Monday, November 12, 2012

Zoe's Tale

by John Scalzi
Tor | 2008

Zoe lives on Huckleberry, a planet that's part of the Colonial Union. She has her adoptive parents, John and Jane and two Obin, Hickory and Dickory, charged with making sure she's safe, because she is actually the lynchpin in universal peace. When John is chosen to command a new colony on the new planet of Roanoke, Zoe leaves with him, Jane, and 2500 other colonists and heads to their new home. What they don't know is that the Colonial Union has sent them purposely off course to a different planet to hide them from the evil Conclave. And it ends up that only Zoe can save them all in the end.

Scalzi's Old Man's War trilogy, published for adults, ended with The Last Colony, the story of the group's trip to Roanoke, told from John's (Zoe's dad) perspective. He returns to the same story to tell it again--from Zoe's perspective. Zoe's Tale works as a stand-alone novel and there's no need to have read The Last Colony to love it. And, the best part is, even though Zoe's Tale was also published as an adult novel, it is really a YA novel. It's protagonist and storyteller is a teenage girl, and the story is just as concerned with teenage problems as it is with interplanetary warfare.

Anyone who likes YA lit will likely love this. Anyone with a child who likes fantasy books will also love this. It's well written and a really well-paced and exciting story. It's one of my favorites I've read this year. (Don't dismiss it if you usually don't go for Sci-fi--you'd really be missing out!)

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