Redshirts by John Scalzi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The starship Intrepid seeks out new worlds and boldly goes where no man has gone before. However, as Ensign Andrew Dahl soon discovers, low-ranked crew members die more often aboard the Intrepid than brain cells at a Spring Break weekend while the senior officers, besides Lt. Kerensky, always survive without a scratch. As they dig deeper, what will Andy and his friends uncover?
Anyone who's watched more than two or three episodes of Star Trek knows that it's always the extra, or redshirt, that dies when the crew beams down to a planet or any other location that's not on the bridge of the ship. Why is that? That's the question Redshirts poses to the reader.
This is not my favorite book by John Scalzi. It's not even in the top three. I love the Scalz and his brand of wit. Too bad this one was all wit and very little shi... substance. Andy and his friends were an interesting bunch. I liked how they gradually pieced things together. Wait... no they didn't. It was pretty much all handed to them.
The writing actually seemed a little on the lazy side. It was mostly dialogue and very little description. I had no idea how any of the characters looked or even what the interior of the Intrepid was supposed to look like.
The story is meant to be a takeoff of Star Trek but it felt more like several episodes of Red Dwarf, most recently the Back to Earth movie where the crew arrived on earth and encountered the actors that played them. I wasn't a tremendous fan of that one either.
Still, Redshirts had its humorous moments and the absurd logic was consistent. It just wasn't very substantial and I thought it wore a little thin toward the end. I actually enjoyed Fuzzy Nation. It's a low three and I could have safely missed it. If you're wanting to read John Scalzi, skip this one and pick up Old Man's War.
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