Zoe's Tale: Old Man's War Book 4
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...more
YES! this enjoyable book was not just enjoyable for its story, but also for how it helped me realize that John Scalzi has been writing like a YA author since the beginning of his career. it just took an actual YA novel penned by him for me to realize that.
he has so much in common with the modern YA authors I've read:
- pleasant but generic writing style that has no interest in impressing its reader with challenging prose
- pleasant characters who are sympathetic but ...more
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 ...more
And Hooray! for John Scalzi.
Taking a page from Orson Scott Card’s playbook, he tells the same story from a different POV and gets a great result.
Scalzi published The Last Colony in 2007, the third in his wildly popular Old Man's War universe and it was good SF, garnering a nod from the Hugo award committee with a nomination for best novel.
Zoe’s Tale was published the next year and was nominated for the Andre Norton Award for YA fiction.
That’s right, Scalzi channeled his inner ...more
Writing it twice under two different titles.
The fourth book in the Old Man’s War series is completely unnecessary. Zoe, an adopted daughter of John and Jane, essentially retells the same story we have already read in “The Last Colony.”
Does it make sense?
None whatsoever. I grant you that some elements, seen from Zoe’e perspective, gain new details, while in the previous books they were either just mentioned or ignored altogether. The question is whether it ...more
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 ...more
I must admit that I was a little worried about this novel. To use the same plot as the one in The Last Colony, but told from a different point of view, is a dangerous thing to do. Well, I really should have trusted Scalzi because of course he pulls it off.
Zoe has a great voice, quite similar to John Perry's, with the same humour but tons more sarcasm, and that 'je-ne-sais-quoi' that teenagers have. Well, some. After a few pages, I was sold and completely engrossed in this character's ...more
Many of the initial chapters say things like "My dad gave ...more
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 ...more
My issue with the book is that it is "only" a companion novel to the last book in the series. It tells exactly the same story and therefore it has zero tension. It clarifies 2-3 plotpoints from the The Last Colony, but I'm not sure if I needed a whole book for ...more
It's a story that you can only read when you read book 3 of Old Man's War. With that being said, it feels like a different genre. The teenagers all act like YA novels but younger YA. Not cursing, no sexual talk, basically nothing like real teenagers. Now, I'm not saying I need that in a story, but when you have an adult series for 3 books and then it goes to young teen book, it's weird.
So this is the ...more
Hearing how Zoe thinks and reacts to things is fascinating and even though we may know where things are going, ...more
We pick up Zoe as she's turning from naive teenager into someone far more aware of her place in the world. And what an amazing place is it. Zoe forms the treaty between humans and another race of people called the Obin. Her father helped them out before he died, so she has become their link to him and the person they use to model their new found consciousness on. The book explains it much better, you'll ...more
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 ...more
The only redeeming feature of the book was the next 15% which deals with Zoe's diplomatic mission to the Conclave. We didn't ...more
This is much, much better than the tepid The Last Colony. Zoe's POV is not a retelling; there were so many events unfolding that you could only see through her eyes, especially the ones with the Obin and other aliens. I think her relationship with Hickory and Dickory is my favorite part of the book, as heartbreaking as it is.
I was rather worried that it would be ...more
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.
2014, September 2
So I'm pretty disappointed ...more
I honestly don't know why this book was written.
This is a retelling of the Last Colony from Zoe's point of view. There might be compelling reasons to return to an already told narrative - to add a new perspective, to elucidate events which were unclear in the first telling, to squeeze a successful frnachise's teenage ...more
Moreover, the way Zoe talks mostly sounds like a young John Perry which isn't exactly a compliment because so much of the witty banter just felt forced and no. I think there was some halfhearted attempt at meta involved here ...more
I love Enzo's character, and totally ...more
I'm not sure what the purpose of this book was. Was it to "prove" Scalzi could write YA material? Was it simply a cash-grab? I was hoping it was a book that continued the Perry's story, maybe moving on to the next generation starring Zoe in all-new adventures. Alas, it was not to be.
It's a complete retelling the previous book, The Last Colony, from John and Jane's adopted teenage daughter's perspective. I liked Zoe's character in the previous books, but I don't really need to ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy ...more
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 ...more
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(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.)