Forever Peace

Forever Peace
Joe Haldeman, 1997

Hugo winner - 1998

Premise: Julian is a physics professor by inclination and education, but he's also been drafted part-time to run a remote soldier robot. There's more to the plot, and the blurb on the back of the book discusses it, but it doesn't happen until half the book is done.

Hmmm. This is an odd one. I had a cheap paperback copy that I picked up at some point, but I took an ebook version out of the library because I thought I'd be more likely to read it that way. I only read about a third of it by the time my three-week loan timed out.

I just could not get into this book. I kept putting off reading it. I finally found my place in the paperback copy and read some more, then left it on my nightstand, untouched, for weeks before reading more. (Considering I've often been known to read a novel in an afternoon, this is a major sign.)

At some point when I was about halfway through I finally read the blurb on the back of the book and realized that the new character and plot elements that had recently come out of left field were actually leading to the point of the book.

It's got a lot of big ideas in the second half about violence, doomsday weapons, doomsday cults, and humanity. I did pick up the pace once the end was in sight, although that was more about finishing the dang thing than caring about the story.

The first half is all world-building and setup, largely about the mind-sharing that the people "jacked" into the soldier robots experience, and the psychological effects it has. All of this is interesting stuff, but I never found the characters compelling.

Independent of said characters, there's a lot of interesting stuff here, but I just didn't find it an enjoyable or interesting enough read.

2 Stars - An Okay Book


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