Forever Free is a continuation and development of many of the elements present in its predecessor - The Forever War. For instance, the nature of combat, specifically it's affect on the psyche - on man as a being, whilst highly important in the first book, now gives way to analysis of a life without combat for one who has lived so close to it. Ultimately Haldeman moves into increasingly existentialist territory. Having established a character whose life is combat (as far as the reader is concerned) he then utterly transposes the character into a somewhat mundane setting. By creating such a setting Haldeman can ask: what if it were possible to place you life in hiatus, at least as far as your relation to contemporary society is concerned? This novel deals with escape, past anachronism, a failure to adapt, a failure to change. And yes, religion, or at the very least the concept of a power beyond man's imagining. As many have commented, the ending is odd. I should say however that rather than "coming out of nowhere", its a theme which perhaps Haldeman wished to deal with earlier, and possibly felt he did. I will say that the idea of an intellectual, or academic, conception of fate, or as is said in the book, "a truth behind appearance" is fascinating. Haldeman does what one should do in science fiction, he allows us to view our own world, our own lives, and race from a different perspective. I actually highly enjoyed this book, just as I did the forever war. I think there is some trick to identifying the themes which Haldeman is dealing with, but upon doing so, I found the book hugely thought provoking and ultimately rewarding.