Old Man’s War by John Scalzi is one of the first few books in sci-fi I’ve read and I am glad that I picked a book that is so fun with an amazing sense of humor.
5/5 – Listened to on audiobook
“I miss my wife. It’s easier to miss her at a cemetery, where she’s never been anything but dead, than to miss her in all the places where she was alive.”
– The narrator and main character John Perry is highly likable
– Interesting concepts
– Fast paced read
– Some readers might want a more serious book
Similar Books: I felt the lightness of the book was similar to The Martian by Andy Weir
Plot – 5: Old Man’s War is a story about how the elderly are able to sign up for the Colonial Defense Force, a space military force, that protects the different human colonies in space. Our story follows John Perry, newly turned 75, and willing to go into space. The elderly are told that the physical issues that they have on earth will be fixed if they join the CDF. No one on earth knows what is going on in the CDF and what happens after the elderly choose to sign up. I am extremely grateful that I didn’t know any information about this book before I listened to it.
While in the Colonial Defense Force, Perry and his friends go through training and ordeals but always with a carefree attitude. There are many surprises and WHOA NO WAY! moments in this book that made it fantastic. I do not want to spoil anything.
Characters – 5: The characters in Old Man’s War are a lot of fun. John Perry is just so likable but so are all his friends. There are about 6-8 different people that Perry encounters while joining the CDF and most of them become close friends. These bonds and differing personalities is where Old Man’s War becomes just a joy to read. I do not want to give away a lot with the characters because one of the great joys of this book are getting to know the different characters.
Setting/World Building – 4: The space setting in Old Man’s War is a lot of fun. The different planets that they visit and the different species of aliens are really interesting. The technology in Old Man’s War is well explained and for a novice sci-fi reader that is appreciated. Many times the technology and world are explained during conversations so it keeps your attention easily.
Writing Style – 4: John Scalzi’s writing style is common enough for people that don’t usually read sci-fi to read it with ease. The dialogue was some of the better dialogue I’ve read in awhile and the humor was just great. I listened to this book at the gym mostly and I found myself smiling largely a few times at the humor. Hope no one thought I was smiling at them working out. I listened to the amazing narration by William Dufris and he just shined. He was able to give all the characters their own voice and he didn’t sound silly talking like a woman.
Heart and Mind Factor – 4: Because Perry and his friends are such likable characters it is sad when things go badly. There were times when I really enjoyed the technical aspects of this book and the talk about physics. It was put in such easy terms that even a person like myself, that did awful in physics, could understand.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to have a good time reading a sci-fi novel. It is best read without knowing much because the mystery of the CDF really propels the book forward and makes it that more entertaining. It is just a great time. If you are looking for something deep, intellectual, or complicated this is not the book for you.