It’s been a long time since I wrote a book review, mostly because it’s been a very long time since I’ve read a book. However, recently, I got tapped for jury duty and since I had to have something to do while sitting around waiting to get inevitably dismissed, I figured it was a good time to start a book. This was just the first one I came across on my tablet, so hey, it’s as good a place to start as any.
I’ve enjoyed John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War series quite a bit, some books more than others, of course, but The Human Division originally came out as a series of chapters on the Tor webste and I thought it would be interesting to see how something like that worked out.
Following the events of The Last Colony, Earth knows that it’s been used by the Colonial Union and has broken off contact. Of course, with the Conclave putting the screws to the CU, they need to get back into Earth’s good graces, just so they have a never-ending supply of new soldiers and colonists in their near war with the Conclave. But that require diplomacy and the seemingly cursed crew of the diplomatic craft(s) the Clarke keeps getting all the bad jobs that turn out to be the most important.
I’ll be honest, the book does come off as pretty fragmented, owing to it’s strange origins. Every chapter flips between a cast of characters and the best chapters were the ones focusing on Lieutenant Harry Wilson. Why? Because he has a lot of similarities to John Perry in him and Perry is the real reason I fell in love with this series to begin with. Unfortunately, Scalzi doesn’t write about Perry anymore so I have to take the same character type where I can get it.
The primary focus of The Human Division is politics and diplomacy and frankly, that’s something that typically bores me. However, Scalzi throws in just enough action and adventure and intrigue to make slogging through the diplomatic muck worthwhile. That isn’t to say it doesn’t drag here and there, but by the end, we’re back to high adventure as he introduces a potential third party that may be out to get both the Colonial Union and the Conclave and may lead to even bigger stakes to come. Sign me up.
It’s not as amazing as the first book in the series, but it’s John Scalzi and I have yet to read any of his books that I didn’t enjoy. He had another chapter in the saga come out in 2015 called The End of All Things, which I will have to get to sooner or later. I probably can’t absorb books as fast now as I used to, but I do want to get back to reading more than I’ve had a chance to recently. Any fan of Scalzi’s work will already have read this and while you don’t absolutely have to understand the universe to get what’s going on here, if you’re serious, go back and read the whole story in order. You’ll be glad you did.