• Zoe's Tale

  • Old Man's War, Book 4
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Series: Old Man's War, Book 4
  • Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 10-09-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (88 ratings)


"How do you tell your part in the biggest tale in history? "I ask because it's what I have to do. I'm Zoe Boutin Perry: A colonist stranded on a deadly pioneer world. Holy icon to a race of aliens. A player (and a pawn) in a interstellar chess match to save humanity, or to see it fall. Witness to history. Friend. Daughter. Human. Seventeen years old.
"Everyone on Earth knows the tale I am part of. But you don't know my tale: How I did what I did - how I did what I had to do - not just to stay alive but to keep you alive, too. All of you. I'm going to tell it to you now, the only way I know how: not straight but true, the whole thing, to try make you feel what I felt: the joy and terror and uncertainty, panic and wonder, despair and hope. Everything that happened, bringing us to Earth, and Earth out of its captivity. All through my eyes.
"It's a story you know. But you don't know it all."
©2008 John Scalzi (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Mr J P Fitzmaurice on 14-09-17

I said she said

The story is ok. Entertaining enough. However. I was completely put off and almost abandoned the book as every passage of speech has "ok" I said, "great"she said. "Fine" I said. "Huh "she said. Said said said said said. In No other audiobook has this bothered me. Probably because other authors give a bit more credit to the reader/listener

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Nicola on 19-05-17

Teenage Star Trek Story

I love John Scalzi books I've listened to so far and was delighted to find some new additions to add to my collection. I did purchase based on reviews so was disappointed to find I really did not enjoy this book as much as his others.

First it is all centred around a teenager - Zoe. Whilst I have no issue with this subject matter I often find female teenager characters somewhat tiresome and can say this was in part over come.

Mainly the book was simply not in the usual humorous engaging style I've become used to. I found the book somewhat drawn out, didn't (unfortunately) care about the main protagonist, although did stick it out to the end. Maybe because this solely focused on the 'kid' characters and not enough 'alien' character development,or humour.

I guess my message is buy with caution and if you're expecting Androids Dream, Fuzzy Nation or Red Shirts this one just didn't stack up for me.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Mike.the.kraken on 05-03-14

Bait and switch. Skip it unless you're a teenager.

This is a tough review to write. I greatly enjoyed the first three books in the "Old Man's War" series, and picked this up without hesitation - as it was listed next in line. However, this is not a book targeted at adults even though it's mistakingly placed in Contemporary SciFi. This is pure bait and switch to sell a few more copies to unsuspecting customers.

1. "Zoe's Tale" is Young Adult Science Fiction.
2. "Zoe's Tale" is an almost verbatim retelling of "The Last Colony", except it's the "Twilight" version.

I'm quite miffed at Audible & the publisher for not prominently calling this out, and classifying the book correctly.

It's strange that Scalzi chose to re-write "The Last Colony" entirely from a teenagers point of view. I had expected Zoe to START OUT as a teenager, then slowly grow into a woman as the story moved forward. However, what I got was Scalzi channeling giggling girls, fart jokes, and teenage crushes. Really? Had I not been on some very long airline flights, this book would have been returned for refund posthaste.

It's clear that there was a kernel of a story hidden in "The Last Colony", where Zoe impressed General Gau, and somehow wrangled an impressive piece of technology from The Consu. However, Scalzi does very little with those events, and thus you'll spend the entire book building up to a rather flat third act.

The one shining star in this whole mess was the narrator: Tavia Gilbert. She grew on me quickly, and her voice acting was very well done.

So - would I recommend this book to a teenager? No.
Why? Because, they'd be dropped into a series 2/3'ds of the way through, with no other books voiced for them before or after.

Scalzi is a good writer, but your credits would be better spent on his other work.

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23 of 24 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By David on 06-04-09

A fun listen, and some new information, but...

Zoe's Tale was fun to listen to. The reader was skilled at adding emotion to the story and was a good actress.
The story itself filled in some gaps and added some dimensions to the story told in "The Last Colony". Whether that information was enough to justify another book must be left for the individual reader/listener. For myself, there was too little new.
The most glaring problem that I had with the audio release was that the reader of this story had obviously not listened to the previous volumes. The differences in pronunciations from previous volumes to this one always took me out of the story. A common pronunciation guide should be a "must".
Still, this book fleshed out characters that otherwise would have, for space reasons, recieved too little attention otherwise. Worth listening to, especially if you have an extra "credit".

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35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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