Redshirts by John Scalzi [Book Review]
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Redshirts is a pastiche on the original Star Trek. As a premise it’s interesting, and Scalzi executes it well. However it’s not really enough for a full length book. I can see it working very well as a 90 minute movie though.
Redshirts – Review
All through Redshirts there are little chuckles and wry smiles. The plot is an observation of the sort of tricks series writers use to keep audience attention. So it is a meta story more than it is its own story. Redshirts is full of Scalzi’s trademark snarkiness and cleverness, which I happen to like. Scalzi said in a recent blog post that he wrote Redshirts in five weeks. That makes Redshirts the fastest book he’s written, and it sort of shows. I did like it, but only just.
The longer serving crew have spotted the pattern, but not why it happens. The way Scalzi leads the protagonists to solve this is good. I liked his solution. What was less good was that the story finished two-thirds of the way through the paperback. Then there is a bit where the writer asks the internet for help. The latter part wasn’t as good as the first.
If you are a writer or a fan of the original Star Trek, or even someone who despaired at the obvious killing of the poor red shirted security crew, then you will probably enjoy Redshirts enough. However, it’s a book to borrow from the library and not to buy full price. I found the Old Man’s War series way better than this.