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The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2007
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The story revolves around the search for a traitorous scientist, Charles Boutin, who helped developed the Brain Pal technology and the ability to store and relocate a person's consciousness (or, depending on your point of view, their soul). Jared Dirac is a newly created clone (with enhancements) of this person, and an attempt is made to load Dirac's brain with a copy Boutin's consciousness in an effort to find out why Boutin became a traitor and where he might have gone. This attempt apparently doesn't work, and Dirac is placed with a Special Forces squad led by Jane. Dirac's development as a person is the main focus of the work from this point on.
The book starts well, with an action-oriented opening chapter that grabs, but then the next fifty pages drag somewhat, as Scalzi sets up the scenario for the rest of the book and explains the technology and military situation.Read more ›
Make sure you read OMW first. It comes first sequentially, but is also a much better book. While Ghost Brigades uses the same recipe as the first book, it uses inferior ingredients in cooking up a similar piece of fiction.
The protagonist from OMW (John Perry) is missing from this book. The other characters from OMW that DO appear in the sequel are flat. Jane Sagan, who should have a great deal more depth and empathy than anyone else in the Special Forces, is completely superfluous to the story [anyone could have replaced her as the SF commander]. She is not developed one iota from the first book, and appears to have actually flattened in the interim.
Harry Wilson returns in what could have been a great supporting role, but is made completely unnecessary by a scientist called Cainen.
The "mystery" inherent to the story suffers from at least one major plot-hole: no one ever reads the suspect's personnel file. The characters involved ALL have the highest level of clearances, including two generals, one colonel, and a military intelligence officer (Sagan), among others. They live in a world in which the internet more-or-less exists inside everyone's head. Files can be downloaded and read almost instantaneously. While trying to deduce the villain's motivations, it simply never occurs to them to access his file.Read more ›
It's been a long time since I sat down with a new book and read it from beginning to end, probably since Rosenberg's 'Paladins.' Thanks very much, Mr. Scalzi.
In the future, humans have gone to the stars, but they aren't allowed to go back. Humans have colonized planets, but they have run up against a number of alien races that don't want them there, and war inevitably develops. Jane Sagan, a lieutenant in the Ghost Brigades (the Colonial Defense Forces "Special Forces"), captures an alien scientist with information about a triple alliance of races who don't seem very likely to ally. They also discover that the instigator of this plot to start a war with the CDF is a human traitor, a genius named Charles Boutin. Before he left, he downloaded his consciousness into a computer, so the CDF decide to clone his body and try to install his consciousness into it, to see if they can figure out Boutin's plan and motivations. It doesn't seem to work, so they give the resulting "person", Jared Dirac, to the Ghost Brigades for their training and use. But as time goes on, the other consciousness begins to emerge, and Jane will ultimately have to determine whether Jared is with them, or that he must be killed.
The Ghost Brigades is an awesome continuation of Scalzi's series, taken in a whole new direction so that it doesn't go stale. He doesn't continue the adventures of John Perry, as that could get boring.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I had some expectation on what the follow up for Old Man's War, and this was not it. It was better. Learning more about the socitey Scalzi created is wonderful. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jason Kivela
All three books in this series are absolutely excellent. I cannot believe these are the author's first published novels! Read morePublished 7 days ago by chloemarie
Excellent book and gripping story. The pacing is just right, and Scalzi keeps the reader interested and alert. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Martin Wickman
Ghost Brigades builds on the success of the first book and expands the series' universe to new depths. If you enjoyed Old Man's War, you'll love this book as well.Published 10 days ago by Preston Oakley
Ghost Brigades continues where Old Man's War left off, introducing the concept of the ghost brigade. Won't give away what those are. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Scot Campbell
I find John Scalzi's books eminently readable, but lacking. The stories are usually well paced, but the characters are not very well developed, and he is not big on description. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Henrique Capela
outstanding follow-up to the old man's war-better rendition than the firstPublished 20 days ago by Raymond F Gavin