his is the third book of the Old Man’s War series, a tale where John Perry and his resurrected (long story) wife Jane leave their happy colony home to establish a colony for the Colonial Union. Journeying to a planet named Roanoke (as terrible a colony name as that is), they quickly realize that (a) this is not the planet they were supposed to colonize, and (b) that the ship dropping them off is now disabled, and (c) they are under quarantine, and nobody knows where they are.
It turns out that this is all Machiavellian moves to throw off the Conclave, an alien collective that is trying to restrict the open-warfare over colonization that’s been going on, like, forever, by the Colonial Union. In essence, Roanoke is the bait and the trap, and the Conclave steps right into it.
After that, all hell breaks loose. All Earther planets, even Earth itself, are threatened. Missiles drop out of orbit. The colonists are now told their likely deaths will be a rallying cry for humanity to fight to the bitter end. Unless, of course, they can find a way to survive.
For me, the third book of this series wasn’t up to its predecessors. It was as if author John Scalzi gave up on making aliens alien. The admiral of the Conclave sounds so much like a war-weary military man that I’m surprised he wasn’t gigged up like some sort of Japanese World War Two admiral with the whole “sleeping bear” mojo. And as for the Colonial Union, they seem to have this ‘you’re the hero of this book – you MUST survive’ trope going on. Frankly, the position they put the hero into was unwinnable, and the solution (involving trade and open friendship on the brink of interstellar war) implausible.
But, hey, that’s only my opinion, and my opinions have been shouted down in the past. See it for yourself. All in all, the trilogy is an enjoyable cruise into future-space. It’s worth the read.