Book Reviews

Book Review : The Ghost Brigades

ghost brigadesTL;DR

While The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi didn’t quite live up to sky high expectations that Old Man’s War set for it, I still found the book to be posolutely absotively fantastic. Overall the story lives up to it’s predecessor, but Scalzi made a few missteps with the balance of his storytelling and technological explanations that he artfully managed to avoid in the first book. To sum it up, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes military science fiction, or just science fiction really. It was a great book.

The Bad

1. The only major complaint I have about this book are one or two instances where I feel like Scalzi inserts a fairly large amount of unnecessary information. The one that comes to mind specifically is a group of pages that go into detail describing the consciousness transfer process. I believe I understand why he did it, I just don’t really feel like it did much for the overall story.

The Good

1. In the first book we followed soldiers who were old and made young again, in this book we follow a young soldier (only roughly a year old at the end of the book) as he discovers himself. I thought the shift between the perspective was clever and well done.

2. The story raises some very interesting philosophical questions that I found to be both engaging and thought provoking.

3. Just as in the first book, his characters jump off the page at you. I almost instantly cared for them and wanted to see them succeed. I smiled at their successes, hurt over their defeats, shed a tear or two over their devastating losses, and felt proud of them for the decisions they made.

4. The book gives interesting insight into several of the alien species that appear in the first book, expanding upon their culture, racial desires and spirituality in entertaining and captivating ways.

5.I loved the end.

The Meh :

I can’t think of much about this book that I considered to be meh.

Story Synopsis :

In this story we follow Colonial Defense Special Forces Operative Jared Dirac. Humanity has discovered one of its best and brightest minds, Charles Boutin, has faked his death and defected to help three alien races as they band together in an effort to exterminate all mankind. Jared is the key to mankind’s defense because he has been made with Boutin’s DNA, and given Boutin’s memories. Unfortunately, things do not work out as intended and Jared doesn’t remember any of Boutin’s life when he is born. We follow him as he learns what it is to be human, what it is to lose loved ones, and what it is to find new loved ones. As Jared grows certain triggers begin to bring Boutin’s memories to the surface and Jared begins changing and remembering. As he changes and remembers, he begins to understand why Boutin has defected. What will Jared decide to do? Will he save all of humanity, or will he align with the cloth from which he was originally cut?


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