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The Human Division (Old Man's War Book 5) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 513 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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I had skipped the serial method of delivery because I wanted to be able to read through to a conclusion and because I did not want to have one story split into 14 titles on my kindle. So I guess I am still ahead if this is volume 1 of 3, or whatever it turns out to be.
I wish it would have been clear before I bought. This seems so near the border between an honest miscommunication and sleazy marketing that it is irritating.
Books 5-6 don't really carry the story forward. And I can't help but think Scalzi stopped taking the series seriously. Seems like there are more joke-aliens and silly scenarios and he's just "having fun with it", which is fine if I'm reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series which is meant to be a parody to begin with but it makes for a disappointing continuation of the previously serious Old Man's War.
Unfortunately, however, Scalzi simply neglected to provide an ending to the novel. Much of the novel is devoted to describing the various ways in which unknown actors are attempting to sabotage a peace process and a number of other diplomatic initiatives. Suspense is very skillfully built up until the reader is simply aching to know who the unknown actors are and what their motives are... and then the novel simply ends.
Ordinarily, I would give this book 5 stars but this Hideous Sin forces me to deduct two stars (at least!) from the rating. Fortunately, Scalzi has not committed this Terrible Deed in his previous works. If you're curious about John's Scalzi, and I think you should be, you should check out his previous works such as Old Man's War and Redshirts in which he positively shined.
OK, we've got another Old Man's War novel! Great! It's a serialized novel, which is a neat new thing, which incentivizes coherent beginnings and endings to volumes. Although some of us who like their novels, even if they read like collections of short stories, to be in one chunk, because we read it straight through in one sitting. So we wait for the book edition to come out. Also great! Except that it's an unsatisfying read because there's all this awesome intrigue and problem solving and IT DOESN'T GO ANYWHERE EXCEPT A POTENTIALLY EARTH-SHATTERING KABOOM. It's like there's another story that was supposed to wrap up all of the plot lines that got started, and it got left out in a giant editing mistake.
So, great story, great universe, I loved some of the lines, and this is very much the "New" (post-Fuzzy) Scalzi who lets his sense of humor out and isn't trying too hard to become an established sci-fi writer. But, one star off, because Scalzi accidentally the.
(Yes, that was on purpose.)
If all you like about Scalzi is the witty repartee, by all means pick up B Team. If not, this book is itself a B- level effort (C level, really), likely more about the publishers politics/bottom line than about the writing or story.
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