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Satisfying Completion to The Last Colony
on August 5, 2016
Much of this book is a repetition of the original story in The Last Colony. Since you may already know that, I will attempt to avoid more disclosures that could be spoilers. While you many know the past, you start right away seeing things from her perspective. She is a teenage girl right out of 1960's Iowa, pure and simple, living in idyllic Huckleberry. How she became that girl is glossed over, as it is in previous works. One would expect a more cautious and wary personality from what we know of her.
Here she is. You learn the backstory first. This young girl has some reason to be jaded or suffering from a sense of victimhood, but is happy and well adjusted to life with her odd parents. Dad is an ancient American, but not as ancient by a few hundred years as he needs to be for this story. Formerly a modern warrior himself he would be capable of wiping out the entire colony personally. Her mom is an artificially created human who sprang full grown into life as an elite warrior, capable of laying low entire Seal teams and dad. How does Scalzi make them loving and caring parents modeled from the days of Leave It To Beaver? I don't know. He sort of slips into it in his previous books, but it makes sense in Scalzi's Old Man's War series is as curious a blend of political corruption and idealism triumphant as you would ever read and believe. These people belong in that universe as he pulls that off again. They all must be from Iowa. And the two alien bodyguards? Bodyguards who would easily kill everyone she knows, including her mother, to keep her from any harm and are the representatives of a powerful alien race that worships her. The threat of displeasing her keeps them in line, barely. Now, you may wonder how any adventure could come to a girl surrounded by such an array as this. You don't know teenage girls.
From a teenage girl's point of view of her life on the Last Colony of Roanoke you have: intelligent and dangerous pet alien monsters, slobbery dog, benign neglectful parents with just the right touch of mature wisdom, boys, girls, boys and girls again, politics, an alien planet complete with more aliens, and one other revered meta, keeping important secrets from the adults. You have to love that last one, from Tom Sawyer to Harry Potter, untold secrets are where the drama is.
There's a story for you. Yet you still believe she is just your average middle class 1960's midwestern American girl with an iPad.
She is immediately thrust into an adventure from her agraian life right into the rigors of colonizing an alien planet. Typical of a teenage girl, she discovers the terrible secret of the the mission before her parents, the leaders of the colony. Not by much, but a coup none the less that begins the story of how she and her friends are working their way to the same conclusion of the story as her parents and the rest of the colonists. The story is about her, her female and male friends and how life with the powerless develops parallel to the powers-that-be. She eventually becomes the story and the proud progeny of her parents. Although she's not, really. You may not notice that until you think about it.
She is believable to me in the context of the story, There are some jerks and stops as the story gets started, but then Scalzi has to make this work and he does.
Zoe is sort of like a midwestern Podkayne. The similarities between the two jumped out at me as I started this book. Not that the stories are anything alike other than teenage girl heroines written by male writers. But I think she is the teenage girl men who like women think of, when they are not designing killer aliens and enhanced humans with neat hardware to deal with them.
Definitely worth the read and completes The Lost Colony nicely.