Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Ghost Brigades” as Want to Read:
The Ghost Brigades
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  48,175 Ratings  ·  2,441 Reviews
The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it's about to become far more dangerous. Thr
ebook, 356 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Ghost Brigades, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Ghost Brigades

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, military, war, aliens, 2011
James Cameron and John Scalzi Share An Awkward Elevator Ride

James Cameron: Could you hit the button for the top floor, please?

John Scalzi: Sure. Say, aren’t you James Cameron?

JC: That’s right. My friends call me King of the World! Ha Ha! Just kidding.

JS: Right.

JC: You look kind of familiar. Have we met?

JS: Met? No. Maybe you recognize me from my author’s photo on my books. I’m John Scalzi.

Long pause

JC: Uh……No, sorry. I don’t think I’ve read your books.

JS: Really? You haven’t read Old Man’s War
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things I like about John Scalzi’s 2006 novel The Ghost Brigades.

1. It is the second book in the Old Man's War series, but not really a sequel, more of an expansion from the universe created by Old Man’s War. In this respect, Old Man’s War was more like a prequel, just crafting a setting for what comes later.

2. Green super humans.

3. Scalzi has demonstrated an adept ability to tell a serious story and have fun with it while still not taking himself too seriously, yet at the same time not devolving
mark monday
Feb 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: futuristik
overall this is a fun, fast-paced, and competently written novel. after finishing this book, I immediately wanted to read more - a good sign! and it is a thoughtful novel - I really liked how it carefully and quietly lays down small but important plot points that are clearly going to be even more important as this space opera continues. in general, I like Scalzi's minor note approach to his world and it is well-matched with prose that is clear and straightforward yet sympathetic and often resona ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
“They can run all the tests they want; nothing will show anything but evidence of a natural catastrophe. Because that's what it was.
It just had a little help."

I don’t know whether it was because I was more focused this time, but I believe I enjoyed Ghost Brigades a bit more than Old Man's War. Scalzi is extremely popular, and rightly so. His military Science Fiction stories are tautly plotted and fairly lean, which means you can read them quickly. Yet, they also deal with interesting concepts a
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Warning: Spoilers for Old Man's War, book one in the Old Man's War sequence.

A secret is discovered and war is looming. Former enemies are allied against the Colonial Union and it's up to the Special Forces, the Ghost Brigades, to stop them. They only take the dirtiest jobs and this is no exception.

The Ghost Brigades deals almost exclusively with the Special Forces who have been nicknamed the Ghost Brigades on account of their entire Forces using the bodies of people who did not enter the militar
Dan Schwent
Dec 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2010, the-scalz
In order to catch a traitorous military scientist, Charles Boutin, the Colonial Defense Forces transfer a recording of his consciousness into a new body. Thus, Jared Dirac is born. The transfer apparently didn't take and Dirac joins the CDF's special forces, the Ghost Brigades. When Boutin's personality begins surfacing, Jared's life takes a turn for the worse. Can Jared stop Boutin before the CDF goes to war against three alien armies?

This wasn't exactly what I was expecting from a sequel to O
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
“To everyone who thinks writing a sequel should be easy because you've already created the universe: Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Heh. No.”

Sorry, man. I feel for you, but it doesn't make me give you any sympathy stars.

Why was this book sucky compared to the first one?

We lost our old hero from the last book, John, and it was his wittiness and maturity that made the story way more than just some space war deal. John's humanity made his journey more compelling to read because we could relate to his fee
Megan Baxter
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book, a bunch of people had told me that it wasn't very good, didn't live up to its predecessor, Old Man's War. But while I do agree it's not quite as good as Old Man's War, I liked The Ghost Brigades a great deal more than I was expecting.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
The Colonial Defense Force is desperate. They've learned that three species are gearing up to fight a war against The Colonial Union. This isn't the most surprising or frightening part. The worst part is there is one human involved, Charles Boutin. Boutin is a genius CDF military scientist who knows all their secrets and who should be dead. The CDF is willing to do whatever it takes to learn why Boutin turned even going to the point of making a clone using something Boutin should've never left b ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the second volume of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series. I enjoyed the first book Old Man's War very much, I even rated it 5 stars on my Goodreads review (adjusted to 4 later). However, I read it in June 2011 and I have just read this second volume three years later. The reason is that since reading that first volume I have read so many books that I like much better and a 5 stars rating seems inaccurate. In all fairness I do not think there is much wrong with Old Man's War apart from som ...more
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Old Man's War
Executive Summary: A fun sci-fi space opera. You won't get deep plot, just a fast-paced military story...IN SPACE!

Audio book: This is the second book I've listened to by William Dufris. He's pretty good. He speaks clearly and with good inflections.

You can tell the characters apart. He did seem to use the same voices as from Cryptonomicon, so I kept thinking of characters from that book. Overall though, I enjoy him as a narrator.

Full Review
Somehow I hadn't heard of John Scalzi before last yea
What is important about choice? Is it really important how you choose or is it more important that you have the ability to choose in the first place?
Just now you chose to read my review out of a million other things you could have done, so thank you for that. But it was your freedom of choice that enabled you to choose my review.

Jared Dirac doesn't have that kind of choice. He is a member of the Special Forces, genetically engineered soldiers who's only purpose is to save humanity via black ops
Jan 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I believe that science fiction and fantasy are the most effective way of exploring our own morality. When we see people in an alternate world, it is easier for us to step back and look at the choices they make as a parallel to the choices we make. It forces us to really consider the state of our world, and whether or not changes need to be made for the better. Scalzi has written incredibly real and humane characters, in a plot that is very timely to the world we live in. This book will stay with ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Fear isn’t the desire to avoid death or pain. Fear is rooted in the knowledge that what you recognize as yourself can cease to exist. Fear is existential.”

This sequel to Old Man's War brings quite a different point of view of this universe. The narration doesn't follow John Perry but in fact two members of the Ghost Brigade, section of the military introduced briefly in the first book, Jane Sagan providing the only real link between the two. Again, we get the adaptation to a new body but th
Dec 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Scalzi fans, people looking for modern sci-fi
Shelves: sci-fi, male-lead
Perhaps twice a winter, I enjoy making a big pot of chili, suitable for snowy nights and bone chilling cold. I spend much of the morning slicing, dicing and simmering. Although I follow the same general recipe every time, on occasion it just doesn't turn out as savory. I don't know if I boiled instead of simmered, uncovered instead of covered, or failed to sneak in extra secret spice. All the same ingredients and yet it doesn't quite spark. Still decent, mind you--I wouldn't throw it out--but I ...more
David Sven
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Ghost Brigades starts a new story after the events of Old Man's War. John Perry is not a POV character this time around, but Jane Sagan returns as a major character. Harry Wilson, the genius in spite of not having the math, also plays a smaller role.

The BrainPal technology developed by the Colonial Defense Force has so far given the human military an edge in its competition against other alien life forms for colonisable planets. But even superior technology may not be enough to counter a secret
[Name Redacted]
Weaker than the previous entry, but still fairly readable. Scalzi's work as a film-critic really shows through here, as he relies heavily on sci-fi and military film tropes and cliches to build his story. The perspectives chosen to construct the narrative (third person and close third person) are an unwelcome departure from Old Man's War's first person, and this results in a slight feeling of disjointedness and a lack of intimacy. Only loosely connected to the previous novel in terms of characte ...more
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ako nešto volim, volim kad je knjiga inteligentno pisana. A scalzi je očito svladao tu vještinu. Još mi je bolja od prve, prepuna je easter eggova, sinteze ideja iz različitih klasika SFa, a opet originalna. Puna je iznenađenja, radnja je cijelo vrijeme glatka i logična bez trzavica, i kraj je pomalo neočekivan ali sasvim u skladu s ostatkom. i nije preduga. napokon je netko svatio da knjiga ne mora imati 400 strana. 4.5 zaokruženo na 5
3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book more than book one. I was so relieved that John Perry did not make an appearance in this book as I had found him kind of bland and boring. Instead, we get lots more Jane Sagan and a new Special Forces soldier, Jared Dirac, both of whom go on interesting journeys in this novel. And some worrisome and illuminating info is related by the antagonist, which will presumably be dealt with in later books in this series.
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like John Scalzi's writing. It's not too fancy, no particular bells and whistles, but it's not stilted either. It goes down easy. The Ghost Brigades is set in the same context as Old Man's War, and links up to it in various ways, but the main protagonist is a different one with a whole different bundle of issues. I wasn't surprised that Scalzi decided to write more about the Ghost Brigades, and I was half-expecting it not to link up at all -- which would have been disappointing, really. ...more
Kevin Kelsey
Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this, especially the last 1/3. It's an incredible story, but the writing is just terribly clunky. The secondary characters are all basically the same person, and the exposition between them is way too obvious and unrealistic. It's not delivered in a way that people actually talk to one another. That's my main gripe with it, really. It was also missing the humor that made 'Old Man's War' so much fun.

A big part of the reason I had to give it 3 stars is that thi
Ivan Lutz
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nije bolje od Old Mana, jer nedostaje mi John Perry, ali i dalje je to odlično. Heinlenovski do ibera, i zapravo začuđuje koliko Scalzi plagira Heinleina stilski. Ne da je isto, nego je ISTO. E sad, to je i dobro i loše; loše jer nije stilski orginalno, a dobro jer ne može svatko pisati kao stari Bob a Scalzi to može i to obilato koristi.

Radnja je također svježa, rat traje između ljudi, Eneshana, Obina i Rraeya. Sklapa se čudan savez, ali i politčka previranja s više strana tkio će koga i tko ć
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Meni znatan pad u privlačnosti no i dalje dobra vojna space-opera.

Izgleda kao samo jedna epizoda u općoj tematici no pojavila se negdje pri kraju informacija koja izgleda bitnom za nastavke.

Scalzi je odlučio malo skloniti našeg glavnog djeda iz početka sage i od poznatih tu je samo njegova simpatija poručnica Sagan no to ništa ne smeta - i dalje odlična literatura za ljeto.

Sad jedan mali odmor od teme pa povratak na treći nastavak.

Više od trojke, manje od četvorke - ako vam se uvod dopao svakako
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
That ending! I need the next book right now. I need more answers about The Conclave and Anti-Conclave and to get to read about John Perry again.

Also worth noting, this is more than a fun romp of an SF book. It's also very reflective and has deeper themes. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of what it means to be human, prejudice and choice.
There are plenty of good reviews on GR of this sequel to Old Man's War, so I'll dispense with a plot description. It was a well-written, briskly-paced tale, but I didn't like it quite as much as Old Man's War. That earlier first-person narrative had the perfect blend of humor, future world-building, exciting military adventure, and likeable characters. Just the fact that The Ghost Brigades did not feature John Perry from the first book was a bit of a disappointment (though he does resurface in l ...more
Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
didn't work as well for me as Old Man's War. The first part was ok, almost a carbon copy of the debut of the series - with special training and first mission as part of a crack team. It was towards the conclusion when things really came apart and I felt like I was reading a cross breeder between Austin Powers and a late Steven Segal flick.

(view spoiler)
Alex Ristea
If you're a fan of Scalzi's writing—and his humour—you'll like this book!

On the surface, it may seem like a light, easy read, but there are quite a few interesting social commentaries about humans, rationality, purpose, and how we think.

And really, what better way to tackle these issues than in an incredibly entertaining story set in an equally fascinating world?

My only minor gripe is that there are a lot of info dumps not attached to any particular POV. I guess I've been reading a lot of tight
Sercan Vatansever
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
İtiraf edeyim biraz yoruyor. Kenara çekilip soluklanmak istediğim zamanlar oldu çünkü dur durak bilmiyor bu kitap. İlk kitabı daha etkileyici ve daha komik bulmuştum ama bu da müthiş zaman geçirtiyor. Tek eksik yanı ilki kadar akılda kalıcı olmaması. (Belki ilkini 2,5 kez okuduğumdan da olabilir tabii bu.... Bilemiyorum.) Belki biraz mesaj verme kaygısı gütse veya sorgulama, irdeleme vs. olsaydı daha çarpıcı olabilirdi. Neyse, karakterleri sevdim ve özgün fikirlerle dolu bir kitap. John Scalzi h ...more
Milda Page Runner
On it's own - it's a good read. But if you'll compare it to Old Man's War - it doesn't have the same subtlety, depth and emotional impact of the first book. That said - I did enjoy the story. It's got science, humour, military action, unexpected ally and ..unlikely villain. That's one grumble I have about the book - I wasn't convinced about main villain's motivations and chosen methods in the end. Ah, well.. - I still enjoyed reading it and planing to get the next one.
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating plot but so-so execution. The problem is that I find the whole “oh no I was just an empty vessel for his consciousness” thing ironic, since all of Scalzi’s characters read like empty vessels for Scalzi’s own consciousness. Which obviously I know is the case, but the fact that they all have the same kind of “voice”, the same sense of humor, and the same personality (or lack-off) gets tiring. It was a bit hard to get past this, and it bothered me because (view spoiler) ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Fearless (The Lost Fleet, #2)
  • Abaddon's Gate (The Expanse, #3)
  • Orphanage (Jason Wander, #1)
  • Echoes of Honor (Honor Harrington, #8)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • The Temporal Void
  • Deepsix (The Academy, #2)
  • The Heart of Valor (Confederation, #3)
  • Chasm City
  • Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs, #3)
  • Engaging the Enemy (Vatta's War, #3)
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...

Other Books in the Series

Old Man's War (6 books)
  • Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1)
  • The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3)
  • Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)
  • The Human Division (Old Man's War, #5)
  • The End of All Things (Old Man's War, #6)

Share This Book

“To everyone who thinks writing a sequel should be easy because you've already clreated the universe: Bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha! Heh. No.” 13 likes
“Colonel, I'm giving you a direct order. Eat the fucking cookie.” 11 likes
More quotes…