English language

Published April 7, 2012 by Tor.

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4 stars (6 reviews)

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, with the chance to serve on "Away Missions" alongside the starship's famous senior officers.

Life couldn't be better...until Andrew begins to realize that 1) every Away Mission involves a lethal confrontation with alien forces, 2) the ship's senior officers always survive these confrontations, and 3) sadly, at least one low-ranking crew member is invariably killed. Unsurprisingly, the savvier crew members below decks avoid Away Missions at all costs.

Then Andrew stumbles on information that 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 lives. Redshirts by John Scalzi is the winner of the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

3 editions

Review of 'Redshirts' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

More like 3.5 stars for me.

Redshirts starts fairly strong, detailing the story of a bunch of new Ensigns on the starship Intrepid. It doesn't take long for them to notice that something is off on this ship, because Ensigns have an incredibly high fatality rate on Away Missions. They start to investigate and find out how this comes about, which in turn turns this book into probably the most meta book I have ever read. In fact, it turns so meta that everything after the explanation falls a bit flat for me.

However, the book is saved by the three codas at the end of the book, which are less satire and more serious. The last coda in particular was very touching.

The writing was enjoyable, and so I will have to check out more of Mr. Scalzi's work.

Review of 'Redshirts' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This book was hilarious and fun to read. Scalzi is a genius storyteller.

I'm beginning to dislike the star-rating system, though. I would give this 3.5. Why no higher?
Halfway through the book I felt betrayed. I was expecting one thing and Scalzi turns the book around and gives me something else.
Is it still good? Absolutely, but I thought it would be better given the great start and thus felt completely underwhelmed.

It's like when you are reading a mystery and the author reveals the first possible solution. You expect him to reveal a few more and then completely surprise you with a new solution that is nonetheless perfectly consistent with the story and ultimately more satisfying. This is not that type of book: you get the first solution, and that's it. That's the answer. Just have to wrap up the story now.
Fortunately, the humor and characters manage …

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  • Space warfare
  • Fiction