's talent!.Once again William Dufris does a wonderful job. I think he really captures the different personalities and tells great story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katya A new york 09-24-13
    Katya A new york 09-24-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Not the best in the series, but good book still"

    "The Last Colony" is not up to the level of its predecessors, which were some of the better science fiction I've read, but a great fun read (listen) still. The action was fast paced, the touch of humor, characteristic of Scalzi, excellent and not overpowering, just integral to the appropriate characters.

    The narrator did a great job adding individuality and personality to characters, but i wish at least 50% of "he said' and "she said" was edited out. Isn't that the point of using different voices for characters - to reduce unnecessary annotations? Also words 'colony' or 'colonist/s' are in almost every sentence, which is a little jarring, i imagine synonymous words could be used every once in a while.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 06-18-13
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 06-18-13 Member Since 2011

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

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    "2nd listen-even better series than the 1st time"

    I decided to re-listen to the entire series once more prior to listening to The Human Division. On first reading/listening, the novels were so involved and the plot intricate with sub plots and story arcs that I lost my sense of direction. This second listen is an excellent time to pick up on things I had missed previously...especially since I seldom "Just Listen". More frequently I'm doing something else and it's easy to get side tracked.

    The Last Colony of Roanoke (yes, like the Lost Colony in the 1600's in Virginia) was especially confusing for me the first listen...Perhaps because when I played it I was still deep in The Sagan Diary-which I really loved and which was so well written and narrated that I couldn't get it out of my mind.

    Now I'm 2/3 of the way thru The Last Colony and find the plot to be quite exciting and involved, with many intricacies-plotting aliens, lying Colonial authorities, colonists deciding they can go their own way and not follow the directions given by the colony leader-and getting killed by native creatures, threats of colony termination from a group of aliens who want to run settlement rules and so on...but really good writing and narration makes it much easier to follow this time.

    I very much recommend this almost old fashioned type of SiFi story. It's not Star Trek, thats for sure.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenton Highland Park, IL, United States 12-28-12
    Kenton Highland Park, IL, United States 12-28-12 Member Since 2007

    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.

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    "If you've read Zoe's Tale, don't bother."
    Any additional comments?

    Actually read Zoe's Tale first by accident. LOVED it. So much more emotive and quirky.

    Last Colony just fell flat for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Marsh 08-10-12
    Jeff Marsh 08-10-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Good book, not as good as the others"
    Any additional comments?

    The first two books were really good. I read the synopsys about this book and thought... ehh, maybe not.

    Don't get me wrong, It was a great book, but compared to the others it lacked. Maybe thats not fair, but still worth a listen if you have the background of the other two.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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