Book Review: The Last Colony by John Scalzi

Jean-Paul’s Rating: 4/5 Stars

“The Last Colony” is another excellent book in an excellent trilogy.  The others being “Old Man’s War” and “The Ghost Brigades”.  This book is the least hard science fictiony of the three.  There are still cool new technological gadgets and such, but the book mostly draws on the science from the previous books for the most part.  It is missed because John Scalzi describes cool science gadgets really well, but it also gives Scalzi ample room to shine in his other writing talent, sarcasm and biting rejoinders.  This first half of the book is packed with them.  I found myself chuckling more than a few times and smiling throughout.

This book also delves into the internal politics of the Colonial Union much more than the other two.  Much of the plot surrounds the way the Colonial Union manages its colonies and uses them as pawns in a six dimensional chess game against the other colonizing races.  With each book, it becomes harder and harder to excuse the actions of the Colonial Union and this book actually had me rooting for the Conclave.

Like the other two books in this series, I thought the first half was quite strong, but the second half was missing something.  I think my issue is that, with each book, John Scalzi creates this complex series of events and then the solutions just seem to work themselves out in a simplistic way.  Unlike the other two books, I found the ending to this book quite satisfying, if a little far fetched.

And the “Old Man’s War” trilogy comes to an end.  There are other books set in the universe, but these three apparently stand alone.  Though I will read the other books, I will sorely miss John Perry and Jane Sagan.  I wish John Scalzi had spent more ink talking about their relationship.  It is an interesting and complicated one.  There are hints of love and hints of problems.  Neither are well explored.  None of this takes away from the story, but it’s one of those road not traveled things.  I wonder how much John Perry/Jane Sagan romance fan fiction is out there.  Not enough to actually look, but just wonder.