The Ghost Brigades are the Special Forces of the Colonial Defense Forces, elite troops created from the DNA of the dead and turned into the perfect soldiers for the CDF's toughest operations. They're young, they're fast and strong, and they're totally without normal human qualms.The universe is a dangerous place for humanity-and it's about to become far more dangerous. Three races that humans have clashed with before have allied to halt our expansion into space. Their linchpin: the turncoat military scientist Charles Boutin, who knows the CDF's biggest military secrets. To prevail, the CDF must find out why Boutin did what he did.Jared Dirac is the only human who can provide answers -- a superhuman hybrid, created from Boutin's DNA, Jared's brain should be able to access Boutin's electronic memories. But when the memory transplant appears to fail, Jared is given to the Ghost Brigades.At first, Jared is a perfect soldier, but as Boutin's memories slowly surface, Jared begins to intuit the reason's for Boutin's betrayal. As Jared desperately hunts for his "father," he must also come to grips with his own choices. Time is running out: The alliance is preparing its offensive, and some of them plan worse things than humanity's mere military defeat…At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
This fast-paced interstellar military drama doesn't quite meet the high expectations set by its predecessor, Scalzi's acclaimed Old Man's War (2005), but it comes impressively close. Shifting focus from seniors in young bodies to infants in old bodies, it follows Jared Dirac, a superhuman soldier, from unusual birth to ambiguous death. Dirac is an altered clone of Charles Boutin, a military scientist who betrayed humankind to alien aggressors, and the Colonial Defense Forces' only hope of finding Boutin lies in transplanting his memories into Dirac's brain. When the transplant seems to fail, Dirac is sent to Special Forces, known as the Ghost Brigades for their habit of creating new soldiers from the DNA of the dead. His indoctrination there comes in handy when Boutin's memories begin to surface. Scalzi pays gleeful homage to Ender's Game, The Forever War and Starship Troopers, sometimes at the expense of originality. All he needs to make the jump from good to great is to trust in his own ideas. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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1 . A good sequel.
Posted February 13, 2013 by Don , Blairsville, GAThe first book of this series was intriguing. This second work continues the tradition with some good plot twists. It feels a little slow in spots, but enjoyable overall.
April 29, 2007
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Excerpt from The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi
Chapter One No one noticed the rock. nbsp; And for a very good reason. The rock was nondescript, one of millions of chunks of rock and ice floating in the parabolic orbit of a long-dead short-period comet, looking just like any chunk of that deceased comet might. The rock was smaller than some, larger than others, but on a distribution scale there was nothing to distinguish it one way or another. On the almost unfathomably small chance that the rock was spotted by a planetary defense grid, a cursory examination would show the rock to be composed of silicates and some ores. Which is to say: a rock, not nearly large enough to cause any real damage. nbsp; This was an academic matter for the planet currently intersecting the path of the rock and several thousand of its brethren; it had no planetary defense grid. It did, however, have a gravity well, into which the rock fell, along with those many brethren. Together they would form a meteor shower, as so many chunks of ice and rock did each time the planet intersected the comet?s orbit, once per planetary revolution. No intelligent creature stood on the surface of this bitterly cold planet, but if one had it could have looked up and seen the pretty streaks and smears of these little chunks of matter as they burned in the atmosphere, superheated by the friction of air against rock. nbsp; The vast majority of these newly minted meteors would vaporize in the atmosphere, their matter transmuted during their incandescent fall from a discrete and solid clump to a long smudge of microscopic particles. These would remain in the atmosphere indefinitely, until they became the nuclei of water droplets, and the sheer mass of the water dragged them to the ground as rain (or, more likely given the nature of the planet, snow). nbsp; This rock, however, had mass on its side. Chunks flew as the atmospheric pressure tore open hairline cracks in the rock?s structure, the stress of plummeting through the thickening mat of gases exposing structural flaws and weaknesses and exploiting them violently. Fragments sheared off, sparkled brilliantly and momentarily and were consumed by the sky. And yet at the end of its journey through the atmosphere, enough remained to impact the planet surface, the flaming bolus smacking hard and fast onto a plain of rock that had been blown clean of ice and snow by high winds. nbsp; The impact vaporized the rock and a modest amount of the plain, excavating an equally modest crater. The rock plain, which extended for a significant distance on and below the planet surface, rang with the impact like a bell, harmonics pealing several octaves below the hearing range of most known intelligent species. nbsp; The ground trembled. nbsp; And in the distance, beneath the planet surface, someone finally noticed the rock. nbsp; ?Quake,? said Sharan. She didn?t look up from her monitor. nbsp; Several moments later, another tremor followed. nbsp; ?Quake,? said Sharan. nbsp; Cainen looked over to his assistant from his own monitor. ?Are you planning to do this every time?? he asked. nbsp; ?I want to keep you informed of events as they happen,? Sharan said. nbsp; ?I appreciate the sentiment,? Cainen said, ?but you really don?t have to mention it every single time. I am a scientist. I understand that when the ground moves we?re experiencing a quake. Your first declaration was useful. By the fifth or sixth time, it gets monotonous.? nbsp; Another rumble. ?Quake,? said Sharan. ?That?s number seven. Anyway, you?re not a tectonicist. This is outside your many fields of expertise.? Despite Sharan?s typical deadpan delivery, the