Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Last Colony (by John Scalzi)

An excellent end to the trilogy that began with Old Man's War; I liked it a lot more than The Ghost Brigades. Because this one focuses on the John and Jane relationship much more than either of the other books, and because Zoe is in the picture, and because John Perry talks about his kickass wife in much the same way John Scalzi talks about his kickass wife, it felt very personal.

I'm trying to find a way to distinguish that from the whole "Mary Sue" thing, because I don't think it's a Mary Sue situation. Maybe it's because the characters in The Last Colony still feel real and their reactons are in service of the story. Whereas I've read other books that borrow elements from the authors' lives, and it feels like those authors just being lazy or showing a lack of creativity. Even more, sometimes those characters don't make a lot of sense or don't seem to hang together, or just plain aren't likeable. Maybe it's a question of the author's skill. Some authors can use elements of their own relationships and use them to create characters, and other authors can't distance themselves enough to know if the characters work beyond the "this is me and my friends!" setup.

Well, that was a digression. My point is, this book felt more personal, and it's not necessarily a bad thing. I loved the end game, even though I wonder how probable the whole thing would be. And I also kind of found John Perry less likeable in this book than he has been in previous ones. Less vulnerable, maybe. Less fallible. Something. But overall, I loved the book. And the resolution to the characters' being backed into a seemingly impossible corner was genius.

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