Seriously, I totally love this book.
Funny thing about me: as much as I love sci-fi movies, I tend to not read a lot of sci-fi novels (I tend towards fantasy in the written word).
For me, sci-fi novels either get too tech-y, and I barely passed high school physics here, people. Or they get too complex in their universe-building, and I don’t really care about how your thirteen alien races procreate, gestate, and defecate. Or they get too philosophical, and I’m all, “Will you please just shoot each other with lasers already!?”
I’m obviously not a sci-fi author’s favorite target market.
The rub is that one of my favorite books series of all time, Ender’s Game, is sci-fi to the max. And now we can add a competitor for that title in Old Man’s War, which Laura fittingly described as “Ender’s Game, just backwards”.
Since other people who get paid to write for a living have already written summaries, here is part of Booklist’s (via Amazon):
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. Now better known as the Colonial Defense Force (CDF), Perry’s service-of-choice has extended its reach into interstellar space to pave the way for human colonization of other planets while fending off marauding aliens. The CDF has a trick up its sleeve that makes enlistment especially enticing for seniors: the promise of restoring youth.
Yup. When you turn 75, you can join the space army who can mysteriously make you young again. While that’s the hook, what make this book sing is Scalzi’s imagination and razor sharp writing. He deftly crafts characters you connect with and makes dialogue sizzle with both wit and realism. Some writers sound like writers and some write like how people take. Thankfully, Scalzi is the later.
Old Man’s War has a great mix of lovable and loathable characters, intriguing plot twists, futuristic science craziness, “What makes us really human?” pondering, and people shooting each other with lasers.
You might say I’m hooked.