John Scalzi continues his great series Old Man’s War, with The Last Colony, and it does not disappoint. Audio book with William Dufris narrating.
4/5 20/25 total score
Type of Story: Space Opera Science Fiction
Plot – 4(Strong)
Characters – 4(Strong)
Setting/World Building – 4(Strong)
Writing Style – 4(Strong)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 4(Strong)
Former Colonial Defense Forces soldier, John Perry, and former Special Forces soldier, Jane Sagan, are enjoying a many year lasting retirement from the Colonial Defense. They are the administrators at a colony called Huckleberry with their adopted daughter Zoe. Everything changes when one of the leaders of the CDF asks Perry and Sagan to become the new leaders of a brand new colony. This new colony is the first colony made up of former colony planets. Perry, Sagan, and Zoe, along with her two alien bodyguards that worship Zoe like a god, decide to take the job as the new leaders of Roanoke Colony. As soon as everyone arrives at the new colony planet, it is clear that everyone is ignorant of exactly what the CDF has in store for this new colony. Thus begins a story about survival, trust, intergalactic politics, and a small colony doing everything it can to not be destroyed.
Why you should read this book:
The Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi is one of the most fun science fiction series out there. The Last Colony and the entire series is fun because Scalzi writes serious situations but with humorous characters that always have something to say. In fact, no other writer for me, is able to capture the spontaneity of a well delivered, true to life, wise crack of a line, during stressful situations, like Scalzi. Characters, John Perry and Jane Sagan let their opinion be know, without much of a filter, and to follow these type of protagonists keeps the reader on his toes. Expect to at lease smile 5 times or so while reading this book.
Another thing that The Last Colony and the Old Man’s War series does well is twists and turns. Scalzi sets up a major plot and things just don’t go right. A lot of things happen, a lot of turns that the reader doesn’t expect, and I really enjoy that. Sometimes, when you read a lot of speculative fiction, you can kind of see where a plot is going, but with Scalzi, I never feel that way. There are enough surprises to make reading The Last Colony exciting. Each chapter ends mysteriously at times and it just makes you want to start the next chapter. Even though I read this on audio book, I find myself upset to have to stop.
The last reason you should read The Last Colony is that there are many political and social issues that happen through out the story that make the reader look at life in their own world more critically. Our characters have to make decisions that are going to impact an entire colony. These decisions are often treated carefully by John Perry, but his solutions to the problems, include so much critical thinking that it impacts us in real life to stop making brash reactions and decisions. By being more like John Perry, really thinking about the circumstances, and coming up with an idea that best benefits as many people as possible, Scalzi teaches us things like tolerance, mature reasoning, and thinking outside the box. Perry is a common sense, intelligent man, without all the bad qualities that most politicians have. I would let him run my colony or country.
Why you might not like this book:
There is one main reason why you might not like The Last Colony by John Scalzi and that is happenstance. The reader of The Last Colony has to be willing to have a suspension of disbelief because things work out amazingly well and it is just because of the incompetence of their enemies. If this book was more honest to how the military of our world behave, a lot of the mistakes made in this book by the enemy, would not be made. It is only because of ineptness that things go well. That is the main draw back of the book and if you think you can look past that, you will enjoy it even more.
Are you looking for a light science fiction read with fun characters and an exciting plot that is unexpected? If you are, check out The Last Colony by John Scalzi. I would recommend you read the first two Old Man’s War books first but I think you could read this as a stand alone book too. I personally am skipping Zoe’s Tale, as I don’t find her character that great, and I’m not big on a retelling of a story I already know about. I am currently listening to The Human Division and that is continuing Scalzi’s great story-telling as well.