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  • The Last Colony

  • Old Man's War, Book 3
  • Written by: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: William Dufris
  • Length: 9 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)
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The Last Colony cover art

The Last Colony

Written by: John Scalzi
Narrated by: William Dufris
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Publisher's Summary

Retired from his fighting days, John Perry is now village ombudsman for a human colony on distant Huckleberry. With his wife, former Special Forces warrior Jane Sagan, he farms several acres, adjudicates local disputes, and enjoys watching his adopted daughter grow up.

That is, until his and Jane's past reaches out to bring them back into the game — as leaders of a new human colony, to be peopled by settlers from all the major human worlds, for a deep political purpose that will put Perry and Sagan back in the thick of interstellar politics, betrayal, and war.

The highly anticipated conclusion to John Scalzi's SF trilogy begun with Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades concludes with The Last Colony

©2007 John Scalzi (P)2008 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

The Last Colony will kick your butt across the galaxy and make you care.” —Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column, on The Last Colony

“Scalzi's captivating blend of off-world adventure and political intrigue remains consistently engaging.” —Booklist on The Last Colony

What listeners say about The Last Colony

Average Customer Ratings
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Well Worth the Read

I was expecting more from the ending due to the buildup but a great story nonetheless.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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excellent performance for an excellent story

I really enjoyed this addition to old man's war. it really fleshed out a lot of the universe and the plot was deep

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Shallow and lacking

The series starts off strong and with so much potential. But by this the third book he seems to have run out of momentum to write engaging story and to explore the world(s) he has created. Instead of digging into issues of consciousness, politics, alien races, war, etc. he spends his time on the petty relationships of a small number of characters to which everything in the human universe seems to happen. The ragtag bunch of humans defeats armies and armadas with surprising secret technology that appears out of nowhere, TWICE!

Characters become flat caricatures of their un-nuanced personalities. All the fascinating technology, world, and geo-politics are glazed over. By the end my eyes rolled off the page. The last sentence of the book is painfully predictable and clichéd that it made me put the series down.

Performance by the reader is great though.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jen
  • 2021-12-24

Good book. Unimaginative reading.

Scalzi writes provocative, interesting spec fiction with a long-game vision for his settings and characters. He has balanced engrossing narrative with incisive social commentary about topics I won’t disclose for fear of spoilers.
However, the reader of this title, who has read all the Old Man’s War titles so far, seems to be out of his depth; Scalzi’s dialogue has huge potential for nuance, but every time a character opens his or her mouth they end up sounding like an inch-deep caricature.
I find myself wishing the narrator of Scalzi’s Android’s Dream and Lock In books had been on board for this series. I’m excited to be listening to the ‘Last Colony’ alternate POV story ‘Zoe’s Tale’, with an absolutely captivating reader, which gives me hope for ‘The End of All Things’, also featuring the same artist.
Would I recommend it? Depends on how sensitive you are to the impact of the reader. I might suggest listening to more than just the sample before making up your mind, though!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Overly Dramatic

I preferred the first two books to this addition. The Performance was weepy and overly dramatic. If anything, I found myself fast forwarding over some parts just so I didn't have to listen to an adult male try to sound like an upset teenage girl. it took effort to keep interested once the Colony was established.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • kkc
  • 2021-09-02

Still loved the book

The story was great and I am still quite immersed in the series, but somewhere between book 2 and 3, the narrator started saying “he said”, “she said”, “I said” until it became so distracting I could hardly stand it. I am going to skip a book and hopefully it improves.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book!

Great continuation of the storyline. The narration is amazing in my opinion. I agree with the other reviews. Scalzi has a tendency to overdue the "He said, I said, she said stuff" which is obviously accentuated with narration.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not as good

Book 1 awesome!! Book 2 not as good, but still good. Book 3 boring as hell. Sorry to say because I love most John scalzi books.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Just ok - won’t read again

I spent much of this story deciding if I would continue into the next one or not. For 3/4 I was positive I would not. I’m still not sure. It’s not great - it’s just ok, but I like series of books so I might continue.

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  • Katherine
  • 2013-06-19

3.5 stars

Originally published at FanLit.

The Last Colony, the third book in John Scalzi’s OLD MAN’S WAR series, returns us to the perspective of John Perry, the “old man” hero of the first novel in the series, Old Man’s War. John Perry is only mentioned in the second novel, The Ghost Brigades, which told the story of how the cyborg Special Forces soldiers found and defeated the scientist Charles Boutin, a traitor to the Colonial Union. On that mission they also found Zoe, Boutin’s young daughter. Zoe has been adopted by Jane Sagan and John Perry and the little family has been farming on one of Earth’s colonies where John and Jane are the leaders.

Life is easy for them until the Colonial Union comes calling — they need leaders for a new colonization effort and John and Jane have been selected. This new colony (named Roanoke…. hmmmm… I think I wouldn’t have signed up for that) will be comprised of people from several different human worlds and John and Jane are responsible for its success. However, the Colonial Union hasn’t been completely honest with them. It will be a lot more dangerous than the members of Roanoke have been led to believe. They are being played as political pawns and they don’t realize it until it’s too late. And it’s not just Roanoke that’s in danger, but the entire human race.

The Last Colony (I keep wanting to write “The Lost Colony”) has a different tone than Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades. It takes place mainly on a planet, rather than in space, and deals mostly with domestic and political matters rather than space battles and espionage. Some of the political dialogue between characters we don’t know is dull, especially if you’re hoping for lasers and explosions, but Scalzi continues to explore the interesting theme of access to information and the problems that occur when the government controls the press. When and how should governments control information? That’s always a relevant topic, isn’t it?

Like its predecessors, The Last Colony features John Scalzi’s engaging writing style and ultra-competent well-developed characters. Some of these are characters we already know and love (John and Jane) one is a character we are happy we’re getting to know (Zoe) and some are new characters that Scalzi makes it easy for us to love (e.g., the Mennonite leader, Hickory and Dickory) or hate (e.g., the journalists). And some are there to show us that our first impressions aren’t always correct.

I mentioned in my review of The Ghost Brigades that the political situation was getting murky and it gets even murkier here. It is not clear to us (or to many of the characters) whose side we should be on. Readers may find it discomfiting to realize they are having trouble sympathizing with their home planet. It may be even more discomfiting to realize that Scalzi’s story doesn’t have to stretch the imagination too far. Sometimes “human nature” is not a pretty thing, but it’s what we know. What if someday we find ourselves needing to interact with beings who have a non-human nature?

You can probably read The Last Colony without having read the previous books, Old Man’s War and The Ghost Brigades, but you’ll have some catching up to do. It would be better to wait on this one until you’ve read its predecessors. They’re both great books, anyway. The fourth book in the OLD MAN’S WAR series is Zoe’s Tale which tells the story of Roanoke colony from Zoe’s perspective. It’s mostly the exact same plot as The Last Colony with a few side adventures for Zoe. If you’re only interested in the plot progression, you can skip Zoe’s Tale. If you’re interested in getting to know Zoe, you should read it.

I’m listening to William Dufris narrate OLD MAN’S WAR. I think he’s amazing. Macmillan Audio produced this installment.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Katya A
  • 2013-09-24

Not the best in the series, but good book still

"The Last Colony" is not up to the level of its predecessors, which were some of the better science fiction I've read, but a great fun read (listen) still. The action was fast paced, the touch of humor, characteristic of Scalzi, excellent and not overpowering, just integral to the appropriate characters.

The narrator did a great job adding individuality and personality to characters, but i wish at least 50% of "he said' and "she said" was edited out. Isn't that the point of using different voices for characters - to reduce unnecessary annotations? Also words 'colony' or 'colonist/s' are in almost every sentence, which is a little jarring, i imagine synonymous words could be used every once in a while.

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14 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 2012-12-04

Excellent But Different

Any additional comments?

I loved this book. it was an excellent way to tie up the series.I know there is also another book from Zoe's point of view but for the story as a whole i really enjoyed the way Scalzi brought it together.The Last Colony is somewhat diferent that Old Man's War or The Ghost Bigrades...same Scalzi, MUCH less action. If you are expecting big battles (or even a lot of small skirmishes) this is not your book. This book could stand apart fror the Sci Fi genre & be set anywhere in history; I think that is testament to Scalizi's talent!.Once again William Dufris does a wonderful job. I think he really captures the different personalities and tells great story.

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13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • thomas
  • 2014-02-10

Entertaining and Thought Provoking

Would you listen to The Last Colony again? Why?

No, but that does not diminish the fact that this was a very good series. Modern Sci Fi in a Golden Age coat. Great characters, well plotted with big ideas about humanity, relationships and the ability to find truth in a tough universe. I really liked it.

Who was your favorite character and why?

John Perry. But I say that with some trepidation. Jane Sagan, Zoe and the rest of the characters were people that I was interested in and to me that is the sign of solid characterization. John Perry here is the character that you came to rely on, both in terms of action, intellect and the emotional arch of the story. I will miss him.

What does William Dufris bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I thought he was spectacular. I don't know honestly how he did it. He brought life to the characters and enriched the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I typically listen to Audible in my car and at the gym. But if a book really grabs me I will take it home and listen in my office. This book was one where I just did not want to stop listening. This is true about the entire series. A wonderful story with great characters and a clever plot.

Any additional comments?

This book has gotten good reviews. I agree with them and highly recommend The Old Man's War Series Books 1-3. Fundamentally however this is classic space opera with some conventional plot devices. So if you are into classic Sci Fi, I think you will very much like it. I am glad I finally got around to it on my Wish List.

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11 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 2009-11-20

Good Book, Good story, annoying as an audio book.

Every conversation between characters, every spoken line regardless of length ends with 'he said' or 'she said'. Show a little imagination, or at least let the reader delete about 95% of the 'he said'

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ron
  • 2008-12-20

The 4th book in what should have been a trilogy

I was surprised at this book having read the three others in the series. This is an alternate take on the events of Zoe's Tale. While that was through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl, this is from the perspective of her father, the colony leader. The issues I have is there are too many continuity errors between these two books. Having listened to one, the other won't mesh well. I would suggest reading this version first, then do Zoe's Tale and treat it as a standalone novel.

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10 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • K Cornwinkle
  • 2012-02-21

NOT a worthy sequel to Old Man's War

this is one of my few recent listens that I did not finish. Not because it was SO bad but because I felt like my reading time was worth more. The conspiracy just doesn't seem to match the highly technological universe in which the story is set. Most of the tension of the first book -the one way departure from Earth etc -is not here

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8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave
  • 2012-04-23

Great continuation of the story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

While carousing a book store I came upon the first book in this series 'Old Mans War'.. I opened it to the first line: "I did two things on my seventy-fifth birthday. I visited my wife’s grave. Then I joined the army." This was not normally in my genre but I couldn't put it down after that. The series, as well as this book, has been thoroughly entertaining.

Who was your favorite character and why?

John Perry of course. You identify with him quickly. I don't spend my energy wondering why John did this or that. But to be honest, it really isn't just about John in this book. He blends several stories and characters well.
I do feel that the end of this story should have included John getting the same enhancements as his wife. Talk about unequal footing.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Rick Kintigh
  • 2014-04-29

Scalzi lets off the gas pedal a little, still good

Any additional comments?

The Last Colony is a step back from The Ghost Brigades, as Scalzi gravitates back toward his more familiar ground of political and legal drama, rather than more traditional sci-fi. There still is plenty of development in the overall narrative of the Old Man's War series, but it feels more like a bridge than cornerstone of the overall story. It is nice to see the setup from the previous novels payoff with a nicely balanced family dynamic with is in keeping with each character's origin story. Each character also gets their moments to shine in the resolution of the primary conflict. This is a solid narrative and enjoyable read. The Last Colony also sets up the future of the series nicely. The tensions building are many and layered from within and without the Colonial Union.

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4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jasper
  • 2019-05-29

Scalzi writes crappy women

Many older sci fi authors seem to have trouble incorporating women into their stories as legitimate characters in their own rights, as opposed to vehicles for advancing the story, and Scalzi falls firmly into that category.

The narrator's attempt at female voices is a nails-on-chalkboard experience. Luckily, perhaps, women rarely speak in this book, so you don't have to hear the narrator try for women's voices much.

If you can get past those two things, this is a very good book.

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3 people found this helpful