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Old Man's War: 10/08/12
Old Man's War is is the start of John Scalzi's well known series of the same name. It opens with John Perry, aged seventy-five, visiting his wife's grave and then joining the army. Earth is at war with a variety of extra terrestrial species and her army is made up of volunteers who have lived their lives and want the chance at an extended life.
The book has three parts: life before the transformation, life on the ship after the transformation and then the war itself. Although John meets a variety of different and equally interesting characters, it's not an ensemble cast. Being friends with John doesn't guarantee anyone a clear passage to the end of the book. There is a lot of bloodshed — as to be expected from a war novel.
Along with the discussions of war, there are themes of death, rebirth and humanity. What makes a person a person? Is it the base DNA? Is it the memories and experiences?