The Ghost Brigades is the first sequel to Scalzi’s very good and widely praised Old Man’s War, and it hits in many of the same ways Old Man’s War hits. The Ghost Brigades is the story of Jared Dirac, created like all of the Special Forces to be the ideal soldier. Born in such a way as to be able to learn at an incredible pace and do things normal humans and even enhanced human soldiers can’t do. However, unlike other members of Special Forces, Dirac is born for another purpose… to help root out the plans of a traitor who has allied other races in a war against humans.
Like Old Man’s War, much of the Ghost Brigades is straight-up, military science fiction. However, this time Scalzi adds to the story by highlighting the ambiguous morality of the human military actions, and political structure. He also really hits a homerun with his strong characters. Dirac is a fascinating protagonist and is pretty much the lens through which the reader gets to experience the story (though the reader is not entirely limited to that). The Ghost Brigades is a quick, fun read. It’s very good military science fiction, but with more depth than Old Man’s War. This novel is really Scalzi coming into his own.