Review: The End of All Things by John Scalzi

9781447290490John Scalzi returns to the Old Man’s War universe for his next fantastic installment. Following on from The Human Division, which was told over thirteen episodes, this time Scalzi tells his story over four novellas and once again demonstrates his total mastery in whatever form or perspective he chooses to tell his stories.

Have firming established his universe over four previous novels Scalzi has relished the chance to explore its complexities over the last two books through the world of high stakes, interstellar diplomacy. Things were not looking good for the human species at the end of The Human Division. Earth had split away from the Colonial Union which has drastic consequences for the Colonial Union’s defensive and colonizing capabilities. The Conclave, a coalition of alien species whose aim it is to bring peace and stability to the universe, has intentionally or unintentionally found itself as a wedge between Earth and The Colonial Union as each party scramble to form new allegiances. Enter a new shadow group whose intentions are to bring everything crashing down.

Scalzi tells the story from the point of view of a high ranking Conclave diplomat, a Colonial Union platoon lieutenant, a Colonial Union diplomat (Harry Wilson) and a brain in a box (yes you read that correctly). The brilliance of John Scalzi is that each story works perfectly well on it’s own but together slowly draws out the plot to bring so-called equilibrium to the universe.

I loved returning to this universe so much. John Scalzi is a dead set genius and I can’t wait for there to be more from this series wherever and whenever that may be.

Buy the book here…

Review – Lock In by John Scalzi

9780575134348I’ve been dying to read this since Scalzi published his oral history, teaser novella earlier this year. You don’t have to read the novella before this but I would highly recommend doing so because it shows the true depth of the world building Scalzi has imagined for our near future.

To set things up a flu like virus has ripped through the world infecting millions. Many died but there were also survivors, a small portion of whom became “Locked In”. Thier minds were perfectly fine but they became trapped inside their bodies. Billions of dollars was thrown at finding a cure for the virus but instead of a cure a different solution was discovered. “Locked In” people were able to transfer their consciousness to specially designed robots known as Hadens allowing them to rejoin the world. This lead to other discoveries and innovations that have had a fundamental impact on society and the world.

Scalzi tells the story like a classic detective mystery; two FBI agents, one a veteran the other new on the job. The twist being the new agent on the job is a Haden. Their first case together is a bizarre one. One man is dead and an “Integrator” (a human who can integrate their minds with Hadens) is found at the scene. As the FBI agents try to piece together what has happened they are quickly enveloped in a world of big business, politics and technology where nobody is who they seem.

This was a lot of fun and I don’t think Scalzi is finished with this world just yet. I can’t wait to see the stories he comes up with if he does return.

Buy the book here…