As if a space elevator and fighting intergalactic battles aren’t cool enough, this book manages to add an extra layer by making it’s protagonist 75 years old. Yep, you read that right—a 75-year-old launches himself into space to battle all manner of insane space beasts. Not only that, all of his comrades are 75-years-old. How does that work, you ask? Well, that’s one of the secrets of the book I’m not giving away, but it’s totally worth finding out.
I have to admit, I don’t always make the time I should to read physical books, so sometimes I compensate with audiobooks. I don’t drive every day, but when I do, it always seems to be for a couple hours at a time. Point being, I chose to listen to this instead of read it simply because I was stuck in the car for an extended period and needed something to occupy me.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Seriously, the narrator, John Perry, is one of the—if not the—funniest protagonists I’ve ever “read.” The old-man humor in the book is fucking gold. I was laughing out loud, in my car, by myself, like a goddamned maniac, and I loved every minute of it.
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi (first book in the Old Man’s War series)
GENRE (ACCORDING TO ME):
Adult, Science-Fiction, Humor
5/5: This book earns the SIR Seal of Approval (if I could give it 10 shits, I would)
FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE:
sci-fi, futuristic technology, dad jokes, fight scenes, aliens, love stories
IN A NUTSHELL:
WARNING: Not exactly a spoiler, cuz those suck, but a big tease for sure.
A widowed senior citizen decides to join Earth’s space army and ends up getting into way more than he bargained. Between traveling across the multiverse, commanding other soldiers, and fighting extremely violent alien races, John Perry is forced to face his wife’s death head-on when he meets someone named Jane who looks exactly like his wife…exactly like his wife.
WHY I LIKED IT:
First and foremost, it’s hilarious. I might be crazy, but I was laughing constantly. It really made me want to hang out with the author, because there is no way someone who isn’t a mother-fuckin’ hoot didn’t write this book.
Second, the sci-fi elements are wicked cool. Scalzi does a great job of providing enough rationale for the tech that a layman can nod and say, “Okay, cool,” without batting an eye. Because I read a decent amount of real-life science stuff (I subscribe to Scientific American for example), I probably have a decent leg up on things like space travel, time warps, and the like, but I was more than willing to buy what he was selling.
The aliens Scalzi invents are fun and vivid, not only because the writing is great but because he creates these rich, layered cultures for all of them. He even goes into depth on one particular species regarding their weird war-based honor culture, which I found fascinating. I won’t say much more because spoilers are the worst, but trust me when I say if one of your favorite aspects of Star Trek was the unique, quirky, and interesting alien species they introduced, Old Man’s War will not disappoint.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I met John very briefly last summer. Mostly, I shook his hand and stood there with stars in my eyes as he and Chris Paolini (the guy who wrote the Eragon series) gave me book recommendations. I couldn’t believe these two rock stars were showering me with reading advice, so I don’t remember if I acted like a total idiot or not. Let’s hope not.
More about John from Goodreads:
John Scalzi, having declared his absolute boredom with biographies, disappeared in a puff of glitter and lilac scent.
(If you want to contact John, using the mail function here is a really bad way to do it. Go to his site and use the contact information you find there.)
See what I mean about the sense of humor? He even has a guide for Twitter followers on how he uses the service. And instead of “www” in front of his website, it’s “whatever.” This guy is just effin’ cool.
Regarding my hiatus:
I was insanely busy at the end of last year and just couldn’t make time for this. I’ve recommitted in 2018 and will be posting at least bi-monthly. I’ve considered turning this into a vlog instead to save time for me, but I’m not sure how you, my subscribers, feel about that. Feel free to provide feedback here, via email, or on any of my social media pages (Instagram is best).
Never stop reading,