The End of All Things by John Scalzi wraps up several threads from the later books, while still leaving plenty of room for more entries in the series. This series tells one long story and should not be read out of order as there is no way to discuss the plot without getting into spoilers. If you have not read this series, starting with Old Man’s War, I highly recommend it. The first three books especially are outstanding.
The most recent entry in the Old Man’s War series begins closely after the shocking ending of The Human Division. The attack on Earth Station has everyone pointing fingers at each other. Colonies are pushing back against the Colonial Union and more are declaring independence. Earth has cut off ties with the Colonial Union, blaming them for the attack on Earth Station. Now they are making overtures to join the Conclave. Meanwhile, the Conclave is fracturing because no one wants humans to join and General Gao is having a harder and harder time holding it together. The universe is on the brink of a devastating war, brought about by the mysterious terrorist group Equilibrium. Harry Wilson, Ambassador Abumwe, and Danielle Lowen are all back again and work together to stop the all but inevitable end of all things.
The book is divided into four novellas that form the narrative arc. Each one is a piece of the larger story and focused on a different character. One novella concerns the inner turmoil of the Conclave and gives a good perspective to what General Gao was trying to accomplish and how much of a pain the CU really has been to all other species. Another is about a CDF squad leader and highlights various missions of her team being used not to defend colonies from alien attack but to quell colonist uprisings against the fascist control of the CU. Threaded through each story is the growing threat of Equilibrium as the heroes try to uncover their plan and try to stop them before it is too late.
Most books in the series end on a ticking clock with a final mission and The End of All Things is no different. If reading the book under the assumption it is the end of the series it can be a bit underwhelming. The events of the finale changes everything going forward and can easily serve as an end to the series. Scalzi has said there is at least one more book in the series coming. When the eventual finale does arrive it would be great to tie the whole story together, bringing John Perry and family back, as well as possibly addressing the mysterious Consu. These are all wishlist items from a fan of the series. As it stands, The End of All Things is a satisfying ending to the arcs begun in The Human Division but there is still more of this universe left to explore.