The Ghost Brigades

The Ghost Brigades

Book - 2006
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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...
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2006.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780765315021
Characteristics: 317 pages ; 22 cm.


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Apr 26, 2021

Follows up and answers a lot of questions from the first novel "Old Man's War". Lots of new ideas. Surprises galore! Mind transfer is an old idea in Science fiction going back to the 1950s. Creating a superhuman being is an old idea; Wonder Woman being one of my favorites. The way mind transfer is done here is fantasy I much prefer the slightly more plausible brain transplant. The Universe Scalzi creates here follows the Star Trek/Star Wars themes of being full of hostile intelligent species. I don't much like this because; why didn't they show up and wipe us out thousands of years ago?
Apparently Scalzi thought of this; in the next book "The Last Colony" the aliens explain that they were too busy fighting each other to explore and discover Earth before humans rose up to become an interstellar faring civilization. Weak explanation but there it is.
In his second series "The Collapsing Empire" series Scalzi creates an Asimov style human only universe.
I had earlier surmised one of the shocking big surprises in the "Ghost Brigades" story because I knew the title names of the rest of the books in the series so it wasn't a surprise at all.
This is well written and like any good sequel it can be enjoyed without having read the first book.

Apr 08, 2021

1st in line

JessicaGma Apr 03, 2019

Fan-freaking-tastic! I loved Old Man's War but this was a great follow-up in a different vein, with very compelling characters and the mystery as to what the three alien races are up to....It deals with serious topics with just enough humour that the story doesn't get bogged down. Read this, and then all the rest of his books

IndyPL_JordanH Jan 25, 2019

This second book in the Old Man's War series has a tighter and more intricate plot than the first novel. With mystery and thriller elements, The Ghost Brigades seems less interested in wowing us with the physical powers of the character's genetically altered bodies. The protagonist, himself a clone, is more interesting than the lead character from the first novel. He has a much more complex personality. He doesn't quite know who or what he is and that tension adds interest, as opposed to the more assured, older character we've already seen. The book seems to embrace human agency, even if that agency is limited by the fact that one might just happen to be a clone.

Dec 03, 2018

Good second book in the series. Weak science but good plot and writing, makes clones rather lovable even if their job is killing and being killed. The evil all powerful government is always good grist for the writers.

sit_walk Jun 11, 2018

I thought this was a deeper, richer book even than the first in this series (which was itself pretty magnificent)! Great military sci-fi with a poignant human undertow.

Mar 31, 2017

Great futuristic technothriller a la Clancy, Deighton & la Carre on vulnerability of key equipment & cloning a traitor on why he did it.

KateHillier Oct 23, 2015

Writing sequels is hard, I get that. Especially when your first book is something as awesome as "Old Man's War." But I just didn't enjoy this one as much. Not that I didn't like it at all, far from it, but it just wasn't quite as enjoyable as the first.

We've left John behind to follow the Ghost Brigades, specifically one particular and special one. He raises a whole heck of ethical problems in his 'birth' which are very interesting and we get to see more of the world outside of what we got in the first one. Maybe I just didn't click with the characters as much this time. Or maybe just not the right ones. But it's overall still a fast paced book with a wonderful amount of humour even in the moral quandaries and warzones.

Oct 06, 2013

This is a great sequel to Old Man's War. We get to follow the development of the key character, Jared Dirac, from his awakening to his end. He experiences love, loss, friendship, enemies and sacrifice. I find myself wishing that part of it had ended differently because you get involved in the character. I hope the writer will continue with more stories of his future universe. I would like to find out about some of the other races he's created and their stories as well as more about the "human" soldiers. I find it an intriguing idea that the soldiers are people who have lived a full life before they become soldiers.

Jun 19, 2013

Highly recommended! Interesting tech ideas, great characters, and a good sense of humor along with a ripping good science fiction adventure.

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