The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 30 May 2007]

Review: The Ghost Brigades

Fun space opera with emotional depth.

It’s a big, bad universe out there…

John Scalzi’s The Ghost Brigades is set in the same universe as the enjoyable Old Man’s War, but isn’t so much a sequel as a look from another angle.

As hinted in Old Man’s War, humanity has created a Special Forces troop of people who are force-grown, genetically altered clones of people who signed up for service but passed away before their enlistment. This of course raises some interesting ethical issues.

Scalzi writes with economy and restraint, letting the plot carry the novel instead of resorting to verbal pyrotechnics.

There are a lot of thought-provoking ideas embedded in The Ghost Brigades, and the novel passes them out without hitting you over the head. At its core, though, it’s fun space opera.

There are couple of nits to pick, like how the Evil Scientist motivations didn’t fully work (at least for me), and some of the differences in BrainPal use by “realborn” troops and the Special Forces seemed a bit hand wavy, but those things don’t impede enjoyment of the novel, which just like Old Man’s War almost eerily channels Heinlein (in a good way).

Related Core Dump Reviews:

Old Man’s War

« Review: The Dead Yard


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