Monday, November 17, 2008

Book Review: The Last Colony

(This review contains no significant spoilers.)

My recent trip to California entailed about 8 hours of travel each way, and I knew I'd have some time to myself after dinner each night, so I was sure to take a couple of novels with me. I managed to read the final 2/3 of John Scalzi's
The Last Colony on the first day. Here is my review.

The Setup

TLC is the third novel set in Scalzi's Old Man's War universe. The main characters are John Perry, the protagonist and narrator of Old Man's War, and Jane Sagan, who played significant roles in both OMW and The Ghost Brigades. The story follows Perry and Sagan as they establish a new colony planet for the Colonial Union. The colonization effort, as you may suspect, does not go entirely to plan.

What I Liked

  • Scalzi doesn't just give us more of the humorously narrated but remarkably violent battles of OMW or the musings on the meaning of identity and conciousness of TLC. This book takes place in the same universe, but it has a very different subject and tone. The humor is stil there---that seems to be part and parcel of Perry's narration---but story is principally about pollitical and social intrique, which gives the whole book a certain paranoid, tense feeling.
  • The plot holds some twists and turns that keep the reader interested.
  • The characters are interestingly constructed and compellingly written.
  • The universe if very richly imagined.

What I Disliked

  • There is one aspect of the colony planet's ecology that is addressed briefly, but that I think could have been explored more extensively and to good effect.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I give The Last Colony 8.5 out of 10. It's the equal of Scalzi's first 2 OMW novels, but, as I said, is not simply a duplicate of either of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment