*This Review is Spoiler Free*
So, I recently read my first John Scalzi novel, which was Lock In, and did a review of the novel on here a view weeks ago. I liked that book so much that I went to the library soon after that and picked up Old Man’s War, as well as the next two books in the series. About half-way through Old Man’s War I returned to the library and grabbed the rest of the books in the series. If that is any indication at all that I enjoyed this novel as much…and more than I enjoyed Lock In…I don’t know what is lol.
The main character of this novel is 75 year-old John Perry, who after visiting his wife’s grave on his 75th birthday joins the Colonial Defense Forces. The CDF is an army of the Colonial Union that is situated in space, which is where the bulk of this novel is set. The novel follows John as he enlists in the CDF and follows him through his journey to become a soldier. Once again you shall only be getting the bare bones of the synopsis (…sorry, not sorry!) because a great part of my reading experience was discovering the world and the intricacies of the CDF as Perry got his understanding of life in space. There are no real spoilers if you do read a full synopsis of the novel on Goodreads, or elsewhere, but when I went back and read the synopsis after reading the novel I was glad that I went into reading it with as little knowledge of the story as possible.
The novel is very interesting and the world building is amazing. The pacing of the story is well done and it’s fitting to have a MC that doesn’t know everything that’s going on around them and get to figure it out with him. This added to my overall enjoyment of the novel because it aids on giving the novel an aire of suspense and an added level of intrigue. This book was very well thought out and the more scientific aspects of the story were not just simply glossed over. You can very easily tell that Scalzi put in the effort to make the novel’s more otherworldly aspects, as well as, the connections between what John Perry experiences interesting, inventive, but at the same time believable. Let me not forget to mention that John Scalzi’s humorous writing is superb! I laughed out loud, in public, at least a dozen times while commuting to and from work. Now, this may embarrass some other unicorns, but as a seasoned transit reader it doesn’t even phase me anymore. Okay, admittedly the few times I snorted in public while reading this book were not my finest moments and I *may* have sported some good ole anime/manga style diagonal line blushes.
I enjoyed this novel and HIGHLY recommend it. There was not much that I can recall disliking. I’m making my way through the rest of the series and hope to be able to provide an overall review of the series when I complete it. I give this novel 8 out of 10 unicorn horns! Any fans of Science Fiction should definitely check this novel out. Readers who don’t tend to generally read Sci-Fi, but would like to venture into the sub-genre should give this novel a try…especially if you like combat scenarios, political intrigue, good world-bulding, stories that bring into question what defines our humanity, and/or humorous writing.