May Books 3) Zoë’s Tale, by John Scalzi

The last of the Hugo novels for this year, and it’s been a good year. I’ve had difficulties with Scalzi’s writing before, and so am glad to report that I enjoyed this more than the other two books of his I have read. Zoë’s Tale actually takes place in parallel with last year’s Hugo nominee, The Lost Colony, being the story of the teenage daughter of John Perry and Jane Sagan, the leaders of the human colony of Roanoke, living through and playing a key role in the key points of humanity’s conflict with the alien Conclave federation. I had forgotten most of last year’s book, but Zoë’s Tale does clear up one (but not all) of the more handwavey plot elements.

Zoë herself is rather delightful, with a line in sarcasm that readers of her creator’s blog will recognise. The other characters seem fairly three-dimensional as well. The political background, and behaviour of the most senior political leaders, once again doesn’t make a lot of sense (a standard complaint of mine, and of course a YA novel like this more or less has to involve the protagonist getting one up on the adults) but it’s a decent enough story apart from that.

So, my Hugo voting order: a close run thing, but definitely Anathem first, followed closely by The Graveyard Book. After that it gets even more difficult to choose between Saturn’s Children, Little Brother and Zoë’s Tale – the Stross is probably better than the other two but unfortunately has anthropomorphic robots which I object to. Thanks in no small part to Scalzi’s efforts, you can join the Worldcon and download four of the five books for yourself.

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1 Response to May Books 3) Zoë’s Tale, by John Scalzi

  1. andrewducker says:

    I didn’t map it out on an envelope, but I did have various fingers inserted into the book at once as I read it, to make sure I followed all the paths.

    You’ll be glad to know that there is a lot of literary allusion in the next volume.

    Sadly, after that we’re stuck waiting for them to actually write the comics so we can have more TPBs!

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