Sunday, November 16, 2008

Book Review: The Ghost Brigades

(This review contains no significant spoilers for The Ghost Brigades, but it does included some spoilers for Old Man's War.)

About a week ago, I polished off The Ghost Brigades,  John Scalzi's indirect sequel to Old Man's War.  Here is my review:

The Setup

The novel follows Jared Dirac, a member of the Colonial Defense Force's Special Forces, which are colloquially known as the Ghost Brigades, since each member is created from the genes of a dead person.  Dirac is somewhat different from the rest of the Special Forces soldiers, and he was created to fill a particular purpose.  The story examines the meaning of concepts such as identity and conciousness.

What I Liked

  • I was pleasently surprised, when I began reading TGB that Scalzi hadn't chosen to simply write "more of the same," more of what made Old Man's War so successful;  the feel of this newer book is very different from that of OMW, and there's much less emphasis on battle.
  • The examination of the nature of Dirac's identity is interesting, as is the discussion of the Obin's conciousness.
  • The story itself is very compelling.

What I Disliked

  • I can't think of any aspect of this book that I didn't enjoy.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I give The Ghost Brigades 8.5 out of 10.  It's every bit as good as Scalzi's first novel, but quite different.

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