Sunday, August 23, 2009

Zoe’s Tale, by John Scalzi

Zoe’s Tale, by John Scalzi

The fourth tale in the Old Man’s War series, this one is a little different than the others. Instead of a new story in the same universe, in the fashion of Ender’s Shadow and Wicked this tells a familiar tale from a different viewpoint. Scalzi did a good job of making a story we already know (The Last Colony) interesting and compelling. Told from the point of view of Zoë, the daughter of the protagonists of the previous novel, we visit the same events again but with a fresh outlook. Much like teenagers everywhere, they know much more about what is happening than the adults believe, and they sneak out and get into trouble without their parents ever finding out. Some of the dangling threads of the earlier book are wrapped up (like why the werewolves vanished) which was nice, but some of the characterizations were weak; Zoë’s friend Gretchen has an identical personality and outlook, coming off as a simple copy rather than a separate person. This makes a nice companion to The Last Colony, but it is the weakest in the series.

First Sentence:
The flying saucer landed on our front lawn and a little green man got out of it.

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