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The Human Division #12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads by [Scalzi, John]
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The Human Division #12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • File Size: 483 KB
  • Print Length: 29 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 2, 2013)
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2013
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AF62F48
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,132 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I guess I was expecting something more cohesive? But each story does contribute to the whole. This has to be a fairly profitable franchise for Mr. Scalzi at 99 cents per installment. So far I've paid 11.88 for 12 short stories. A couple of them took less than 30 minutes to read.

If I was a writer I think at this point I would allow it to evolve into a whole new series. Perhaps one in which young people from Earth and the colonies can enlist and have their 'birth bodies' preserved while they serve. Perhaps the stories could follow several recruits from different places and perspectives.
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This is a review of the entire series rather than this book(let) itself. It's worth noting that I've enjoyed them all about equally.

Scalzi's style is one that I like, and even though I generally find his stuff to be pretty light this does what all good sci-fi should do: show people dealing with a world in which fanciful science-inspired technology exists. That said, I'm not sure that I'm really behind the serial method used to publish this book. The individual stories feel very episodic, much like a Joss Whedon series, and for some reason that's not doing it for me.

I wish that I had bought the book as an entire book (though come to think of it, the chapters might feel disconnected from each other in that case? Hard to say).
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I enjoyed this section of The Human Division. The reason I rated this 4 stars is because of the price, compared to length.

Basically if all of these chapters had been combined into one boot in the traditional way, it would have been a short novel, priced around $8 to $10. Instead at a dollar per chapter, the price comes out a bit higher. I can't say that I haven't enjoyed reading them, and I don't feel ripped off, but the length compared to price is a bit off.

I like what John Scalzi is doing here, but I hope if he tries this again we get a bit more bang for the buck. All that said, I don't regret the buy at all. If you're a Scalzi fan, or a fan of The Old Man's War, you should absolutely but this collection.
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I enjoyed the book, not as much as Old Man,s War but I am a sucker for novels that work in a already defined universe and use characters places and institutions already known to some degree. I also enjoyed the serial nature of the book showing up piece by piece in my kindle a little treat showing up. My only two complaints are first that I feel the book cost a bit more this way than Mr Scalzi's novels when I have bought them whole. Second it did not end at all as far as I am concerned it was just like the finish of one of the pieces I had already received no resolution to the main story at all. I would continue to buy books in this universe regardless I don't like being suckered into going on. I still enjoyed I would just rather it book have a resolution like all the earlier works he has done.
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I appreciated that the head-cracking in this story is both literal and metaphorical. We end up following a character who is back on Earth after some adventures on the Clarke, and we get another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that is this story.

Read if: You are breathlessly awaiting the last installment.

Skip if: You have mind-control nightmares.
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I still really, really don't like what Mr. Scalzi has done with his serialized ebook, but this actually was a good, albeit short read. If I hadn't fallen asleep ( not a comment on the writing, more my sleep apnea ) it would have been a half hour or less read.

I won't spoil it, but I did enjoy it ( I begrudgingly admit )
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By CJT on April 19, 2013
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Just as stated above I love this writer, in fact old man`s war is what got me reading space ScFi to begin with. Since Red Shirt the stories are still interesting, but incomplete. All the Human Division stories are good, but read more like a long chapter and not a book. That being said it probably worth the $.99.
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If you're this far gone, then you must think, this is the 2nd to last book in the series, it's bound to get better... It won't. Oh, yeah, and this is not the 2nd to last book in the series, it's the 2nd to last book in the FIRST PART of the series. GOTCHYA! You thought this was it? HA HA HA, GOTCHYA! Scalzi put out a terrible series and just when you think it's over, it's not! GOTCHYA
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