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Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War #4)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  10,722 ratings  ·  789 reviews
How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?

I ask because it's what I have to do. I'm Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.

Everyone on Earth knows th
Kindle Edition, Reprint Edition, 420 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Tor Books (first published August 19th 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Zoe Boutin-Perry, teenage colonist and idol to the Obin race, gets stranded on Roanoke along with her parents, John Perry and Jane Sagan. While the Roanoke Colony survive with the Conclave breathing down its neck?

Zoe's Tale is a retelling of the previous John Scalzi book, The Last Colony, from Zoe's point of view. Instead of being a pointless rehash, Zoe's Tale ends up being an emotional tale and completely worth the effort.

Re-telling The Last Colony from Zoe's point of view served multiple purp
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

After enjoying the first three books of Old Man's War, I decided to read Zoe's Tale even though I was familiar with a common complaint of its detractors-- specifically that it tells the same story as book three. But like the optimist I sometimes pretend to be, I thought this one would still be enjoyable. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

This novel is exactly what the title suggests: it is the Zoe (John Perry and Jane Sagan's adopted daughter) version of The L
Alex Ristea
This was a 3-star book until the last hundred or so pages, where it really shined and Scalzi reminded us why he's one of the kings of modern science-fiction.

Zoë's Tale (that's right, dear readers, I looked up that trema for you) is essentially a re-telling of The Last Colony from—you guessed it—Zoe's point of view, much in the same style as Ender's Shadow.

But it's so much more than a simple regurgitation.

Where The Last Colony replaced politics for The Ghost Brigades's action, Zoe's Tale is a sto
Erica Anderson
I think "John Scalzi" is actually a teenage girl who's too smart for her own good. I began this book with the expectation of dropping it after a few chapters. How much could the perspective of a teenage girl interest me, after all, especially when channeled through a male writer?

In Zoe, Scalzi has created a sympathetic, believable and incredibly perceptive character. Though she's more self-aware and clever than any teenager I've ever known, I was willing to go along with it simply for the pleas
John Scalzi returns to his popular "Old Man's War" universe with a parallel novel to the last entry, told from the perspective of Zoe Boutin Perry. Covering the same time frame as the previous entry, "The Last Colony," "Zoe's Tale" examines the ins and outs of the story from Zoe's perspective as a teenage girl and the lynchpin of peace agreeement between several interstellar races.

Hearing how Zoe thinks and reacts to things is fascinating and even though we may know where things are going, Scal
Jan 12, 2009 Danielle rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who had issues with lack of explantions from Last Colony
Shelves: sci-fi, ya, pans, 2009-read
First impressions: This DEFINITELY reads like a YA book, even though it was shelved in the adult section of my local library. Zoe is an annoying little wench. Everyone just has the perfect retort for every comment. The weird part about it being a YA book is that it's not a stand-alone novel; if I hadn't already read the entire Old Man's War series, I don't think this would make sense. Or at the very least, it would come across as trite.

Many of the initial chapters say things like "My dad gave t
Mmm, brain candy. And I don't mean that in any kind of bad way. This isn't hard SF, it's easy to read, easy to follow, nothing too complicated. It's more about people. I think I liked this more than I liked The Last Colony, though I gave that a similar rating -- it was good to get into Zoe's head, good to see things from a different perspective, and this way you could get to know the Obin a little better, and see what happened behind the scenes, so to speak.

I love Enzo's character, and totally f
This inter-galactic science fiction about a teenage girl who is destined to save her planetary colony from certain destruction has a promising start. But I ultimately lost interest due to the fact that every bit of information was conveyed through dialogue, including scenes that would have been better served being experienced first hand by the reader through descriptive action sequences--like battle scenes and explosive attacks. After awhile I grew tired of just hearing about what happened throu ...more
Jul 21, 2012 Laura rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Cousin George
This book cracked me up. I am reasonably sure it was not written as a comment on Twilight. And yet. The POV teenage girl character, Zoe, is such a critique of Bella that I kinda want to leave her something in my will.

Like Bella, Zoe is the unreasoning object of devotion of alien creatures. Zoe’s father gave them a gift that their gods withheld from them. Zoe is the object of devotion, protected and cherished. Devotion that also makes her a target.

(Full disclosure: I have never read Twilight. I
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit:

Zoe’s Tale, the fourth book in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR series, is the same story we were told in book three, The Last Colony, except it’s from Zoe’s perspective. Zoe is the 17-year-old daughter of the traitorous scientist Charles Boutin. Jane Sagan and John Perry adopted Zoe when she was a small child and they’ve been farming on one of Earth’s colonies for years. Now, though, the family is off to lead the settlers of a new c
What a cynical cash grab this book feels like. Good grief. What else can you say about a book that came out the next year after the previous book where the author proclaimed, in post-text notes, that the story had been concluded?

And yet, before long, there arrived Zoe's Tale, a story told in parallel to The Last Colony, first-person in the perspective of Zoe Boutin-Perry, as you might expect from such a titled book. It's basically like if you take The Last Colony and take out 85% of the good pa
Chris Hawks
Much like Orson Scott Card did when he revisited the events of Ender's Game from a different viewpoint with Ender's Shadow, John Scalzi uses the fourth volume of his Old Man's War series to retell the plot of The Last Colony. I like to think that Scalzi pulls it off better than even Card did, mainly because the whole same-story-from-different-perspectives thing works even better with first-person narratives, and Scalzi's narrators couldn't be much more different: a 90-year-old (mentally) ex-sold ...more
David Sven
Zoe's Tale is a retelling of the previous book in the series The Last Colony from Zoe's perspective (My Review of The Last Colony Its basically exactly the same story minus most the interesting bits told by a teenage girl. As much as I enjoyed that story the first time around, after 80% into this last book it was really dragging.

The only redeeming feature of the book was the next 15% which deals with Zoe's diplomatic mission to the Conclave. We didn't
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Along with legions of others, I'm a fan of John's blog, The Whatever. (Well, it's actually just Whatever, but for some stupid reason it amuses me to say THE Whatever. Anyway.) And, when you read someone's blog, you're entitled to refer to them on a first-name basis. I don't know why I feel this way, but it just seems right, doesn't it? Anyway.

So, me and John go way back. Like four months. And for all of that time, I've been curious to get my hands on one of his books and see if they live up to t
Fred Hughes
Author John Scalzi has answered our wishes to know more about John Perry and Jane Sagan’s adopted daughter Zoe. Zoe’s father had attempted to destroy all of humanity but was defeated by the Colonial Defense Force.

Zoe’s story plays out as we get to see from her perspective what she was seeing, and doing, that was only hinted at in the applicable Old Man’s War series.

Who else has two alien body guards and a step Dad and Mom who have to run a new colony on a hidden planet. While Zoe is adopted, sh
Another excellent read in the Old Man's War universe. I am sad that this is the last tale of it because I enjoyed all four books. Hopefully one day Scalzi will revisit it.

Highly recommended to all sci-fi fans (but read them in order!)
Dave Johnson
one of those books that's just bad enough to not want to read, yet just good enough to not quit.

well, i liked Scalzi's other books. and, while i cant say that they were amazing, i definitely thought that they were entertaining--even though i had some issues with the content. i tell my friends that its "sci-fi lite".

but this wasnt very great. but, as i said, its just good enough to make you want to not quit--which is extremely annoying. i guess that's the best word to describe this book: annoyin
Somehow I managed to start reading this without even glancing at any of the cover blurbs, so at first I didn't realize this novel was set in the world of Old Man's War. In fact, it's apparently a retelling, from a different perspective, of the third book in that series (of which I've only read the first so far). As it turns out, that didn't matter at all.

This is a great story of interstellar colonization, politics, and war, narrated by a smart and snarky teenaged girl. It is, by turns, gripping
Sixteen-year old Zoë Boutin Perry is your average teenaged girl. She has a best friend, a boyfriend, a lovable--if clueless--pet, and two alien bodyguards (whom she, at a much younger age, named Hickory and Dickory) trained and prepared to eliminate any and all threats to her well-being. I guess Zoë has a couple of things that separate her from the average teenager after all. Fans of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War Trilogy will recognize Zoë as the adopted daughter of Jane and John Perry and a young ...more
So, the biggest part of telling a story in parallel with one already told is to make it interesting in a unique way because the major plot points are already known. He mentions Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead as one of his inspirations, and as one of my faves I'd say it's a good role model. Scalzi doesn't do what Stoppard did for them, but what he did do for Zöe he did well: he made her human. And gave her heart. I'll mention that the next is a spoiler but not if you've read The Last Col ...more
Fantasy Literature
Zoe’s Tale, the fourth book in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR series, is the same story we were told in book three, The Last Colony, except it’s from Zoe’s perspective. Zoe is the 17-year-old daughter of the traitorous scientist Charles Boutin. Jane Sagan and John Perry adopted Zoe when she was a small child and they’ve been farming on one of Earth’s colonies for years. Now, though, the family is off to lead the settlers of a new colony called Roanoke (uh-oh). When they get there they realize they’ ...more
Richard Radgoski
Zoe's tale is a companion tale to the Last Colony, itself book 3 of the Old Man's War "trilogy". For much of the book, it described events the readers of the Last Colony are very familiar with but from Zoe's perspective. (Teenage girl, adopted Daughter of John and Jane Perry and icon to the Obin race) Mr. Scalzi did a good job in capturing her maturation throughout this book, setting us all (Zoe and the readers) for the part of the tale we didn't know - how Zoe went away from Roanoke colony and ...more
Scalzi tries to pull off an "Orson Scott Card" parallel sequel. Zoe's Tale is to "The Last Colony" as Ender's Shadow is to ________. Come on, you can answer the SAT/ACT question can't you? This one does not come off quite as good as Card's sequels do but it is decent. Zoe's Tale is definitely YA, lot's of teenage hormones, banter and hijinx. I enjoyed it and the last quarter of the book gets serious in a good way. You must read The Last Colony before you get this one. But Zoe's Tale will bring s ...more
2012 January 2

Scalzi totally nailed it. I really, really, really want Veronica to get to this soon, and tell me what she thinks. Telling the same story from a different point of view allows him to expand on bits that received less attention in The Last Colony, but it also allowed him to tell more about the regular lives of the colonists, and how they manage to amuse themselves. I loved it, snarky teenaged heroine and all.

Librarypersonal copy.
-Intrascendente en contenidos, descarado en la propia concepción.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. Relato de los mismos sucesos que el volumen anterior de la saga, “La colonia perdida”, pero desde el punto de vista de la hija adoptiva de John Perry y su esposa Jane. Cuarto libro de la serie La Vieja Guardia.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:
This one starts slow. It's hard to get excited about a story where you already know most of the major outcomes because it's the previous book, told from a different POV. So I was pleasantly surprised that it ended up sucking me in more than I initially gave it credit for. At times I felt that Zoe was more clever and mature than I remember teenagers being, but with that in mind I found the ending to be quite well done and satisfying.
I'd give it 3.5 stars if that were an option. The ending redeemed the book in terms of it having a raison d'etre and not just being a retelling of the Last Colony from the point of view of a sarcastic, mildly manipulative teenage girl; redeemed it in both plot and character ways. This could be a 5-star novella if judiciously cut down.
At the end of The last colony, the author said that that book was going to be the last one of the Old Man's War series. Under the pressure of readers he changed his mind and he later added this new book to it. Zoe's Tale does not read as a sequel, but more like a tribute to the series. It feels like seeing the places of your childhood through the eyes of a grown up... or the exact opposite: the story is the one of the previous book, but it is now told by young Zoe from her point of view. At firs ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Still trying to figure out why this book was written, and for whom it was written. In his acknowledgements, John Scalzi gave the reasons that people wanted to get to know Zoe, and that there were holes in the Last Colony that needed explaining. Personally, I don't know if those reasons were good enough to justify writing another Old Man's War book in the same setting, especially since Scalzi initially said he didn't plan on it.

Basically, there is very little new story here. We're essentially tak
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Space Opera Fans : [BOTM] - SERIES PICK - Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi 9 23 Sep 08, 2014 11:48AM  
Worst of the series so far... 3 30 Jul 11, 2014 06:27PM  
Can someone please tell me... 8 88 Mar 24, 2014 03:56PM  
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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 Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2) The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3) Fuzzy Nation

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