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Review: John Scalzi's The Last Colony

The Last Colony
John Scalzi
320 pp pb 7.99 TOR
release May 2007

Reviewed by Paul Cole – Beam Me Up podcast / blog (

John Perry had given the better part of his life to the Colonial Defense Force. Now, in retirement, all he wanted was a nice out of the way place to live and a nice quiet job. But it seems, even that is not to be. After years of quiet, John is again approached to guide a new colony. Roanoke is to be Humanity's flagship of colonization, supported by settlers from all the major colonies. But John Perry and the rest of the colonists soon realize that nothing can be taken at face value. Nothing is as it seems and no one is dealing them a straight deal.

The Last Colony is the last book in the series dealing with John Perry. The others were, Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades. However John Scalzi has styled this novel to stand well on it's own. The book starts with great humor that brings the reader into the story easily and comfortably. You never get the feeling that your starting from the back of the series. John gives you two pages of intro in John Perry's universe and then blasts off. This is a TOR book remember. So your going to get heavy military based science fiction. Heavy on the military and science. Plus TOR loves fast paced, something John Scalzi has no trouble with. This book steams from front cover to back. Not much time is built building well rounded characters, however they are far from cardboard cutouts.

Another writer I enjoy in the TOR stable is Elizabeth Moon and you will find theme and presentation very similar here. By this I mean if you enjoy writers like Moon with their fast paced plot lines supported mostly by action, then you will certainly appreciate and enjoy Scalzi's The Last Colony for just the same reasons.

Now I enjoy this type of material and presentation so I am giving it a very strong read. I would suggest that if you don't have the other two books in the series, you get them, however this book stands well enough on its own.