The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)
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The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War #2)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  24,270 ratings  ·  1,384 reviews
The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it's about to become far more dangerous. Thr...more
Paperback, 347 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Tor (first published January 1st 2006)
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Ready Player One by Ernest ClineOld Man's War by John ScalziAnathem by Neal StephensonThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsAltered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
Best Science Fiction of the 21st Century
16th out of 316 books — 2,780 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardStarship Troopers by Robert A. HeinleinOld Man's War by John ScalziThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanOn Basilisk Station by David Weber
Military Science Fiction
8th out of 526 books — 663 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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James Cameron and John Scalzi Share An Awkward Elevator Ride

James Cameron: Could you hit the button for the top floor, please?

John Scalzi: Sure. Say, aren’t you James Cameron?

JC: That’s right. My friends call me King of the World! Ha Ha! Just kidding.

JS: Right.

JC: You look kind of familiar. Have we met?

JS: Met? No. Maybe you recognize me from my author’s photo on my books. I’m John Scalzi.

Long pause

JC: Uh……No, sorry. I don’t think I’ve read your books.

JS: Really? You haven’t read Old Man’s War...more
mark monday
overall this is a fun, fast-paced, and competently written novel. after finishing this book, I immediately wanted to read more - a good sign! and it is a thoughtful novel - I really liked how it carefully and quietly lays down small but important plot points that are clearly going to be even more important as this space opera continues. in general, I like Scalzi's minor note approach to his world and it is well-matched with prose that is clear and straightforward yet sympathetic and often resona...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
Warning: Spoilers for Old Man's War, book one in the Old Man's War sequence.

A secret is discovered and war is looming. Former enemies are allied against the Colonial Union and it's up to the Special Forces, the Ghost Brigades, to stop them. They only take the dirtiest jobs and this is no exception.

The Ghost Brigades deals almost exclusively with the Special Forces who have been nicknamed the Ghost Brigades on account of their entire Forces using the bodies of people who did not enter the militar...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
“They can run all the tests they want; nothing will show anything but evidence of a natural catastrophe. Because that's what it was.
It just had a little help."

I don’t know whether it was because I was more focused this time, but I believe I enjoyed Ghost Brigades a bit more than Old Man's War. Scalzi is extremely popular, and rightly so. His military Science Fiction stories are tautly plotted and fairly lean, which means you can read them quickly. Yet, they also deal with interesting concepts a...more
Dan Schwent
In order to catch a traitorous military scientist, Charles Boutin, the Colonial Defense Forces transfer a recording of his consciousness into a new body. Thus, Jared Dirac is born. The transfer apparently didn't take and Dirac joins the CDF's special forces, the Ghost Brigades. When Boutin's personality begins surfacing, Jared's life takes a turn for the worse. Can Jared stop Boutin before the CDF goes to war against three alien armies?

This wasn't exactly what I was expecting from a sequel to O...more
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

The Ghost Brigades is book two of the Old Man’s War series. In the first volume, seventy-five-year-old John Perry abandons his life on Earth, joins the Colonial Defense Force, and heads off into space to protect mankind’s far flung colonies. Once there, his consciousness is transferred into a young, superhuman body; he learns that space is a very dangerous place for humans; he rediscovers part of someone very important to him in the form of Jane Sagan;...more
What is important about choice? Is it really important how you choose or is it more important that you have the ability to choose in the first place?
Just now you chose to read my review out of a million other things you could have done, so thank you for that. But it was your freedom of choice that enabled you to choose my review.

Jared Dirac doesn't have that kind of choice. He is a member of the Special Forces, genetically engineered soldiers who's only purpose is to save humanity via black ops...more
Mar 26, 2014 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Old Man's War
Executive Summary: A fun sci-fi space opera. You won't get deep plot, just a fast-paced military story...IN SPACE!

Audio book: This is the second book I've listened to by William Dufris. He's pretty good. He speaks clearly and with good inflections.

You can tell the characters apart. He did seem to use the same voices as from Cryptonomicon, so I kept thinking of characters from that book. Overall though, I enjoy him as a narrator.

Full Review
Somehow I hadn't heard of John Scalzi before last year...more
Aug 07, 2014 Apatt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf-f
This is the second volume of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. I enjoyed the first book Old Man's War very much, I even rated it 5 stars on my Goodreads review (adjusted to 4 later). However, I read it in June 2011 and I have just read this second volume three years later. The reason is that since reading that first volume I have read so many books that I like much better and a 5 stars rating seems inaccurate. In all fairness I do not think there is much wrong with Old Man's War apart from som...more
I believe that science fiction and fantasy are the most effective way of exploring our own morality. When we see people in an alternate world, it is easier for us to step back and look at the choices they make as a parallel to the choices we make. It forces us to really consider the state of our world, and whether or not changes need to be made for the better. Scalzi has written incredibly real and humane characters, in a plot that is very timely to the world we live in. This book will stay with...more
didn't work as well for me as Old Man's War. The first part was ok, almost a carbon copy of the debut of the series - with special training and first mission as part of a crack team. It was towards the conclusion when things really came apart and I felt like I was reading a cross breeder between Austin Powers and a late Steven Segal flick.

(view spoiler)...more
I really like John Scalzi's writing. It's not too fancy, no particular bells and whistles, but it's not stilted either. It goes down easy. The Ghost Brigades is set in the same context as Old Man's War, and links up to it in various ways, but the main protagonist is a different one with a whole different bundle of issues. I wasn't surprised that Scalzi decided to write more about the Ghost Brigades, and I was half-expecting it not to link up at all -- which would have been disappointing, really....more
Alex Ristea
If you're a fan of Scalzi's writing—and his humour—you'll like this book!

On the surface, it may seem like a light, easy read, but there are quite a few interesting social commentaries about humans, rationality, purpose, and how we think.

And really, what better way to tackle these issues than in an incredibly entertaining story set in an equally fascinating world?

My only minor gripe is that there are a lot of info dumps not attached to any particular POV. I guess I've been reading a lot of tight...more
David Sven
Ghost Brigades starts a new story after the events of Old Man's War. John Perry is not a POV character this time around, but Jane Sagan returns as a major character. Harry Wilson, the genius in spite of not having the math, also plays a smaller role.

The BrainPal technology developed by the Colonial Defense Force has so far given the human military an edge in its competition against other alien life forms for colonisable planets. But even superior technology may not be enough to counter a secret...more
4.0 to 4.5 stars. An excellent follow up to Old Man's War. I think both the story and the writing improved from the first novel (which I also liked very much). Recommended.

Nominee: Prometheus Award
[Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review]
Weaker than the previous entry, but still fairly readable. Scalzi's work as a film-critic really shows through here, as he relies heavily on sci-fi and military film tropes and cliches to build his story. The perspectives chosen to construct the narrative (third person and close third person) are an unwelcome departure from Old Man's War's first person, and this results in a slight feeling of disjointedness and a lack of intimacy. Only loosely connected to the previous novel in terms of characte...more
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Dec 12, 2011 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Scalzi fans, people looking for modern sci-fi
Shelves: male-lead, sci-fi
Perhaps twice a winter, I enjoy making a big pot of chili, suitable for snowy nights and bone chilling cold. I spend much of the morning slicing, dicing and simmering. Although I follow the same general recipe every time, on occasion it just doesn't turn out as savory. I don't know if I boiled instead of simmered, uncovered instead of covered, or failed to sneak in extra secret spice. All the same ingredients and yet it doesn't quite spark. Still decent, mind you--I wouldn't throw it out--but I...more
Once I'd loved Old Man's War , it wasn't going to be long until The Ghost Brigades bubbled to the top of my next-in-series reading list. As a sequel, it lacked a lot of the 'wow' factor of the previous novel – we already know how the CDF works; how the soldiers are 'made'; and that there are a number of alien races out there that just plain don't like us. The one part of the CDF that Scalzi held back on a bit in the previous novel was the special forces, or Ghost Brigades. Created as children i...more
The Ghost Brigades returns to the universe of Scalzi's novel Old Man's War. In the first book, Scalzi introduced readers to John Perry and Earth's rejuvenated soldiers, the Colonial Defense Forces. This time around, he takes us into the world of The Ghost Brigades, the special forces of the CDF. Jane Sagan must track down a traitor, and what better way to find a traitor than to copy his consciousness into a freshly-baked Ghost Brigade soldier? But the transfer doesn't work ... at least, not righ...more
Perfectly enjoyable, fairly shallow retread of the themes expressed in Old Man's War. Plus one evil mastermind who gives a big third-act villain speech, sealing his doom, instead of just keeping his stupid mouth shut. The lead character is a cypher (literally) and not nearly as much fun as the old man from book one.

I'd go on to book three but my library is all out of audiobooks and I don't think I'd get too far trying to actually read one.
Dec 30, 2011 Adam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
This was even better than "Old Man's War." John Scalzi has quickly become a new favorite author of mine and I hope he has a lot more book's like this one. It's a big, grand space opera with great characters, awesome aliens, some interesting politics and amazing action sequences. It's fun, smart science fiction the way it used to be,
It's a funny thing reading science fiction, because sometimes getting the technobabble is part of the charm, but sometimes you get pages and pages of expository jargon and explaining how made-up technology works and it's basically the author wanking onto the page. I had this thought while reading The Ghost Brigades because it threw at me a couple of passages that fit into the latter category.

The challenge for a second book in a series is that now you've lost the sense of discovery of a universe,...more
I save five-star ratings for books either of consummate skill or of dramatic social significance. Scalzi's The Ghost Brigades earns five stars from me for achieving both in the same work.

The second book in the series initiated by Old Man's War, this novel takes a sharp turn towards fundamental questions of humanity as asked and ultimately answered by one whose humanity is in grave doubt. The outsider at the center of this book, along with his fellow bio-engineered freaks, take the disturbing not...more
Askeri Bilim-kurgu diyince herhalde aklıma ilk John Scalzi gelecek bundan sonra. Yaşlı Adamın Savaşı'ndaki etkileyici hayal dünyası bu kitapda da aynen devam ediyor.

Koloni Birliği'nin başı yine derttedir. Bilinç nakli konusunda uzman ünlü bilim adamı Boutin onlara ihanet etmiş ve düşman ırklarla işbirliği yapmaktadır. Üstelik özel kuvvetler gemileri de gizemli bir şekilde ortadan kaybolmaya başlamıştır.

Kahramanımız Jared ise bu hainin yanlışlıkla yok etmeyi unuttuğu kayıtlı bilincinden kopyala...more
Steven Stennett
Doesn't posses the impact of the first novel 'The old mans war.' This doesn't stop it being an excellent read.

This time around,the focus of the book is more about the politics of coexisting with aliens, and the concept of slavery, which is still a huge problem in the 2014, never mind the future.

Would you every imagine, this would be true in the futuristic, 2000's?

Human clones, genetically ramped up to be super soldiers, unquestionable fight, every other sentinel, technology advance species in s...more
Nov 23, 2007 Mike rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: scifi
Old Man's War was great. This sequel was also very interesting. Focused solely on the special forces and how they are born, trained and think. Very cool battles and ideas. Well worth the time.

As y'all may have learned to expect from John Scalzi, this sequel to Old Man's War is quite entertaining. The battle scenes are as good as any in this list: The Forever War by Joe Haldeman Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein Gateway by Frederik Pohl The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven.

Though there's a bit too much of 'explaining' the technology and the alien cultures for my taste (after several instances, I skimmed over the rest.), I do not consider this as diminishing the overall likeability of the book. The tone is more serious than its predecessor, an improvement IMHO; the funny scene setups can detract from the st

Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit:

The Ghost Brigades is the second novel in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR saga. It focuses on the Ghost Brigades — the Special Forces soldiers that the Colonial Union (CU) creates by genetic engineering and who have special powers because of the BrainPal computers in their heads. They’re born in adult bodies and are rapidly assimilated into the Special Forces, though they are a little immature because of their mental age and they la...more
Ben Babcock
The Ghost Brigades is set a few years after Old Man’s War. Scalzi fleshes out this universe a little more, introducing us to a few more species and providing some more hints at interstellar politics beyond the Colonial Union. Like the first book, though, this is a story of the soldiers on the ground rather than the bigwigs in some legislature. The closest we get to that are the conversations between Generals Mattson and Szilard, which are reminiscent of similar conversations in Ender’s Game: the...more
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John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.

(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)
More about John Scalzi...
Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) Redshirts The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3) Fuzzy Nation Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)

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“To everyone who thinks writing a sequel should be easy because you've already clreated the universe: Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Heh. No.” 4 likes
“To everyone who thinks writing a sequel should be easy because you've already created the universe: Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Heh. No.” 3 likes
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