by John Scalzi

Reviewer Rating:
4

Review

I feel like it was inevitable that I would read Redshirts from the day I was born. I’m fairly certain my love for Star Trek was encoded in my genes, passed down on my father’s side of the family, though my mother became a Trekkie convert later in life. In Star Trek the joke goes: “Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Ensign Ricky are beaming down to the planet. Guess who’s not coming back.” Security officers in the original series, always wearing red shirts, were killed willy-nilly, and in this book John Scalzi hypothesizes what would happen if the Redshirts became aware of their extraordinarily high death rate and decided to do something about it. Full of dry humor, sarcasm, genre-savviness, and plenty of nerdy references, Redshirts was thoroughly enjoyable. That being said, it felt like the book struggled toward the end and then became amazingly meta. It was a brilliant premise, but lacked direction that could’ve created a satisfying conclusion. I still recommend the book for fans of Star Trek and people who enjoy dark, self-referential humor.

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