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review 2016-01-17 20:40
Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi
Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi

Agent to the Stars was absolutely fabulous! Scalzi has been on my to-read list for ages, but I just never got around to it. So, when the audio of this book popped up on my Audible recommendations, I snagged it without a second thought. It wasn't until I sat to listen to it that I realized that Wil Wheaton was the narrator. WIL WHEATON! Let me tell you, he's the perfect choice for this story. Sarcastic, and brilliant. More on that in a second.


I think this was the perfect entry point to the world of Scalzi for me. This book is on the shorter side, but (at least according to my Scalzi addicted friends) still has his trademark sense of humor. I was wholly impressed at how easily he managed to mesh together more serious topics with a dry wit that just made me want to laugh out loud. The concept of aliens coming to Earth isn't anything new. However, the way that it's handled here is definitely outside of what we're used to. It was extremely well done, and hilarious to boot! I fell in love.


Now, as a narrator I truly think Wil Wheaton was an excellent choice. He mastered our main character, Tom Stein, immediately. Tom's trademarked dry wit, and no nonsense attitude, came to life in Wheaton's voice. While I admit that Wheaton isn't the best at female voices, he still managed to do justice to all the other supporting characters as well. By the time I reached the middle of this story, Tom WAS Wheaton. Wheaton was Tom. I enjoyed every minute of it.


This just makes me want to go hunt down more Scalzi! If you have some free time, give this audio a shot. It's worth your time.

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text 2016-01-04 15:40
Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi

Listening to the audio of this, and so far it's GREAT! This is the kind of Scalzi I love. It's funny, it's irreverent, and best of all... it's narrated by WIL WHEATON!


Ah. Love. This is how I wanted to start out my year. 

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review 2015-04-09 00:00
Agent to the Stars
Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi Old Man's War is a great read. The whole series is pretty good, in fact. For that matter, the whole series is excellent, and worth reading for anyone who likes a good science fiction adventure story. Agent to the Stars is written by the same guy who wrote Old Man's War (as you can see from the cover blurb over there), so despite this being the author's first book (which was really written as a proof-of-concept for himself), I expected a lot out of it.

The book doesn't disappoint. It's about Tom Stein, a young agent in Hollywood who's given the task of representing an alien race that wants to present itself to the world. The reason they want an agent is because they're gelatinous, and small like farts. They need someone to make them look good, and Tom Stein is the person they want to do it.

The story is a breezy read, and it's a lot of fun. The premise isn't one to be taken too seriously, but Scalzi still treats the story that way. It reminded me a little bit of A. Lee Martinez' works, where you have funny characters and silly situations, but the stakes are still real. Scalzi has a natural style with his narrative, and he creates good main characters. There are some secondary characters who are a bit one-dimensional (the standard Hollywood characters are all a little stereotypical, but they work), but otherwise he creates characters who feel real, and are easy to root for. The book probably isn't as thought-provoking as Old Man's War and its sequels, and it may even be predictable (I, at least, figured out how the book was going to end about 150 pages before the end), but that's not to say that I didn't enjoy it. I enjoyed the hell out of it, in fact.

This was the first non-Old Man's War book I've read by Scalzi, and I'm glad to say that it was just as entertaining as his other books. This one isn't quite as serious as that series, but anyone who's read those books will find a recognizable style. I'd recommend this book to anyone, really. The book is still free to read online, too, so you really have no excuse not to read it.
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review 2014-12-07 21:01
When space comes to you...
Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi

I've come to expect certain things of a John Scalzi novel, and thanks to that, I'm tempted to pick up any of his books pretty much sight unseen. When I saw "Agent to the Stars" on a shelf in my local library on my last visit, I just grabbed it the way you might toss a bag of candy on the conveyer belt at the grocery checkout. And I'm glad I did.


At first, this story about an agent given the most unusual of clients was interesting but nothing special - out main character, Tom, is given a chance to represent an alien race as they decide how to approach humanity. Since they don't look or smell particularly nice to humans, they want help in not being run off the planet at the point of a gun, despite them having no hostile intentions. He agrees, because hey, how do you say no? And then wackiness ensues.


But somewhere in the wackiness, it also got a little bit... I don't know. It got touching. It got sweet, and a little sad. It asked questions about morality and death. In the end, it hit me a little more emotionally than I expected for a story about space aliens and California.


I recommend it. It's a solid, fast read, really enjoyable, and made me cry a little while I was waiting for Jury Duty, which was maybe embarrassing but also

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text 2013-11-27 23:58
30 Day Book Playlist Challenge, Day 23: Ska
Fuzzy Nation - John Scalzi
Redshirts - John Scalzi
Agent to the Stars - John Scalzi
The Android's Dream - John Scalzi

Day 23: Name a book that you enjoyed, but read through quickly without really thinking about it. (Ska)


- - -


Scalzi's stand-alone sci-fi tends to perfectly fit this description. It's intelligent and well-written, but it is also intentionally accessible in a way that a lot of sci-fi isn't. Plus it's funny as hell (if you like Scalzi's sort of humor, which I do). I'm re-reading Fuzzy Nation right now, and it is so. much. fun. It's just my cheese, man.


(Note: Almost didn't include Redshirts, because you could get thinky and emotional about it if you wanted. Especially the ending. But I put it on anyway, because it's such a fast, fun read.)

Source: rosepetals1984.booklikes.com/post/670300/a-30-day-book-playlist-challenge-
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