Writing about Reading: The Ghost Brigades

November 17, 2012 § 1 Comment

John Scalzi’s The Ghost Brigades is the sequel to Old Man’s War. Whereas John Perry was the hero of the first book, he is barely mentioned in this one. The action this time focuses on Jane Sagan, ass-kicking Special Forces soldier, and Jared Dirac, a new recruit to the Special Forces. Jared was created from the mapped consciousness of a traitor, in order to find where the traitor had gone and what his plans are. Three alien races are allied to attack the Colonial Union, and Sagan and her Special Forces have been tasked with finding the traitor and sabotaging the alliance before that attack happens.

So that’s the basic mystery that drives the book. Unfortunately, there are a lot of unnecessary diversions along the way that really slow down the pace. It felt like these sections were padding, included only to stretch the story to novel length. I was quite frequently bored by sections of this book.

Happily, I’m well into the third book in the series, The Last Colony, and so far it is a much more compelling read. While there are references in it to The Ghost Brigades, I don’t think you have to read the latter in order to follow the story in The Last Colony. If you’re a completionist (like me), you’ll read The Ghost Brigades anyway. If not, you can safely skip from Old Man’s War to The Last Colony.

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