Friday, September 14, 2012

Book Review: John Scalzi's Redshirts UPDATED

I've been told I was not critical enough in my review, so I have added a sentence or two to this post in the spoilers section.

Those of you who know anything about my reading habits can probably already see a Scalzi obsession forming. I have a reputation (mainly with myself...) for finding an author that I like, and reading most of their back catalogue. But this time, instead of reading on in the Old Man's War series (the next book is called The Ghost Brigades), I decided to go straight to his latest book- Redshirts.

I wrote a recommendation for this book as part of a requirement for work, and managed to make it less than 200 words:
John Scalzi’s Redshirts
What would you do if you discovered you were expendable, an extra in a story that is simply using you for dramatic effect?  Dahl and his crewmates decide to take action, to find out why their fellow ensigns aboard the Intrepid keep dying in ridiculous situations, and why, at times, the Captain makes decisions that take them directly into the path of danger and drama.  Scalzi’s knack for presenting heavy ideas (in this case predestination, taking action against insurmountable odds, and being the protagonist in one's own story) in a light, often humourous, and enjoyable read is why I think I will carry on reading his back catalogue.  If you enjoy this book, you might also like Scalzi's 'Old Man's War', and Connie Willis' 'To Say Nothing of the Dog' for more big ideas wrapped in a humourous, seemingly light read.
Like what I did there?  Remember TSNotD and how much I liked it?  I genuinely believe that if you enjoyed that, you will easily see the same appeal in Redshirts.  Now I look at it and think "there's not all that much more I want to say".  Don't get me wrong, I am really excited about the book, but I don't think I want to pull it apart like I have most of the books I've reviewed on here (also, I'm writing this review a while after I finished the book and I have already returned it to the library!).  So there are very few spoilers if you click on the picture below.

Okay, spoiler-free now.  I know this review is not as well put-together as (I think) the others have been, and I have no real excuse other than writing it in pieces and only now putting them together about a month after finishing the book.  I shall try to be good next time - I'm currently reading Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

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