The universe is a hostile place in John Scalzi's The End of All Things the sixth in The Old Man's War series.
Our fate is in their hands . . .
The Colonial Union's Defence Force was formed to save humanity when aggressive alien species targeted our worlds. Now Lieutenant Harry Wilson has an urgent new mission, as a hostile universe becomes ever more dangerous. He must investigate a sinister group, which lurks in the darkness of space playing different factions against one another. They'll target both humans and aliens, and their motives are unfathomable.
The Defence Force itself is weakening as its soldiers fall – without recruits to replace them. Relations with Earth have broken down and it will send no more troops, even as human colonies become increasingly vulnerable to alien attack.
Lieutenant Wilson and Colonial Union diplomats must race to keep the peace, seek reconciliation with an enraged Earth, and maintain humanity's unity at all costs. If they don't, it will mean oblivion, extinction and the end of all things.
Hugo-winner Scalzi integrates the best aspects of war stories into the polished and powerful sixth volume which consists of four connected novellas in the Old Man's War space opera series. The inevitable and parallel downward spirals of the two corrupt space empires, the human Colonial Union and the alien Conclave, are finally coming to a head. All four protagonists work for one of the two entities, and Scalzi shifts among their perspectives to thread a fine needle, recognizing that good people can be entrenched in terrible systems and sometimes can't (or won't) change them. Added tension comes in the form of a group called the Equilibrium, which is intent on destroying both the Colonial Union and the Conclave and killing billions in the process. Human Harry Wilson and alien Hafte Sorvalh will be familiar to returning readers, while CU pilot Rafe Daquin and CU Lt. Heather Lee are welcome new voices. New readers will certainly enjoy the work, but the real payoff comes for longtime fans, who will especially appreciate a powerful moment featuring the alien General Gau. Scalzi knows just how to satisfy his fans, providing tense, thrilling action scenes while turning a critical eye on the interstellar equivalents of the military-industrial complex.