Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Review:: The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi

Title: The Ghost Brigades
Author: John Scalzi
Series: Old Man's War, #2
Format: Hardcover
Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Ghost Brigades wasn't what I was expecting, but that was absolutely fine. I certainly wasn't thinking John Scalzi would ditch most of the humor that made Old Man's War what it was. However, it wasn't a problem. The Ghost Brigades still stands up well, even if I didn't feel it was as good as the first book.

It's still incredibly easy to read, has some super fun bits, and does some things I really appreciate. There really is something about John Scalzi's writing for me, even if I feel like The Ghost Brigades suffers from a weak ending like many of his books. It's not entirely that it's page-turning writing... it's just wonderful without being overwrought. (Not that overwrought is always a bad thing for me.)

I really liked the fact that the story in The Ghost Brigades was a new one, rather than trying to continue on the story of the protagonist from Old Man's War. His story was done, and now it's time for a new one. That being said, I really did appreciate bringing in Jane Sagan from the last book as a rather important side character.

But the story wasn't about her. It was about our new protagonist. Who I wish I found more interesting. Jared is a non-traditional member of the Special Forces, who are already as non-traditional as you can get, being genetic experiments made of soldiers who died before they could enlist properly. He's built out of the body of a traitor colonist, to try and get some intelligence on the situation. Except actually getting the mind of said colonist fails initially, so he just has to go along and grow up as much as any child soldiers can.

If Old Man's War was meant to be a nod to Heinlein, I feel like The Ghost Brigades was a nod to Orson Scott Card. We've got a lot of moral complexity going on and child soldiers. The tone even feels more like it's a gesture in that direction, after dropping the humor.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed The Ghost Brigades and am looking forward to reading The Last Colony. In fact, I've already requested it from the library.

1 comment:

  1. *eyes friends* I hope someone has bought me the box set for my birthday like I asked, I really do. You're making me crave some Scalzi time!