Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Check Out: Old Man's War by John Scalzi

Old Man's War by John Scalzi is the series that made Scalzi. He published his book online free and asked readers to send him money if they liked it. It worked and he got a successful deal with Tor.

What blows you away about Scalzi's writing is how refined everything feels. The writing is crisp and there's no filler. It feels traditional without being tired.

The premise is that old people on Earth are allowed a second life in space . . . if they sign up for a 10 year stint with the military.

It's well written and exciting, but if anything it may be a bit too focused. All three books in the series proper (Old Man's War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony) are that way.

Since the main character in Book 1 and 3 starts out as a private and promotions and assignments are seemingly out of his control or desire, these are very much stories of him making do. There's no epic-ness I guess, even though there's the hint of it throughout. It could very easily be about interstellar war, and Book 3 starts to offer hints of the characters actually beginning to take defining roles in the big picture.

There are two additional sequels. Book 4 states that it is a retelling of Book 3 from a different perspective (which sounds interesting, but not something I would spend money on at the moment) and Book 5, The Human Division, is Scalzi's foray into writing a serial. Again, interesting, but still new so a bit too expensive. Also, there's no promise that it continues with the characters that you want the story to continue with. He's sold me on John, Jane, and even Zoe as characters to care about, but I'm not willing to invest in further entries without guarantee of them taking even more prominent roles in the series. As a serial, each entry/chapter is, not necessarily stand-alone, but well, written like a serial. So I'll abstain until either the price comes down or my luxury budget goes up.

If you're a fan of sci-fi, you've probably already read these books, but I encourage you to check out the first three if you haven't already. Eminently readable, I finished two books seemingly immediately, completely overtaking my sleep cycle, and caved and bought the third the next day.

Thanks for reading!

So have you read Old Man's War or other books by Scalzi? What do you think? Comment below.

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