I Evoke Brow XXIX: As many reviews as Robert Johnson has tracks

The Ghost Brigades, John Scalzi

As alluded to in the last post, much better than the first book. This one is follows the Special Forces, which are of course more exciting than the GIs, but it’s also more introspective and developed. Still, I wish it had taken its time with some of the moral issues the characters touch on at times–it moves at a fairly breakneck pace, especially as the book goes on. The setup for the inevitable sequel is a bit campy, but not distractingly so. And alluding to the love story of the first book while basically setting it aside until the final chapter was a peculiar choice. But all these negatives are occurring to me now, upon reflection–while reading it I was merrily engrossed. Scalzi blends well thought out future technology with other convenient devices (like spacewarps, though they are not so named) that he doesn’t seem interested in rationalizing. The result is a a novel that retains much of the feel of Hard SciFi, but really is more of a futuristic technothriller. Not necessarily a bad thing but I would have gone in with different expectations, especially for Old Man’s War, if I had known that.

8/10

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