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The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)
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SERIES—List & Discussions > Old Man’s War #2–The Ghost Brigades: Finished Reading *spoilers allowed*

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message 1: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Have you finished reading The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi, book 2 in the Old Man’s War series? What did you think?

Spoilers allowed!


message 2: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2151 comments Mod
I finished it this afternoon, and I think I liked it even better than the first! It felt like a very different type of story - less disjointed, I guess? I missed John Perry at first but it didn't take long for me to get drawn in by Jared. What a fascinating character! And what a fascinating glimpse at the Special Forces, their training, and their whole culture. Jared's ability to bridge two worlds is/was encouraging for the future of the CDF.

I was completely wrong in my prediction about WHY Boutin turned traitor -- I did suspect that Zoe was alive, but my hunch was that the Odin were holding her hostage to force Boutin's cooperation. The actual reason was MUCH more interesting, and the ending nicely sets up questions to be answered (I hope) in future volumes.


message 3: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
I finished the book this evening and, although the story certainly flowed along (Scalzi is a gifted storyteller), I found myself pretty indifferent to Jared as a character, maybe because he was always becoming someone and really wasn’t himself until the end. Like Shel, I found the training and culture of the Special Forces fascinating.

As for the Colonial Union and the CDF—I suspected early on in the first book that the reader and Earth/CDF soldiers/Special Forces/Earth’s colonists were not being told the whole story, but I also didn’t believe the Odin’s & Boutin’s version was the whole story either. The truth lies somewhere in between, and I suspect the series will continue to unravel it.

What will stick with me is the exploration of the meaning consciousness and the idea of always having a choice. Those themes really formed the core of the book for me.


message 4: by Chris, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Chris (heroncfr) | 502 comments Mod
I enjoyed this, even more than the first book in the series. I think this is, in part, because the first book spent so much time on the background situation that the actual story almost felt like an afterthought. I found this story much more engaging. Jared is a somewhat unreliable narrator, but we can at least empathize with the ambiguous situations he finds himself in. It's Boutin's motivation for treason that I can't really buy …. yes, I know it was his daughter, but he maliciously and gleefully slaughters thousands without a seeming second thought ...


message 5: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathi | 3115 comments Mod
Well, it was his daughter, but it was more than that. It was the Colonial Union and CDF using Earth as a “farm” for soldiers and colonists, controlling the information flow, and not joining efforts to divvy up space to achieve some level of peace. Now, that’s his and the Odin’s version of the story, but it does give a bit more justification/rationalization for his treason.


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) | 217 comments I enjoyed this series because of its ideas and many of the characters are appealing, but I wish Scalzi worked on his writing just a little bit more. Still I liked this book.


Jacki Morris I really liked the book. Usually military sci-fi doesn't engage me (David Weber) but Scalzi made Jared the soldier was about more than war and soldiering. I think the ending was the only way it could have ended given the situation on Arist. It honored who Jared was after all the manipulation in his life.


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