One of my favorite things to do these days is to (FINALLY) find an author that is new to me whose work I love. This is one of those rare gems. I rarely buy a book by an author until there are 2-3 books from them on the shelf. Why, you ask? Weeell, it's like this- I ain't got no patience, as my dear father would say. I HATE to wait for the next book in a series! Now, to the meat of the matter.
The Colonial Union owns the means of star travel for humans. They run ALL planetary colonization efforts (I STILL wonder why, it isn't explained here, but I digress). They only accept emigrants from third-world nations. Unfortunately for us, there are over 412 alien races, most of whom want the same real estate WE do. So the CU has the Colonial Defense Force, who only accepts a certain type of soldier recruit- Earthies, on their 75th birthday. At 65, you can register your intent to join up. At 75, you leave. The only thing you know when you join is that they will "rejuvenate" you somehow, you will serve a MINIMUM of 2 years, and up to 8 more, then you are released to a colony world, somewhere. John Perry, his wife dead 8 years, signs on and goes off.
As usual, I will not give spoilers. But in the course of the series, he acquires a wife, adopts a daughter, and pretty much saves humanity. Then we re-visit the third book in the series from the view of another character. BE ADVISED- each book is from another viewpoint, but they tie together nicely. I shall now pay a compliment to Mr. Scalzi. For those of you familiar with both my tastes in sci-fi AND my political bent, you will soon realize how big a compliment it is. You often hear the phrase "He/She is the next....." followed by a huge name in whatever field is relevant to the subject. If John keeps up the fine work he's done so far, he could be the next Heinlein. There! I said it and I mean it, with one caveat. So far, the political side is NOT up to Heinlein's level, but the sci-fi is up to the master's level. I read the first 3 in the series, read the afterwords, and wanted to kick his ass! He said he was done in that universe for a long time. Not a week later, "Zoe's Tale" came out and made him a liar, thank the deity of your choice. I have since read one ore of his books, and am 1/3 of the way through a rollicking book (Agent To The Stars) that sucked me in so hard that I want the rush to last, so I took a break to write this to stretch my enjoyment. Now, though, I'm done with the review, so I'm back to the book. Read this series, it is fun, thought provoking, and very well written. I think you will like it as musch as I did (and do). It has made my re-read list, and not many newer authors have done this as quickly.