Book Review: Old Man’s War – by John Scalzi

The first novel of John Scalzi, Old Man’s War, is a good, solid, entertaining and thought-provoking science fiction story reminiscent of the old master Heinlein. There are space battles, many alien races, “enhanced” humans and many philosophical concepts all wrapped into this tight and readable package of a novel.

Sometimes the dialog is too long and tends to get off track. This happened a few times, and I simply got on with it by skimming forward a few pages. One thing I missed was more description of the aliens. Some have slasher arms, others thoraxes, some are spider-like, others are mammalian and less than an inch tall, so they can be stomped to death like cockroaches. I felt that the alien philosophies and technologies were so central to the story, it would have helped if Scalzi had described them better and left less to the imagination.

I don’t usually say this, but this book could have been a hundred pages longer, filled with more description, and not suffered in terms of readability.

I am now looking forward to the other three books of the “Old Man” series which are already out and available.

Rating: ***

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