Kathryn's Reviews > Old Man's War

Old Man's War by John Scalzi
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Apr 01, 12

bookshelves: 2012-reads, science-fiction
Recommended for: SF fans
Read in March, 2012, read count: 1

At my husband's recommendation, I finally picked up Old Man's War by John Scalzi. It was EXCELLENT. It begins with a fantastic hook: on his 75th birthday, protagonist John Perry did two things. One, he visited his wife's grave; two, he joined the army. The reader immediately knows something's up with joining the army, as your average 75-year-old isn't exactly up to that level of physical activity. We spend the first few chapters following Perry as he learns about just how a seventy-five-year-old man can be reconditioned to serve in a military force, and the remainder of the book is spent following Perry through his first few years of service; he finds himself in the midst of a huge interstellar war.

The major strength of Old Man's War by far was world-building; Scalzi creates a believable universe (well, believable if you are willing to accept FTL travel and multitudes of alien species) and populates it with interesting, relatable characters. I enjoyed John Perry's sense of humor and sympathized when people met his sarcastic remarks with blank stares. His character growth, which is really what's going on in this novel behind the scenes, was fascinating - just how would people react in this situation?

I highly recommend Old Man's War for SF fans and for anyone who enjoys a good bout of world-building.
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