Genre: Science Fiction
Setting: In outer space, aboard spaceships and on various planets, in the distant future.
First sentence: So, I'm supposed to tell you how I became a brain in a box.
This book is the sixth in Scalzi's Old Man's War series. This series is unique in that it is a collection of free standing novels and novelettes placed in the Old Man's War universe. We don't follow a main character. But we see the main story arc from different points of view.
This book is a collection of four novelettes. In them we observe the main story from both a human and an alien perspective.
Basically, the plot revolves around the relationship humans have with the hundreds of non-human species in the galaxy. Many of these species have aligned themselves into a governmental entity called the Conclave. Humans are represented by the Colonial Union and its military arm called the CDF (Colonial Defense Forces).
Humans are not very popular in space. They have been fighting the Conclave for years. It turns out that the Conclave is not as evil as the Colonial Union would have humans believe. And the Colonial Union is not very popular on Earth. It turns out that the Colonial Union has been misrepresenting the real political situation in the galaxy.
Now, there is a new political entity called the Equilibrium. The Equilibrium wants to gain political control by destroying both the Conclave and the Earth.
So, the Conclave, the CU and Earth need to find a way to defeat the Equilibrium. Failure would mean the end of all things.
I am a big fan of John Scalzi's novels. I especially like his action sequences. For me, the story slowed down when we had aliens with difficult to remember names discussing political issues.
But, overall, I felt that it was a very enjoyable read.