Title: The Last Colony
Author: John Scalzi
Series: Old Man's War, #3
From the beginning, you know everything is going to go wrong in The Last Colony. But because it's John Scalzi, you know everything will be okay in the end. This was more Ghost Brigades and less Old Man's War—less focus on humor and more on the issues at hand—but I think it's superior to it in a few ways.
John Perry of Old Man's War, now married to Jane Sagan, is uprooted from his colonist life in order to run a seed colony. Called Roanoke. Yeah. Looks like the "last colony" is going to be the lost colony. They even name the village Croatoan. Totally tempting fate.
I was kind of annoyed by this for a portion of the book, saying, "SCALZI, you are better than this!" but he actually manages to subvert the "haha, ship named Titanic trope" a bit. It turns out that the naming wasn't so clueless after all.
The Last Colony is a bit slow until you start getting to the intrigue, which doesn't show up until half through, but once you get there, it's a book that's hard to put down. Add on Scalzi's ability to write compelling dialogue in light, easy to digest prose, and you have a rather consumable book.
As I was reading the book, I kept feeling like I had issues with it. "I really wish he'd do more with the Obin," I told myself. And then he did. "I really wish he'd do more with Jane Sagan as a character," I sighed. Guess what happened.
Perhaps what made me happiest, though, was the pacing of the ending. I often have a problem with Scalzi's endings; they feel rushed to me. But this time, there was actually a decent denouement and I felt like things weren't wrapped up all at once.
I'm definitely looking forward to Zoë's Tale.