Friday, January 23, 2015

The Ghost Brigades, by John Scalzi

I enjoyed the first of Mr. Scalzi's "Old Man's War" trilogy so much that I was eager to read this, the second volume. This novel is also excellent. But might not be what some readers expect, so I'll say more.

What makes it a sequel to the first book is that the setting is the same.  I've read a few unhappy reviews and suspect they come from two sources: first, the hero of volume one, John Perry, has no role in the story.  Instead it is all about Jane Sagan, a soldier who was introduced in the first volume. My guess of the second reason is related: it is all about Jane, a female lead character. But perhaps I'm mistaken about the misogyny of sci-fi readers...

The other main character in this book is Jared Dirac.  In Mr. Scalzi's universe, DNA can make clone-like people, and consciousness can be moved from being to being as well. To track the dangerous and brilliant traitor, Charles Boutin, his consciousness is moved to a clone built of Boutin's DNA. That person is Dirac, but he's Dirac - himself - and not Boutin. Very interesting events unfold, but I can say no more as I wish to avoid spoilers.

Another outstandingly enjoyable novel from Mr. Scalzi.

The Ghost Brigades

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