Monday, July 29, 2013

Teen Review/ Alex Award Watch: Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Cherrydale's volunteer, Matthew returns with a book from the adult section that he thinks older teens will enjoy. This one's for the science fiction fans:

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

In the future, when you reach the age of 65, you can sign up for the Colonial Defense Force. When you turn 75, they take you away for training. Now, an army of the elderly may not seem likely to win any battles, especially when the enemy is a whole slew of deadly aliens who all need the same planets to survive, but humanity’s Colonial Defense Force has a trick up its sleeve. Along with training, you are given a new and improved body. If you survive for two years, you will be released and allowed to resettle in your new young body.

This is the setup for Old Man’s War, which follows retiree John Perry as he fights to ensure humanity’s continued existence. On his journey, Perry must battle ferocious aliens and deal with the horrors of battle, all while trying to stay alive long enough to make it through to the end.

Old Man’s War deals with some serious themes such as life and death, the existence of the soul, and mortality, all told through Perry’s witty and cynical viewpoint as a grunt on the battlefield. For a sci-fi world full of far flung concepts, it all fits together rather believably and keeps you entertained throughout.

When I first read this book, I really couldn’t put it down. My only word of warning would be that as this is a book about war and death, it can get pretty gruesome, you’ve been warned. That being said, the book is the first in a series, so if you enjoy the story, you have at least four more books to look forward to.

Our Alex Award Watch posts focus on highlighting books from the adult section that may appeal to older teens.

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