Thursday, January 11, 2007

Book Review: The Ghost Brigades

"The Ghost Brigades" is the second book by sci-fi author John Scalzi.

"Old Man's War", the first book, is something like Robert Heinlein's "Starship Troopers" but less preachy. It takes place in the distant future when mankind has taken to the stars and discovered that it's not alone and the aliens are not friendly. Lots of aliens, few habitable worlds, and they have to get their share while protecting their planets. The Colonial Defense Forces recruit soldiers from the 80 year old humans. Why they want the old people I'm keeping a secret. The book follows John Perry as he goes through training and deploys into various battles with aliens of every type.
It's in this book we learn about the elite forces within the CDF known as "Ghost Brigades"

"The Ghost Brigades" is not a direct sequel to the original. Only one character makes the transition between books. It's not necessary to read the first book to enjoy the second, but there's a few points where it would help. In this one we have a scientist who has turned traitor and joined with 3 alien races who are collaborating to attack Earth. One new member of the Ghost Brigades is given a treatment that should give him the traitor's memories. Instead of being immediately effective the treatment takes time to take effect. So the first half of the book is spent with him training and fighting while the second half is spent hunting down and dealing with the traitor.
Again, I'm leaving out a great deal.

Both are fabulous books that I highly recommend reading. John Scalzi is one of the few modern sci-fi writers who still pay attention to the science in their stories.

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