The Last Colony (TLC) is John Scalzi’s third book of the Old Man’s War series. I believe that this book was supposed to be it for the series, for a while at least, but Scalzi then wrote Zoe’s Tale so TLC ended up being the third book.
In TLC, we are reunited with John Perry who we first meet in Old Man’s War. Perry is now living with his wife, former Special Forces soldier, Jane Sagan, and their adopted daughter Zoe. His life as an administrator is peaceful and a far cry from the life of a Colonial Defense Forces soldier.
That situation changes when the Colonial Defense Union (CDU) decides to enlist Perry’s help to lead a group of settlers on a remote planet named Roanoke. After initially being hesitant, Perry agrees to go to Roanoke. He finds out soon enough that the CDU has not given him all the details and that there are surprises and shocks in store on the planet. Perry and Sagan find themselves mired in a sticky situation against the backdrop of a bigger game of inter-planetary politics.
Of the books by Scalzi that I’ve read so far, a list which includes The Android’s Dream (to be reviewed later), I liked TLC the best. The pace of the book is perfect, the story keeps moving, and you get the feeling that Scalzi was in the zone when he wrote this book. While OMW and TGB are both good books, I felt that this book was far better and that he nailed it with this book. The greatest strength of TLC is that you end up caring about the characters and about what happens to them, which is what good fiction ends up doing to you. After reading the book, I was (and am) looking forward to reading Zoe’s Tale to see what Scalzi’s done with Zoe’s character.
TLC is a terrific book and if you must choose one book of Scalzi’s to read, you should definitely read this one. (As I’ve mentioned before, though this is part of a series, Scalzi’s written them in a way that they can be read independently.)
PS: I wrote this review a while back but I don’t know why it’s taken this long to be published. Sometimes even blogs have slow turnaround times.