The Last Colony by John Scalzi

the-last-colony-by John-ScalziThe Last Colony by John Scalzi
Series: Old Man’s War #3
Genre: Science Fiction
Published by Tor, 2007
E-book, purchased
320 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.

That is, until his and Jane’s past reaches out to bring them back into the game–as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.

. . .the number one cause of abandoned human colonies is not territorial disputes with other species; it’s native bugs killing off the settlers. Other intelligent species we can fight off; that’s a battle we understand. Battling an entire ecosystem that’s trying to kill you is an altogether trickier proposition.


“I seem to be good at speaking the politicians’ language,” Szilard said. “Apparently there’s an advantage around here to being mildly socially retarded, and that’s the Special Forces for sure.”


  • I like this book so much! The first part of the book opens with John Perry, Jane Sagan and their adopted daughter Zoë happily retired on a human farming planet called Huckleberry. (As an aside . . . the naming of planets in the book is very sly and funny.)
  • Such a fun book to read. Makes me happy!
  • Then they’re recruited to leave Huckleberry where they’re content to once more serve all humanity. They don’t want to do this, but they feel obligated. And again, they’re in the middle of politics, war and possibly betrayal.
  • Perry and Sagan are tapped to head up a new colony–called Roanoke(!)–a little foreshadowing there maybe?!? This will be the first colony to include people from the planets colonized by Earthlings. Prior to this the colonies were colonized only by people from Earth. This is a tremendous change and very political.
  • I am so happy to get to read about John Perry again as well as Jane Sagan. They are a great couple. And I really like their relationship with their adopted daughter Zoë. They’re honest with her and she’s a smart, well-adjusted girl.
  • There are many interesting characters in this book and I like hearing more from Szilard in this book.
  • I really like the mix of adventure, combat and politics in all these books.
  • In this book we finally see the Colonial Union–not as the savior of humankind, but perhaps as a blind bureaucracy with a vested interest in war–which is hinted at in the last book.


  • Perhaps a little less action than the first two books, but still so fun to read.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is the end of original trilogy in The Old Man’s War series. Since then John Scalzi has written three more books in the series.
  • I love this series and am so happy Scalzi has written more books in the series. I plan to read them soon!


  • Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel (2008)
  • Seiun Award for Best Foreign Novel (2010)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • (from Wikipedia): John Michael Scalzi II (born May 10, 1969) is an American science fiction author, online writer, and former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. He is best known for his Old Man’s War series, three novels of which have been nominated for the Hugo Award, and for his blog Whatever, at which he has written frequently on a number of topics since 1998. He won the Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer in 2008 based predominantly on that blog, which he has also used for several prominent charity drives. His novel Redshirts won the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Novel. He has written non-fiction books and columns on diverse topics such as finance, video games, films, astronomy, and writing, and served as a creative consultant for the TV series Stargate Universe.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge

Author: Jan

I love to read--especially mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I also love blogging, photography, gardening, playing Mah Jonng, reading with a cat on my lap, throwing a ball for a dog, creating cards to send to family and friends, reading book blogs, using my computer.

4 thoughts on “The Last Colony by John Scalzi”

  1. I’m glad to hear you liked this! I love this series. Though, I don’t know if you have plans to read Zoe’s Tale, but it’s almost just like a retelling of this book through a teenager’s eyes.


    1. I love this series, too. I was planning to read Zoe’s Tale, but not sure I want to if it’s a retelling of this book. Maybe I’ll just go on to book 5.


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