Sunday, June 1, 2014

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi ****

Zoe Boutin is 17 and she is the subject of a treaty between the human Colonila Union and the very scary alien Obins. Two Obin, Hickory and Dickory, accompany her, protect her, and record her. She is a long running reality show for an entire race.

But the story isn't about the Obin, or the conflict between the Colonial Union and the Conclave, or the new Roanoke colony. It is about Zoe and her boyfriend Enzo, and her BFF Gretchen, and Gretchen's boyfriend Magdy. It is about being a teenager, first kisses, breakups, friendship. Zoe is caught between being a teen and having responsibility for Obin diplomacy.

Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi is a coming of age story where Zoe transforms from a teenage girl to a woman of courage and power.

This is a terrific story, except for one detail ...

Zoe's Tale is part of John Scalzi's wonderful space opera series of intergalactic conflict and intrigue, and there are the seeds for its problem. This book retells a previous book, but from Zoe's point of view. For most of the story, the history can be ignored, and the reading is wonderful. However, at the end, the author seems to remember that he has set this strange objective to not only deliver Zoe's story, but also to answer readers' questions from previous books. Thus, the last few chapters consist of long discussions and explanations ... info dumps of the type that drive SF readers mad.

A great read for all ages and genders.

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