One of the worst things you can do as a writer is make characters in your book behave in a certain way for the sole reason that you want the reader to...moreOne of the worst things you can do as a writer is make characters in your book behave in a certain way for the sole reason that you want the reader to react to it, and without any other justification. In this case, Scalzi makes the way that 75 year old people young again a big secret. And why is is a secret? No reason is given in the book, and the only plausible explanation is that Scalzi wants the reader to go "wowww" at the moment of revelation. A trick like that, however, actually breaks the fourth wall, and eliminates the suspension of disbelief, which is so important in a sci-fi novel.
There are some nice ideas in the book, and some ideas that are not as good. I'm not going to detail all of them, of course. But the thing that really ruins the book is the annoying tone of the narrator. Every conversation becomes a sarcastic duel befitting high-school girls, usually with the other party reluctant to participate. Sometimes the jokes even go through, but it quickly becomes very irritating. Scalzi, you want to tell him, get on with your story!
One other issue I had with the book was its ethics. The human race is in an expansion race versus other alien races. Instead of trying to settle with those races, the human race chooses to try and eliminate those other races. The aliens are the bad guys because they are, well, aliens, and the humans are good guys because they are humans, even though they behave in much the same way. This reminds me too much of various fascist regimes and groups in RL.(less)
A scientific mistake involving pig kidney transplants in humans leads the outbreak of a killer disease. A reporter and a doctor try to uncover the tru...moreA scientific mistake involving pig kidney transplants in humans leads the outbreak of a killer disease. A reporter and a doctor try to uncover the truth regarding this new disease. Of course, the heads of the bio company who is responsible for this mistake do the only logical thing to do, which is to murder all the original patients, because no one will notice that all of them have kidney transplants and make a connection.
I learned a lot from this book. For example, if you want to kill someone, the best way to do it is ask your employee bulldozer driver to try and run them over, because all you have to do is ask, and he will never go to the police. Also, the best way to find out if someone is a closet homosexual is to ask him what his favorite music is. If it's Elton John and George Michael then he's gay! Yes, it's as silly as this. The whole book is filled with such nonsensical writing!!!
Utterly ridiculous, the characters are silly and never act logically. For example, if your gay lover is dying from a disease that you unwillingly carried, the best way to avenge yourselves would be to send the only people who want to uncover the truth into the bio company's headquarters and then sabotage the security system so that they would be in danger of getting caught. If you can laugh a hearty mwahahaha, all the better.
The amazing thing is that the writer takes the time to thank all the people who helped him and criticized his work before he actually submitted it to print.Really? they criticized you and still you came up with this? You mean it was actually worse before their criticism? amazing.
This is definitely nominee for the "worst book I've ever read" award.(less)