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Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

Zoe's Tale (original 2008; edition 2011)

by John Scalzi, Vincent Chong (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,312835,929 (3.71)115
Title:Zoe's Tale
Authors:John Scalzi
Other authors:Vincent Chong (Illustrator)
Info:Subterranean (2011), Edition: Signed, Limited Edition, Hardcover, 264 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:grade 8, science fiction, series, space travel

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 115 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I gotta say, I was pretty disappointed in this book. It's a rehash of the events of The Last Colony, and not a particularly well-done one, either - while the new scenes that we didn't get to see last time were great, there were only a couple of those, compared to a whole lot of repetition. Ideally this and The Last Colony would have been one longer book, switching between John and Zoe's points of view. ( )
  jen.e.moore | Apr 9, 2014 |
3.5 stars

Zoe’s Tale, the fourth book in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR series, is the same story we were told in book three, The Last Colony, except it’s from Zoe’s perspective. Zoe is the 17-year-old daughter of the traitorous scientist Charles Boutin. Jane Sagan and John Perry adopted Zoe when she was a small child and they’ve been farming on one of Earth’s colonies for years. Now, though, the family is off to lead the settlers of a new colony called Roanoke (uh-oh). When they get there they realize they’ve been duped and life on Roanoke has a lot more going on than just terraforming a new planet.

While I was reading The Last Colony there were several times I wondered “what’s Zoe doing?” or “what does Zoe think about this?” or even “is Zoe the sweet innocent teenager her parents think she is?” I guess John Scalzi knew I was wondering those things,... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/zoes-tale/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Good story though the ending was a bit incredible. ( )
  gregandlarry | Jan 2, 2014 |
I confess, I skimmed a lot in the beginning because it so closely rehashed events in The Last Colony; but the further in I got the more closely I had to read and for possibly the last quarter of the book I was crying. It seemed more heart wrenching to read about what happened to Enzo & co. from this perspective, as well as the goodbyes and interaction with Zoe and the Obin. On to The Human Division! ( )
  pixiestyx77 | Jan 1, 2014 |
Scalzi says this is his attempt at YA, but I have a hard time believing it. Because he gets the voice of an overwhelmed teenager right, but other things wrong. The main character has zero relationship with her parents. All the YA I ever read, parents take a strong front and center role. Even if they're dead. And especially if the main character's a girl. It doesn't matter that she's adopted, her dad's an 80-year-old man in a 25-year-old body, and her mom's a space green beret. All teens have a strong latch onto their parents. It may not be pleasant, it may be filled with conflict or love. But they do, because they know they're inches away from leaving the nest.

And there is no sex. I don't know what the future is like, but hormones haven't changed that much in the past two thousand years. Here's a fact about all teens: they think about sex. It's always on their minds. It's not always in the context of wanting it, but they think about it. And most of them have sex when they're teenagers (not me, of course). So unless the Colonial Union has some kind of suppression field like in Half-Life 2, something's wrong here. Also, there's no whining, no snapping, no drugs, no alcohol, no engaging in destructive behavior. Zoe's the perfect girl.

Also I'm realizing that Scalzi does a lot of dialogue is his novels. His characters do a lot of talking--civilized debates, interviews and arguments. That's his style, and that's okay. But at a certain point it's like, okay, this has gone on long enough, it's time for something to happen. Enough speechifying.

And I could not believe his author comments at the end when he thought he could just handwave the werewolves and deus ex the "bullet sapper" machine in "The Last Colony". How could you leave obvious plot elements like that and not realize they are unresolved? Don't you read your own work? I'm looking forward to his next work, but I feel like I'm starting to get burnt out on his style. ( )
  theWallflower | Dec 17, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:47 -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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