“Don’t try to second guess an author.” This is going to be my rule from now on with John Scalzi: Don’t try to second guess an author. After all, it is his book, he is writing it, he decides where it should go and how it should get there. My job will be to read what he writes.
When I finished reading “Old Man’s War” I figured that I would just slide right into “The Ghost Brigades” by taking up with Jane Sagan and John Perry as they set up housekeeping on a colony far, far away. Was I ever wrong. Wrong in a very good sense. John does not make an appearance in this novel, although he is spoken of. Jane made a short appearance in the beginning of this story but is very involved in the second part of the book. I learned so many interesting things about the actual creating of a soldier who will serve in the Ghost Brigades. Science fiction is rather new for me so at this point in my reading of this genre the story and the situations have to be explained to me in such a way as to make me understand and accept th…
The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF’s toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.
The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it’s about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.
Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers — a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin’s DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin’s electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.
At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his “father,” he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…
If you liked the Old Man’s War you should like this book as well. I didn’t like it quit as much as the first book in the trillogy but definetly enough to want to read the third book. If you like good old science fiction you should like these books….
Quality Character-Based Sci Fi
The story follows an atypical member of the Ghost Brigades, Jared Dirac. Jared’s body is a clone designed to reintegrate the mind and memories of a traitor, Charles Boutin, who is helping an alliance of races plan a war against the CDF. The mind transferal doesn’t work, so Jared enters the service as himself. However, a series of events begin to trigger memories, which eventually leads to a mission to extract Boutin and uncover his secrets.
What I like best about Scalzi are his characters. Every person in the book has a well-developed, unique, believable personality. Even better, their personalities are not static, but change and mature with events. This is true of every character, but especially so for Jared. As a newly created being, Jared struggles to understand the world and his place in it. In an interesting scene, Jared reads Shelly’s Frankenstein to find parallels to his own situation. Is he truly human? Does he control his own destiny? You come to like and care about Jared, which is good, because the book is more about his journey than it is about military operations or galactic politics.
As much as I liked the book, I can’t quite give it five stars. The overall plot and action sequences were not as satisfying as Old Man’s War. Still, it is a top-notch sci fi tale. I give it 4? stars.
Excellent addition to “Old Man’s War”
Much stronger than the first book
I’m happy to say that Scalzi has answered my concerns in this volume. The characters are much more complex. There are psychological motivations for the plot that go beyond “They think we’re yummy.” If you liked parts of Old Man’s War, but wanted meatier characters, keep reading.
I can see why fans of the Military Action SF genre might not have liked it as much as the almost pure adventure of the first novel, but for the rest of the Science Fiction community, this is a solid step in the right direction for a very promising author….