Published by Tor Books on June 5th 2012
Source: AudioBook Reviewer
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that: (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
John Scalzi is killing me!
His characters are way too good. He also writes with a hilarity where you will spit your drink out, literally, if you are not careful.
This book has some back and forth to get used to. It comes together but as readers (or listeners) we have to give it time to come together. It took me a hot minute.
That said, the characterization was so good that I did not want to stop listening. This was fantastic. Of course, explaining the idea to my daughter, who had no idea what a Red Shirt was, or why it was funny, was a bit hilarious in itself. So, I think John Scalzi is assuming that you are a Sci Fi fan or at the very least have heard of Star Trek. As I explained to my daughter someone with a red shirt was a newbie and was most likely to die. Don’t worry, that doesn’t give away anything but might give you the premise of the story. These guys and gals are in red shirts, what are they going to do now?
I had a moment while listening to this that made me think about my past reads. This is way deep into the Sci Fi genre. A genre that I was pretty adamant I did not like. And here we have John Scalzi writing a story that I am in love with. The writing and the characterization draw you in and make you want to know more about what is going to happen next. He does that and he does it seamlessly.
That said, there is a portion in this that is almost like a part two. You know what is happening to the main characters and the story is done. And yet there’s more. This extra portion was fantastic and I cannot say anything about it! Let me just say, if you read this and you get to the end of the first part, do yourself a favor and keep reading. It is fascinating. I thought the characterization from the first part was on point and yet here John Scalzi was able to pull out all the stops. I found myself marveling at the end and crying, like full on ugly crying at the end. I am totally a fan of his writing and will continue to pick up his fantastic books.
So, yeah, I’m a Sci Fi fan… who knew?
|Overall:||5 / 5|