Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Last Colony

The Last Colony (Old Man's War #3)The Last Colony by John Scalzi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After retiring from the Colonial Defense Force, John Perry and Jane Sagan started a new life on the Human colony Huckleberry. The two of them live with their adopted daughter Zoƫ, work local jobs, and have a farm. All of that changes when they are approached to be the leaders of a new human colony which will be colonized by people from other human colonies. There is more to this arrangement than they were told and the family finds itself once again forced to fight to survive.

John Scalzi shows another part of his universe with The Last Colony. In Old Man's War we learned about how The Colonial Union gets recruits,  makes them fighting ready, and the dangers of the universe. In Ghost Brigades we see the inner workings of the Special Forces and the increased danger they face. The Last Colony shows what life is like as a colonist and it's dangerous and boring. A whole lot of farming is involved which made the beginning drag quite a bit.

John Perry, Jane Sagan, and the colonists got thoroughly screwed in this book. It was shocking to see how even after such betrayal what people could be capable of doing. I'd like to think people would be smarter than this, but the colonists are probably similar to the majority of individuals in the world.

The story has a lot of moving parts and an air of mystery. Unfortunately for me most of it seemed quite obvious. It was good to see John Perry again, he's just as funny as a sarcastic young man as he was as an old man. I still don't like how neatly Scalzi wraps up his books and The Last Colony was no exception. I did like how he left the ending open for future tales.

The Last Colony was a solid conclusion to the Old Man's War trilogy.

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Fool and the Dragonox

Fool and the Dragonox: A Prequel to A Tale of Light and ShadowFool and the Dragonox: A Prequel to A Tale of Light and Shadow by Jacob Gowans
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Teenagers can often be quite dumb. Those of us who have been teenagers can attest to that and those of you who are still teenagers it isn't your fault, but you can be foolish to say it nicely. No teenager is dumber than a teenage boy trying to impress a girl he likes. That's bad enough in real life, but can be even worse in a fantasy world featuring mythical fire breathing creatures around.

The Fool and the Dragonox is a short story that's incredibly relatable to anyone who has been a teen. We've all either had or known someone who had a friend who adults didn't approve of, a love interest, a sibling you can't say anything to without adults finding out, and had more than a fair amount of foolish notions.

The story revolves around Henry, a carpenters son, and his best friend Ruther, the bad influence according to Henry's parents. It's a quick read that seems appropriate for the opening chapter of a book. Henry is training to be a carpenter and is love with the local Lord's daughter Isabelle which needless to say doesn't sit well with the Lord. One night Henry sneaks out with Ruther, Isabelle, and his sister Maggie to see a Dragonox which is as bad and dangerous as it sounds. After Ruther whispers the idiotic idea that Henry should ride the Dragonox to impress Isabelle, Henry heads to do just that because he clearly knows nothing of women and doesn't have the common sense that says you can't get the girl if your dead. Regardless the fun starts there and I must admit I was laughing rather than being concerned.

The Fool and the Dragonox was a funny short story and I'm interested enough to check out the main series now.

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