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Zoe's Tale

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Man's War (4)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,9731025,719 (3.71)155
Zoë Boutin-Perry travels to the fledgling colony world of Roanoke with her adoptive parents, John Perry and Jane Sagan, who have accepted positions as administrators. When her biological father develops the technology to give the Obin consciousness and self-awareness, she suddenly becomes the center of a critical but endangered treaty between the Obin and the Colonial Union.… (more)
  1. 00
    Matter by Iain M. Banks (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: In many many ways these are VERY different books, but in Zoe's quest to find a weapon/tool/solution to keep her colony from being wiped out, and her interaction with the Consu, I kept flashing to searches and wars among the various peoples and levels of the shell world in Matter.… (more)
  2. 00
    Jumping Off The Planet by David Gerrold (goodiegoodie)
  3. 00
    Child of Earth (The Sea of Grass Trilogy) by David Gerrold (goodiegoodie)

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» See also 155 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
I've been a big fan of Scalzi ever since Old Man's War, but I was slightly worried that Zoe's Tale would be a some milking of The Last Colony, which is a POV change of that novel. I'm not entirely certain it was necessary, except for the fact that it develops what might have been a serious dues ex machina event and makes everything hunky-dory. It may sound as if I didn't like the novel, but that's plainly untrue. This was an excellent YA novel, and I have to admit I love the concept of an intelligent alien race without self-consciousness. The whole novel was solid and Zoe always had a strong voice. Even better, I never thought she was overblown or annoying or perfect. Well, for me, that's high praise for a YA heroine.
I will freely admit that I liked the first two novels best, but I see why this one was nominated for Hugo. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
I'll admit it. I thought this book was a waste of time. I really wanted to read the Human Division (the 5th book in the series) and didn't want to skip ahead.

I'm incredibly glad I didn't.

I loved this book. Scalzi is an artist with this book. It was fantastic. This book is entirely contingent on you having read the previous books in the series, especially the one directly before it (the Last Colony).

Highly recommend this series and this book. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
I liked how this book fleshed out Zoe's perspective. However, I ended up skimming large parts of the book as it just wasn't interesting. The parts that we didn't know anything about, like meeting the creatures in the woods and the Obin - those were fascinating. ( )
  avonar | May 27, 2020 |
This is basically a re-telling of an earlier story from a unique perspective--the daughter of the protagonists from the other story. ([b:The Last Colony|88071|The Last Colony (Old Man's War, #3)|John Scalzi|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1312021759s/88071.jpg|18279847])

The book is good, but main character (Zoe) is a little too perfect for a teenage girl. Even her missteps feel like plot devices not really things that a teenage girl would do. However, it was interesting and fun to read and maybe more so if you haven't read the previous book very recently.
( )
  Skybalon | Mar 19, 2020 |
59 points, 3 stars

Zoe Boutin Perry is seventeen years old. She is beloved of an alien race for something her dead father did. She is loved by her foster parents. But something is missing, and when the Colonial Defence Forces come to her parents to be the head of a new colony, she wants to go. Unfortunately for her, being a teenager on a new colony isn't a lot of fun, even when things are going perfectly. Which they aren't.

"Yes, as it happens, I am a sarcastic little thing. Thanks for asking. It comes from living with my dad all these years."
I knew what this book was going to be before I even started it, because I read the blurb before I read the book (which is actually pretty rare for me to do after I have already started a series). I knew ahead of time I probably should skip this. But I didn't. I knew I didn't really want to read Zoe's Tale for what the story was going to be, yet I read it anyway. Because I wanted more to the ending to The Last Colony. Which I didn't actually get, unfortunately. In fact, the end to Zoe's Tale ends before the end of The Last Colony ends.

Zoe's Tale is The Last Colony, told all over again, this time from Zoe's perspective. It was exactly the same story, just told in a young adult perspective. The book had some new things in it, because The Last Colony didn't have much at all with Zoe in it. This would have been a very short book indeed if it only focused on the important things from The Last Colony. Zoe's Tale had its moments, when it was retconning things from The Last Colony. It was just more young adult than I typically enjoy.

The Obin are really creepy as a race. Even if Hickory and Dickory aren't..very much. They are especially creepy with their devotion to Zoe. Why was this arrangement where they follow her around and record her life to be shared with the rest of their race okay with everyone? I know why with the bugs but like everyone else? They're recording her entire life for their own amusement, for their own learning! What the fuck? She was just a kid when this started! This is crazy! The fact that Zoe is so well adjusted is honestly a bit of a miracle.

While the book had its moments, it was basically just a redo. I was intrigued by some of the stuff that was added, but mostly I thought the book was unnecessary. I didn't even get what I wanted out of it! Oh well. The next book in the series looks to follow the events at the end of The Last Colony and Zoe's Tale, but with a new cast. I'm curious to where they're going. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
I wondered if it was very realistic to have a heroine that young be so clever and observant while spouting off with Scalzi's trademark sarcasm. Some readers might think that a brilliant and resourceful young Messiah of an alien race who Saves the Day with blatant Deus ex Machina has it a bit too easy. But Zoë's Tale isn't really about the clash of mighty empires or rescuing loved ones from monsters, exciting as those parts are — it's about Zoë. It's about that time in our lives after we've come to grips with how the world sees us but we are still not sure how we see ourselves. It's not about what you are, but finding out who you are. This whip-smart, often funny, and deeply moving novel portrays that journey of self-discovery to the satisfaction of adults young or otherwise.
added by PhoenixTerran | editio9, Chris Hsiang (Mar 24, 2009)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Scalziprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Karen Meisner and Anne KG Murphy. And most especially for Athena.
Karen Meisner
Anne KG Murphy
Athena Scalzi
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I lifted up my dad's PDA and counted off the seconds with the two thousand other people in the room.
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