The Human Division - John Scalzi,  William Dufris

This latest entry into what will probably turn out to be a long-running multi-publication series (that started with the entertaining [b:Old Man's War|51964|Old Man's War|John Scalzi||50700]) is vintage Scalzi. Mr. Scalzi, who apparently hasn't found a gag line that was beyond inclusion in his books, sprinkles [b:The Human Division|15698479|The Human Division|John Scalzi||21356077] with his brand of humorous, irreverent, quirky and inventive story-telling. Whether for marketing purposes or for novelty, the author has chosen to piece this book together from episodes of short story length that build upon new characters in the Old Man's War universe.

Here we are introduced to the B-team: Harry Wilson, green-skinned Colonial Union lieutenant, hapless gofer Hart Schmidt, and the diplomat Ambassador Ambumwe. In various segments, Wilson displays some key capability of his regrown and enhanced body to escape seemingly impossible situations, ala TV's McGyver. Additional character development stories for Schmidt and Ambumwe are also included. The most interesting/exciting SF action episode involves an attack on the Earth space station and the escape of the main characters. By the end of the book, the B-team is really the A-team (another TV reference - sorry). For the most part, the book is a setup with new characters and a major change in the overall series story arc for future books in the same universe.

This book is a must for fans of the series especially if future books indeed continue from the branch started in Human Division. Overall, this was not great for me, at least not on the level of [b:Old Man's War|51964|Old Man's War|John Scalzi||50700]. But there really is a disadvantage for recognized authors for whom the expectation level is set high by their prior work. Will probably still read the next book in the series just to see where the author's quirky imagination will take this.

I tried to write this review without giving away the very obvious spoiler. If I did, my apologies.