Tor, Jan 2005, 23.95, 316 pp.
When he turned seventy-five, earthling John Perry visits the grave site of his wife of forty-two years Kathy interred in an Arizona cemetery. He reflects how much he misses her, how he hates coming here, and that her last words dealt with finding vanilla as she was making pancakes when she died of a stroke. With nothing to keep him here, John abruptly decides to join the Colonial Defense Force struggling to defend or annex other worlds in deadly competition with alien races for control of a few hospitable planets.
As a recruit, John receives standard gear to include a much younger healthier body that is beyond the ability of most non government citizens to buy except the affluent. He makes buddies with his fellow soldiers. As his comrades die and collateral damage devastate civilian population, John begins questioning the war which enables a few to economically gain a lot at the cost of others even as he begins to ponder whether he is still human.
John Scalzi provides a tense anti-war military science fiction thriller that will leave fans pondering what is war good for. Readers will also wonder about who benefits from scientific advances and military operations and what actually a human is.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner