11 August, 2020

[Review] Old Man's War (Old Man's War #1) by John Scalzi

51964 Cover image from the goodreads website.

Series: Old Man's War
Release Date: 15 January, 2007
Publisher: Listening Library/Tor Publishing
Genre: Adult Fiction/Science Fiction
ISBN: 9781524767105
Edition: Audiobook (also available in Kindle, Hardback, and Paperback)
Rating: ★★★★
Review Written: 9 July, 2019
Warnings: War, medical science fiction, a lot of pointless killing
Summary: John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army. The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-- and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding. Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets. John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger.

See more by John Scalzi at his Website.
I read this book for the Charlotte Sci-Fi Book Club, and probably wouldn't have picked this book up left to my own devices.

Old Man's War is set in a hypothetical version of our current world, where humans upon reaching ages 65 and up, are pushed to enlist in the Colonial Defense Force. The catch, once you join the Colonial Defense Force, you cannot return to Earth. You are declared legally dead and all of your possessions go to your next of kin. John Perry decides after the death of his beloved wife that he has very little left on Earth. Thus, he signs up for the Colonial Defense Force.

At first it doesn't seem too bad, he's taken to a space station and then a ship hundreds of light years above the Earth. He makes some friends along the way, before finally the mystery is solved. Rumor had it that when you joined the Colonial Defense Force they made you young again. The truth is, they replace your body with one that is very much a genetically modified one to make you a super-soldier... but nobody ever mentioned anything about being green.

Perry soon learns that the bodies aren't that much of an advantage. Recruits of the Colonial Defense Force die at an alarming rate. Within the course of a year and a half (into a 10 year service), Perry soon only has 2 of his remaining circle of friends and he's also found the genetic clone to this dead wife. Apparently, the Colonial Defense Force uses the DNA of dead civilians who signed up but didn't live to join to create super-soldiers.

Overall, I enjoyed the book in the beginning where he began the world building, however halfway through the novel it shifted more towards romance. The second half of the book is Perry chasing after the Super-soldier with his wife's face. Thought I initially thought I might pick up some of the other books in the series, I ultimately decided that it wasn't a book series I wished to continue. This book is good for people who enjoy Military Fiction and Science Fiction.

No comments:

Post a Comment