This is the first book by John Scalzi that I’ve ever picked up, and I grabbed it based solely upon the fact that it was in the running with Little Brother and The Graveyard Book for several YA-related fantasy awards. Surely such good company would imply a good yarn?
Absolutely, in this case. I read Zoe’s Tale in one day, practically in one sitting. It was certainly YA, but not overly so. The characters were fun and colorful, the history behind the book was rich, and the plot rushed along very satisfyingly. Most impressively: I didn’t realize that Zoe’s Tale was a re-telling of The Last Colony from a different perspective until the author told me so in the afterword. How freaking impressive is that?
I’ll keep this short since this is a mini-review: Zoe’s Tale is quite good, and it turned me on to Scalzi’s other work, which I proceeded to eat through in a matter of days. I’d suggest reading Zoe’s Tale last, rather than first, but his books are all stand on their own so it won’t hurt one way or the other. Great characterization (Zoe might be a little socially advanced for a 16-year-old, but it works), fun story, all around good times. Hooray!