Sunday, February 23, 2014

Book Review: The Human Division by John Scalzi

The Human Division by John Scalzi

Hardcover, 432 pages

Published May 14th 2013 by Tor Books

This is the 5th book set in the Old MAN’S WAR universe, the original trilogy is my favorite series of 21st century science fiction novels. I have blogged reviews for the trilogy before. Old Man’s War was the story of John Perry who a few hundred years in our future turns 75 years old and joins the deep space war effort. With a new body he joins the fight in a future that is somewhat of left leaning take on the classic Military sci-fi mold introduced in the Heinlein classic Starship Troopers.

I loved all three books in the trilogy and by the time the third book came around Scalzi seemed to me to be exploring the effects of colonialism. Bottom line they are fun, fast reads that don’t make you feel dumber for having read them. I skipped book four which is a re-telling of book three from a different POV was excited to read this book was a collection of stories set away from Perry in the same universe.

You see at the end of The Last Colony (OMW #3) the galaxy saw a huge political shift. This book explores the impact of those events. Following most the members of B-team. Harry Wilson commands a diplomatic ship named the Clarke and is given a huge mission after he saves the ambassador of an alien species in an impossible situation.

This is basically a collection of stories, many could be read as stand alone’s but they tie together nicely and I think it is fair to say it is a novel. That said he switches up styles often enough, that I enjoyed seeing the subtle differences. While it doesn’t have the strong characters as the trilogy it has other trademarks of Scalzi’s work. Gee-whiz ideas, strong plotting and and laugh out loud funny parts. Not as strong as the first two Old Man’s War books but an entertaining read. Make sure you start at the beginning.

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