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A Brief Review of The Last Colony

A week after the current issue of Some Fantastic went online, Tor's publicity department was nice enough to send me a review copy of John Scalzi's The Last Colony. Unfortunately, I've reviewed all three of his releases for Tor thus far (one for NYRSF and two for Some Fantastic -- Scalzi has received more than twice the page count of any other author in SF). So, in the interest of fairness I need to devote my limited resources to reviewing books by some other authors.

Having said that, I immediately pounced upon the book when it arrived at our front door, and I would like to sing the praises of The Last Colony. Simply put, it's an amazing end to the Old Man's War trilogy. Scalzi brings the narrative full circle, providing a satisfying denouement that any reader should walk away from thinking that we're finished with John Perry's and Jane Sagan's story. Along the way, we learn even more about the universe they inhabit and the truth about humankind's precarious place in the galaxy. More importantly, Scalzi reveals that while the Colonial Union and Colonial Defense Forces have humanity's best interests at heart, their actions might actually be to its detriment.

Scalzi's clear writing style remains firmly in place, allowing you to breeze through the novel at whatever pace you're most comfortable. He also does a fine job of providing additional insights into Perry and Sagan, as well introducing a few new characters to the narrative. Furthermore, when he gives information about their universe that seems at odds with what we thought we knew before, Scalzi makes sure that there's a logical reason for this.

In my review of The Android's Dream, I stated, "As much as I love his Old Man’s War series, I am looking forward to any other future diversions he plans on taking from that universe." With Last Colony, Scalzi provides himself plenty of opportunity to explore new avenues for his SF writing. It's a wonderful end to an entertaining series, and he deserves kudos for walking away from this series while both the story and characters were still fresh and interesting. (Aside from the ending making it incredibly difficult to logically delve deeper into Perry's and Sagan's lives, Scalzi states in the afterward to the novel that he has no intention of returning to these characters.) I now look forward even more to Scalzi's future efforts.

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