Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Shorts

It's been a long time since I've done one of these - just a couple of shorter reviews to whet your appetite...

The Last Colony by John Scalzi
published 2007
320 pages

Synopsis from publisher:

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.

That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game — as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.

My thoughts:

This was a very good conclusion to the Old Man's War Trilogy. I enjoyed returning to John's point of view, and felt like the novel gave a fitting end to John and Jane's relationship. I think The Ghost Brigades was my least favorite novel in the trilogy, and after reading this story I know why - it seemed like it's sole purpose was to bring about the events of this novel. That's not to say it didn't have it's own plot and story arc, but it really feels very much like a bridge novel, which are often the weakest of a series.

Overall, though, I do highly recommend this series. It's extremely entertaining, and gives the reader a great deal to ponder. I will definitely be looking for more by this author!

Finished: 6/12/11
Source: my shelves
MPAA rating: R for violence and language
My rating: 8/10

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
published 2008
335 pages

Synopsis from publisher:

How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?

I ask because it's what I have to do. I'm Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.

Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don't know my tale: How I did what I did — how I did what I had to do — not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too. All of you. I'm going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try to make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope. Everything that happened, bringing us to Earth, and Earth out of its captivity. All through my eyes.

It's a story you know. But you don't know it all.

My thoughts:

I really didn't have any intention of going back and re-reading this novel - it was one of the first books I reviewed for this blog back in the olden days, and I loved it then, but didn't have plans to revisit it. However, once I finished The Last Colony, I couldn't help myself - I had to spend some time with Zoe again.

I noticed a few flaws that I (apparently) didn't the first time around, and I did find Zoe's voice to be just a little TOO perfect in a few cases, but mostly I just fell in love all over again. I love the story, I love the character, the tears came in exactly the same place. (Hint: it's on page 322, and it starts with, "I am Dickory.")

This is my favorite novel in a series I enjoy very much. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. I'm very happy I decided to go back and read Zoe's story again - it's a great one.

Finished: 6/29/11
Source: my shelves
MPAA rating: PG-13 for violent situations and some young love
My rating: 9/10

4 comments: said...

Great reviews. I haven't read a book in a very long time, that has brought me to tears. It's been so long, I can't even think of a book at all.

Have a great, safe weekend.

Anonymous said...

Make sure to check out Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation.... Another treat from this gifted author.

Zibilee said...

I had to smile when you mentioned how the one book seemed to be just set-up for the next in the series because I just read a book that was similar to that. I am glad to hear that you had a good time with these, and that Zoe's Tale pulled so strongly at your emotions. Great reviews!

Literary Feline said...

I haven't read anything by Scalzi but I do want to. I like his blog anyway. :-)