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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

The Ghost Brigades

Copyright 2006 by John Scalzi

SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this on the 3rd March 2008.

The Ghost Brigades are the elite fighters of the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF). The soldiers in the CDF are retirees re-embodied as green-skinned superhuman androids. The Ghost Brigade however are different. Their souls are children and their bodies speed-grown, rigorously motivated and dedicated to doing the job.

Humankind is fighting against a secret alien alliance of the Rraey, the Eneshans and the Obin. A human traitor, Charles Boutin, is aiding the aliens in their plans to wipe out humanity.

Jared Dirac is a new member of the Ghost Brigades and we follow him and his platoon as they get themselves killed off, little by little, attempting to capture the nefarious Charles Bootin.

This is the first John Scalzi novel I've read after the excellent "Old Man's War". I'm a bit shocked to discover that while I've been occupied in a few months of bringing up Max Jr, Scalzi has been and gone and done and written a further two novels, "The Android's Dream" and "The Last Colony" so there's a world of wonder to look forward to.

I have to admit, however, that I didn't enjoy this as much as "Old Man's War". I wanted something gritty, painful with broken hearts and splintered bones but John wrote the "The Ghost Brigades" in a more jocular Haldeman style. Now that's his right, since it's his novel, but it meant that I coasted through the book vaguely interested in the possibilities of green skin but otherwise uninvolved.

It is a good book but it's not top dog in the Max kennel.

Loaded on the 6th July 2009.
Cover of The Ghost Brigades
Cover art by John Harris

Reviews of other works by John Scalzi:
Old Man's War
The Last Colony

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris:
Ancillary Mercy
Light Raid
The Stonehenge Gate
Old Man's War
The Last Colony
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
Radio Freefall
Earth Unaware
Children Of The Mind

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris and Carol Russo Design:
Earth Made Of Glass