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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 13 January 2016
The third story in the 'Old Man's War' series by John Scalzi continues the tale of the life of John Perry, an elderly man who left Earth to join humanity's colonial defence force and regain his youth. Now retired, he finds himself offered an opportunity he can't refuse - to start a completely new colony.

Once again it's a fantastic story filled with a rich volume of intrigue, comedy and drama - while a complex plot it's really approachable and manages to avoid the pitfalls that many science fiction stories seem to suffer, such as being unintelligible or dull. The pacing is spot on and the action flows in an episodic manner that still feels naturally continuous.

Despite the time that's passed since I read the first two books, and my memories off then being somewhat hazy, the narrative provides just the right amount of setup to get me back into the world without me feeling overly burdened by recaps and I'm sure this would provide an easy starting point for a new reader to the series.

I love the characters and the humour that Scalzi creates and reading this was another great experience. I'll definitely be looking out for the later books in the series and hope that they continue to be as great.
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on 7 March 2016
With his third "Old man's war" book, I was expecting more of the same, but with the two main protagonists working as a team this time. To an extent this is what happened, but the main thrust of the book; to me, was to expand and bring depth to the universe in which it is set, and in this area I felt it excelled.
We were exposed to many differing alien views on the new Galactic order(the Conclave etc), and how the Humans could fit in, or otherwise oppose it. There was plotting and deception from all sides, and in general I thought it worked. The one exception was the character of Eser, which seemed to me to be just thrown in, to offer a way of giving the main characters of all races an opponent to form up against.
All in all, I now look back at the first two books, and see excellent action, but with only small glimpses of why everything was happening. Things are now much clearer, and I look forward to finding out how Mr Scalzi, make use of this fascinating Galactic mish mash.
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on 1 June 2013
There have been few SciFi writers down the years who could write with wit and humour as well as tell a good tale... and this is the best I've come across since the Stainless Steel Rat more than half a century ago! I don't know why John Scalzi wasn't on my radar before, and since reading this I've downloaded two more of his books to my Kindle and read them both in a couple of sittings. Politics, humour and completely believable worlds flow from his computer keys!
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on 25 July 2015
This has been my favourite in the series so far. I enjoyed Old Man's War but found the writing style a little stilted in places and the universe it was set in not wholly convincing. In The Last Colony the characters are fleshed out and real rather than just devices to move plot forward. Scalzi explores in more detail the political and moral ramifications of Earth's relationship with both the Colonial Union and the rest of the universe and that makes this book more satisfying than a simple space/alien action adventure. I hope there will be many more novels set in this universe to come as the series just gets better and better.
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on 1 May 2016
Working my way through the series as I really like Si-fi human/alien war stories and this has been the best for a long time since 'the forever wars' by Joe Haldeman, but unlike his series were sequels like 'forever peace' were a let down, the Old mans war series have sequels that are as good and gripping as the first book (so far, as I have not read the rest yet).
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on 6 September 2008
Run of the mill conclusion to the series. First 75 pages nothing happens. Then instead of copying the great military science fiction books of the past the author tries his hand at describing the establishment of a colony on an alien frontier which unfortunately is greatly inferior to the awesome Coyote by Allen Steel. Halfway through there is a cool chapter involving only aliens and the Conclave plot. Then it is back to predictable war and the end. On the bright side the story is completed with a reasonable amount of satisfaction without a silly cliff-hanger. A series that should have stopped at one book.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 18 January 2011
You know what you get with John Scalzi - a competently written story that is purely plot-driven. He isn't a fancy writer, in fact I think in the whole of the book there are only a handful of purely descriptive passages. By the end you'll have a unique opinion of what the main characters look like because very little is on the page. That's not necessarily a bad thing.

Where Scalzi is strong is in his grasp of technology, which he slots into the story with an assured hand, and his dialogue which is snappy and charmingly retro.

But when the technology is pulled out of a hat at just the right moment to handle a specific situation, which is glaringly convenient in the first place, it takes the lustre off.

And the dialogue that served as a background to the first two books in the trilogy now makes up the bulk of the novel. There is an awful lot of extended discussion going on and unfortunately a lot of it sounds like the same character arguing with himself. Only the clearly alien Obin has a distinctive voice, though even that voice is just a cagier version of the "regular" speech. Even the main "alien" characters all sound like humans from the fifties. Scalzi isn't even THAT old.

Literally, several times during the novel, a group of characters will discuss some point or other, arguing themselves in circles all using similar idiom and all behaving rationally and even-tempered. Mostly.

All except Jane the female protagonist and wife to the narrator. She gets to be the savage, rage barely-contained character whose handling of the situation we'd probably rather be reading if she was given her wishes, while her old fogey (admittedly in a spanking new body) husband fumes about the indignities being heaped on him.

Couple this with some frankly baffling paragraphs of exposition and several incidents of action taking part off-stage, along with the complete abandonment of a sub-plot half-way through and you have to wonder if Scalzi was giving this work his full attention.

Did I enjoy it? It was okay. It's an easy read with some nice ideas, and I certainly don't regret seeing how the story ended. But after two books full of gene-manipulated super-soldiers battling aliens in harsh environments, I kinda would've liked to see the story capped in similar fashion.
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on 16 April 2013
Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and the series. Well written, good interplay between characters, not too much information given allowing the reader to visualise the events instead of being spoonfed details.
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on 9 May 2014
A book that stands above the mass of most scifi. Clever, humorous, strong and believable story line, well drawn characters. A good galactic romp through a believable future.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 23 July 2013
An enjoyable read with some nice twists, I like that its not really clear who is the bad guys here.
The central characters are interesting and engaging; can be read alone but I would recommend reading the other two first.
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