Old Man’s War

Blogger Note:  I was going to save this post for next week, after #readformentalhealthweek…BUUUUT…I didn’t get today’s book read in time. DANGIT!

So…Here! Have some Scalzi!


Sometimes after reading a great book, I just HAVE to go back and start at the beginning of that author’s career. So when I read Lock-In by John Scalzi and loved it…I looked up his entire collection immediately.

Old Man’s War is exactly the opposite genre that I usually like. This is some hard core sci-fi war shit–the kind of thing I’d much rather watch in movie form than read on a page. I love me some Star Wars, but I’ve just never been into that kind of thing when it comes to books.

But, I wanted more Scalzi. And this book is exactly what I expected it to be…but also actually pretty fantastic. Because, Scalzi.

Here’s the set up:  At seventy-five, you have a choice. Stay old, live your life for the next 10-30 years, die. Or, sign up for military service with the CDF and never come home again.

Yep, you heard that right. 75 year olds signing up for military service.

No one really knows how the CDF does it. Rumor is that they use gene therapy to make you young again. Or maybe they’re cloning body parts up there. Whatever it is, John Perry wants in. His beloved wife Kathy is dead, and there’s nothing for him here except to be old alone…so he’s off to space.

I’ll be real honest with you. By page 13, I was absolutely sure that there was no CDF space military, and that this was just a government conspiracy to rid the country of the overpopulation of elderly people. I’m not sure if I have just been reading too many dystopian novels…or just living in a society where my social security benefits are disappearing. Either way, I think I’m jaded.

Also, I wasn’t completely wrong. But I can’t tell you any more without giving away spoilers. SO HA! You’ll have to just read it and find out.

Scalzi blows everyone out of the water with his descriptions. Check this out:

“Nairobi was launched from underneath us and dropped away; we walked over to the side as if on a fast elevator (which is of course exactly what the beanstalk is) and watched the Earth begin its slide.”

I love how he describes the Earth falling away instead of the beanstalk climbing–as if the tiny launch shook the planet from it’s giant orbit. There’s a change in perspective there that is imperceptible while you’re immersed in the story, but it is so obvious to go back and look at that paragraph and think, “Well of course, it really does seem like it is the planet moving, and not the platform.” It takes an artist to see the universe that way.

As much as I loved the writing here, I probably won’t finish the series. Not for any fault of the author–I’ll definitely be reading more of his books. I need to check out Redshirt for sure, just for pure geek cred. However, I’m just not a huge fan of the genre, so while I like the writing and the characters, I got bored with the alien battles.

I give this 3 Book Dragons. Part of me wants to rate it higher for the writing…but I just wasn’t that into the story itself.



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