Scott's Reviews > The Ghost Brigades

The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
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M_50x66
's review
Aug 18, 09

Read in July, 2009

This book is a somewhat disappointing sequel to Scalzi's OLD MAN'S WAR, which is considerably superior due to its effective evocation of Heinlein's classic STARSHIP TROOPERS and the originality of its futuristic setting. THE GHOST BRIGADES mentions the protagonist of the first book only in passing and instead revolves around the "love interest" from the first book. Whereas the reader got to experience the world of OLD MAN'S WAR from the first-time perspective of its protagonist, making everything feel fresh and immediate, the third person narration of THE GHOST BRIGADES feels very standard and uninspired.

This only accentuates how unoriginal much of the plot is (something Scalzi acknowledges in his author notes). The novel's plot is largely a creative amalgamation of familiar elements from the space opera genre. The plot events are even more movie-like than the end of OLD MAN'S WAR, a melange of convenient action scenes in which a handful of heroes are capable of saving the day. Nor are the characters particularly interesting or likeable, not even the love interest from the first novel. The only reason to recommend reading this novel is because of the added detail and richness it adds to Scalzi's world building, which remains innovative and exciting. Indeed, the world building is so intriguing that it makes the book worth 3 stars.
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