After the galaxy changing events of 'The Last Colony,' Scalzi's follow up novel, 'The Human Division' is a much lower key affair. It's also a desperately episodic book, far more a collection of linked short stories than a novel proper. The biggest saving grace is that they are, in the main, good short stories and they manage to paint an interesting picture as the interplanetary politics.
The book centres, more or less, on the efforts of a small diplomatic team who are sent through out the human sphere of influence in order to deal with whatever crisis situation has emerged. Unlike the previous books in this series, The Human Division really has very little of either the military, or technical obsession and instead is flavoured by an attempt to explore the characters of the people involved in these affairs. If it weren't for the episodic nature of the stories, which sadly does dragged the book down, this could have been Scalzi's best work. As it is, it's still a good and enjoyable read and shows sighs of the writer's growing maturity.