Just recently discovering John Scalzi with Old Man’s War, I was excited to give another one of his top books a shot. I knew nothing about Redshirts going into it except that it was highly regarded, and I’ll be adding another recommendation to that pile. Redshirts was interesting in a way but could also be annoying to those who want to take his twisted plot too seriously.
I’ll be dancing around the major plot twist that happens fairly early in the story that sets the tone for the rest of the book. I will say I was highly invested in the plot, laughed out loud often, and overall love how Scalzi writes. The story was over quickly though ending in about 220 pages. Being a shorter book though wasn’t a bad move though because bloating that quick and funny story would have been unnecessary. Instead, you get backstory of various characters after the book is over that helps answer some of its loose ends.
The only issue I have with this book is how cheesy it can be, and it is aware of the amount. It calls out multiple times bad plot points for the sake of humor. I always hate when video games do this, notoriously for having bad stories, so it was always a letdown when this was brought up. It’s few and far between when it happens, so it doesn’t detract too much, but still something I didn’t care for.
“Jesus,” Kerensky said, looking around. “You people. I have one of the most incredible experiences I’ll ever have, talking with the one person who really gets me – who really understands me – and you’re all down here thinking I’m performing some sort of time-travelling incestuous masturbation thing.” – Redshirts
When you read this book, I had to take everything for what he says and try not to bring logic into Redshirts. It’s a fun read not to be taken too seriously that fans of Sci-Fi should check out.