A review by pixelateddragon
Redshirts by John Scalzi

dark emotional funny tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


My Dad's been trying to get me to read this for almost a decade and since I tend to prefer high fantasy over sci-fi (when it comes to books) I hadn't picked up until now but damn am I glad I finally took the plunge. 
I was a Trekkie growing up, I would watch TOS episodes over and over again, it still holds a place in my heart but a lot of it doesn't feel like it aged with me. This book feels like a grown-up and ironic love letter to Star Trek and other campy sci fi shows, it feels like my childhood nostalgia repackaged and wrapped up in a gritty meta fiction bow, and I loved every second of it.

The book was so much fun to read (it made me cry twice) the plot was amusing and felt properly tense throughout the story and the characters (even the intentionally one-dimensional ones) were fun and interesting to read about. This is one of the best executed 'meta' 4th-wall-breaking media with self aware characters that I've consumed in a long time. And it's one of the best executed ones outside of certain comics. 
(Also the CODA sections for the characters left behind that we didn't get to hear much about earlier in the story were soo good.)

On a similar note: I had to sit and stare at the "is this book mainly plot- or character-driven?" section for a bit because it is /technically/ both but a bit more one in canon and more the other in the actual book for reasons I won't spoil but it's interesting ;)

Expand filter menu Content Warnings