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Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi
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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
1,810975,803 (3.71)148
  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 148 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
I do love how John Scalzi writes. Simple, straight-forward, tells his tales and lets the readers fill in a lot of the detail in their heads. This entry is particularly special because he tells the tale of a teenager who is allowed to grow and learn and is shown as intelligent, yet young and struggling to find her way in the world. ( )
  majkia | Apr 26, 2019 |
When I started this book I had a few misgivings: the previous one in the series, The Last Colony, had been a very enjoyable but not stellar read, at least compared to its predecessors, so I was afraid that a return to the same scenes, although from a different point of view, would prove less than interesting. Well, I was wrong.

Zoe's Tale fills very well the untold sections of its "parent" book, and does it in a consistent and believable voice, that of a teenager girl who never sounds contrived or cliché. John Scalzi did a great job in fitting the pieces of this puzzle with the previous one's, giving us a fresh look on known events and even offering new angles and insights on them. In the afterword the author speaks about his own doubts and difficulties in facing this kind of project, and in light of the successful outcome of this endeavor I must say that he truly outdid himself. Not doubting him again, no way...

Through Zoe's eyes, the characters of John Perry and Jane Sagan gain new facets: we see them as successful, well-balanced parents who go from raising a daughter to caring for an entire colony – which led me to think that raising Zoe might indeed have been a sort of dry run for the larger effort... What we learn about them, both as individuals and as a couple, comes from their daughter's clear-headed reflections, and gives them a more rounded – and more human – dimension that makes me like them even more.

What I most admired in the writing is how Mr. Scalzi approaches the feelings and turmoils of a teenager (and her friends): he keeps a light touch, sprinkled here and there with his trademark humor, and can deal with young emotions in a way that's both believable and engaging – either in happy and sad circumstances. Yet, despite this light touch, there was a moment when he had me in tears: the scene in which the hundred volunteer Obin offer, one by one, their allegiance to Zoe was such a powerful moment, for all its understated simplicity, that I felt overwhelmed.

Well done, well done indeed. And damn you, John Scalzi, for making me cry :-)
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Looking back over this series and its characters who have kept me entertained these past several weeks, the most appropriate thing I can say is: "Thanks"!

This story in particular takes place in parallel time to [a:John Scalzi|4763|John Scalzi|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1236228326p2/4763.jpg]'s earlier [b:The Last Colony|88071|The Last Colony (Old Man's War, #3)|John Scalzi|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1289467614s/88071.jpg|15558696]. Scalzi' "tips his hat" to [b:Ender's Shadow|9532|Ender's Shadow (Shadow Series, #1)|Orson Scott Card|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1295660964s/9532.jpg|3145587] by [a:Orson Scott Card|589|Orson Scott Card|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1294099952p2/589.jpg] and to [a:Tom Stoppard|293|Tom Stoppard|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1235451835p2/293.jpg]'s [b:Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead|18545|Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead|Tom Stoppard|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266452014s/18545.jpg|73811] for their inspiration.

Then Scalzi acknowledges how writing a parallel time novel that does not, in vact, just lazily retell the story in a previous books is hard. Like the hardest thing I've done as a writer to this point.

What [a:John Scalzi|4763|John Scalzi|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1236228326p2/4763.jpg] does in [b:Zoe's Tale|2102600|Zoe's Tale (Old Man's War, #4)|John Scalzi|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266544086s/2102600.jpg|15558746] IS hard, and he does it well for which he should be commended. Each of these books also represents Scalzi's willingness to learn something new, to try something new. The series is a writerly accomplishment in character development and perspective alone! Scalzi is an author who does not shy away from gender, or age, or otherness, in his exploration of conciousness and what it means to be aware of it, to protect it, to nurture it. ( )
  nkmunn | Nov 17, 2018 |
Better than 3, not as good as 1 and 2 ( )
  ZachDecker | Jun 26, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this quick read. I might have rated it higher if it was a story on its own, but this fourth book in the Old Man's War series tells the same exact story as the previous book, but from the point of view of a different character. I loved the read from this new perspective, but there was little drama as to how the story was going to work out so that took a bit away from the enjoyment. Either way, I look forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  msaucier818 | Apr 9, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (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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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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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