Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)” as Want to Read:
Forever Free (The Forever War, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Forever Free (The Forever War #3)

3.39  ·  Rating Details ·  3,509 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
William Mandela is a genetic throwback, one of the small group of humans who fought and survived the Forever War. They returned to find humanity has evolved into a group mind called Man. Surrounded by a society that is too autocratic and intrusive, living a dull existence which cannot compare to the certainties of combat and feeling increasingly alienated, the veterans pla ...more
Paperback, 277 pages
Published 2000 by Millennium (first published December 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Forever Free, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Forever Free

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 13, 2010 M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
If you are not a fan of The Forever War, don't read this book. If you are a fan of the Forever War, definitely don't read this book.

The plot of the last 30 pages comes out of nowhere, explains nothing, and is absolutely terrible. There was no reason to set it in the universe of The Forever War, and as far as I am concerned, this book was so bad it retroactively made The Forever War worse.

There is no reason to bother. Even if you like bad science fiction, stay away from this book.
Dec 25, 2009 JP rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 29, 2011 Nikki rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed Forever Free, a direct sequel to The Forever War, with many of the same characters -- up to a point. I liked the set-up, although it was slow, because it rang true for the characters and promised more adventures to come. It was obvious that it was going to go wrong, of course, but that was going to be the interesting part.

And at first, it definitely was. I was intrigued by what scientific explanations Haldeman would come up with, and vaguely thought I remembered reading about th
Aug 31, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it
This is an odd book, one that slowly draws you down an expected path and then throws a monkeywrench into the plot and renders up an essentially absurdist ending. I’ll take it. Go ahead, bake me, shake me, and remind me that the author is the true god.

The author got on the hit parade quite young after returning from Vietnam. His “Forever War” was an outstanding anti-war novel for me. In which citizens of the future are brainwashed into enlisting or accepting their draft into a distant war with a
Jan 16, 2015 Nicki rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Years have passed since the Forever War reached its conclusion, and William Mandella is settled on an icy backwater of a planet, a haven for the minority of remaining humans who aren’t part of the hivemind known as Man. He and his long-lost love are finally married, and together they have raised a son and daughter. But they aren’t content. They know what they are: Fallbacks for Man in case their genetic material is ever needed, kept like pets in a zoo, otherwise obsolete. So they engineer a cons ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Jonathan rated it liked it
Well now it is Christmas time in Australia, in fact it's evening, so most of the festivity is done and dusted. It's been a good day all said and done and it was a pretty warm one (being Summer). So it is time that I fulfil my promise to get this review written up.

In many ways Forever Free is a continuation of the classic science fiction work Forever War. Yet in other ways it is a completely different work. It certainly is an easier work to read. It is more fluid and less imposing on the reader.
Jun 17, 2012 tomwrote rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
A brave, strange and experimental book shares the same cover as a conventional and perhaps even plodding book. Most of the book until maybe the last 10 per cent moves at a stately, in interesting, if not entirely thrill packed pace. The ideas, mechanics and musing are familiar from The Forever War, as are a few of the characters and although the plot to steal what a amounts to a time travelling space ship is intriguing enough,[spoilers removed]When quite a few pages are spent detailing a health ...more
Aug 17, 2011 glimpsedafar rated it did not like it
Considering the fond memories I had of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, I began my reading of this "long-awaited sequel" with high hopes... alas, ones destined to be dashed soon upon cracking the covers of this book. Gone were the compact prose, tight writing, and solid pacing of its predecessor, with entire stretches of the text serving negligible function other than to pad out the pages.

Unfortunately lost as well was any real sense of direction in the overarching plot of the story, with the act
Dustin Voliva
Jul 07, 2013 Dustin Voliva rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-2013
Joe Haldeman wrote a classic science fiction novel about the cost of war waged when the distance between enemies was light years away. Then, he wrote this. A novel which began slow, started to pick up steam, and then he had zero idea how to finish. So he threw in a shape-changer race. Then God.

A joke? No idea. But it was terrible.
May 13, 2010 Minyoung rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
What the fuck did I just read?
Tomislav Galeta
Jan 24, 2015 Tomislav Galeta rated it really liked it
Zgodna mješavina pomalo već viđenih zapleta. Prva knjiga je ostavila na mene dublji dojam s više drskosti. Ipak godilo mi je pročitati.
Profundus Librum
Mar 05, 2017 Profundus Librum rated it really liked it
Bár a harmadik rész semmiféle díjat nem kapott, azt azért hadd szögezzem le gyorsan, ez nem jelenti azt, hogy rosszabb lenne, mint az előző kötetek. Hogy más-e? Persze. A kizárólag a katonás tematika kedvelői – akik az első részt egyöntetűen imádták – biztosan nem fogják annyira szeretni, hiszen akció alig található benne, a katonák könnyűszerrel felcserélhetők lettek volna bármilyen random szereplőre, hiszen katonaviseltségüknek sokkal kevesebb szerepe van, mint a velük született nyughatatlansá ...more
Jul 15, 2014 Jessica rated it it was ok
When William Mandella and Marygay finally ended their military service at the end of the Forever War (some thousand years after it began), the people of Earth had evolved into a cloned group mind called Man. Veterans were provided a planet where they could live as they used to without Man's interference. But they're not entirely happy with even that, and William, Marygay, and some of their friends hatch a plan to use a converted battleship to travel near the speed of light and then come back - s ...more
Ubik 2.0
Nov 07, 2012 Ubik 2.0 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hard Science Fiction

“Missione eterna” si ispira alla corrente fantascientifica denominata “Hard S.F.” che punta principalmente su ricerca tecnologica, astronavi, viaggi interstellari, (eventuali) alieni, il tutto condito con la ricerca di un’accettabile plausibilità scientifica, ma con una minore attenzione alla psicologia dei personaggi.

Uno dei continuatori dell’autore forse più rappresentativo di questa tendenza, Arthur Clarke, è Joe Haldeman, autore del famoso e superpremiato “Guerra eterna”
Lis Carey
Feb 20, 2011 Lis Carey rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dedicated Haldeman fans
Shelves: f-sf
This is a direct sequel to The Forever War. Twenty years have passed since William and Marygay were reunited on Middle Finger, the "garden planet" where Man resettled the heterosexuals at the end of the Forever War. They've raised a son and a daughter, and they are restless, unhappy with Middle Finger (which has very long, very cold winters), and unhappy with Man. With some of the other war veterans, who are now a small minority of the population on Middle Finger, they plot to steal the ship tha ...more
Oct 21, 2014 Peter rated it did not like it
First off, if you haven't read Joe Haldeman's brilliant sci-fi novel The Forever War, then put it on your list. It's one of the best books I've ever read.

Having said that, this sequel was incredibly disappointing and I do not recommend it at all. It actually starts out pretty well, following the same narrator and some of the same characters from The Forever War, and I was really enjoying it. But about halfway through the book, there are a series of unexplained occurrences, and the plot takes a
This novel is a direct sequel to Haldeman's award winning The Forever War. Don't be confused by his similarly titled Forever Peace - the plot of that one is completely unrelated.

The 1200-year-long Forever War turned out to be a misunderstanding, and now a handful of surviving veterans are settled on the frontier world MF. William and Marygay are among the few who can even remember so far back as the twentieth century, but they have been propelled into the future by the effects of their time-dila
Sep 12, 2016 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the sequel to the Forever War. It was marketed as book 3 in the Forever War series, but the 2nd book, Forever Peace, was not a sequel to the Forever War. As far as I am concerned it should have been sold as a stand alone book. It was about soldiers fighting a war in the future and is set in the same universe as the Forever War, but it shares none of the characters from the Forever War or this book Forever Free. This book is a good read and continues the story of William Mandella and ...more
Peter Tillman
Dec 13, 2016 Peter Tillman rated it liked it
Classic-period Haldeman that I somehow missed, back in the day. Nominally a part of the Forever War series, it's rather orthogonal to the previous two, and takes a very strange, Gnostic twist at the end that many readers don't like. Haldeman's done this sort of thing before, notably in "The Hemingway Hoax," perhaps his masterwork. This book isn't on that level, but I enjoyed it. It's a short novel that moves briskly to an unexpected climax. 3.4 stars.

The best spoiler-free review here is Michael'
Joshua Wilson
Sep 24, 2015 Joshua Wilson rated it it was amazing
I love this set of books.

* light spoilers*

so this dude is in the army and earth is fighting a war against some aliens. But because space, everytime he goes out on a mission hundreds of years pass by. Relativity and all that. And it basically just tells his story, and his story is cool so you should read this. :)

edit: this is the third book, which is different. Crazy different. In fact remembering how this ends makes me want to reread it again. But yeah, read them in order. Also nearly everyone
Mar 07, 2008 Hannah rated it really liked it
While not quite as good as Forever War, it provides a look back at a few of the original characters, and gives out an interesting and gripping end. A great book if you're new to exploring the theory of God's experimental universe.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Jun 29, 2016 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it
Forever Free (The Forever War, #3) , Joe Haldeman
Nov 17, 2008 Chris rated it did not like it
Save yourself time and pain and just don't bother reading this. If you didn't like Forever War this will hold even less appeal. If you did, then you'll only be disappointed with this sequel.
Joseph Mirabal
Apr 05, 2014 Joseph Mirabal rated it really liked it
more like 4.5
May 09, 2017 Dainean rated it it was ok
The first half is okay. It sets up some nice bits of story, it promises to to another great jump in time, escape from a stagnant society and look at what the future has in store, and then it just falls flat on it's face.

Read up until the spaceship, then stop. After this book, Haldeman removes the science from science fiction entirely, and the end is just a horrible mess full of plot twists, nonsensical story lines, a build up that doesn't resolve in to anything and our protagonist happily accep
May 17, 2017 Josh rated it really liked it
i really enjoyed picking this book up, until the very end.

Chung Lee
Nov 20, 2016 Chung Lee rated it liked it
This book is totally different than Forever War.
Tells about the veterans of the Forever War trying to adjust in the modern society.
Everything was enjoyable until the totally implausible ending.
Keso Shengelia
Oct 14, 2016 Keso Shengelia rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended!
Final de una saga de ciencia ficción donde el único libro que brilla por su genialidad es el primero. Este último libro retoma la historia del primero, donde un grupo de veteranos se quedaban a vivir en un lejano planeta medio helado, intentando apartarse de El Hombre, esa extraña sociedad a la que evolucionó la raza humana.
En general, el libro entretiene explicando la nueva situación de los anacrónicos veteranos y argumentalmente mejora a medida que se avanza en su lectura. En cambio, el final
Nov 29, 2013 Stephen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a really weird book. I've poked around at some of the other reviews, and people have either embraced the weirdness of the ending, or they have rejected it outright, seeing it as a deus ex machina. I fall somewhere in the middle; I think Haldeman had some interesting things that he wanted to explore, I just don't think he was exploring it in the right vehicle--in a direct sequel to Forever War.

(Spoilers will refer to some of Haldeman's other books, not just this one)
(view spoiler)
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Roughneck
  • Cradle
  • The Players of Null-A (Null-A #2)
  • Quatermass
  • The Stochastic Man
  • Search the Sky
  • Golden Fleece
  • The Reproductive System
  • Fury
  • To Marry Medusa
  • Lord Tyger
  • The Shield of Time (Time Patrol, #5)
  • The Long Loud Silence
  • Final Blackout: A Futuristic War Novel
  • Santa's Twin (Santa's Twin, #1)
  • Isaac Asimov Presents The Great SF Stories 1: 1939
  • Star Bridge
  • The Blue World
Brother of Jack C. Haldeman II

Haldeman is the author of 20 novels and five collections. The Forever War won the Nebula, Hugo and Ditmar Awards for best science fiction novel in 1975. Other notable titles include Camouflage, The Accidental Time Machine and Marsbound as well as the short works "Graves," "Tricentennial" and "The Hemingway Hoax." Starbound is scheduled for a January release. SFWA pres
More about Joe Haldeman...

Other Books in the Series

The Forever War (3 books)
  • The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
  • Forever Peace (The Forever War, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Most of human history had been industry versus nature, with industry winning.” 1 likes
More quotes…