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A fantastic first novel

Quote-end
12.11.2007

Advantages:
great pace, action, dialogue

Disadvantages:
only 300 pages !

Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:

Would you read it again?

Story

Characters

Readability

How does it compare to other works by the same author?

How does it compare to similar books?

14 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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  1. leafy81
  2. lady-s
  3. plymouth117
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This amazing first novel by John Scalzi is set in a non specific future and begins on Earth. The action soon transfers to the far reaches of space and as the title suggests not everyone is pleased to see us.

Plot
The novel begins on the 75th birthday of the main character, John Perry and follows him as he says goodbye to his wifes' grave and joins the army.

The army is Colonial Defence Force and joining means leaving Earth - forever! The storyline follows Perry as he is trained and enters his first combat.

So why do you have to be 75 to join? Read the book to find out.

The Action
If you liked the Forever War by Joe Haldeman you will probably like this too. The training and battles are realistic with the extra spice available with science fiction.

Human relationships are explored and described including the physical side of attraction.

Chracters
There is a real attempt to define different characters and how these differences influence the characters viewpoint. The moral complexity of the situations that arise is explored.

John Perry the main character is engaging and easy to relate to.

I don't want to mention any other characters by name (too much detail will spoil the plot) but imagine any one of a number of war films where a group of recuits bond, get trained then go and kick butt and you get the general idea.

The dialogue is generally above the usual standard for this genre.

The Science
Great. As science fiction should be - furthering the plot but not used as a quick fix. There are some truly great ideas brought together in this novel (including the idea of a lift into space instead of rockets) but again too much detail would detract from your reading pleasure.

Recommended?
A real page turner of the highest order. At a little over 300 pages this is possible to read in one go but don't - you will want to savour this book.

Published by Tor in 2005, first published in paperback in Great Britain 2007 by Tor an imprint of Pan Macmillan. Info on their website www.panmacmillan.com.

Various offers on Amazon.

Christmas idea: ideal for someone who has read The Forever War.

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Comments about this review »

leafy81 16.03.2008 00:08

interesting review....thanks! ellen x

plymouth117 13.11.2007 12:14

Great review! Tells you exactly what you need to know without fannying about like some of my reviews do. I love Sci Fi and will deffinately be checking this book out now...oh how I miss no longer working at Waterstone's :'(

cat1510 13.11.2007 10:35

Thank you for giving enough info without spoiling the plot. One to watch out for.

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Manufacturer's product description

With his wife dead and buried, and life nearly over at 75, John Perry takes the only logical course of action left:...

Product details

Publisher Tor
Title Old Man's War
Author John Scalzi

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This review of Old Man's War - John Scalzi has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. leafy81
  2. lady-s
  3. plymouth117

and 19 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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