The Ghost Brigades Hardcover – May 30 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
This fast-paced interstellar military drama doesn't quite meet the high expectations set by its predecessor, Scalzi's acclaimed Old Man's War (2005), but it comes impressively close. Shifting focus from seniors in young bodies to infants in old bodies, it follows Jared Dirac, a superhuman soldier, from unusual birth to ambiguous death. Dirac is an altered clone of Charles Boutin, a military scientist who betrayed humankind to alien aggressors, and the Colonial Defense Forces' only hope of finding Boutin lies in transplanting his memories into Dirac's brain. When the transplant seems to fail, Dirac is sent to Special Forces, known as the Ghost Brigades for their habit of creating new soldiers from the DNA of the dead. His indoctrination there comes in handy when Boutin's memories begin to surface. Scalzi pays gleeful homage to Ender's Game, The Forever War and Starship Troopers, sometimes at the expense of originality. All he needs to make the jump from good to great is to trust in his own ideas. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Scalzi's riveting and original Old Man's War (2005) introduced readers to the Colonial Defense Forces (CDF), an Earth-based galactic army composed of senior citizens rejuvenated by high-tech wizardry into youthful warriors. In this equally engaging, battle-driven sequel, the CDF's latest operation entails tracking down renegade scientist Charles Boutin, who is responsible for handing over deadly military secrets to humanity's extraterrestrial enemies. Fortunately, a computer-based replica of Boutin's consciousness is on file and ready for transfer into newly cloned special-forces soldier Jirad Dirac, who shares Boutin's DNA. When the consciousness transfer doesn't quite take, Dirac is handed off to a battalion for routine but closely monitored training. Just when Dirac is getting comfortable with his own identity, however, Boutin's memories kick in, and Dirac and his team are summarily dispatched to an enemy planet to capture Boutin and solve the mystery of his treason before humanity is destroyed. Scalzi skillfully weaves together action, memorable characterizations, and a touch of philosophy in a first-rate military sf outing. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
While not as fantastic as his debut, Old Man’s War, Scalzi still sets the bar high with his followup novel, set in the same universe where mankind has ventured out into a hostile universe populated with hundreds of alien species, and responds with engineering, perserverance, and small feats of bio engineering like the Ghost Brigades.
The Ghost Brigades were introduced briefly in Old Man’s War in the form of Jane Sagan, a nine year old with some of the DNA of the lead character’s dead wife. The soldiers in the Ghost Brigade are grown, given “BrainPal” computers in their head, and then linked to their squad mates.
Jane Sagan plays a back-up role here. The main plot follows Jared Dirac, a Ghost Brigade soldier who is built to put a presumed dead traitor’s consciousness inside his head. It doesn’t take at first, so he becomes a member of the Ghost Brigades. It does take later, but to detail more would mean spoiling the story.
Scalzi continues to expand upon the universe of aliens he has created, and to explain the science the humans are using to combat them in clear, logical terms. (Science and fiction, get it?) The humans seem to be beset on all sides by agressive aliens, but which side is really the aggressor?
John gets into some excellent philosophical discussions about choice and right to choose, which is right in line with the “created for a purpose” ghost brigades.
An excellent story, a quick read, a new fav author. On to the third in the series.
Most recent customer reviews
As I've said before; I really like this author. Really find his books mentally stimulating and extremely entertaining.Published 7 months ago by Tom
Captivating, surprising and simply good story-telling - thoroughly enjoyed it - one notch up over Old Man's WarPublished 10 months ago by Nils Meier
Well paced. Engaging characters. Easy to jump in and out. Would recommend to anyone with a love for sci-fi. Thanks.Published 10 months ago by Andrea
That pretty much sums it up. I could sort of see the end coming, but it twisted away from my expectations enough that I was in the end not disappointed.Published on April 7 2013 by Amazon Customer