The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They’re young, they’re fast and strong, and they’re totally without normal human qualms.
The universe is a dangerous place for humanity—and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF’s biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.
Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers -- a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, Jared’s brain should be able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.
At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin’s memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason’s for Boutin’s betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his "father," he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity’s mere military defeat…
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This fast-paced interstellar military drama doesn't quite meet the high expectations set by its predecessor, Scalzi's acclaimed Old Man's War (2005), but it comes impressively close. Shifting focus from seniors in young bodies to infants in old bodies, it follows Jared Dirac, a superhuman soldier, from unusual birth to ambiguous death. Dirac is an altered clone of Charles Boutin, a military scientist who betrayed humankind to alien aggressors, and the Colonial Defense Forces' only hope of finding Boutin lies in transplanting his memories into Dirac's brain. When the transplant seems to fail, Dirac is sent to Special Forces, known as the Ghost Brigades for their habit of creating new soldiers from the DNA of the dead. His indoctrination there comes in handy when Boutin's memories begin to surface. Scalzi pays gleeful homage to Ender's Game, The Forever War and Starship Troopers, sometimes at the expense of originality. All he needs to make the jump from good to great is to trust in his own ideas.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Good read but not as good as the first in the series
This is a good book, but not as good as "Old Man's War". while I liked the story, it just wasn't as engaging as the first. I never found myself staying up late to read just one more chapter like I might with a really exceptional book. I never really felt attached to the characters.
I'm a little mixed as to how to rate the book. I don't regret reading the book by any means, but I also don't intend to read anymore of the books in the series after this one. So in the end, it's better than a 3, but not quite a 4.
Really fun to read. I had to stop reading several times to ponder the implications of species uplift, unwilling conciousness transfer, emergent conciousness and asteroids who think they're human...and might be! Best way to say that simply and without techno babble is "wow!"
Love the series, but...
I am late in discovering this wonderful series, but what a treat! The plot line is compelling, and the characters are interesting.
The Old Man's War book was, for me, a richer book. The reason? This book was bogged down by long explanatory sections of the science. I enjoy that too, to a point - but prefer more story line and character development and interaction. I realize that many scifi lovers want more on the scientific backdrop - and that's cool - but I would have liked that dialed back by 30% or so. But overall I loved it and will start Book 3 tonight!