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First and formost, if you haven't read the Old Man's War series and are considering picking up this book - what are you doing?
Even if you've stumbled onto this page by accident and your curiosity is naught but a faint glimmer in the distance, that's good enough. Go to the search bar and find his earlier works before coming to this one.
It's not that the Human Division (located in the same universe as OMW) won't make any sense (it won't) or even that there are spoilers in the Human Division for the previous series (there are) - the truth is that Scalzi's first foray into this world was better. As a matter of fact, it was fantastic.
His characters had more shades, the aliens were more interesting, the science was explored more deeply, and the plot line was more intricate.
Scalzi is true to his style in this newest novel - easy and interesting, funny without pandering to the audience, and the story zips along - but it's clear that the Human Division is propped up by the strength of the last series.
Don't get me wrong - Scalzi stands heads above the rest of herd, and is still one of the most engaging sci-fi writers around. I'll continue reading the series with the same relish as I read most of Scalzi's work, but given how high he set the bar with the first series, it's hard not to feel a little let down.
Also, as an aside: the dialogue tags. My god, the dialogue tags. In the written form it's easy enough to gloss over the word "said", but listening to it repeated over and over and over was occasionally, frustratingly, hugely distracting.
Every so often, I found myself thinking of synonyms that Scalzi could have used in place of the word "said" and noting the rare occasions he chose to use them.
If that's liable to bother you, you might want to consider getting the book.
65 of 73 people found this review helpful
WE ONLY NEED THE HEADS
I am a huge fan of Scalzi. I had listened to the first episode, The B-Team for free and liked it, so I got the whole book. I found I liked episode 1, even better the second time around. There are 13 episodes and two stories. You do not get the final two stories if you just get the episodes. The final two stories are funny and great. Many of the episodes are very good I was bored by episode 9 and 10, but the rest were good to great.
THE DOG KING
These are loosely connected, so it is mostly 15 short stories with a common theme. It is rare to have this many good stories in a collection. If you are a fan of short stories this is a must.
WALK THE PLANK
Scalzi's writing in these stories remind me a lot of Asimov's Robot stories. Asimov would expand on his robots and the laws of robotics with each story. Here Scalzi often expands on Smart Blood and what can be done with it. Asimov was not as funny, but it was a different time. If you like Asimov try this series.
24 of 27 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Human Division again? Why?
I'd probably not re-listen to it, there are some things about the writing in the book becomes a little annoying. I imagine that on the page the snappy 'He said' 'she said' 'he said' isn't so bad, but the repetition really started to bug me.
Would you recommend The Human Division to your friends? Why or why not?
I'd recommend it to people who were already fans of the Old Man's War universe, whilst it has new characters, it is not a standalone set of stories.
Any additional comments?
This is really a collection of inter-linked short stories, if you go in expecting this rather than a complete novel then you will enjoy it more.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
A light story with some engaging character relationships. It feels like the author is attempting to convey flat irony too often and the constant repetition of ...said ...said ...said is, well, repetitive. Please be a bit more creative.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful