I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday.
I visited my wife’s grave.
Then I joined the army
Title: Old Man’s War
Author: John Scalzi
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Format Read: Paperback
Synopsis: In the future, people go into space one of two ways ~ as colonists (which are chosen exclusively from Third World countries) and joining the Colonial Defense Force, which can only be done after your 75th birthday. With his wife 7 years gone, John Perry has nothing else tying him to Earth, so he decides to join up.
But how can you protect the Earth’s interests against the scum of the Universe with a bad back and weak bladder? John has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine―and what he will become is far stranger. And in a war with a 75% mortality rate, what hope do the front line fighters have?
Stand Alone or Series: Book One of the Old Man’s War Series, including The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale, The Human Division and The End of All Things
WHY I PICKED UP THIS BOOK ~ I have been reading John Scalzi’s blog, Whatever, for about a year and thought that since I enjoyed his writing so much, I should probably actually read one of his books. He announced recently that Old Man’s War has been optioned for a movie and this also intrigued me.
WHY I KEPT READING IT ~ The first third of the book, I was absolutely entranced. John Perry, the main character, is a wonderful first person narrator! He is intelligent and interesting. He asks all the questions that the reader wants answered, but does it in such a way that there is no sense of overly long exposition. Sometimes his humor is appreciated by those around him and sometimes, not so much. I can relate to that. The supporting characters are well established, without distracting from the story flow.
I got to a point in the book that I realized I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I had been, but it is really my own fault. When I started to get into the battle scenes, what did I expect from a book with war in the title? But I did enjoy it more than any was story I had ever read. Some of the science was a little over my head, but stretching my scientific knowledge is one of the things I like about reading hard sci-fi, and Scalzi does a really good job of it. There were two big plot twists, one I expected pretty early on but had a really nice pay-off and one that I never saw coming and loved!
All in all, I really loved this book and I look forward to reading more of John Scalzi’s work. (I am already reading another one) He is articulate and crafts a really good tale.
WHO I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ~ My dad, who likes war stories, though not so much Sci-Fi; people who like Robert Heinlein, who is a big influence of John Scalzi