Recommendation: Read this book but don’t set your expectations too high and I recommend this more to new readers of Scalzi than old.
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi has been one of those books that I wanted to wait a few days to review because I wanted to separate my feelings of the book and author from the hype that surrounds the book. This will be my 7th John Scalzi book I believe, so I am definitely a Scalzi fan. I enjoyed Fuzzy Nation but I wish that maybe this book could have been my first John Scalzi book because I have become so used to Scalzi’s writing and main protagonists in his books that this felt strangely uninspired to me.
Fuzzy Nation is a short science fiction book about a surveyor named Jack Holloway, who is on a mining planet that discovers a natural resource vein that will make him and the company he works for extremely rich. This planet can only be mined if there are no intelligent sapiens on the planet though. So when Jack runs across a family of smart Fuzzy animals that might be people, he’ll have to decide on defending the Fuzzy people in court, or cashing in.
This book was good. I liked the plot premise quite a bit and the court room scenes were done more entertaining than I thought they would be. Like other Scalzi books, this was a really fun book, with a lot of humor, and snarky attitude from the main character. However, I am starting to get to the point where Scalzi’s humor and snarky main characters are starting to become a shtick that Scalzi does, something that is becoming overused. I felt that Fuzzy Nation didn’t bring anything too interesting to the reader and it is a forgettable novel compared to some of Scalzi’s other books. This might be because this book is a remake of an older science fiction book, I’m not sure.
There really wasn’t a character that I really cared much about in Fuzzy Nation. Scalzi is great at creating these snarky characters with attitude but there has always been some more depth to his characters than what I saw from Jack Holloway. Scalzi wanted to stick to this idea that Jack was all about Jack and that what he did wasn’t because he was a good guy, but just stubborn. This might set up an anti-hero of sorts with Jack but I just didn’t feel like that approach really worked for me. I just got a little tired of the alpha-male contests in this book and the lack of decent people. I enjoyed the plot and the world, but the characters just didn’t work for me this time. Still, it was a good book, and I would recommend it to people that just started reading Scalzi.
13/25 Possible Score
Plot – 4(Strong)
Characters – 2(O.K.)
Setting/World Building – 3(Good)
Writing Style – 2(O.K.)
Heart & Mind Aspect – 2(O.K)