The Ghost Brigades (Old Man’s War #2)

The Ghost Brigades cover art

This was the sequel to Old Man’s War in that it is takes place in the same setting soon after the events of the first book, but has an almost entirely new cast. There is one major supporting character who acts as the bridge between the two story arcs. Ghost Brigades was good, a nice meditation on what identity actually means.

The following paragraphs contain spoilers for ‘Old Man’s War’ but only very minor plot information for ‘The Ghost Brigades’.

In Old Man’s War, set decades in the future, humans are given an option to sign up for the Interplanetary Defense at Age 65 and if accepted they ship out at age 75. Genetic samples are taken at 65 and a new, genetically-enhanced body is grown for the next ten years. At age 75 you are taken from planet Earth and your consciousness is inserted into this new body that is what you would have looked like at age 25 in peak health and strength.

Sometimes, though, a recruit dies after their enlistment and their body undergoes a mysterious process to have a new “soul” implanted within it. This is essentially a newborn baby in a fully-grown human body, so a special computer interface is installed within the cerebral cortex to rapidly educate the newborn adult in speech, history–pretty much anything. These newborns don’t really speak out loud much, their communication is performed electronically more efficiently than with ver- bal speech. These people are used as the “Special Forces” of the Interplanetary De- fense since, as you can imagine, they creep the hell out of the rest of the troops. Hence the name “Ghost Brigade”.

This book is the story of Jared, a particular person whose consciousness was in- serted into the body of an escaped war criminal to try and figure out clues to where he might have gone and what further evils he has in store for the Interplanetary Defense.

 

The Ghost Brigades is definitely above-average military sci-fi that is thought-pro- voking enough to feel worthwhile reading and recommending. I’ll definitely be continuing in the series.

This review was originally posted on Goodreads on 2/11/2016.

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