Redshirts: Or a crew of expendables tries to avoid their fate

Redshirts - John Scalzi

This is a hard novel to review without spoiling the surprises and fun. I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that this book is a very meta homage to classic sci-fi, especially the original Star Trek. This was my first time reading Scalzi, and I found the prose fast and amusing - the pages passed by swiftly and I had a smile on my face. The book's strong points are hand's down the ideas and the enjoyment factor, while it's primary weakness is character. The characters all felt very similar, with nearly indistinguishable voices. I'm willing to consider this might have been intentional, but I did find it occasionally distracting. I'm also not sure how I feel about the three codas at the close of the book - a series of epilogues that I'm not entirely certain added to the book, or my enjoyment of the story.

 

All in all I thought this was a really amusing and engaging read which made my geek heart happy. It doesn't quite make the leap from pulp to Art, which is totally fine with me, but a bit of a surprise given this book has garnered so much high praise (including the Hugo and Locus). If you are expecting grand revelations and deep social commentary this isn't going to be your favorite sci-fi read. If you are a Trekkie, and are in the mood for a fun ride, you won't want to miss this one.