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Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Walk the Plank (Human Division #2) by John Scalzi


Walk the Plank (The Human Division, #2)Walk the Plank by John Scalzi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second installment in John Scalzi's The Human Division, of which there will be 13 parts. This was much shorter than the previous episode, and serves mostly to thicken the plot. There is a mini-arc within this installment, but its resolution is unknown. One can guess, based on the information presented.

The story is told through voices on a recording. The leader of the New Seattle colony, a hardscrabble settlement with few resources, is called in to speak with a mysterious new arrival, a young man who's severely injured. He'd been on the cargo ship scheduled to drop supplies when it was taken over by pirates. At least, that's who the young man assumes hijacked his ship, and he never saw their faces. Then he and the rest of the makeshift security team is dropped out in cargo containers onto the planet.

The colony has a shortage of painkillers, and no way to combat the disease the young man got in an open wound, something apparently nastier than run-of-the-mill sepsis. They could cut the leg off, but, if the Rot is in his bloodstream already, that won't do him any good, anyway.

The story closes without telling us the young man's fate, nor does it reveal how this ties into the greater plot. I'm sure the latter question will be answered before long, but the former, I suspect, is left to the reader to surmise.

This installment is less exciting than the first, but no less intriguing. It adds to a greater picture of a world that's hostile to humankind, and of the people determined to survive in it.


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