The Last Colony

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The Last Colony Cover

The Last Colony is the third book in the Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi, and completes the story of John Perry, the 75 year old Earther who signed up for the Colonial Defence Force, and in doing so got a new body, military training, and the excitement of fighting aliens over planets ripe for colonisation.

Whilst the earlier books were very definitely military SF, this book is quite different, and mostly concentrates on John and his wife Jane (along with their adopted daughter from the previous book) as they administer a new human colony. However, things aren’t quite what they seem, and though there is some combat in the book, much of the story is now far more political and strategic in nature.

This allows the story to take the setting in a completely different direction from before, and make it feels like a conclusion to the story. There are other books in the series, but from what I can see the story of John Perry is pretty much over at this point.

As with the other books, it was quite a quick and simple read. It’s not a huge doorstop of a book (I read the Kindle version, but nonetheless it was relatively short by modern standards), which I really like. I don’t get much time to read, so anything that can be finished quickly is good (where quickly is less than a month these days). It doesn’t have a particularly complicated plot (though there’s a couple of surprises in there), and it’s not particularly stressful.

So from a reading perspective it’s a bit like pizza. It tastes good, is really easy and enjoyable to get through, and requires the minimum of effort. It’s a feel-good read that was great to unwind to. Which is really what I feel like I need at the moment.

So though I enjoyed it a lot, it’s a not a big complicated work full of clever ideas, complicated plot twists and deep and meaningful characters. As long as you’re happy with that, it’s definitely recommended.

Samuel Penn