… the military retirement plan? At age seventy-five, you can join the army and go to war in outer space. That’s the basic premise of John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War*. Despite the vast reaches of space, habitable planets are few and far between, so competition for them is fierce, and mankind must fight to defend Earth and find our own space to colonize.
The wars are brutal and never-ending, military training is harsh, and the new recruits will never see their homes again. This book could easily have become cold and depressing, but Scalzi’s deft writing saves it. He beautifully juggles gritty realism with wry humor, alien technology, and realistic characterization. He also encourages the reader to think about what it means to be human and the purposes of war. If you enjoy military or science fiction, give this book a try.
Reviewed by Fran (staff)