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DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

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Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein Against his family's wishes, Juan "Johnnie" Rico joins the Mobile Infantry and the war against the Bugs. Will he make it out alive?

Yeah, I don't really know what to think about this book. I picked it up solely because it was an inspiration for one of my favorite books, Old Man's War by John Scalzi. While the writing was very good, there was never an "I can't put it down" moment. I'd say ninety percent of the book was Juan Rico's military life. There wasn't a lot of action until the end.

I liked the universe Heinlein set up. This was probably the first appearance of power armor in sf. Aliens looking like giant bugs aren't overly original but they sure are creepy. Heinlein's depiction of military life seemed pretty accurate from what I've heard from people who've served.

It seems like I have more gripes than I thought. The rah-rah attitude toward military life got on my nerves after a while. For a story including power armor and giant bugs, Starship Troopers was kind of boring. I also never bought Juan Rico's reasons for joining.

I'd better balance this with a few more positives. I liked the reunion of Rico and his father. The look behind the curtain at the command structure did a lot to flesh out some of the supporting cast. The future tech was great considering the time in which Starship Troopers was written.

To wrap things up, I can see why Starship Troopers is a classic of science fiction but, just like with other classics, it doesn't mean you have to worship it. I'm glad I read it so I could see the inspiration for parts of Old Man's War but I doubt I'll feel the urge to re-read it any time soon.