- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Tor; Reprints edition (1 Feb. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330457101
- ISBN-13: 978-0330457101
- Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.1 x 17.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 447,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Ghost Brigades (The Old Man’s War series) Paperback – 1 Feb 2008
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'The Ghost Brigades is amongst the best sci-fi novels I've read in ages and Scalzi deserves a lot of success.'
Hard-core science fiction at its very best, the sequel to his extraordinary Old Man’s WarSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
While not as fantastic as his debut, Old Man's War, Scalzi still sets the bar high with his followup novel, set in the same universe where mankind has ventured out into a hostile universe populated with hundreds of alien species, and responds with engineering, perserverance, and small feats of bio engineering like the Ghost Brigades.
The Ghost Brigades were introduced briefly in Old Man's War in the form of Jane Sagan, a nine year old with some of the DNA of the lead character's dead wife. The soldiers in the Ghost Brigade are grown, given "BrainPal" computers in their head, and then linked to their squad mates.
Jane Sagan plays a back-up role here. The main plot follows Jared Dirac, a Ghost Brigade soldier who is built to put a presumed dead traitor's consciousness inside his head. It doesn't take at first, so he becomes a member of the Ghost Brigades. It does take later, but to detail more would mean spoiling the story.
Scalzi continues to expand upon the universe of aliens he has created, and to explain the science the humans are using to combat them in clear, logical terms. (Science and fiction, get it?) The humans seem to be beset on all sides by agressive aliens, but which side is really the aggressor?
John gets into some excellent philosophical discussions about choice and right to choose, which is right in line with the "created for a purpose" ghost brigades.
An excellent story, a quick read, a new fav author. On to the third in the series.
In the future, humans have gone to the stars, but they aren't allowed to go back. Humans have colonized planets, but they have run up against a number of alien races that don't want them there, and war inevitably develops. Jane Sagan, a lieutenant in the Ghost Brigades (the Colonial Defense Forces "Special Forces"), captures an alien scientist with information about a triple alliance of races who don't seem very likely to ally. They also discover that the instigator of this plot to start a war with the CDF is a human traitor, a genius named Charles Boutin. Before he left, he downloaded his consciousness into a computer, so the CDF decide to clone his body and try to install his consciousness into it, to see if they can figure out Boutin's plan and motivations. It doesn't seem to work, so they give the resulting "person", Jared Dirac, to the Ghost Brigades for their training and use. But as time goes on, the other consciousness begins to emerge, and Jane will ultimately have to determine whether Jared is with them, or that he must be killed.
The Ghost Brigades is an awesome continuation of Scalzi's series, taken in a whole new direction so that it doesn't go stale. He doesn't continue the adventures of John Perry, as that could get boring.Read more ›
The concept of Old Man's War was that old people were put into young bodies on the condition that they would fight in humanity's wars against a universe crammed with hostile intelligences. Here things are even more extreme, with soldiers grown from the DNA of the dead, hence the title. As with any high concept novel, it needs to make the action move sufficiently rapidly to prevent the reader from having time to think through the ridiculousness of the core idea. Here, Scalzi pulls off the conjuring trick admirably.
Scalzi is a writer who knows the genre in which he works intimately, explicitly referencing many other writers. On one level his work could be seen as sitting alongside the ultra violent "computer game" writers like Richard Morgan or Neal Ascherson, but the real feel is of something more old fashioned. The most obvious reference points are Heinlein's Starship Troopers and Haldeman's Forever War. He even treads onto the ground of Philip K Dick in examining what it is to be human.
So what you get here is a mixture of pulp, shoot em up alien bashing, with a bit of cyberpunk style technology, and a cracking conspiracy thriller, with a very heavy nod in the direction of Mary Shelley.
It's not great literature, but if you enjoy a high octane romp, it's a fine piece of entertainment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First half was way too much like the first book with describing how the ghost brigade came to be and in the second half the text was somewhat repetitive i.e. Read morePublished 3 months ago by daniel mcfarlane
great author, great book series. Cant recommend enough.
I purchased the whole series and it doesn't disappoint....more please!!!
A bit of a slow start, but the story picks up half way through and you don't want to put the book down when it reaches its peak. Now on to book #3.Published 6 months ago by MB
This is an Outstanding follow up to Old Man's War.
Scalzi has written this novel in the same excellent standard of the first one. Read more
Too reminiscent of gung-ho Imperialism.
Could have explored the development of The Net and Total Information Sharing. A good pot boiler :-)
It's a toss up between this and OMW for my favourite of the series. Good stand alone read.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
I spent the first book warming up to a great character and enjoying his adventure, looking forward to more i bought this and he isn't in it.Published 11 months ago by Mamba Lev