My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Teenager Zoë Boutin goes with her adopted parents, retired soldiers John Perry and Jane Sagan, and a group of settlers to an uncolonized planet. Things quickly go wrong, and colony leader Perry finds himself in the thick of interstellar politics and war. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the exact same story Scalzi told in his 2008 Hugo nominee, The Last Colony. The only difference is that it is told from Zoë’s point of view. Zoe’s Tale is an enjoyable young-adult page turner that fills in a couple of plot holes from The Last Colony. However, if you’ve read The Last Colony, don’t waste your time reading Zoe’s Tale, and vice versa, because there is very little difference between the two—certainly not enough to justify reading both. Why this book was nominated for a Hugo over major works by Iain M. Banks, Greg Bear, and Ken MacLeod is beyond me. John Scalzi obviously has a passionate and vocal following.