Kilgore on Old Man’s War

Mr Kenton Kilgore wrote a review of John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR which so exactly matches my judgment, what I liked, what I disliked, and what left me feeling Laodicean (neither hot nor cold) that it excuses me from the need to write a review myself:

ADDENDUM: As it turns out, I did have a review, or at least comments in passing, concerning OLD MAN’S WAR, from February of 2007, which I would be happy to share.

I’ve read OLD MAN’s WAR and can give it high praise for its readability—Mr. Scalzi knows the secret trick of making a reader turn pages—and for its likeable characters—I felt sorry for the main character by the end of three paragraphs, and I am something of a cold and standoffish man known for caning my inferiors. So, good for him.
I picked up the book because I saw Mr. Scalzi acting zany on YouTube, ( ) and I thought: “Funny! Me Laugh!” which is a sufficient recommendation for works of speculative literature created by the same artist as far as I am concerned.I have some minor reservations about the book ( actually, two: 1. recreational sex in the co-ed military has no effect on unit cohesion, and all recruits indulge in the general orgy without thought, scruple, hesitation and without any personal attachments being formed 2. the technology of mind-transfer, immortality, and mind-creation has no impact on society.  When a character breaks a leg, they don’t just switch him into a new body, and no nonhuman bodies are used: no fish-bodies donned for aquatic campaigns, for example), but my reservations  would be pertinent only if one takes the book more seriously than I think the writer meant it. One reservation was that the plot threads were not wrapped up neatly: but since there is a sequel to the book out, THE GHOST BRIGADES, I may have to look at that to see if my reservations hold water. The book was good enough to make me want to read the sequel, so I am willing to give it a Harriet Klausner level of praise—four stars out of five.

As it turns out, I did pick up and read the sequel, or started the sequel and found it not to my tastes, and gave up on THE GHOSTS BRIGADES around chapter six.  So in hindsight, I would lower my rating to three stars out of five, knocking off one star for dangling plot threads which were not, after all, wrapped up: the book is average as far as SF books go, solidly built in a workmanlike fashion, entertaining, not particularly memorable.