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The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi

The Ghost Brigades

by John Scalzi

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Old Man's War (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6121312,415 (3.95)175
Hard-core science fiction at its very best, the sequel to his extraordinary Old Man?s War They are the special wing of the Colonial Defence Forces, elite troops created from DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF?s toughest operations. The universe is a dangerous place for humanity, as three hostile races combine to halt our further expansion into space. Their linchpin is a turncoat scientist, Charles Boutin, who unfortunately knows the CDF?s biggest military secrets. And to prevail against this alliance, they must find out why Boutin did what he did. Jared Dirac is the only human able to provide answers, being a superhuman hybrid created form Boutin?s own DNA. Jared?s brain should therefore be able to access Boutin?s electronic memories . . . but when that appears to fail, Jared is instead passed on to the Ghost Brigades. Then, just as time is running out, Boutin?s memories slowly begin to surface within him . . . but all this while the enemy is planning something much worse for mankind than just military defeat. Praise for Old Man?s War: ?Clever dialogue, fast-paced story and strong characters.? The Times ?An original idea, which is brilliantly executed? Sc-Fi Now.… (more)



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Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Second Review: I'm not really sure what I was thinking during the first book. This book did drag at times but it was necessary for the narrative. I took much greater appreciation in the world he created this time around. Still, a very strong story, but I don't think I would have (or will in the future) re-read this book on its own if it weren't part of a very good series. It definitely expanded on the world the first book created, which sets up later books very nicely.

First Review: I really loved the first book in this series (Old Man's War), but this book took awhile for me to get into. It was well worth it though. John Scalzi is one of my favorite authors because he tells a complete story and rarely omits important details. While this book did start out slow and the overall resolve of the story could have been stronger, it was still an excellent story.

This book could have actually been much longer if he'd wanted. I felt this book dragged in the middle and cut short the apex of the book, but even with that, as I've said, it was an excellent book. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
The Ghost Brigade by John Scalzi is the second book in his Old Man’s War science fiction series. At First this book does not seem to be a direct sequel but has the same setting and features Lieutenant Jane Sagan of the CDF, who was also in the first book. By the end of this book however, the reader can see that these stores are connected and future books will surely highlight this connection.

Set far into the future, humans have gone to space. They have colonized planets but they have also come up against a number of alien races. Jane Sagan captures an alien scientist who supplies the humans with the news that three alien races are in an alliance and their goal is to wipe out humans. They also find out that the instigator of this plot is a human traitor, a genius called Charles Boutin. Before he went over to the aliens, he downloaded a copy of his consciousness into a computer and now the CDF decide to clone his body, install it with his consciousness to see if they can use this clone to figure out Boutin’s plans. It doesn’t seem to work so they give the resulting “person” the name of Jared Dirac and install him in Jane Sagan’s platoon in the Ghost Brigade. But eventually an event occurs which appears to trigger Boutin’s memory and consciousness in Jared.

The Ghost Brigade was an exciting read. The author packs both a lot of action and a lot of information in his books, but they are fun reads that leave you wanting more. With it’s intelligent concepts, great humor and fast pace, I am intrigued to see where is author will take us in subsequent books. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 23, 2020 |
Colonial Union creates elite troops out DNA and the conciousness of the dead. One such is created to receive the conciousness recorded by a traitor to the Union who is trying to instigate a war between CU and three of its enemies.
  JohnLavik | Mar 29, 2020 |
79 points, 4 stars!

The Ghost Brigades are children. They're also the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Force. Clones of people who died before they could sign up, they come into existence knowing nothing. This happened to Jared Dirac. When the CDF found a backup of the traitor Charles Boutin's brain, they created a clone in the hopes that it would be able to tell them everything Boutin knew. When they found that the clone had no knowledge, he became Jared Dirac and he became Special Forces.

"Ah, the vaunted Special Forces snotty attitude," Mattson said. "I was wondering when it would become obvious you were six." "I'm nine," Sagan said.
The Ghost Brigades is so much better than Old Man's War, in all the best ways possible. I had already decided to continue on with the series after reading the previous book, but boy am I so glad. This book was everything I wanted in this military sci-fi!

New book, new set of characters. This installation of the series mainly follows a new character we hadn't seen before, Jared Dirac. We hadn't seen him before mostly because he didn't exist prior to the start of this book. Ah, sci-fi. It is the best, isn't it? Don't despair, though! We also get a lot of some characters we have already met. Not as often as I would have liked to have had them around during, but that is just me. I get attached to character quite easily.

I really liked Jared. I really liked his story. Perry was just too limited in what we could see. Jared opened up so much more. He is a clone of someone who they thought to be dead, but isn't. Charles Boutin. Traiter. Only, he doesn't know it. He thinks he is just one of the Ghost Brigade - a group of adult children who start out with no knowledge and no sense of self, who learn how to become soldiers. Then, the memories start coming back. Poor guy.

The story presented in The Ghost Brigades is quite fucked up, all told. And very, very creepy. It is just as fucked as the end of Old Man's War was, but this time there is more of it. The idea of babies with no sense of self training for war is horrific, even if they eventually learn how to become human. The things the Colonial Union does to its people is awful. But it makes for great story. They are able to justify even the worst actions possible to themselves.

The biggest change between this book and the previous was the amount of story that was set up for later. In the previous book, it mostly just set up the world, and John Perry, soldier extraordinaire. In The Ghost Brigades, Scalzi sets up what is to be the rest of the series. A lot of enemies and allies. A lot of hints about what is to come. A lot of just really interesting stuff.

The Ghost Brigades was just much more my type of story. Its humor was my type of humor, whereas the humor in the last book definitely wasn't. Everything I loved about the first book got brought out to the forefront this time around, and I loved it. I'm so eager to read the next book now. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
I liked the plot, but I definitely missed John Perry. A good solid scifi ( )
  clove311 | Jan 9, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 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 Shara Zoll, for friendship and everything else. To Kristine and Athena, for their patience and love.
First words
No one noticed the rock.
Fear isn't the desire to avoid death or pain. Fear is rooted in the knowledge that what you recognize as yourself can cease to exist. Fear is existential.
Harvey lived for this sort of shit.
His chief worry as they approached the science station was that Lieutenant Sagan would do one of her patented thoughtful, methodical approaches; something sneaky that would require him to tiptoe around like a goddamn spy or something. He hated that crap. Harvey knew what he was and what he was best at: He was a noisy son of a bitch and he was good at making things fall down and go boom. In his few introspective moments, Harvey wondered if his progie, the guy he was mostly made from, hadn’t been something really antisocial, like a pyromaniac or a professional wrestler, or maybe had done time for assault. Whoever or whatever he was, Harvey would have been happy to give him a nice big smack on the lips. Harvey was absolutely at peace with his inner nature, in the sort of way that Zen Buddhist monks could only dream about. And so when Sagan told him his job was to draw attention to himself so she and Seaborg could do their jobs, Harvey did a little dance on the inside. He could definitely draw attention to himself. The question was how.
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The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.

For the universe is a dangerous place for humanity - and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF's biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF most find out why Boutin did what he did.

Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers - a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, whose brain is uniquely able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given over to the Ghost Brigades.

Jared begins as one of these perfect soldiers, but as memories begin to surface, he begins to intuit the reason's for Boutin's betrayal.

As Jared desperately hunts for his "father", he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: the alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity's mere military defeat.

©2006 John Scalzi; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
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