The B-Team: The Human Division, Episode 1

Author: John Scalzi

Edition: Kindle

Published by: Tor Books

Publication date: January 15th, 2013

Colonial Union Ambassador Ode Abumwe and her team are used to life on the lower end of the diplomatic ladder. But when a high-profile diplomat goes missing, Abumwe and her team are last minute replacements on a mission critical to the Colonial Union’s future. As the team works to pull off their task, CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson discovers there’s more to the story of the missing diplomats than anyone expected…a secret that could spell war for humanity.

A new story from John Scalzi, set in his Old Man’s War universe, in a new and very interesting ‘episodic’ format? Yes, please, I said. And surprise, surprise, I’m glad I did…

The first episode in this series bodes very well for future ones (of which I have the following two already waiting on my Kindle, damn you Real Life for getting in my way!). As I’ve come to expect from my previous experience with Scalzi’s books, this ticks all the right boxes for me. Narrative is tight, plot is intriguing, the characters are engaging, the action is wonderfully suspenseful and dialogue (okay, the Scalzi snark) earned snickers in all the right places.

Also, once again, what I suspect I enjoy most about this story – as with previous Old Man’s War entries – is the cleverness of the characters, and how they apply what they do best to whatever it is they have to do. There is no sense of invulnerability or over-empowerment here, and the suspense of any given situation (and here, there is plenty of suspense) never feels lessened by the intelligence and sharp wits of the characters involved. I can’t wait for a spare hour to sit down and read the next episode, and I have high hopes for the series already.

Well done, Mr Scalzi. Now keep me hooked.

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