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Starred Review. Though a lot of SF writers are more or less efficiently continuing the tradition of Robert A. Heinlein, Scalzi's astonishingly proficient first novel reads like an original work by the late grand master. Seventy-five-year-old John Perry joins the Colonial Defense Force because he has nothing to keep him on Earth. Suddenly installed in a better-than-new young body, he begins developing loyalty toward his comrades in arms as they battle aliens for habitable planets in a crowded galaxy. As bloody combat experiences pile up, Perry begins wondering whether the slaughter is justified; in short, is being a warrior really a good thing, let alone being human? The definition of "human" keeps expanding as Perry is pushed through a series of mind-stretching revelations. The story obviously resembles such novels as Starship Trooper and Time Enough for Love, but Scalzi is not just recycling classic Heinlein. He's working out new twists, variations that startle even as they satisfy. The novel's tone is right on target, too—sentimentality balanced by hardheaded calculation, know-it-all smugness moderated by innocent wonder. This virtuoso debut pays tribute to SF's past while showing that well-worn tropes still can have real zip when they're approached with ingenuity.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left him: he joins the army. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry's service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens. The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring youth. After bonding with a group of fellow recruits who dub their clique the Old Farts, Perry finds himself in a new body crafted from his original DNA and upgraded for battle, including fast-clotting "smartblood" and a brain-implanted personal computer. All too quickly the Old Farts are separated, and Perry fights for his life on various alien-infested battlegrounds. Scalzi's blending of wry humor and futuristic warfare recalls Joe Haldeman's classic, The Forever War (1974), and strikes the right fan--pleasing chords to probably garner major sf award nominations. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This is the work that should have won Scalzi the Hugo and Nebula Awards, and not "Redshirts" (which I did enjoy, but it felt a bit sloppy heading into the third act). Read morePublished 4 hours ago by Space Girl
This is going to make a lot of fans mad but I didn't enjoy this book very much. Lots of exposition, somewhat go-nowhere story beyond the initial premise. Read morePublished 1 day ago by AmazonBuyer175
Great read and world building. Very creative science that seems well within the realm of possibility. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Josh Raab
It was a well written book that kept my attention. In the start of the book there is a great few lines about getting old (the main character is 75 at that point) . Read morePublished 2 days ago by Sisyphus
This is to balance karma from my 3-star review of Zoe's Tale. Excellent read, thank you, Mr Scalzi.Published 5 days ago by Pope Splendiferous VII
A very enjoyable story.
So much so that I am concerned book 2 to be a let down. But even if it turns out half as good as this one, it'll be time well spent. Read more
This is one of the best science fiction books ever, not only in the military sub-genre. Oh, and funny, too, which isn't that common.Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer