Homer's Travels: Book: John Scalzi's "The Last Colony"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Book: John Scalzi's "The Last Colony"

Last year I read John Scalzi's books "Old Man's War" and "The Ghost Brigades".  I liked both books.  They took me back to my youth when the military space opera was one of my favorite genres.  "The Last Colony" is a good third book in the series.

"Old Man's War" introduced us to John Perry and Jane Sagan (a clone of John Perry's wife in the special forces).  "The Ghost Brigades" followed Jane, fleshing out her character and the world of the special forces.  "The Last Colony" reunites John and Jane, marries them, gives them an adopted daughter (a character from "The Ghost Brigades"), takes them out of the military, and throws them headlong into politics and intrigue.

The story is interesting as we watch the characters adapt to their new roles as colony administrators trying to set up a new colony.  While they are not in the military anymore, there was more than enough action to keep me interested.  I enjoyed it so much that I finished the book in a week which is pretty good for me.

The book is not perfect though.  There is a story line, concerning intelligent life on the planet they are trying to colonize, introduced a third of the way into the book, that disappears and is never resolved.  Many of the solutions introduced during the climax come out of left field and were a bit too pat.  Despite these issues, I really did enjoy the book and if you liked the other two books, I recommend this one as well.

There is a fourth book, "Zoë's Tale",  that apparently follows the same events of "The Last Colony" seen through John and Jane's Daughter, Zoë.  I've read similar books and they are hard to do.  It is hard to make it consistent and original at the same time and the books often feel like a rehashing of an old story.  I haven't decided if I will read this one.


  1. You read interesting things. I'm still trying to finish the Wheel of Time series. I'm on book 10 and it's getting very heavy on sub-sub-plots. I may need a break for something fluffy, like a cookbook.

    A lot of books I really enjoy have flaws too, but the nice thing about fiction is that you can really suspend disbelief and go with it!

  2. Miss McC: My fiction tends to be limited to science fiction with a dash of fantasy mixed in every so often.

    My non-fiction tends to be more eclectic.

    I also tend to be critical even of books that I like. Bad habit of mine.