In this second sequel to Old Man’s War. John Perry is back centre stage. He is married to Jane Sagan, the special forces soldier created from the DNA of his dead wife. They have adopted the daughter of Charles Boutin (see The Ghost Brigades) and have retired from the military and live on a quiet colony. The Colonial Union has other plans for them, however, and they are more or less drafted as leaders of a new colony. The catch is that the Conclave, a federation of races to whom humanity does not belong, has forbidden the creation of new colonies. And so their new colony, Roanoke, is hidden away. They are forbidden from using modern equipment. But the depth of the Colonial Union’s deception is hidden even from them. To add insult to injury, their information about the Conclave is flawed at best.
I enjoyed this one just like the previous two books. Scalzi is very good at characters, and the first person narration through Perry gives the book a light hearted, humorous sense. The plot is convoluted, perhaps too much so. Scalzi is good at keeping track, but this reader felt that all the plot twists required too much exposition. The novel lacked the sense of immediacy so present in Old Man’s War. A solid conclusion to the series in any case.