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16 Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but jerky (for obvious reasons)
I enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed all of the Old Man's War series. But the nature of it was evident in that it was made up of 8 or 9 separate stories published separately and stitched together. Thus a bit sequential and "jerky". Sort of came to a slightly sudden ending suggesting more to come, which is again all right but unsatisfying somehow. Also it was an...
Published 15 months ago by F. Gamble

versus
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a novel
Firstly, this is not a novel, at least not a standalone one. Firstly, you should have read Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy before reading, and secondly, it does not have an ending, it just stops. I can only assume there will be more stories in the OMW universe; however it is an open question as to whether I shall bother reading them.

About a decade ago, John...
Published 6 months ago by John Middleton


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but jerky (for obvious reasons), 20 July 2013
By 
F. Gamble (Uganda) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed this book as I have enjoyed all of the Old Man's War series. But the nature of it was evident in that it was made up of 8 or 9 separate stories published separately and stitched together. Thus a bit sequential and "jerky". Sort of came to a slightly sudden ending suggesting more to come, which is again all right but unsatisfying somehow. Also it was an expensive Kindle buy at GBP 10.04 (which is not a reason to downgrade the stars but is worth noting).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really a novel, 31 Mar 2014
By 
John Middleton (Brisbane, QLD, AUST) - See all my reviews
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Firstly, this is not a novel, at least not a standalone one. Firstly, you should have read Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy before reading, and secondly, it does not have an ending, it just stops. I can only assume there will be more stories in the OMW universe; however it is an open question as to whether I shall bother reading them.

About a decade ago, John Scalzi published OMW, got a blurb saying it was like Heinlein (Starship Troopers variant, not I Will Fear No Evil or Time Enough for Love variant) - and it was pretty darn good military sci-fi. Then the next few books set in the OMW universe got squishier and squishier, to the extent that vol 4 was not only a retelling of vol3 from a different viewpoint, but that viewpoint was of a teenage girl and the book was targeted at a YA market.

Scalzi's a pretty good writer, so he could pull it off. But at some point it stopped being what made me want to read it in the first place. Apparently, Scalzi no longer to wanted to write it either, so he took a 5-year break from it.

The Human Division is, then, the triumphant return…but while its good, and not as limited as you might think from being assembled from 13 standalone e-pub stories, its just that it does not have any closure. It ends. Threads are not just dangling, the whole loom is just sitting there. Its also more intergalactic politics than military sci-fi (but I was at least aware that ship had sailed some time back).

Honestly, I'd say wait and see if there are sequels planned and actually published before you run out and buy this. Otherwise, this smells like a scam to take advantage of e-publishing and micropayments, and while fixing up short stories into a book has a long and honourable history, well, I've never met a collection with a softer ending than this before. There are some good moments here, but no (or very little) payoff for a lot of buildup.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're a fan of Old Man's War - this is a must have., 9 May 2013
First and foremost - this is the collected works of the e-series recently serialised at the beginning of the year. There are two more extra pieces included in this print collection but they will be available as an e-format at some point down the line.

It's worth noting this if you have already got the e-version of the stories.

In regards to the stories themselves: If you're a fan of the Old Man's War series - this is a must read. The stories, pacing, characters are all as you would expect from John Scalzi. I think his writing has gone from solid to strong since Old Man's War was released and this is some of his best work.

There's no spoilers in this review but I will point out that these stories focus on Harry Wilson and the Diplomatic Corp of the CU...given the CU are frantically scrambling to achieve some semblance of balance from the consequences and fall out of events from 'The Last Colony'.

To summarise - if you're a fan of Old Man's War and haven't got the e-version (or just want a copy in print) this is for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and enjoyable, 1 Nov 2013
By 
Mark Chitty (North Wales) - See all my reviews
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Originally digitally released as serial fiction, The Human Division is John Scalzi's latest foray into his hugely popular Old Man's War setting, and tackles the events following the end of The Last Colony/Zoe's Tale. While previous novels have focused on the Perry family, this one comes from a fresh, if not entirely different, angle. Focusing on the crew of the Clarke, with emphasis on Harry Wilson and Hart Schmidt, The Human Division is a collection of linked stories set within an overall story arc.

Often taking the diplomatic viewpoint rather than the militaristic stance previous volumes offered, The Human Division is a refreshing change of pace that breathes new life into the series. Scalzi's flair for amusing and enjoyable dialogue mixed in with some genuinely interesting plot points mean that the high points of this novel show him at the top of his game. While not all stories meet the same lofty heights as the best on offer, The Human Division is certainly a successful return - and continuation - to one of my favourite SF series.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Collection of stories rather than a novel, 5 Aug 2014
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Generally like Scalzi's work, and love the old mans war universe. However this book should be seen as a collection of short stories sharing some of the same characters rather than a Novel.
the characters are ok, but since it's generally short episodes it just feels like the characters go nowhere and it rolls out like a sitcom in space.

In short, this is most likely a setup for the next Old Mans War novel, and may be useful for background but not a novel in its own right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another triumph, 6 Jun 2014
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Loved this series. Drama, black humour, vivid action, realistic characters. Top notch sci fi in a fully realised universe. Can't wait for the next.
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2.0 out of 5 stars generally disappointing, 14 Jan 2014
By 
Barry Carroll "Sci-Fi Fan" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I found this collection of dirty stories to be disjointed and of vastly inconsistent quality. Walk the plank and the art of cracking heads are two of the prime examples of this for me.

I also felt like the author didn't give me enough in the ending which is probably more about driving revenue for the next series than anything else.

I sincerely hope that Scalzi steps up his game and stops publishing work that is far below the quality of his earlier material.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better as a collection, 24 July 2013
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D. P. Evans (Dublin) - See all my reviews
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I know this was written as a series of episodic Kindle stories, but I think it hangs together nicely as a single volume. Its nice to return to the Old Man's War universe, and Scalzi's writing is as good as ever, with interesting (if a bit too "human") aliens and sharp wit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Story, 12 Jun 2013
By 
Robert Lujan (Torrance, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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Enjoying read. Nice tie in with the original old man universe. Looking forward to the next B-Team mission. Well done.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 7 Jun 2013
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Love this book was bit unsure after some of the reviews but it was brilliantly funny and interesting read, the under current of the greater picture kept me actively looking for what was gonna come in the smaller more contained stories. Most of the stories were very interesting and well paced with great characters but once or twice they seemed a tad rushed to fit i assume into the original delivery methods but this did not distract for more than a few seconds. The smaller stories are not stand alone and dove tail very well together which i was surprised at given some comments i had read. In short if you loved the Old Mans War series there is no question you need to buy this and while it does not follow Perry or Sagan the characters are actually much more interesting and fun.
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