I picked this up from the library after reading and loving Redshirts. The premise wasn’t something I would normally read but because I loved Redshirts so much I decided to give it a try, and I am so glad that I did.
In the Old Man’s War when people reach the age of 75 they have the option of enlisting in the Colonial Defense Force (CDF) and fighting for humanity in the never-ending battle for land in space. Most, if not all, join because they will be made young again; though they don’t know how this is done. They serve for 10 years and then have the option to retire on one of the colonized planets; they can never return to Earth or even communicate with their families.
The book follows John Perry through his first year of enlistment and slightly beyond. He’s not what you normally think a soldier should be, then again since everyone is 75 none of them are. He and his wife protested against a war and he worked in advertising during his life on Earth. What I liked most about John was that, while he was a good soldier and was better than average, he wasn’t superhuman. What he accomplished and how he did it was believable. He wasn’t single handedly saving the day and constantly thinking of things others didn’t. He followed orders as much as he gave them.
The character development is wonderful; John Perry is just the right amount of not perfect so when he does something remarkable you aren’t rolling your eyes. The plot does a good job of skipping what could be boring parts and going straight for the action without leaving you asking what the hell is happening. I will admit there were a few small parts that I skimmed over when it started going into the science of everything. I love sci-fi but science has never been a strength of mine.