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review 2017-04-21 02:21
Old Man's War by John Scalzi - My Thoughts
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi

I've been eyeing Scalzi's work for a while, but not being a huge sci-fi fan, I've always tended to pass over his books.  But after getting hooked on the TV shows The Expanse and Dark Matter, and reading the first of the Expanse books and loving it, I decided - after a quick check with some long time friends - that it was time for me to try Scalzi out.  It helped, of course, that the book was on a really good sale.  :)

And I liked it.  :)  Military space opera.  A protagonist that's closer to my age than most others these days and some really intriguing future world-building that wasn't too scientific for me.  I don't enjoy reading scientific treatises, you see.  And quite frankly, that's why this isn't 4 stars - there was a little too much techy-techy, OMG what are we going to become etc... for me.  I felt like this book was a good tale, a romp with some great characters and terrific bantering dialogue and those few parts that were of a techsophical bent just seemed preachy to me.

Anyhoo, I really did enjoy the book.  Enjoyed Scalzi's voice for the most part and will indeed read further in the series.  When they go on sale again.  *LOL*  The budget, man, the budget!!


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review 2016-09-11 18:35
Reborn at 75....
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi,William Dufris

When I turn 75, if I have a chance to get my young, toned, wrinkle-free, 20 year old body back- with improvements, in exchange for a stint in the military (hence the title Old Man's War), I'm going for it- you won't have to ask me twice! All aging adults are given this option by the Colonial Defense Forces, who are responsible for seizing and colonizing surrounding planets. When the main character-John Perry, turns 75, he goes down to the enlistment office & signs on the dotted line. The story follows him as he is sent off to space and reborn into a young CDF soldier.


I've always heard great things about Scalzi but this is the first time I had a chance to see for myself & I wasn't disappointed. He is a fantastic writer! I really enjoyed his ingenious technical concepts & creativity the most. He really nailed the hard science. He literally broke down the science to a level where you think- hey this could work and truly made the unbelievable, believable!


I can't say enough good things about this book. It's now one of my favorite sci-fi stories. I listened to the audio version and the narrator's performance was above par too. Granted, I do always speed my playback up to 1.3 or 1.4 though so the narration isn't so slow but regardless he still made a 5 star book even better. Anyone with a technical or non-technical background, I think can enjoy this book so don't wait like I did, just read it.



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text 2016-09-03 13:31
Reading progress update: I've listened to 86%.
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi,William Dufris

When I'm 80, if I have the option to get my young, 20 year old body back, with improvements, in exchange for a stint in the military (hence the title- "Old Man's War), I'm going for it, even if the cost is a shortened life span! I'm going to die in a few years anyways, so I'd rather die young & vibrant instead of old & feeble! 


*Grave Cupidty: I love it! If only we had the option... *sighs* : )

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review 2015-04-17 02:10
OLD MAN'S WAR - John Scalzi
Old Man's War - John Scalzi

I seem to be on a sci-fi kick right now.


I've read some other books by Scalzi, but I'd never before read Old Man's War, his debut novel. The novel is set on a future Earth in which the elderly are given a unique opportunity: they can sign up with a corporation that, when they turn 75, will give them new bodies and a new career in an interstellar army. They can serve as little as two years. Once their hitch is up, they can settle in any human colony on any planet that strikes their fancy -- or they can re-up. The catch is that they're signing up as infantry; statistically, only one in ten will survive the enlistment period. Oh, and they can never go home to Earth again.

On the other hand, they get downloaded into the bodies of souped-up twentysomething Army men, complete with green skin. As someone who is old enough to have owned a bunch of green plastic Army men, I thought the green skin was a nice touch.

The story is told by John Perry, a former advertising writer whose wife died before she was old enough to join the army. Perry bonds with several men and women before their transformations, and one of the bittersweet subplots has Perry tracking how that one-in-ten survival rate pans out amongst his pals.

I can see why some have compared Old Man's War to Heinlein's work. Scalzi's green army men and women tread some familiar sci-fi ground, including what it means to be human. But the author doesn't delve too deeply into philosophy -- rather, he skims the surface of the big questions while offering the reader an entertaining ride.

I've already picked up the next two books in this series, and I'm looking forward to reading them.

Source: www.rursdayreads.com/2015/04/old-mans-war-john-scalzi.html
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review 2015-01-07 19:39
The Human Division - John Scalzi

I read The Human Division a few months ago. Since I thoroughly hated it, I tried to return it to the library where I got it from, put it out of my mind, and hope that after a few days/weeks/months, I’d have a more favorable view of it in hindsight. But that hasn’t really happened. Honestly, time has only cemented my personal dislike of this serialized novel, so please understand before you go further that I’m not really going to say anything favorable about The Human Division, which might or might not be what you want to hear. But let’s start at the beginning.


A couple years ago I picked up John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War novel from my local library. It had an interesting cover, lots of good word of mouth, and I needed something to read on my family’s beach vacation. Once I cracked the military sci-fi novel open, I was impressed by it. Loved the future universe. Loved the characters. And really enjoyed Scalzi’s writing style.


Fast forwarding to novel (I am using that word liberally with this serialized piece, I know) five of the Old Man’s War series I have to say that Mr. Scalzi has been able to change all my initial feelings. I’ve found novels 3, 4, and 5 to be inferior to the last one. I now find this future universe uninspiring and repetitive. The characters all sound alike to me. And Scalzi’s writing style has fallen into a formulaic pattern that is boring for me.


But what is The Human Division about, you ask?


For those who have not read the previous four novels, I would suggest that you stop reading this review, go read at least the first three before attempting this book, because it cannot be completely understood or appreciated without some knowledge of the previous going-ons in this future universe.


For those who have read the series, this book is basically a serialized mix of thirteen different stories that is suppose to come together to tell the overarching story of the Colonial Union, the Conclave, and the Earth’s ultimate fate as set up by John Perry’s actions in The Last Colony. Some of the stories indeed focus on this main plot line, while others are obviously filler material, even though they throw a few nuggets of information out there for the readers consumption. And though these terrific thirteen do – somewhat – serve as a conclusion to the Old Man’s War series, it was a less than enjoyable one for me personally.


But why, you want to know?


For me (And that is all we are talking about here, since I’m reviewing why I did not enjoy this book) the main problems can be condensed into two over-arching issues: the writing style and the characters similarity.


Like I mentioned above, I loved Old Mans War. While some readers say Scalzi copied (not was inspired by) Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, I personally saw it as more a re-imagining for a new century, and damn, did I like it. It was fresh, fast-paced, and catchy. And the main character, John Perry, was just the kind of guy to lead me on the galactic tour; he was snarky, witty, and a guy who’d seen it all. And when Scalzi followed this up with Book Two: The Ghost Brigades, I couldn’t have been more impressed how he changed lead characters, dealt with some deep philosophical issues, yet still wove a fun military-scifi adventure. But then The Last Colony came along. I saw the warning signs of a standard formula beginning to develop in Scalzi’s work. A formula that made all the people act the same, sound the same, and the story develop and wrap up in the same way. And I’m sad to say this formulaic pattern really reached its pinnacle with The Human Division. Here the same cookie-cutter characters are everywhere, speaking in the same voices, using the same story pattern thirteen times to come to another standard Scalzi ending.


Now, am I saying that is bad and that it means you will dislike The Human Division as much as I did?


Nope. In fact, you might love this book. I myself have some writers that I adore who do the exact same thing as Scalzi in their books: formulaic story with the same archetype characters who are merely renamed. And even knowing that this is what I’m going to get with these authors, I love their novels, adore them even. Somehow, the issues don’t matter to me as I lose myself in the story, and you might be able to do that with this story collection, but I couldn’t. It just did not work for me. Rather it was more of the same old thing regurgitated thirteen times, which is why I doubt I’ll be journey into the universe of Old Man’s War anymore in the future.

Source: bookwraiths.com/2015/01/07/the-human-division-old-mans-war-5-by-john-scalzi
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