“The Ghost Brigades” by John Scalzi

This is the sequel to “Old Man’s War” which I read a while ago … before this blog began, I think.  In the future, elderly volunteers from Earth are recruited to join the Colonial Defense Force, which protects the human colonies from a variety of hostile alien species which are also vying for supremacy in our corner of the galaxy.  CDF volunteers are given new genetically engineered bodies, their conciousness’ transferred into the new body.  Interesting premise, no?  The first book was about such a volunteer.  In it he meets his wife – actually not though.  They both signed up for the CDF at the same time, but she died before she reached the age when she would have received her new body.  The CDF doesn’t waste the DNA they extract from recruits who die prior to being transferred; they make the new bodies anyway and wake them up without a conciousness in place.  BrainPals, computers integrated with the brain, help the new soldier learn quickly, but whether or not they have a soul is up for debate.  The “realborn” CDF are somewhat wary of these “Ghost Brigade” soldiers.

Ok, now you have the background.  🙂  In “The Ghost Brigades” a scientist has turned traitor and the CDF wants to know why.  They have a copy of his conciousness on file, so they load it into a new Ghost Brigader to see if he can tell them anything.  Hilarity ensues.  Wait, no it doesn’t…  The new soldier at first remembers nothing and it seems like the transfer didn’t work.  But then eventually events trigger his memories.  He (of course) then becomes instrumental in stopping the traitor’s nefarious plot to destroy the CDF.

Great story and an interesting vision of the future!  Looking forward to the sequel “The Last Colony.”

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