Reviews

Redshirts by John Scalzi

timinbc's review

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3.0

Three and a half stars maybe.

It was rolling along nicely, an enjoyable read, but I think the idea just ran out of gas. It's perhaps not an idea that inevitably leads to a satisfying conclusion.

I don't know if Scalzi planned to write the three Codas. I suspect not. I think he too realized that he had painted himself into a corner. With the codas, he cuts a new door in the wall and adds some meaning to what we just read. Which puts it a cut above, say, Harrison's Bill the Galactic Hero.

Others have noted the almost complete lack of description. I noticed it too, but when quite a bit of the book is set in an environment that is known to be all facade, that perhaps makes sense.

It's a good tribute to Star Trek. Not the first, as the author notes. In fact, I enjoyed the way Scalzi often guessed what I was thinking and acknowledged it; for example, directly recognizing the authors who have mined this vein before.

I'm not faulting the book by giving it only three stars. It's just that I think it's only a three-star idea.

missblobbette's review

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adventurous emotional funny inspiring tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

sirswanny's review against another edition

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adventurous funny lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5

Fairly lighthearted with cleverly written dialogue, Redshirts starts off well. Character interaction throughout is amusing and the strongest part of the book. However, the ending fell flat and didn't quite hit for me. Scalzi is clearly a fantastic author, but I feel this one kind of got away from him. It was a fun read though and fans of Scalzi will want to pick it up. Not his best stuff, but some of his funniest.

jlye's review

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adventurous emotional funny fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

dreaming_ace's review

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4.0

This book was a lot of fun. It played with many of the tropes of TV especially Science Fiction. It also leads to interesting questions about free will, the meaning of life, and what we really want from the universe we live in.

veraann's review

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3.0

Star Trek fans would greatly enjoy this. The humor is very trek humor. It does also have an interesting sci-fi story under the humor. So if you liked star trek (original) and/or Scalzi's writing definitely pick this up. If you are not sure about either of those you can still pick it up for a humorous sci-fi story with a bit of heart in it.

peteregelund's review

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fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

rmontuori's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

saycheeze37's review

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adventurous funny mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

Fun for long time sci fi fans and those that just want a good story. If you are looking for great writing this may not be for you. The novel was written by a screen writer and it reads like a screenplay. I really liked it as I could picture everything playing out in a movie.

njdarkish's review

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3.0

There's two angles from which I come at this book.

One angle is of great pleasure in the ideas of this book. It's a very clever concept, with a fun blend of meta ideas and an intriguing storyline. There's nothing not to like about a fun story, right?

The other angle is focused more on the latter half of the book, especially the codas. Honestly, the latter portion of the main story got ridiculous in a way (that wasn't any more ridiculous than the rest of the book) that stopped being as interesting to me. The first half I was laughing and wanting to see where the story would take me, the latter half I kind of just wanted to finish the book so I could move on to something else. I think the reason why is that the impression I get from this book is that John Scalzi is very in love with his writing and how clever he is. So much so that instead of ending the book with the end of the story, he instead wrote codas in different perspectives (1st, 2nd, and 3rd person) just to show everybody else how clever he is. And I spent so much time thinking about the author that I barely thought about what those parts contributed to the piece as a whole. Does that make any sense? Scalzi's self-adoration drew attention to itself and distracted from what were otherwise interesting parts of the story that had a surprisingly strong emotional component to them.

But yeah, as a whole I liked this book, I don't regret picking it up, but the humor didn't ever elicit more than a chuckle, and the story was fun until it got less fun.