Saturday, October 20, 2007
The Last Colony
Well, it's kinda obvious I haven't put brush to mini lately, however, I have been able to catch up on some reading. Some great reading as it turns out, too. John Scalzi is relatively new on the scene, his first sci-fi novel, Old Man's War, came out in 2005. OMW blew me away, it was a promising start to what is now a great trilogy, The Last Colony being the conclusion.
Our heroes of the Colonial Union are still with us, John and Jane, and they've staked out a modest foothold on a backwater colony world. Given the opportunity to help settle a new colony on an uncontested planet, they give up their routine and go. This wasn't a standard colonization from the word go, and our heroes find out far too late to be able to avoid trouble. The action escalates fairly quick, with a galaxy-spanning cluster mess coming to a head in orbit above the newly settled planet of Roanoke.
John could've written the whole book on just the rigors of getting the planet settled, and little else. I would've been happy with some kind of drawn out storyline with the Werewolf primitives, who were a bit scant in appearance. But I got a lot more, flying through the colonization steps we go knee deep into politics, both on a human scale, as well as the rest of the universe. Great character development and dialog took up a good deal of the book with a host of very interesting supporting characters. As with his books, there is a richly detailed universe contained within, leaning heavily on military sci-fi themes. Also, with his books, there's just enough ambiguity to leave much of the construction of his universe up to yourself, fleshing out empire of aliens who are only briefly hinted at. It's a great read, and quick too, that I highly recommend, make it part of the trilogy, Old Man's War, and The Ghost Brigades, forming the first two legs of the journey. Each book has it's own style and feel apart from the others, yet the three pull together and weave a story between them that neatly fits in the big picture.