Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

oldmanswarOld Man’s War by John Scalzi
320 pgs.

I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the army.

This was a gift to me by my good friend Carl from two Christmases ago. It’s sat there on the TBR shelf for the last 13 months just waiting to be read. And it’s one of those gems that surpasses any expectations that you could ever have. This is probably the best sci-fi I’ve read since Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead. It’s an amazing book and I’m thrilled to have finally discovered the work of John Scalzi.

John Perry is celebrating his 75th birthday in a way that many people do in the future. He’s joining the army, the Colonial Defense Force to be exact. It is not an army of this world, but rather an army of the universe who’s goal is to find new places to colonize for human habitation and to protect those worlds that have already been colonized. It’s secrets are numerous to those of us on Earth and the only way that they can be discovered is to enlist. John recognizes that he’s lived a full life on Earth and shared a wonderful life with his wife Maggie throughout the years, but those times are coming to a close. The CDF promises something that he cannot have here on Earth – youth and adventure.

I don’t want to go into any more detail of the plot because I don’t want to give much away for those who plan on reading this. One of the true treats of Scalzi’s writing is the feeling of discovering these worlds and strange new concepts with John and his new crew. Scalzi’s writing truly blew me away. It’s constantly engaging to the reader with moments of laugh out loud hilarity, non stop adventure, and suprisingly, truly touching moments. 

I was shocked when I found that this book was written in 2005. It’s one of those books that will quickly become a classic if it hasn’t achieved that status already. I truly can’t wait to read the next book in the series, The Ghost Brigades. If it’s half as good as this one, I’m in for a real treat!

Other Views and Opinions:

Bold. Blue. Adventure.
Bottle of Shine
Bart’s Bookshelf
Stainless Steel Droppings


14 Responses

  1. I knew you would love it! (I’ll comment more later, but work – rather unreasonably, I feel – demands I’m awake enough to carry out the tasks I’m paid for… I know. It’s so not fair! 😉

  2. Hmmm, I have to see if I can find this book. This might be a point for you!! lol this book sounds like what I’d love to do when I get older , fly off when my life here is done and get to explore until the next change arrives. Yes, I do believe I will be looking for this book now! bad blogger!

  3. Bart, Damn jobs! lol…I’m dreading going into work tomorrow. I really did love this one…it definitely earned it’s 5/5 rating.

    Susan, Oh it’s fantastic! You really should pick it up when you get a chance. Excellent reading. And I’ll gladly take a point when you do 😉

  4. *sighs* Another book I really want to read. There really are too many of those! And, you know, this library thing isn’t working out like I hoped because they have a very depressing sci-fi/fantasy section and that is my genre of choice!

    Yay! You’re reading The Sparrow! LOVED that book! And, I can read your review and not want to add another book to my TBR pile. lol I think I own the sequel, or a related book, or something. Off to investigate!

    I write the most rambling comments. lol

  5. I’m so glad I won this from Bart. I have a feeling I’ll love it just as much as you did!

  6. You may or may not know that John worked for AOL for some time and he was such a nice man to help everyone with their journals.. he was (and probably still is) very accessible . I am glad to see he is really doing well with his writing. After so long with him in aol many of us old folks from aol feel we know him.. you should check out his blog…

  7. You definitely left me intrigued! It’s going to the wish list, for sure. But before I read it, I really, really, really need to get to Speaker for the Dead!!!!!!!!!


    Sorry, I’m a little overexcited right now 😛

  9. I brought this one home from the library, but I don’t think I’m going to have time to read it. Maybe I’ll recheck. It sounds so good!

  10. Kailana, My library has a very bad selection of sci-fi fantasy too. I think that’s one of the reasons that I never go there, lol. Hope you can find this one though! It’s really REALLY good! When I first started reading The Sparrow I thought I was going to have to make it a Did Not Finish…but boy am I glad I stuck with it. I’m 100 pages in right now and I’m hooked!

    Nymeth, You’re definitely going to love this one! And how frickin cool is it that Gaiman won the frickin Newbery!!!!!! So great! And good old Terry got the Printz honor! I’m a little overexcited too :p

    Deslily, I totally forgot about that! I remember you mentioning it somewhere though…maybe in Carl’s comments. I definitely have to start reading his blog! I’m going to add it to the list!

    Debi, Yes you really do have to read Speaker! lol..and right after that one you should read this! lol

    Bookfool, Oh, you have to recheck it! It’s too good to pass up. I know you’ll like it!

  11. Okay, works done now! I can get down to much more important business!

    Just how much of a fun ride is this book?! I’ve read all sorts of books recently that were fantastic, but were any as downright entertaining as this book?

    I can’t say they where!

    Okay, back to The Ghost Brigades for me! 😛

  12. I am so glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did. It is interesting that you compare him to Card as I feel very much the same about the two. Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead and the Scalzi books all rank about the same for me…amazing and excellent reads proving that there are such things as instant classics. There is a great deal of similarity to their work, in my opinion, and I believe he acknowledges Card in Zoe’s Tale as he was trying to do something similar to Ender’s Shadow with it.

    Can’t wait until you get to the rest of them, they just keep getting better.

  13. Bart, Glad you’re off of work 🙂 It really was a great book…a very fun ride! I wish there were more like it…can’t wait for Ghost Brigades!!

    Carl, Awesome that you link Scalzi with Card in a way. I totally agree…I’d place this book right up there with Orson Scott Card’s books. It truly is fantastic sci-fi. This is definitely an instant classic. I hope it continues to get the recognition that he deserves…and they get better?!?!? Now I’ve gotta go get Ghost Brigades now!

  14. […] Old Man’s War by John Scalzi 2. The Starry Rift ed. by Jonathan Strahan 3. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo […]

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