Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Android's Dream, by John Scalzi

Rating: 3/5
394 pages
Publisher: Tor
Source: Barnes&

Description: A human diplomat kills his alien counterpart. Earth is on the verge of war with a vastly superior alien race. A lone man races against time and a host of enemies to find the one object that can save our planet and our people from alien enslavement... a sheep. 

Yes, you read that right. Welcome to The Android's Dream.

For Harry Creek, it's a nightmare. All he wants is to do his uncomplicated mid-level diplomatic job with Earth's State Department. But his skills and past training get him tapped to save the planet - and to protect pet store owner Robin Baker, whose own past holds the key to the whereabouts of that lost sheep. Doing both will take him from lava-strewn battlefields to alien halls of power. 

All in a day's work. Maybe it's time for a raise. (From the back cover)

Review: This book was... disappointing.

I liked the premise and it was a quick read. It even had some hilarious moments and a few twists I didn't see coming.

However, the characters felt a bit flat. Robin, especially, felt more like a plot device that just got dragged along for the ride than an important character in the story. I also had a hard time keeping track of the various political bureaucrats who populated the story. They really didn't seem that different from each other, other than in a general good guy vs. bad guy sense.

Then there's the fight scene that takes place in a mall. While I'm not opposed to details of injuries being given, there was something about the descriptions that came off as more gruesome than was necessary. It distracted me from what I'm guessing was intended as exciting and tense.

This is the fourth book I've read by Scalzi and it sadly comes a distant fourth. I'd chalk it up to being an early work, but I liked his first book, Old Man's War.

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