It is very rare that I read two book by the same author back-to-back, regardless of if its trilogy or a series regarding the same character and/or Universe, I almost always take a brake and switch between authors. But after reading Old Man’s War I had to continue on. Even then, however, I was skeptical. With a book as good as Old Man’s War I was cautious about how good The Ghost Brigades would end being, after all, great works of science fiction rarely come in two. The last trilogy of any kind I remember reading where the next book was just as good if not better then the previous was the Heir to the Empire trilogy set in the Star Wars universe and written by Timothy Zahn. And for me to want more just like I did when Dark Forse Rising was released after Heir to the Empire is saying a lot, and yet, after finishing Old Man’s War there was very little pause before I picked up The Ghost Brigades and started reading. And last night when I finished The Ghost Brigades there was even less of a pause before I started reading The Last Colony.

The Ghost Brigades takes place several years after the events of Old Man’s War. However, with the passing of time comes change and the change that the Colonial Defense Force (CDF) is facing is one that could wipe them off the galactic map. After the death of one of the CDF‘s top scientist the men and women in command are left with a perplexing mystery of why this top scientist would fake his own death, as if comes to light that the body thought to be that of Doctor Charles Boutin is in fact a clone. The CDF comes to realize that Boutin has defected and joined forces with a race known as the Obin to help bring an end to the CDF. Worse yet is the realization that the Obin have joined forces with two other races to help bring a total and complete end to not only the CDF but all of humanity. To make matter even worse, several CDF battleships have apparently disappeared without a trace of a battle or a fight, they have just vanished, leaving the CDF to wonder what new weapon the Obin have created that could cause an entire battleship to just disapeare.

To learn the answer to these mysteries and others, the CDF clones a body of Dr. Boutin and attempts to place a copy of his conscience inside the clone. When the conscience doesn’t take he is released to fight in The Ghost Brigades – a group of soldiers that are cloned from the genetic material of civilians that planned to join the CDF but passed away before their tour of duty started. Soon, however, this soldier, who is given the name Jared Dirac, begins to remember Boutin‘s memories, he even remembers why Boutin grew to hate the CDF so much.

From beginning to end and everywhere in between, The Ghost Brigades never lets up and leaves you turning page after page just to see what happens next.

Ratings (out of 5):