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The latest book of John Scalzi's epic Old Man's War series comes out on August 11th: The End of All Things. But it was released as four eBooks this past month, and I've enjoyed it tremdously.

First, as much as I've enjoyed it, this books should NOT be your introduction to this series. The prior book, The Human Division, ended on a cliffhanger and The End Of All Things picks up after it. At a minimum, you really want to read The Human Division first. It's also good, and for a short time the eBook versions are on sale for $3.99. Make sure you get the full Human Division - it also was released serially so some eBook stores may still have the separate parts.

I think the Human Division will get you into the series well enough. If you want to do it right, you should first read the initial book, Old Man's War. There are three books between OMW and HD (Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and Zoe's Tale) but Human Division picks up pretty well. And personal opinion, the middle books aren't my favorites. They aren't bad books, just not the sort of book I like to read many times.

I'm not sure what I can say without giving out a bunch of spoilers, or trying to recap five books without spoiling any of them. Briefly, the epic is about the Colonial Union, who governs, protects, and expands a number of human colonies in a universe filled with unfriendly aliens (some given good reason to be unfriendly). The Colonial Union builds its armies by recruiting 75 year old men and women from Earth and putting them into young genetically modified bodies. Old Man's War covers the early career of John Perry. The Colonial Union has been doing this for 200 years, and other than 3/4 of all soldiers dying, it works pretty well. But in the Last Colony, things go wrong. The Human Division is about the Colonial Union having to shift to diplomacy, and a hidden group causing trouble. The End of All Things is the fight with the no-longer hidden group.

Why do I love this series? First, I find the world fascinating and well thought out. Actions have consequences, even if those actions take a while. And even more, I love the characters.

Harry Wilson, in HD and EoaT, is a Colonial Defense Forces soldier who left Earth on the same ship as John Perry. He can fight and he's good at it - but he's more at ease dealing with tech, and he's been assigned to a diplomatic team as a technical advisor and trainer. I like his attitude - he takes his job serious, but not life. Ode Abumwe is a Colonial Union Ambassador who doesn't seem to like people that much - but there are layers, and she's good at her job. Hafte Sorvalh is an alien who is a troubleshooter for the head of the Conclave.  And a new major character is Rafe Daquin, who starts as a pilot and becomes a brain in a box controlling a ship - but he's a smart brain in a box.

These are all clever people solving problems, and solving them in unusual ways. (Other problems pop up that are unusual, so that's important.)

I really enjoyed the four parts of End of All Things and I'm looking forward to the final compiled book (with a few extras). I listen to audiobooks more than I read these days, and this is going to be great.



Posted on July 5, 2015, 4:12 pm
Last updated on July 5, 2015, 4:23 pm

Donald Brown

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