John Scalzi: Old Man’s War

John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce—and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.

Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity’s resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You’ll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you’ll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.

John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine—and what he will become is far stranger.

I’m intrigued by this book.

I had to put it down halfway–the parents insisted because we had to have dinner–and I couldn’t wait to get back to it.

But what’s interesting isn’t what I liked about the book as much as why I liked the book despite it’s shortcomings: Old Man’s War a rather flatly written book.

Oh the characterization’s wonderful, the pacing is tight, the worldbuilding intricately executed…but it’s not a book that wows you with sheer impact, and I felt that the book was an almost too even keel.

Still, the protagonist, John Perry, made up for it. He has a wry and sometimes morbid sense of humor that makes his point of view (Old Man’s War is written in first person) a joy to read.

I’m definitely going to pick up the next book…and why did I take so long to pick this one up when I’ve been reading John Scalzi’s blog for so long?

Old Man’s War rates 4 out of 5.

3 Responses to “John Scalzi: Old Man’s War”

  1. 1 Becca
    August 11, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Dude, I love that book! And the next two! And I thought the very same thing as I’d been reading his blog forever before I read the book. Oooh, read The Android’s Dream too!

  2. August 11, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    You’ve got me interested.


  3. August 12, 2007 at 1:58 am

    I’ve been reading Scalzi’s blog for quite a while, too, and haven’t gotten around to reading this. I will eventually. First I much catch up on Mount TBR.

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