Genre: Science Fiction
Date of publication: 2005
ISBN Number: 765-31524-6
Book score: 76 / 100 (Overall Score)
Concept: # 3/ 5
Difficulty: # 4/ 5
Enjoyment: # 5/ 5
Length: # 4/ 5
Reread ability: # 3/ 5
Sequels/Prequels (if any): Ghost Brigade coming September 2006
Film/Animated adaptations (if any): NO
Fan Fiction/Art (if any): NO
I picked this up on a whim mostly because I was intrigued by the premise of a seventy five year old man joining the military.
As the story begins on the main characters birthday, John Perry a widower for ten years decides to join the military fully aware that if he does he will never see earth again.
Scalzi does a good job of injecting humour while characterising Perry.
For example while at the recruitment office he announces his name only to find the recruitment officer expecting him. Yet she still requires him to prove his identification with ID and a hand scan.. she then announces “Your John Perry” to which Peery responds “Now where back to square one”.
After he finishes with recruitment he eventually arrives on a starship where he is given a Varity of tests designed to fine-tune the regeneration process. The next chapter deals with his military training and except for a joke or two is quite standard and uninspired. John surprise, surprise becomes a star cadet and is picked out as future non-con. He then goes through several battles against a Varity of species eventually ending up in the Special Forces comprised of unused templates of bio-engineered soldiers.
While sometimes un-original it runs the gauntlet of from positive views similar to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and times when Perry and others shake their head at the perceived lack of morality in the ad in Haldeman Forever war.
While not an instant classic I’m waiting to find out what happens to Perry after the end of the book and plan to read the sequel.
Good stuff: Military Sci-fi with a new twist.
Bad stuff: Single sometimes it feels formative.