Tim's Reviews > Zoe's Tale

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
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's review
Jun 21, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: sci-fi, young-adult
Read from June 21 to July 05, 2011

I confess I actually skipped the 3rd book in this series -- the one this book is supposed to be shadowing (blasphemy?). I was meaning to read it, but then this one was sitting right there on a family member's bookshelf, calling to me. Who was I to resist?

Even though I can't really comment on how it compares to The Last Colony, it's clear that it's a bit of a departure from Scalzi's earlier books. As befitting a story narrated by a 17-year old, there's a lot of listening in on "grown-up" conversations and sneaking around the edges of what I imagine is the plot of TLC. The plot is almost entirely advanced by the dialogue between Zoë and her friends, which gives the author his chance to write like a teenager talks.

All this works out more or less successfully. Scalzi is a funny, humane writer and its easy to believe that Zoë, John and most of the rest of them are actual people. The snarky, witty reparté does get to be a little irritating in certain scenes, but then again "trying too hard" is probably a perfectly accurate way of writing teenage characters. Not having read TLC, the plot does feel a little incomplete, but in a way that's appropriate. There's plenty of time for other perspectives once we're grown-up.

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