What better way to go out on CBR bingo than on the “this is the end” square for the last of the Old Man’s War series entitled The End of All Things? Poetic.
This wraps up the war between the CDF and Conclave (with special guest Equilibrium) in Star Wars fashion – with politics! Ok, im being unduly harsh, Scalzi does what he’s done this whole series to great effect – taking an interesting idea from his last book and expanding on it – particularly in the first novella of the four that comprise the book.
The brain in a box pilot concept from The Human Division gets a fully fleshed out story (ooph, phrasing. Sorry Rafe!) in a new man turned ship drafted into combat in The Life of the Mind. That was my favorite of the four, but Scalzi builds and builds until he reaches a satisfying if incomplete conclusion to his whole saga, not just this book. His skill as a writer lies in teasing interesting ideas out to their logical conclusions, and he may not have done it better than here. That said, his flaw as a writer is in making is care deeply about characters that aren’t John Scalzi, and he’s only intermittently successful here.
I’m glad I can’t remotely direct scalzi’s writing, there have been so many unexpected avenues these books have gone down I would never have predicted, but I can’t help but wish for more of what a less curious author might have written. What about the Consu?! And the Perry family? And the Obin?! What happens to them?! At the same time, thanks Scalzi for not JK Rowling / George Lucasing this universe to oblivion answering every implied question definitively.
I devoured these books, looking forward to rereading them with a little breathing room sometime in the near future. Highly recommended.