Summary (FROM GOODREADS.COM)
"John Perry did two things on his 75th birthday. First he visited his wife's grave. Then he joined the army.
The good news is that humanity finally made it into interstellar space. The bad news is that planets fit to live on are scarce-- and alien races willing to fight us for them are common. So: we fight. To defend Earth, and to stake our own claim to planetary real estate. Far from Earth, the war has been going on for decades: brutal, bloody, unyielding.
Earth itself is a backwater. The bulk of humanity's resources are in the hands of the Colonial Defense Force. Everybody knows that when you reach retirement age, you can join the CDF. They don't want young people; they want people who carry the knowledge and skills of decades of living. You'll be taken off Earth and never allowed to return. You'll serve two years at the front. And if you survive, you'll be given a generous homestead stake of your own, on one of our hard-won colony planets.
John Perry is taking that deal. He has only the vaguest idea what to expect. Because the actual fight, light-years from home, is far, far harder than he can imagine--and what he will become is far stranger."
This was my first true sci-fi book, and overall I have to say that I enjoyed it, however was not sure about how to feel with the ending...
The characters in general were extremely witty and funny to listen to them comment on some of the technology and testing that they go through. The cast ranges from women and men and all are equallt well described and visible with a distinct tone to their dialog, which some authors miss however Scalzi did not.
John Perry: The main character who is followed through out this novel, as he learns about the Colonel Defense Forces and his ultimate roll in the saving of the galaxy. Perry was born on June 10th like myself so i connected with him on that level, along with his seemingly crude humor about young male anatomy once his body is changed :P The witt and snarky nature made him feel as though he were real even though the "aliens" were obviously out of place, John seemed to very possibly be an old man from down the street in a young photosynthetic man's body...
This book i feel only will suit a select audience, a guy who is looking for his next laugh, or someone who needs a refreshing look at novels and what they can mean. The guy looking for witt would love the characters and sometimes hilariously raw scenes; while the avid reader looking for a change of pace would see the world and military aspects as new and spectacularly written.
WARNING! THIS BOOK SHOULD ONLY BE READ IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR A FUN READ AND NOT ANYTHING TO ANALYZE AND REALIZE THE MEANING OF LIFE FROM...