I first listened to “Old Man’s War” a few months ago on the two-day drive moving from Mississippi to Maryland. I absolutely loved the book and when I found out that it was a series, I was ecstatic. I eagerly picked up book two- “The Ghost Brigades” as soon as I got a chance.
This book is narrated by William Dufris, who narrated the previous book. His voice is one that never bothers me or make a me excited when I hear him read. He doesn’t add to the story but he doesn’t commit the unpardonable sin of distracting from it either. That makes him a good narrator in my book. He plays all the ranges of characters very well.
As for the story, John Scalzi did an adequate job, but the second book letdown now seems unavoidable. There was something special about exploring the fantastic world Scalzi created in the first book that is missing in the second
“The Ghost Brigades” revolves around Jared Dirac who is clone of the traitor Charles Boutin. Jared Dirac was created as a ghost brigade altered clone to attempt to recover the memories of Boutin and discover the catalyst for his betrayal.
John Scalzi did start to explore more of the odder genetic variations of ghost brigade members. He also began delving into some of the relationships among the alien races. Those parts provided a flicker of the old excitement, but were not enough to reignite the enjoyment of the first book.
One thing I was particularly disappointed by was the treatment of Jane’s character. Although she was an important side character in the first book, it feels like she could have been replaced by any random character in the second.
There were no real surprises in this book. It was not bad, just not as good as the first. It really felt like a set up for the next book “The Last Colony,” which I am planning to read in the next few weeks. I will let you know what I think.
Overall 6 of 10
Narration 7 of 10
Story 6.5 of 10