Saturday, November 14, 2015

The End of All Things (Old Man's War) by John Scalzi

This is the sixth part of an ongoing series. The earlier books have been fairly separate and have worked alone to at least some degree, but this continues the story pretty much from the last one and probably would be very confusing for a random reader. Humans have divided to two main factions: the colony worlds are ruled by a military colonial union, CU, and the Earth itself is governed by nation states more or less similar to today. The relations of the CU and Earth have gone very bad since apparently CU destroyed a space station in Earth’s orbit. At the same time, the Colonial Union is facing unrest on its’ own turf as several colonies are straining for independence. Also, a vast consortium of alien races, The Conclave, has gained influence and is trying to form a union of several different species, many of which have been bitter enemies and competitors. The relations between the Conclave and CU have never been very warm, but they are getting worse as they apparently attack each other’s ships. However, it turns out (or turned out in the last book) that there is a third group, a very secret organization called Equilibrium, with an unknown agenda that is working behind the scenes. At first, little is known about what its’ aims are, but by a fortuitous event, there is a chance to learn at least something. Is there time to prevent what Equilibrium is trying to do? Is it possible that former enemies are able to forget their differences and do the unthinkable – to trust each other?

It is a pretty good book, even better than the previous part.
There were a lot of shades of grey in most of the factions in the book– with the exception of the main villain, Equilibrium. Its’ motivations were left pretty unclear. It has always been refreshing to read military science fiction, where humans aren’t clearly the good guys, or at least not the only good guys. In this book and series, the single group with most identifiable agenda has been the alien Conclave, but now even the CU was less of a “bad guy” than in some of the earlier books. An enjoyable read and I am looking forward to next instalment – if there will be any. There weren’t any major cliffhangers left at the end of this book.

384 pp.

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