The End of All Things (Old Man's War)|Old Man's War|Old Man's War Hardcover – 11 Aug 2015
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About the Author
JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, Lock In, and also Redshirts, which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely-read blog The Whatever has earned him two other Hugo Awards as well. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
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For me, the first novella is the strongest, told mostly from the perspective of a single character who feels solid and interesting. The story is interesting and has much of the appeal of the earlier novels in the CDF universe. I'd probably give this book 5 stars.
A major protagonist of later books is Wilson who was the "science guy" in the Perry books. It was nice to bring back a familiar character but the feeling of solid characterization never quite crystallized with Wilson. The moral ambiguity of the situation the characters are often in makes for challenges with the strength of personality.
One of the other protagonists is an alien, close assistant to General Gau. It is interesting to get the story from his perspective but he's very much a human in a costume rather than really feeling like an alien, and though the story is important and interesting it ends up being the weakest.
So, for me a mixed blessing. As someone who has greatly enjoyed the Old Man's War universe and wanted to know what happens next I got my answer and on the whole I liked it. As a work of fiction standing alone it's not Scalzi's best and I'd recommend going and reading the rest of the series and coming back to this if you love them.
Mankind has been a war in the galaxy for centuries. The human colonies have banded together to form a neo-fascist ultra-state called the Colonial Union. The CU offers the aged citizens of Earth a new life amongst the stars by transferring their consciousness into a bio-engineered, cybernetic, green, humanesque body to serve as soldiers in the colonial defence force (CDF) CDF soldiers have a very short life expectancy because the war is endless and is fierce with humans usually totally outmatched physically by their opponents. Ultimately, the policies of the CU and its cynical treatment of its veterans leads a key character to make his own peace with an alien counterpart to the CU, the Conclave.This book concerns, mainly, the internal pressures within the Conclave brought about by the hatred of humanity by many of the Conclave's constituent races. Attempts are made by many factions to disrupt the rapprochement between the Conclave and Earth; sacrifices have to be made for peace of a sort to be maintained.
Characters from the very earliest stories still appear from time to time to bring continuity. I only wish my conversation was as witty as Harry Wilson's.
It's also political; there are some action scenes but lots of it is about action, consequence and games within games. This can be entertaining :)
I enjoyed this book, and it advances the OMW universe; I just didn't enjoy it as much as those that were written to be novels.
the stories link and cover the same events from different viewpoints, but the weird naming conventions make it tricky to follow over time.
I read the Kindle version, no page numbers, but it displays and reads well.