Friday, 14 March 2008

Old Man's War

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

I'm still in a SciFi frame of mind and so after reading lots of good things about this book I decided to pick it up and I'm sure glad i did.

This is a book about future war. The galaxy is filled with life and almost all of it is competing with humanity for real estate and this means we have to fight. And it's this fighting that's the real strength of this novel, somehow Scalzi manages to keep it fresh, interesting and exciting each time. I honestly couldn't get enough. In fact I finished the book in just three days (but to be fair it's only about 310 pages long) and am already anticipating the next installment.

One strange aspect of the book where all the references to religion. A lot of scifi stories tend to ignore or downplay religion but in this one belief and ritual feature heavily for both humanity and the alien races which made it feel very Babylon-5-y . It didn't distract too much from the story and I ended up putting it down the the fact the author is American but it did feel a little tacked on but maybe the next book will reveal more.

Old Man's War is a new take on a old idea in science fiction so it's not exactly "where no man has gone before" but stories and myths are reinterpreted in every generation and Scalzi's interpretation is excellent.