The Last Colony by John Scalzi

It’s good to hear from John Perry again. I missed his presence in The Ghost Brigades. But even better is to meet Jane Sagan again. After listening to “The Sagan Diary” I started to really appreciate her character and the decisions she made between book 2 and book 3. The Last Colony features Jane as a wonderful heroine instead of the stiff colleague she was in Ghost Brigades.

The Last Colony by John Scalzi, hardcover, on a chess board
The Last Colony by John Scalzi, hardcover, on a chess board

I must admit I was a little worried at first. After the intense military themes I’ve been reading from Scalzi, a book on small-town colony politics seemed to be underwhelming. I should’ve known it wouldn’t stay in that mode for long.

In the same style I loved from the other books, the twists and turns in the plot come out of grains of truth presented early on. But the effect they have on the circumstances are exponential. Every scene goes way beyond the facts presented. In the end, you’re left with a climax nothing short of “epic.”

That being said, this seems like a good point to put the Old Man’s War universe on hold in my reading schedule. Scalzi thought so too (for his writing schedule) in the book’s acknowledgements. I have the benefit of knowing that three more books are out there, but I’ve several other books to hit in 2015. If I get in the mood for more Scalzi, I’ll probably take on Redshirts. Or perhaps one of his non-fiction books, You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop.

The Last Colony by John Scalzi

Amazon ; Goodreads ; Wikipedia

Read Scalzi’s blog at

The Sagan Diary

I just recently started The Last Colony, the third book in John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War universe. If you didn’t know, I loved the first two books.

Detailing events that take place between The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony, Scalzi also wrote a novella called The Sagan Diary. He enlisted several friends to create an audio version, which is available on his blog:

The Sagan Diary: The Audio Version on John Scalzi’s blog “Whatever”

I listened to it on Wednesday and thoroughly enjoyed it. The last chapter brought a tear to my eye. I preferred some actresses’ reading over the others, but I thought it was a unique way to present the work.

You probably won’t like it if you haven’t read the first two books, just FYI. But you were going to read them anyway, right? Do it.

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

I enjoyed Old Man’s War so much, I immediately requested the sequel from my local library. The Ghost Brigades did not disappoint. And while so many franchises will rely on its charismatic main character, Scalzi didn’t feel the need to do so – it’s a credit to the wonderful universe he’s created. We take on this adventure from a new perspective, that of the CDF’s Special Forces – often called ‘The Ghost Brigades’ by the rest of the military. I would’ve been perfectly happy to read more about John Perry, but pleasantly surprised to see he only had to be barely mentioned to keep the two books tied together.

Hardcover edition of The Ghost Bridages by John Scalzi, on loan from the Louisville Free Public Library
Hardcover edition of The Ghost Bridages by John Scalzi, on loan from the Louisville Free Public Library

What is the same is the great formula of storytelling. The narrative has just the right amount of foreshadowing, rising and falling action, and explosion-fueled climax. You’ll guess what’s coming, and have a joyous “a ha!” when you realize you didn’t see it coming.

The characters of this book are oddly more appealing to me than they were in Old Man’s War. The 2nd Platoon seemed a lot more relatable than the ‘Old Farts.’ Maybe that’s just a testament to how young I actually am.

If you enjoy science fiction or military fiction and aren’t caught up on Scalzi, holy cow, now is the time to join me. I don’t want to give away any plot here because it’s just too enjoyable. You may have noticed my pace of reading this year — and how I’ve done a lot more in June than in the earlier parts of the year. John Scalzi earns the credit for that.

Seriously. A fan, I have become. Book 3 is on request already! I’m gonna try to squeeze in some non-fiction quickly while I wait.

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

Amazon ; Goodreads ; Wikipedia