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One person's thoughts on a whole lot of books
From the back of the book
Saving the planet, one sheep at a time. A human diplomat kills his alien counterpart. Earth is on the verge of war with a vastly superior alien race. A lone man races against time and a host of enemies to find the one object that can save our planet and our people from alien enslavement…a sheep. Yes, you read that right. Welcome to The Android’s Dream. For Harry Creek, it’s a nightmare. All he wants is to do his uncomplicated mid-level diplomatic job with Earth’s State Department. But his skills and past training get him tapped to save the planet – and to protect pet store owner Robin Baker, whose own past holds the key to the whereabouts of that lost sheep. Doing both will take Harry from lava-strewn battlefields to alien halls of power. All in a day’s work. Maybe it’s time for a raise.
My rating: 4 out of 5
How I got it: Bought
I enjoyed this. It was exciting, adventurous, sarcastic, and fun. I enjoy Scalzi’s sense of humor, and the dialogue between his characters is great. If you’ve read Old Man’s War, then I think you’ll enjoy this. I took me a bit to get over the fact that this isn’t set in the same world as OMW, especially since the main character’s name is Harry. If you haven’t read Old Man’s War, then this is a great introduction to Scalzi’s writing style. This is more of a sci-fi thriller, where Old Man’s War is definitely military sci-fi. There are some explanations of scientific topics, but not at the “hard sci-fi” level, which is great because that usually goes right over my head. There were some political explanations that went on a little too long for me, but there weren’t many so I was okay with that.
from the back of the book
John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife’s grave. Then he joined the army.
The good news is that humanity finally made it to the stars. The bad news is that, out there, planets fit to live on are scarce – and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So, we fight. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of our resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force, and everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join up. The CDF doesn’t want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You’ll be taken off Earth, never to return. You’ll serve two years in combat. And if you survive, you’ll be given a homestead of your own, on one of our hard-won planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He thinks he knows what to expect. But the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine – and what he will become is far stranger.
My rating: 5 out of 5
How I got it: bought
I loved this book! I found the idea of only being able to join the army when you turn 75 interesting and the alien/human encounters entertaining. I enjoyed the sarcastic tone that’s in much of the dialogue and the military battles were exciting. While there are serious moments, there weren’t enough to leave me feeling down after finishing the book. I often recommend this at work – especially for people who want to start reading sci-fi. It’s not too technical, it’s exciting, and it’s fun.
This is the first in the Old Man’s War series. It’s followed by The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, and Zoe’s Tale.