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.
“Yes, as it happens, I am a sarcastic little thing. Thanks for asking. It comes from living with my dad all these years.”
I knew what this book was going to be before I even started it, because I read the blurb before I read the book (which is actually pretty rare for me to do after I have already started a series). I knew ahead of time I probably should skip this. But I didn’t. I knew I didn’t really want to read Zoe’s Tale for what the story was going to be, yet I read it anyway. Because I wanted more to the ending to The Last Colony. Which I didn’t actually get, unfortunately. In fact, the end to Zoe’s Tale ends before the end of The Last Colony ends.
Zoe’s Tale is The Last Colony, told all over again, this time from Zoe’s perspective. It was exactly the same story, just told in a young adult perspective. The book had some new things in it, because The Last Colony didn’t have much at all with Zoe in it. This would have been a very short book indeed if it only focused on the important things from The Last Colony. Zoe’s Tale had its moments, when it was retconning things from The Last Colony. It was just more young adult than I typically enjoy.
The Obin are really creepy as a race. Even if Hickory and Dickory aren’t..very much. They are especially creepy with their devotion to Zoe. Why was this arrangement where they follow her around and record her life to be shared with the rest of their race okay with everyone? I know why with the bugs but like everyone else? They’re recording her entire life for their own amusement, for their own learning! What the fuck? She was just a kid when this started! This is crazy! The fact that Zoe is so well adjusted is honestly a bit of a miracle.
While the book had its moments, it was basically just a redo. I was intrigued by some of the stuff that was added, but mostly I thought the book was unnecessary. I didn’t even get what I wanted out of it! Oh well. The next book in the series looks to follow the events at the end of The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale, but with a new cast. I’m curious to where they’re going.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Old Man’s War series page!