“The Last Colony” by John Scalzi

Here’s the sequel to “Old Man’s War” and “The Ghost Brigades.”

John Perry, main character of “Old Man’s War,” and Jane Sagan, the Special Forces soldier appearing in both previous books, are now married and have adopted Zoe, the daughter of Charles Boutin from “The Ghost Brigades.”  They are comfortable living on a backwater world of the Colonial Union, but are asked to lead a new colony, Roanoke (uh, who thought that was a good name for a colony???).  Once arriving there, they soon find that everything the Colonial Union has told them is not exactly true…

Hence we embark on a tale of political maneuvering, manipulation, and secrecy between the Colonial Union, the union of alien races called the Conclave, and the Perrys.  There are many plot twists along the way that completely change the way some characters and situations are initially presented.  Kind of like mystery novels or movies that are impossible to figure out until the end because essential facts are concealed from the reader/viewer.  Oh well.

I thought it was Interesting that the formula of humans = good and scary looking aliens = bad is not strictly followed here…if anything, the Colonial Union is the real bad guy in the story.  Anyway, this was a pretty good read that I stayed up too late last night to finish.  (If that happens, then I know it must have been good!)

My only complaint is a lot of the scheming (on all sides) is elaborate, complicated and would really be logistically pretty hard to pull off, but of course everything turns out perfectly.  And there is always someone saying (Szilard…looking at you), “yes, I expected you to do just that” and then “well, I expected that you would expect I would do that!”  etc.  But the whole trilogy is a pretty entertaining and different view of the future of humanity in space that I recommend to readers who enjoy science fiction.  Most definitely start with “Old Man’s War” – the best of the three, and it sets up most of the background detail for the later books.

What do you think?

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