Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi

Genre: Science Fiction
Publication: 6/5/2012 by Tor Books
Pages: 320 Pages
Format: Audiobook
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
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Goodreads Summary
Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory.

Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the fact that:
(1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces
(2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations
(3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.

My Thoughts
This book is ridiculously meta. At some points I absolutely adored it, and at others it left me a bit confused. But in the end I did generally really enjoy this book. I found myself laughing and enjoying the parallels to Star Trek. I am typically not the biggest Science Fiction reader but this one really won me over. What I deducted stars for was the extra codas (which I think just means extra chapters). They followed 3 of the side characters and helped to tie up some loose ends but in the end the book wouldn't have been different without them.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who has seen Star Trek (original series or otherwise). If you have no idea what Star Trek is or don't like it at all, stay away from this book. Some background knowledge of Star Trek really makes this book better and without it I even think you may be a bit lost. I give this one a thumbs up, and will be checking out some of John Scalzi's stuff in the future.

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