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Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe's Tale (original 2008; edition 2008)

by John Scalzi

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1,571894,654 (3.71)128
Title:Zoe's Tale
Authors:John Scalzi
Info:Publisher Unknown (2008)
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi (2008)

  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 128 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
This is essentially the same story as told in ‘The Last Colony’ but from a different point of view. So why would I give it five stars? Simply because it is done so well. It caught my interest, made me smile, jerked my emotions, and reintroduced me to people and places that I became well acquainted with in Scalzi’s other ‘An Old Man’s War’ books.
Technically, this should probably be considered a Young Adult novel because of the teenage protagonist. There is nothing wrong with this. Other authors (myself included) have written YA spinoffs set in the same world and with overlapping characters from their adult novels. This, however, is not a spinoff. This is the same story related in ‘The Last Colony’ but from the perspective of John’s and Jane’s adopted daughter, Zoe. She was a great minor character in previous books and an exceptional protagonist in this one, which is told in first person, giving us insights into how she deals with being an orphan, the adopted daughter of the colony leaders of the planet Roanoke, and something like a goddess to the alien species known as the Obin.
The aspect of the book that feels a bit unnatural is some of the dialogue between Zoe and her friends. They are almost too witty, and Zoe and her friend Gretchen have more self-confidence than seems likely for two teenage girls. Of course, they are not normal teenagers. After all, who wants to read about hormonally powered, angst driven, girls whose major concern is how to attract a boyfriend? ... Oh, right. Those. Do yourself a favor and read this instead. Zoe has angst, she has hormones, she even has a boyfriend, but she also has intelligence, common sense, and wisdom beyond her years.
Scalzi has become one of my favorite authors, and I would love to see more stories set in this universe he has created. How does Roanoke fare? How does the Colonial Union deal with the Conclave? Do they join them? Do they oppose them? Is the C.U. overthrown? And what about Earth? It’s an interesting world and there are many more story possibilities here. If he does continue with this thread, though, it will leave him with less time for his other writing, which would be a shame. Perhaps he could be cloned...
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
I was disappointed that this book was largely a re-telling of The Last Colony from someone else's point of view. The author in an afterword explains what he was trying to do, and maybe as a writing exercise it was worth it to him, but not to me. TLC was a book filled with action and tension, ruined here by knowing how it was going to come out. It does fill some important gaps in the story but not enough to make it fresh. Sorry, I can't recommend this even as a YA book; teens can read the earlier one just fine, the teenaged characters are fully drawn. ( )
  JudyGibson | Jul 17, 2016 |
An enjoyable read told from the perspective of a teenage girl. Great world building. Potentially I should have read some of the earlier Old Man's War books first. ( )
  kale.dyer | Mar 10, 2016 |
Teen who is our heroine trying to save the day and her planet. Improbable but fun tail of galactic politics. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I'm a fan of Scalzi's novels set in the "Old Man's War" universe. This book is a parallax novel, concurrently exploring stories told in "The Last Colony".

I enjoyed the sense of a larger tale being 'fleshed out'; enjoyed Zoe's voice. Having read the other books it's hard for me to judge whether it can stand on its own or if its important to read the previous books... especially if it's for a young adult audience...

( )
  VladVerano | Oct 20, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (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 editionsconfirmed
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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765356198, Mass Market Paperback)

How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history?

I ask because it's what I have to do. I'm Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.

Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don't know my tale: How I did what I did — how I did what I had to do — not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too. All of you. I'm going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try to make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope. Everything that happened, bringing us to Earth, and Earth out of its captivity. All through my eyes.

It's a story you know. But you don't know it all.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Zo?e 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)

(summary from another edition)

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