I’m really proud of Zoë as a character; I think she’s one of the best I’ve ever written. I also think that that in many ways Zoe’s Tale is the best book in the entire Old Man’s War sequence, which is saying something, considering it’s the fourth book in the universe, and two of them have got Hugo nods. But there it is: The amount of work I had to do to get Zoë right is also reflected in the rest of the book as well. It’s good.
I’m also happy to say that the goal of making this a standalone novel seems to have been achieved: I’ve heard back from folks who have read the book cold, without having read the other books in the sequence, and it’s worked for them. This is good news because, as most of you know, Zoe’s Tale was written with an eye toward opening up this universe to younger readers who might have missed the other books; it’s the book I can point to when someone asks if they can give a book of mine to their daughter or nephew or whomever.
I'm currently reading (and loving) Soon I will be Invincible,* but as soon as I finish it, Zoe's Tale is at the top of my list, leapfrogging over a giant stack of books that just said, "Hey! We've been waiting in line here! Come on! No cuts!"
Sorry, giant stack of books, but I like the Old Man's War universe so damn much, it always gets cuts.
... okay, back cuts behind Immortal Iron Fist. Sorry, The Terror, you'll have to keep waiting. (But if Zoe's Tale is anything like the other books in the Old Man's War universe, you'll only have to wait a few days. I usually have a damn hard time putting them down.)
*Link and title fixed. I was in a hurry to get out of the house when I wrote this post this morning.