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The Last Colony by John Scalzi

The Last Colony

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Man's War (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,462892,495 (3.87)138
  1. 50
    Old Man's War by John Scalzi (Karlstar)
    Karlstar: John Scalzi introduces the universe of the Colonial Union in this book. Similar in feel to Starship Troopers, in many ways.
  2. 10
    The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley (goodiegoodie)

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» See also 138 mentions

English (86)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  All (89)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
continues to be a great story!! ( )
  longhorndaniel | Jul 19, 2017 |
While I came to be a John Scalzi fan through Red Shirts, his fantastically entertaining spoof of a Star Trek-esque show, comedy is only one of his many talents. Many of his stand alones are humorous, but also offering unexpected poignant moments, he can take a crazy idea and make it work.

He can also be more serious and take an entire universe, complete with hundreds of species of aliens and extrapolate what relations between them could be, in addition to commentary on the complications within a single species, be it human or otherwise. That is the brilliance of the Old Man's War series. There are humorous exchanges between characters and the occasional funny situation but overall this series shows humans setting out into the universe and becoming one of it's larger powers, how it deals with other life forms, and how it deals with it's own.

We navigate many social and moral situations with John Perry, an old man from Earth who embarked on a new military career when he thought he had nothing left to miss at home. He had no idea what he was in for. There are definite echoes of Joe Haldeman's Forever War in Perry's experiences, though he was given a completely new young body in the beginning, and is on at least his second new body by this third installment of the series. He thought he was out of the action, trying to live a quiet life with his wife, a retired special forces soldier, farming on a colony world. Usually his most challenging task is mediating between colonists, and it's a good life, but it's not to be. Perry and Jane are back in the thick of things between the Colonial Union and the Conclave in a dominance struggle, with all the complications and action that will bring.

During all of these battles and discussions and alien encounters, Scalzi is able to give his characters personalities we can relate to and care for, so it's not all dry Sci-Fi but also engaging on an emotional level. Perry is given many difficult decisions that don't have a clear answer, with many looking to him in leadership roles that he never really wanted. He's just a guy, trying to live a life, being the best person he can be, in extreme circumstances.

I'm enjoying the Old Man's War series in a completely different way than Scalzi's humorous stand alone novels, and it's a great example of the complexity and deep thought that he is so capable of conveying, examining difficult issues from all angles. If you're needing entertainment and laughs, check out Red Shirts. When you're ready for a more serious examination of intelligent inter and intra species relationships and military/government intrigue, then you're ready for Old Man's War. ( )
1 vote shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
But where did the werewolf-thingies go? ( )
  pan0ramix | May 26, 2017 |
Back to our first hero, but in a new setting. All new challenges and just as good as the first. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
I almost did not pick up the first book in this series, Old Man’s War, because I am not a big fan of military science fiction. The blurb on the book cover intrigued me, though, and I found both this book and the sequel, Ghost Brigade, enjoyable with much better characters with more admirable traits than you normally find in this particular subgenre of science fiction. The Last Colony, in my opinion, provides a satisfying conclusion to the tale of John Perry, the former genetically altered soldier.
He is in semi-retirement with his wife (a former Special Forces soldier and clone of his dead first wife on Earth) and his adopted daughter (who is revered by an alien species), when he is called on to lead a new colony being established on a distant planet. It soon becomes clear that they have been lied to. The planet they arrive at is not the one they were told they would be colonizing. In fact, they are told they must remain hidden, which means the crew of the ship that brought them there cannot leave, the ship will be destroyed, and they are not to use of anything that can transmit an electronic signal.
To say much more about this would involve spoilers, but it soon becomes clear to Perry that their government is misleading them. What he does not know at first is that the survival of humanity depends on him figuring out what he has not been told, taking a stand against established authority, and countering some of their incredibly poor decisions regarding an alien led federation of species known as the Conclave.
A few things about this book distinguish it from others in this subgenre and make it deserving of a five-star rating. The first is the characters. There is a clear distinction between the main characters in this book. None are cookie-cutter ‘good guys’ or ‘bad guys.’ Each has understandable motivations. Some are admirable, and you care about what they do and what happens to them. Those that aren’t, are at least believable.
The second thing is the story. John and his wife (as the main characters) recognize that what they have been told doesn’t quite make sense. There are gaps, possibly distortions, and they attempt to figure out what those are (i.e. they are not stupid and credulous). Through their actions, they question, they discover, and they act, not with mindless violence, but with thought and well consider planning. This is not a simplistic ‘action’ story.
The third thing about this book that I especially liked is the mood. This is a work of positive science fiction in that it is hopeful. Humanity, despite some shortcomings, can progress and advance. Our biggest challenge is not some alien presence that wants to eat or enslave us but ourselves and how we view our place in the universe. Prejudice and jingoism are greater threats than the other species sharing the stars and John Perry realizes this.
The only negative aspect to the book that I saw was that it introduces a sentient species native to the planet John and the colonists have been sent to but little is said about them or the humans’ interaction with them other than a brief and unpleasant encounter.
If you are looking for comic book heroes and action adventure, this is book is not for you, but if you appreciate a thoughtful story with admirable characters, I recommend this with one caveat - read Old Man’s War and Ghost Brigade first.
( )
1 vote DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris,JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Patrick and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, friends and editors. To Heather and Bob, brother and sister. To Athena, daughter. To Kristine, everything.
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Let me tell you of the worlds I've left behind.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076535618X, Mass Market Paperback)

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.

That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game — as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:01 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Perry and Sagan are back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds.

» see all 3 descriptions

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