17 May, 2013

(revisited) Review - Old Man's War (OMW #1) by John Scalzi

I read Old Man's War [US] [UK] a number of years ago, back in 2008 or 9 and I just now jumped back into the world with The Ghost Brigades. Before that period of time, I'd considered myself a fantasy/science fiction fan and I thought I was actually relatively well-read in the genre. I'd read Tolkien, Feist, Eddings, Card, Herbert, and a bunch more.

In 2008, I had a bit of a rude awakening when I started to become active (okay that's putting it lightly, "obsessive" is the word we want) in the genre and in online forums. I scoured "best of," "top 10," and even "top 100" lists and started a list of books that I found consistently on just about every list. Sffworld.com had (and still does) a great thread where everyone on the forum posted their top 10 favorite books so I did the same - I wrote down the books that commonly popped (almost wrote pooped :)) up.

Suddenly I was terribly underread and I wanted to read everything immediately. As some of you may have already discovered, it's not only an uphill battle, but just about impossible to read EVERYTHING there is (check out this article, it will make you feel better).

So my solution was to read one book of just about every series I could get my hands on just to get a feel and to be able to better participate in online discussions. In a way this solution backfired on me, since I now have about a million books to read and I've started so many series that I now have to reread books to figure out what's going on. But it also let me find out about some great authors who I wouldn't have tried otherwise.

I'm sure I would have read Scalzi eventually, but Old Man's War was one of these. Four years later, I finally got to the sequel and I plan on reading The Last Colony soon in preparation for The Human Division.

Anyway, this was a long way to introduce the short review I put up for Old Man's War on Goodreads all those years ago:
This book was quite the page-turner. It was really enjoyable, great premise, loved the ideas. I wasn't a huge fan of the cussing and that's why I put this book on my "Liked, not loved" shelf. It just didn't make sense to me. These are 75-year-olds. I just thought it wasn't very believable, but that's probably just me. Other than that, this was a very entertaining, quick-paced and fun book.
Hopefully my reviews have improved a bit, but probably not. I obviously hadn't heard of Sh*t My Dad Says at the time either.

4 out of 5 Stars (highly recommended)

Old Man's War Universe (Read in red)
1) Old Man's War 
2) The Ghost Brigades
3) The Last Colony
Zoe's Tale
The Human Division

Novellas
The Sagan Diary ($2.99)
Questions for a Soldier ($0.99)
After the Coup ($0.99)

4 comments:

Carl V. said...

You hit it right on the head, getting into the SFF genre can lead to obsessing over what to read and how in the heck to get it all read. And there is so much great stuff, or potentially great stuff, coming out all the time.

I love the OMW series, love it deeply, and consider the first novel to be the very best, although I do enjoy the others as well. I re-read it a few years back and was pleased to find it every bit as enjoyable as I had the first time I discovered it. I'm glad your return had you feeling as good about it.

Jenny Colvin said...

I just can't make myself read it even though people clearly obsess over this book. I'm like you, I've made lists too, thousands of books I want to read more than this one. I don't believe in girl vs. boy novels except this is clearly a boy novel, that's my knee jerk reaction every time I see the cover. Plus the word war. Sigh.

Carl V. said...

Let me throw this in Jenny: you are correct in that much of Old Man's War is a "boy" novel. However, as the series continues a female protagonist enters and a good deal of romance is in the series. In fact, the final novel in the original trilogy, The Last Colony, and the YA novel Zoe's Tale were both recognized by Romantic Times and won awards. In fact, John Scalzi was just here in Kansas City a few weeks ago as a guest at the Romantic Times annual convention.

Just food for thought. :)

Bryce L. said...

It's very much reading candy for me. It's not too challenging, but tons of fun the entire time. The pages melt away and you get a few chuckles too.