Thursday, July 09, 2009

Old Man's War

Scalzi, John. 2005. Old Man's War. TOR. 311 pages.

I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife's grave. Then I joined the army. Visiting Kathy's grave was the less dramatic of the two.

John Perry, our narrator, is a great guy to get to know. He's seventy-five, but his life is just beginning. Or should I say, just beginning to begin again. John and Kathy--like so many other senior citizens--decided upon reaching the big 6-5 to volunteer for the army. (They have ten years to change their minds. They're called into service when they're 75.) What does this mean? It means that as soldiers they'll be leaving Earth behind forever. They're not allowed to return...ever. But it also means--in a way--longevity. Though no one knows quite how, they know that *something* will be done to their bodies to make them young and strong and vibrant again. Sure, to get this vitality, this new youth, this health they have to pledge themselves to serve in the army, to fight to protect human colonies on other planets. Two to ten years. That's what it will cost. If they survive, they'll have a second life, a second chance. (Just remember that a younger body doesn't make for a younger soul.)

John doesn't know exactly all that he's in for. But he knows it's bound to be better than just growing old and dying. He figures that he can adapt to just about anything.

War. It's inescapable when it's in the title. John Perry will have to fight to survive, to stay alive. He'll have to learn to follow orders. (Not all of his fellow soldiers do, you know. Some pay for this with their lives.) And John has the makings of an excellent soldier. He's good at surviving. Suspiciously good at surviving if you ask some folks. Unlike most soldiers, John is going to have some close encounters with the Special Forces. Actually serving alongside them for a while. And what he learns is a bit him at least.

Old Man's War is an engaging read. It has just the right blend of humor and action to make it worthwhile.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Meghan 12:23 PM  

I loved this book - you're right, it is the perfect blend of humor and action. Scalzi has me giggling while I'm worried about what's going to happen next!

Mari - Escape In A Book 3:54 PM  

75 year old warriors(even if it is just their soul), that sounds intriguing.

PV Lundqvist 12:43 PM  

Great book. Told with humanity, humor, and lots of action. A definite winner read.

Kailana 1:13 PM  

I love this book! I just bought the sequel, so I am looking forward to diving into that very soon!

Kim L 7:41 PM  

Loved this one! I think it was a great, quick read that managed to be funny and thought-provoking and action-packed all at the same time.

Jolie 2:28 PM  

Scalzi's books are such fun! I recommend you continue on to The Ghost Brigades if you haven't already. It's the second (and my favorite) in the OMW series.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP