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The End of All Things (Old Man's War) Hardcover – August 11, 2015
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About the Author
JOHN SCALZI is one of the most popular and acclaimed SF authors to emerge in the last decade. His debut Old Man's War won him science fiction's John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. His New York Times bestsellers include The Last Colony, Fuzzy Nation, Lock In, and also Redshirts, which won 2013's Hugo Award for Best Novel. Material from his widely-read blog The Whatever has earned him two other Hugo Awards as well. He lives in Ohio with his wife and daughter.
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A couple of years ago, Scalzi tried something new. Publishing a book one chapter a week at a time. I was so starved for something new in OMW I downloaded the first chapter as I sat down to eat lunch. I was only half done with lunch when I finished reading the chapter. Dang, I thought, that was short. I thought the other chapters would be longer, but instead, many were shorter.
Still, I plugged along, spending 99 cents for short chapters, consoling myself that at least the plot was good. But as I neared the end, I wondered how Scalzi would wrap things up because there were a lot of loose ends. He didn't. He ended the book with a cliffhanger, which meant there was at least one more book to come out to finish the story. Had I known that before I started reading it, I would have been able to adjust my expectations. Instead, the whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth, as though I'd been cheated.
That book was The Human Division.
So now we get to the sequel: The End of All Things
Rather than being one complete book, it's 4 novellas sold as a book. The first novella reminded me of The Hobbit in that Scalzi painstakingly described the setting for pages and pages. The first time I read The Hobbit, I gave up after the first 50 pages because it was all a description of the shire, but there was no action. Boring described it. Fortunately, I gave the Hobbit another chance and the story picked up after about a hundred pages. So, in Scalzi's book, when the adventure began I settled in for a good read.
Which only lasted a few pages. Because that novella had just finished.
The other 3 novellas were written in much the same way.
The only good thing about finishing the book is that it wrapped up the cliffhanger from The Human Division.
But I'm done with Scalzi for the near future. I love his writing style, but I didn't like the way he jerked me around these last couple of years. I get the feeling he was done with the OMW arc a few years ago, but decided to cash on a couple sequels too many.
I'm not going to say I'll never read anything else he writes down the road, but I'll definitely read a number of reviews before I give another of his books a chance.
The second novella concerns itself with the Conclave and the political maneuverings happening in it. It stars Hafte Sorvalh who becomes the Premier of a very divided assortment of aliens and governments.
The third novella tells about current events from the viewpoint of Lieutenant Heather Lee who is leading a platoon of Colonial Defense Force soldiers as they are sent to various planets under the control of the Colonial Union that are in various states of rebellion.
The fourth novella brings together Lieutenant Harry Wilson, Ambassador Ode Abumwe, Ambassador Danielle Lowen, Premier Hafte Sorvalh, and other characters from earlier books in this series as they figure out a way for all three rival groups - the Conclave, the Colonial Union, and Earth - to find a way to defeat the Equilibrium and find a way to live in peace.
This was an excellent story with memorable characters and great world building.