The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War, #2) by John Scalzi Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Ghost Brigades (Old Man's War, #2)

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. Thr

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…
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    Kemper

    Mar 23, 2011

    rated it
    really liked it

    Shelves:
    sci-fi,
    military,
    war,
    aliens,
    2011

    James Cameron and John Scalzi Share An Awkward Elevator Ride

    James Cameron: Could you hit the button for the top floor, please?

    John Scalzi: Sure. Say, aren’t you James Cameron?

    JC: That’s right. My friends call me King of the World! Ha Ha! Just kidding.

    JS: Right.

    JC: You look kind of familiar. Have we met?

    JS: Met? No. Maybe you recognize me from my author’s photo on my books. I’m John Scalzi.

    Long pause

    JC: Uh……No, sorry. I don’t think I’ve read your books.

    JS: Really? You haven’t read Old Man’s War

    James Cameron: Could you hit the button for the top floor, please?

    John Scalzi: Sure. Say, aren’t you James Cameron?

    JC: That’s right. My friends call me King of the World! Ha Ha! Just kidding.

    JS: Right.

    JC: You look kind of familiar. Have we met?

    JS: Met? No. Maybe you recognize me from my author’s photo on my books. I’m John Scalzi.

    Long pause

    JC: Uh……No, sorry. I don’t think I’ve read your books.

    JS: Really? You haven’t read Old Man’s War or The Ghost Brigades?

    JC: Uh……Nope.

    JS: You should check them out. I think you’d like them. The story revolves around soldiers having their consciousnesses downloaded into genetically enhanced bodies so they can fight wars on distant planets. I use that to bring up questions about the ethics of colonization.

    JC: Uh…. Well, that does sound pretty good. I’ll check them out sometime.

    JS: Now that I think about it, that sounds kind of similar to your movie Avatar.

    JC: Huh.. Yeah, I guess there’s a few minor similarities there.

    JS: Of course, my genetically enhanced bodies are green and yours were blue so I guess that makes all the difference, right?

    JC: Uh……

    JS: You’re sure you never read them? They came out a few years before you filmed Avatar. Probably about the time you were brainstorming ideas for the movie. Maybe even writing the script?

    JC: OK, look. I guess it’s possible that I did read your books. Maybe….just maybe… I did and adapted a few of your ideas. You know how it is. Everything you’ve read or seen before gets mashed up in your head and you start combining that stuff with your own story ideas. Sometimes you may end up using a tiny aspect of someone else’s story. Hell, Tarantino has made a whole career out of that.

    JS: Oh, so now you think you did read my books?

    JC: It’s possible. But even if I.. uh…borrowed an idea or two from you. And I’m not saying I did! But if I accidentally incorporated some stuff of yours into Avatar, I’m sure you see all the differences in it. Like your book didn’t have flying mountains, right? And it wasn’t in hi-def 3D, was it?

    JS: No, my book was not in written in hi-def 3D.

    JC: There you go. Besides, other than whole idea of downloading people into genetically enhanced bodies, my overall story was about a man realizing that his own kind were corrupt and that he should join the other side to find peace and happiness. You didn’t have anything like that.

    JS: True. I think you got that from Dances With Wolves.

    JC: That’s right…Hey!

    JS: Forget it. I’m not going to sue you or punch you. I just couldn’t help but wonder if maybe you hadn’t read my books and influenced your movie.

    JC: Obviously, for legal purposes, I can’t admit anything.

    Long pause.

    JC: This is the longest elevator ride off my life.

    JS: Oh, I never hit the button for your floor. I’ve just been leaning against the Door Closed button.

    JC. Oh.

    Long pause.

    JC: Can I go now, please?

    JS: Can I have a job writing your next movie?

    JC: Yes.

    JS: Pleasure doing business with you, King of the World.
    …more

    Lyn

    Nov 01, 2014

    rated it
    really liked it

    Things I like about John Scalzi’s 2006 novel The Ghost Brigades.

    1. It is the second book in the Old Man’s War series, but not really a sequel, more of an expansion from the universe created by Old Man’s War. In this respect, Old Man’s War was more like a prequel, just crafting a setting for what comes later.

    2. Green super humans.

    3. Scalzi has demonstrated an adept ability to tell a serious story and have fun with it while still not taking himself too seriously, yet at the same time not devolving

    1. It is the second book in the Old Man’s War series, but not really a sequel, more of an expansion from the universe created by Old Man’s War. In this respect, Old Man’s War was more like a prequel, just crafting a setting for what comes later.

    2. Green super humans.

    3. Scalzi has demonstrated an adept ability to tell a serious story and have fun with it while still not taking himself too seriously, yet at the same time not devolving into absurdity or farcical space opera. The Ghost Brigades reveals this talent perhaps better than any other of his books.

    4. The Special Forces naming protocol is a random first name and then a last name of a scientist. Supposedly random, but is it?

    5. This is a cool science fiction novel that has elements of murder mystery and James Bond.

    6. There is a mad scientist who turns traitor and likes to monologue his plans to our hero.

    7. Brainpals.

    8. Eight, eight I forget what eight was for but

    9. The Consu, by far the most advanced alien race and they engage in cultural redistribution on a galactic scale.

    10. Consciousness transfer, somewhere Poul Anderson is grinning.

    Things I did not love about John Scalzi’s 2006 novel The Ghost Brigades.

    1. Another damn sequel.

    2. Maybe too much narrative and dialogue and not enough storyline.

    3. Scalzi fails, maybe does not even try to channel Robert A. Heinlein, a pleasing element of Old Man’s War.

    4. the ending

    5. really not much more, Scalzi is on to something pretty cool here and yes, God help me, I will likely read the next one, “I get away and he keeps pulling me back in!”

    End on a high note:

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

    description
    …more

    mark monday

    Feb 09, 2014

    rated it
    liked it

    Shelves:
    futuristik

    overall this is a fun, fast-paced, and competently written novel. after finishing this book, I immediately wanted to read more – a good sign! and it is a thoughtful novel – I really liked how it carefully and quietly lays down small but important plot points that are clearly going to be even more important as this space opera continues. in general, I like Scalzi’s minor note approach to his world and it is well-matched with prose that is clear and straightforward yet sympathetic and often resona

    the central protagonist was quite well-done. I really liked his childlike outlook. perfectly accomplished characterization.

    but why so shy about actually describing aliens’ physical appearances? I wonder if it is even shyness and more about wanting that identification and empathy that was so successfully accomplished in that tricky-clever first chapter. still, it is more than a little frustrating.

    spoilers follow

    I think the problem I ranted about below is, well, a genuine problem. and a big one. still, I will give Scalzi credit: that crushing scene is certainly a point being made, one that is highly important to characterization and the overall commentary on questioning authority. and in some ways it sets up an intriguing parallel narrative to the villain’s story. it is not just a random atrocity and that becomes crystal clear. but if you are going to use such an atrocity to prove a point, be a better writer first because it still came across as distinctly unnecessary and even a little cheap in its brutality.

    so overall: I had my issues, but this is a good book. I liked it and will read more of this absorbing series.

    ____________

    YE OLDE PLACEHOLDER REVIEW/EXTENDED RANT

    WHAT THE FUCK, SCALZI?

    seriously, I can’t handle this shit. maybe I’m weak. but a scene halfway through the book where our sympathetic, likeable heroes kidnap and then brutally sterilize a terrified, crying baby, get a video connection to her horrified, crying mother, and then blackmail that mother into allowing the brutal execution of her child – which they then proceed to do. seriously?

    Jared unsheathed his combat knife and approached the thing that Sarah Pauling had died for. She was strapped to a gurney and she wriggled and cried for her mother, and she would die alone and frightened, and far away from anyone that ever loved her.

    for real? and that’s only a small excerpt of this scene. is it supposed to be less repulsive because they are aliens?

    I think I might have been able to handle this in other circumstances, if it came in another sort of story – although honestly it hits me right in my perhaps one tender spot, the one that can’t deal with graphic depictions of child abuse. maybe if it came in a book about American misadventures in Vietnam. or The Black Company in space. or The Silver Devil Part 2. or a post-apocalyptic cannibal comic written by Garth Ennis. I could perhaps have handled it then. but this scene is in the middle of a light, fast-paced, exceedingly fun, Heinlein-esque adventure novel. it was like reading a cute story of two teenagers in love and then all of a sudden the boy and some of his friends find some girl and rape her to death. this repulsive scene took me entirely out of the novel and my only reactions are anger and disgust. am I ever supposed to be sympathetic to these characters again? that’s impossible. I want them all to die.

    not that I don’t think there’s intentionality behind it all. the opening chapter – where the reader is placed within a very sympathetic perspective but does not realize until the end of the chapter that this perspective is that of a villainous, genocidal alien – is a perfectly executed sleight of hand that accomplishes its goals of creating empathy and the understanding that other things can have ‘consciousness’ just like humans. the author is no dummy and I appreciate his goals. but The Ghost Brigades is written and functions as a certain kind of light entertainment, albeit one with some thoughtful, carefully considered moral/ethical questions. that scene does not belong. if I go on a date with someone, I’m happy to be surprised but I don’t think being punched in the balls is an appropriate surprise. if someone did that to me on a date, someone’s going to get hit back. if Scalzi were in front of me, reading this book to me, someone would be hit back.

    still, I admire the author and I should probably continue reading. but I need some time to forget my nausea and fury.
    …more