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Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Ghost Brigade

Scalzi, John. The Ghost Brigade. I have not read Old Man's War, the first in this science fiction series, but I very much enjoyed The Ghost Brigade. It took me a little while to get sorted out - which may or may not be a result of not having read OMW - but when the narrative really took off, I was there all the way.

Unlike David Weber, who writes epic-length science fiction that focuses on humans and military technology, Scalzi's novel deals not only with humans, but also with other intelligent life forms and is much more compact. Jared Dirac is a "superhuman hybrid" created as part of the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, known as the Ghost Brigade. He differs from other Special Force soldiers because the consciousness transferred to him is that of the traitor, Charles Boutin, who is busy organizing a war against the CDF.

This is a fascinating novel that deals with the consciousness that develops among the Special Forces soldiers in general, and the differences that eventually arise in Dirac's consciousness. Averting a war that could destroy humanity is Dirac's mission, but there are questions about the Colonial Defense Forces and the Conclave that leave the ethical decisions of both sides of the impending conflict ambiguous.

I must get a copy of Old Man's War. My thanks to Carl who has repeatedly touted John Scalzi.

Scalzi's The Last Colony, is one of the nominations for the 2008 Hugo.

Fiction. Science Fiction. 2006. 314 pages.


  1. I'm thrilled that you liked this and yet a part of me is really sad that you started with it and not OMW. Although they do act somewhat as separate chapters, each focusing on two different people. I certainly suggest reading OMW before you read The Last Colony. I also suggest checking out this site:

    Where you can listen to the audio files of the limited edition novella, The Sagan Diary. It is Jane's thoughts of things occurred right after Ghost Brigades. It is very different, but having gotten so involved with the characters after the first two books, I really liked it alot. There is a fourth book in this series coming out in the fall. It is called Zoe's tale and is an account of events from Zoe's point of view. I cannot wait!

  2. I don't read enough sci-fi for a fantasy fan so I'm going to look out for this series. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Carl -I had looked at the library for OMW several times, so when I found this one, I looked again. Nope, they still didn't have it, but I couldn't resist getting The Ghost Brigade while I could. I guess I'll go ahead and order OMW before I move on to the next one. Thanks for the link!

    Ann - I like science fiction and my current favorite is David Weber -- long, long books but great adventure.