Friday, April 18, 2014
Book Review: Redshirts
Author: John Scalzi
Genre: Science Fiction (Space Opera, Time Travel), Humor, Adventure
Page Count: 317
Publication Date: June 5th, 2012
Plot: (from Goodreads)
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It's a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship's Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn't be better...until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship's captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues' understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is...and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
I'm not quite sure I can truly articulate my feelings about this book, but I'm going to try. First, I'm going to say that this isn't a book that everyone will love and fangirl over, like I did when reading it - however, I also don't think it's just for people who like Star Trek, I've never seen a full episode of the classic or just any of Star Trek, but it did make me think of other SciFi shows that I had scene that had spaceship scenes, and it made me ridiculously happy.
I think my favorite part about this book was the characters and their dialagoue, (besides the overall plot of the novel, that is, because that plot was amazing). I really enjoyed reading their interactions with each other, mostly just the things coming out of all of these characters mouths were just so good, normally ridiculous or hilarious, and it was great to read. Also how self aware they were at points, like how ridiculous they sounded - it was great to read, very meta. Hell, this whole book is like some meta fanfiction, and it was so much fun and so good because of that.
I didn't fully know what this book was about going into it, and I picked it up meaning to read a chapter to see if that was what I wanted to read next (I read 100 pages before deciding it was time to get some sleep). The whole start of this book, how this all works, I truly just kind of adored it. And probably because I grew up watching Stargate SG-1, and am still obsessed with that show even though it ended quite a few years ago now (2006? 2007? No, it can't have been that long ago).
Anyway - I highly recommend this book to fans of SciFi shows/movies, to fans of SciFi, and to anyone whose willing to give this truly hilarious and fantastic book a shot (Seriously, I laughed out loud at a lot of points for an only 300 page book, I looked like a lunatic).