This is the first Scalzi book I've read -- yeah, I know, my bad, but I haven't read any scifi/fantasy until just recently; after a decade or so of wallowing in other genres.
That it's the last volume in a multi-book universe is pretty much how I sometimes fall into things, but it puts me in the position of being able to review this book as a stand-alone. From that point of view I have to say that I thought it held up very well. Scalzi did a good job of backfilling the story to put Zoe's adventure into context, and I never once felt lost.
Now by every other determinant, I have to say that I found "Zoe's Tale" to be more of a YA book than an 'adult-adult' book. The story is interesting, the pacing quick, the writing good... however the emotional tone is simplistic, which is to say when people/Obin are dying no body's running amok tearing their hair out. In addition, the plotting is not devious nor, in fact, complete. For example, there are very interesting creatures that are introduced, made to look like they might be integral to the plot, but they aren't heard from again. (They provide an instrument to move the story ahead and that's it.)
All in all, I enjoyed "Zoe's Tale", though I had to put on my YA/MG mindset. It would be suitable, by the way, for MG (middle schoolers) if some mild cursing is allowable. No real violence. No real adult situations. The writing is fun and funny. Scalzi's a good story teller. **Above Average**
Pam T~ mom and reviewer for BooksforKids-reviews (1048)
This book is an add on to the Old Man's War trilogy by John Scalzi. I would not suggest reading it until after reading the other three books. It is a parallel story to The Last Colony told from the perspective of a different character. Zoe is the adopted daughter of the main characters of the first two books, John Perry and Jane Sagan. It contains a few incidents which do not appear in The Last Colony but does not change that story … more