Friday, July 24, 2009
The Last Colony
Scalzi, John. 2007. The Last Colony. 316 pages.
Let me tell you of the worlds I've left behind.
John Perry returns as narrator in this third novel. (Others in the series include Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades.) When we first meet him--in this novel that is--he is living along with Jane and Zoe on the planet of Huckleberry. (Also part of the package deal are Hickory and Dickory, two obin who love and protect Zoe.) Perry is the village's ombudsman--he hears and judges small disputes between individuals. His wife, Jane, is the constable. They're content with their lives. For the most part. But the Colonial Union isn't quite through with their plans for this couple, this family.
One day General Rybicki appears with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He wants John and Jane to lead a new colony, the colony of Roanoke to be precise. They accept. But this new colony may just be the death of them all--and not just the new colonists, but for all of humanity as well. You see, the Colonial Union isn't being honest and up front about the situation. This colony isn't about settling a new planet, it's about war. The colony is nothing but a pawn in their newest scheme. They want to test the Conclave's threats. Will the Conclave really stop any non-member planet/species from colonizing? Will they really destroy any new settlements? What can Roanoke do to protect itself from this threat?
I enjoyed John and Jane. I had missed John's narration from The Ghost Brigades, so I was excited to have him back again. I enjoyed catching up with this family--to see how Jane and Zoe fit into John's life. How Jane settled into the family context since this was not part of her "Special Forces" training and she didn't have the human memories of the realborn to help her out. I wouldn't have minded an easy-going novel set on the planet of Huckleberry, in all honesty, with its relatively mundane problems. But what we have instead is a very exciting, very intense war novel. John and Jane (along with the other colonists) have to puzzle out the situation for themselves. Who can be trusted? Who has humanity's best interest in mind? Are they willing to just be a pawn?
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews