Saturday, May 11, 2013



I had been meaning to read Scalzi for awhile now. From all of the praise I had heard about him I thought his writing style would be an ideal match for my reading, er, style. And, it turned out to be about 5/8 on. I did enjoy some of the tounge-in-cheek comments sprinkled throughout the book. I liked the satirical takes on politics. I liked the futuristic ideas he made up. I ended up liking the serious action scenes.
Oh so many things on the 'like' side.
Any check marks on the 'dislike' side. Yes. The actual story.

I ended up filing this one away under my 'did not meet expectations' folder. I found the story a bit too confusing, mostly b/c there were a lot of similar characters. We had some FBI, we had some Dept of Defense, we had some White House folk...essentially they all played the same role (face of Earth's government) and they all had generic names like Phillip or Robert. I could not keep them straight.

I do have to say that Scalzi did a pretty good job at 'world building', creating a whole universe of alien creatures and a new kind of planetary UN system. That was the highlight of the book for me.
The humour was there but, for me, was lacking. When it did come up it was a lot of tongue-in-cheek type stuff that was...subtle...weak...not all that funny. For eg. the plot revolves around a race of aliens that can communicate by scent. They become offended by one character who has a fart machine installed into his body which lets out gas that conveys insulting messages to these aliens. Haha, a smart body function joke. Then we have a scene in a mall where bodies are smashing through windows with, wait for it, signs that super Nike shoes are 33% off. Again, funny and subtle.

However, for most of the book I just felt lost. I could not follow the characters, I wasn't laughing (that much or that hard), and the overall plot did not interest me. I would say, it is a smart sci-fi book with a dive into DNA and artificial intelligence, but, was overall a lackluster novel for me.

Perhaps, if I try Scalzi again, I will go with his much hyped (and award winning) Old Man's War, instead of just randomly grabbing any of his titles off the library rack.


No comments:

Post a Comment