My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Last Colony by John Scalzi is the third in a series depicting a future where senior citizens are shipped off Earth, reborn in enhanced bodies, and used to fight alien armies. This volume is self-contained, so you won’t miss much if you haven’t read the other books (I missed the second book in the series and didn’t have any problems with following this one). Here, retired soldier John Perry and his wife are assigned to lead a group of settlers on an uncolonized planet. Things quickly go wrong, and Perry finds himself in the thick of interstellar politics and war. The characters are not drawn especially vividly and the resolution depends a bit much on some coincidences and good fortune, but the story moves quickly; Scalzi knows how to write an enjoyable page turner. If you like Robert Heinlein or Lois McMaster Bujold, you will undoubtedly enjoy John Scalzi.
Scalzi rewrote this novel for young adults as Zoe’s Tale. If you 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.