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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Old Man's War by John Scalzi | Book Review

The main character, John Perry, turns 75 and decides to join the army. There he's promised that he'll somehow be made new again like when he was young. He just has to leave all he's known and fight a bunch of aliens. But hey there's no other way to be young again and see the rest of the universe! 

I liked this book a lot, at first. You might love it all the way through. The reasons I sort of lost interest in it just might be the reasons a lot of other science fiction readers will enjoy this book. It was a great book, it just wasn't for me. I liked it, but I didn't love it.

The author's sense of humor helped a lot and made this a really fun read most of the time. Even though it can get dark and scary, the main character jokes his way through it all. That part of the book was awesome and I laughed out loud many times while reading this book. So that was one of its strengths to me.

The story was pretty cool too, that is while there was a story being told. A lot of the book was just a huge info dump to me which is why I grew bored reading it. I loved the scenes with boot camp and the characters getting to know their weapons. Those were some awesome rifles if you can call them that. The way the characters get to interact with their weapons and artificial intelligence was really cool in this book. That's all I will say so I don't give anything away.

The experience the characters had during boot camp came across as authentic. The author did a great job fleshing out that part of the story. It was well done.

Okay, now to the stuff I didn't care for that others might love. There were several scenes that are what I would call "talking head" scenes. Just characters sitting in a room talking. Some of them had the characters describing the science behind some of the futuristic technology in the book. That might be something most science fiction readers will love but I was super bored. I prefer scenes that push the story forward and keep moving. For me, these felt like huge stopping points where the story stopped and I had to push my way through huge info dumps. There was one early on and then a lot in the last half of the book. I lost interest for a while there because I stopped caring about what would happen to the characters. It did make you think about interesting situations that could come up in this crazy futuristic science fiction world.

There also wasn't much description in this book so it was hard to imagine it in my mind. I knew what was going on but could only get a vague picture of it visually. So it was talking heads in a blank white room, which to me was very boring. This isn't a story to paint the picture in your mind, but it's still a fun one with lots of cool future technology in it.

So if you're in for some cool Sci-Fi tech and some laughs check this book out. If you're in for a ton of dialogue and some thought provoking ideas then give this book a try. If you're looking for a fast paced action adventure story with vivid detail and descriptions then you might be a little disappointed. This book has a lot of strengths and I can see why so many people liked it, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

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Old Man's War

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