Author: John Scalzi
Publisher: A Tor Book
Publication Date: June 2012
Genre: Science Fiction, Humor
Buy: The Book Depository
Book Description: Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.
Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces, (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations, and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own live.
First Line: “From the top of the large boulder he sat on, Ensign Tom Davis looked across the expanse of the cave toward Captain Lucius Abernathy, Science Officer Q’eeng and Chief Engineer Paul West perched on a second, larger boulder, and thought, Well, this sucks.”
*Book read for Three Nerds and a Book Club’s June read*
I really enjoyed this book at the beginning. The writing was well done, the story was interesting and I had enough background knowledge of Star Trek and similar shows to know the basis of the Redshirt dilemma. I really loved seeing how the ‘show’ worked from behind the scenes. It was fast paced and funny and I loved seeing how scared the Ensigns were of being around the ‘main’ characters. The box was also particularly hilarious. About a third of the way in was when I started loosing interest.
It started to slow down as the characters started to realize what was happening. And then came the process of fixing the problem. I’m not sure what exactly I didn’t like about the rest of the book. Probably because it stopped being funny and then it just read like a bad science fiction show (which I personally do not enjoy). It got to the point where I only read it because 1) it’s for the book club I run and 2) I just wanted it to be over and done. By the time I finished it I just felt like, finally!
I’ve heard that Scalzi is one of those authors that you either like or don’t like. And I think I’m one of those people that just doesn’t really like his style. I can’t really say much without spoilers so if you want to read my spoiler filled opinions check out the Three Nerds and a Book Club discussion pages for this book.
My Rating: ★★★