The Last Colony (Anglais) Poche – 29 juillet 2008
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The only disappointment with the book is the statement at the end (spoiler alert, I suppose) that this will be the final story with John Perry and Jane Sagan (even as it is disclosed that Jane is pregnant). The following book picks up with their adopted daughter, Zoë, and I'm just beginning that story now.
These books by John Scalzi have brought me back to reading science fiction, after several decades away. Scalzi's style of writing is very reminiscent of Robert Heinlein, and since Heinlein was my favorite author as a youth, I've found myself quickly drawn to these stories. I'm working my way through the series and coming to them late, as I have, has been beneficial since I'm able to read them one after the other, without waiting for each to come along. I'll be through the five existing books well in advance of the publication of the sixth later this year.
Books in the 'Old Man's War' series, to date:
Book 1: Old Man's War (2005)
Book 2: The Ghost Brigades (2006)
Book 3: The Last Colony (2007)
Book 4: Zoe's Tale (2008)
Book 5: The Human Division (2013)
Book 6: The End of All Things (to be released August 11, 2015)
The book’s focus is not on the struggle to adapt to a new world; instead, its focus is on the effort to colonize a planet that multiple alien worlds may wish to have for themselves. But compared to the first two books, this book contained less soldierly-fighting and more inter-galactic intrigue (which I preferred). Indeed, I especially liked this book’s basic storyline. The plot made the phrase “do you know who your enemies really are?” come to mind. And, like the first two books in this series, the main characters were presented with intelligence and compassion.
One oddity to the storytelling: The planet contained intelligent and organized beings, but they only appeared briefly within the story and then were never mentioned again. So they were just an interesting distraction that did not contribute to the basic storyline.
Bottom line: Good plot; good characters; satisfying ending. Certainly better than your average sci-fi.
Perhaps I missed too much by not reading the Ghost Brigades first, but the main character John Perry's frequent statements that he, 'was a soldier' fall very deaf to me to the point of irritation. 'Military People', tend not to talk in circles with a lot of sarcasm, and innuendo. Military people talk directly, clearly because their weapons are not words, but bullets, bombs, missiles, etc. Their world requires clear, communication, where as round about talk will get you and others killed and you lose.
From his writings in this book, I doubt very much if Mr. Scalzi was ever actually in the military. John Perry, whose conversations are usually interesting and clever, talks like a detective (this book is a detective mystery, what real action there is, is short and quick) Like a police man, a counselor, a teacher, a minister, prison guard, etc,. John Perry's words are his primary weapons and what dominates and carries this book. lots of words and talk.
And, in the same vein, I found Jane to be a most unbelievable 'special forces'. Again, I believe Mr. Scalzi's lack of a real military background is obvious here. ' Special Forces', now days, is a generic term. Within 'special forces', today are Delta, SEALS, Rangers, Green Beret, SAS, maybe Marine Recon. Mr. Salzi would have been better served to create some 'Galactic Rangers', or 'Cosmic SEALS etc. He is very creative, would not have been hard. No Ranger or SEAL would ever refer to themselves as, 'special forces', they are a, 'Ranger', or a, 'Seal'. Her performance as.any of the listed above REAL special forces..is not very credible, again, to the point of annoyance. There are a lot of good examples of 'realistic military type' characters in many mil sci fi books. Any reader of more than four mil sci fi books can pick this out.
The actual plot of this book ends way before the book does. And, again, after the plot is really finished, there is a lot of dialogue, conversation, blah, blah, blah to bring all the various loose ends to an end. Perhaps Mr. Scalzi feels all those words and conversations are necessary, but I suggest that he should try to do it more quickly...much like he does with his actual brief action scenes. I actually believe that the action passages were done well, but it was like something that Mr. Scalzi HAD to do, and he hurried, so that he could get back to what he enjoys more, talking, clever conversation, dialogue with a lot of sarcasm.
Through all the talk, like at least another reader, I became bored with the characters and their continual clever banter and inner turmoil, and I really did not care if they lived or died. And the thought of reading an entire book based on Zoe's angst sounds horrible. Maybe Mr. Scalzi wants Divergent or Hunger Games type success...young girls, inner angst, conflicting views about womanhood, relationships, love complicated by the constant presence of Obin...sounds like more blah, blah, blah.
Another reviewer put
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