These reviews cover episodes 10 to 13 of The Human Division, for my review of the first 9 episodes, see here.
Episode 10: This Must Be The Place
This is a more quiet episode. Schmidt, who has most often been seen assisting Harry, goes home to Pheonix to visit his family. He gets caught up in the colony’s politics and the family drama. We get to see, for the first time Schmidt’s qualities and his perspective on his life and his work. It is not an exciting story in the same way as some of the others, and it is not my favorite, but it really humanizes Schmidt and lends gravitas to the events in later episodes. If I had one complaint about the audio version it would be that Dufris doesn’t use the same voice for Schmidt as he does in other episodes; I was confused at times to find that he sounded more like Harry.
Episode 11: A Problem of Proportion
The Clarke, and its diplomatic team led by Abumway, meet with a Conclave diplomatic team. Instead they are attacked by a ship that had been reported missing and the Conclave ship suddenly surrenders to them. Together the two crews investigate the attacking ship and find it empty except for a brain connected to the ship’s computer. This was an intriguing episode with a great cast of one time characters. I found the relationship that Harry forms with the brain on the ship especially touching. It also sets up a lot of what happens in the final episode.
Episode 12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads
Danielle Lowen, who had been on the Clarke in The Observers, as part of the Earth’s diplomatic mission is back in this episode. She is trying to investigate the assassination that occurred. Her investigation is hampered by exploding embassies and a mysterious man (possibly related to the one in A Voice in the Wilderness?) with outlandish theories that point toward a conspiracy to keep the Earth and the Colonial Union at odds. This was a fascinating and ominous lead up to the final episode starring a character that I’m rather fond of.
Episode 13: Earth Below and Sky Above
This is the final episode and it is, appropriately, a full 2 hours long. Earth and Colonial Union diplomats are set to meet on earth station to negotiate a treaty. But the station soon finds itself under attack by missing Colonial ships and the cast we have come to know must put their lives on the line to save the negotiations. It is explosively exciting; I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. The novel ends with many questions still unanswered: who was truly behind all the attacks? why were they trying to divide humanity? and who will the Earth ally with? But I wasn’t left dissatisfied, merely eager for more books in The Old Man’s War universe. Fortunately there are plenty.
I have loved The Human Division as a whole and I think that the format, in episodes worked wonderfully well. I highly recommend the audiobook version: it felt like following a sci-fi show.