I do love some sci-fi, and I’m fully aware that Star Trek TOS owes as massive a debt to old western serials as sci fi owes to Star Trek. But man, I just can not get into westerns. At all. I watched The Searchers specifically because it’s the best western out there and thought “yeah I’m sure it is, and it took all of my focus to pay attention to it” after the credits rolled. So it’s not scalzi’s fault I didn’t love this, as it’s the most space western of all of his books.
That said, it’s still a Scalzi book, so like pizza, even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good, and this wasn’t even bad, just not to my specific taste.
Book three of the Old Man’s War finds Jane Sagan and John Perry establishing a colony with their adopted daughter Zoe (orphaned in the previous book) for the CDF on Roanoke, a planet far from where they expected to be to avoid detection by the Conclave, a UN of alien races that is eliminating colonies from species not in their ranks.
It has the expected twists and turns, and the humor customary to a Scalzi book (and a nice surprise for a western – diversity! Scalzi took the acknowledgement of the Eurocentric perspective he admitted in the last book and actually did something about it – the planet we find our heroes on initially is populated by human colonists from India and Savitri, one of them, is a fairly major player in this book) but I found the process of establishing the colony fairly boring, and there were a few points that felt like climaxes in the book that weren’t and threw off the pacing for me, so while it’s still excellent, it’s my least favorite of the three so far.