Customer Reviews for

Redshirts

Average Rating 4
( 128 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(56)

4 Star

(38)

3 Star

(18)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(11)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Entertaining and quick read

I have an inherent fondness for Scalzi books. He and I share a similar sense of humor and of drama. Redshirts is a great example of what I'm talking about here. This is a darkly humorous book, somewhat of a send-up of Star Trek, but told from the point of view of the "r...
I have an inherent fondness for Scalzi books. He and I share a similar sense of humor and of drama. Redshirts is a great example of what I'm talking about here. This is a darkly humorous book, somewhat of a send-up of Star Trek, but told from the point of view of the "redshirts" of the crew, those extras whose sole job it is to die horrible deaths so that we know our heroes are in danger. In this case, the protagonists of the book are newly graduated cadets of a Universal Union who all score the most prestigious posting in the Fleet, the Intrepid. As far as they know, they live in a normal universe, leading relatively normal lives. They bond over drinks in the space station bar before the shuttle takes them to their new home. Once aboard the Intrepid, they start to notice that things are very odd there. Whenever the Captain, the Science Officer, the Engineer, or any of the other "main cast" crew members are walking down the corridor, all of the other crew members suddenly find reasons not to be found. Our protagonists discover why, as they go on "away missions" and barely survive. As they talk with other crew members (once they survive their "initiation"), they discover that for some reason, the rules of physics and statistics are severely bent out of shape in the presence of the "main cast" officers.

There were a few editorial oversights with mixed up names and such. I can generally overlook that, but it was jarring this time. Also, some of the names of the protagonists are visually similar and it took me a while to sort out which backstory belonged to which character. But the biggest complaint I had with the novel was that it seemed to end too soon. I don't mean the book was short; I mean that it felt like one of those TV shows where everything looks like it's wrapped up neatly but you still have fifteen minutes to go, so you expect that there's some big twist that's just about to happen to make the story that much more interesting. This novel seems to set up such a big twist, but then suddenly ends. It was disappointing because that apparent big twist had such potential.

After the main story ends, the book has three "codas", extensions of the main story with characters that were featured in the main story but were not the main characters. Each of these codas were interesting additions to the story in very unique ways. The first coda is a first-person narrative told in blog/epistolary form. The second coda is written in second-person, a very unusual and difficult style that rarely works. This time I thought it did, exploring the thoughts and feelings of someone who has been told he was in a terrible accident with severe brain damage, and is trying to account for a couple of weeks missing from his memory. Finally, the third coda is in... you guessed it, third person, which tells the story of an actor who learns how profoundly and positively affected someone was by her portrayal of a bit part character, someone who had all of a couple of minutes of screen time. It's sweet and perfectly caps a story line from the main story.

posted by jkusters on June 9, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

A Good Quick Read

It should be said that your enjoyment of this book will likely hinge on being, at least in some small way, a fan of classic Star Trek. And in poking fun of the same old tropes, it uses them all, some repeatedly. I was left wondering if I would have gotten more enjoyment...
It should be said that your enjoyment of this book will likely hinge on being, at least in some small way, a fan of classic Star Trek. And in poking fun of the same old tropes, it uses them all, some repeatedly. I was left wondering if I would have gotten more enjoyment from a standard episode of the show than I did this satirical send up. But that probably says more about my personal tastes than the quality of Mr. Scalzi's work. All in all, it was quite enjoyable.

posted by 339600 on June 20, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 18 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    A Good Quick Read

    It should be said that your enjoyment of this book will likely hinge on being, at least in some small way, a fan of classic Star Trek. And in poking fun of the same old tropes, it uses them all, some repeatedly. I was left wondering if I would have gotten more enjoyment from a standard episode of the show than I did this satirical send up. But that probably says more about my personal tastes than the quality of Mr. Scalzi's work. All in all, it was quite enjoyable.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2012

    Enjoyable but has a strange ending.

    The ending plot twist is very reminiscent of late Heinlein books. When he couldn't resolve the plot, PFM (Pure F..king Magic) happened and the problem was resolved. At least, in this book, the plot heads toward and prepares you for the ending.

    I like the way John Scalzi writes and will continue to purchase his books.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Great concept, funny enough, decently told. Way too short (espec

    Great concept, funny enough, decently told. Way too short (especially for the money). Ironically, in a book about how extras are abused for ease of writing, nearly all the characters are as forgettable as Security Guard #2.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Well, that was fun. If that sounds like faint praise, it might

    Well, that was fun.

    If that sounds like faint praise, it might be. I'd been anticipating this book ever since I heard Mr. Scalzi read the prolog during his tour for Fuzzy Nation. Perhaps I pushed my expectations for it too high. Even so, it was fun.

    In case you can't tell from the title, or haven't bothered to read the backcover blurb, this is a book about the phenomenon of the high mortality rate among low-ranking starship crew members during away missions. When Mr. Scalzi read the aforementioned prolog and asked the audience to guess at the title, the almost unanimous response was "Red Shirt" (if you still don't get it, watch an episode of Star Trek with the original crew).

    This story is told from the viewpoint of the low ranked crew and the lengths they go to in order to avoid assignment to away missions or being stationed on decks that always seem to get opened into space during battle. What they discover about their situation and how they choose to deal with it came as a bit of surprise and a bit of a disaappointment. I'd hoped for a different direction. But decided to go along for the ride and mostly enjoyed it.

    What works in this book is the fast pace and snarky, inside-joke humor. If you get a joke, you're grinning. If you don't, another is coming right up. What doesn't completely work (although I couldn't put my finger on it at first), is that same fast pace. It focuses on dialog and moving the plot along, at the expense of description and introspection. The characters are often difficult to distinguish (you have to remember their names) and scenes take place in featureless voids.

    Even so, it was fun. I wish I could give it another half of a star.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2014

    Fair read

    I might have gone a different way with alot of this story but it had its moments.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2014

    Clever tale about the experience of being one of the poor bastar

    Clever tale about the experience of being one of the poor bastards fated to wear a red shirt in a Star Trek-like universe. I was disappointed that it wasn't as funny as reviews had led me to believe, certainly not a par with, for example, Douglas Adams. However, the plot is clever, the characters are engaging, and there is humor, just more tongue-in-cheek than laugh-out-loud. The three codas at the end, told in first, second, and third person, from the perspective of various minor characters from the main story, was an unexpected and nice surprise (though not for you after reading this review, sorry).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2013

    Okay read, not really my cup of tea.

    A bit too tongue in cheek for my tastes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 4, 2013

    The 3 codas make the whole book worth reading!

    A highly silly (mostly enjoyable) book, but the 3 codas really make the whole thing....

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Redshirts

    This story started off really strong but self-imploded towards the end with a sill plot gimmick.

    Still worth reading, but not written at the same level of his previous books such as Old Man's War.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2012

    I think I would have liked this more if my expectations hadn't run away with me.

    I think I would have liked this more if my expectations hadn't run away with me.

    If you are a fan of science fiction, you are probably already familiar with the meaning of the title. This novel follows the lives of five new recruits to the flag ship of a space exploration organization. They are the rookies on the ship, which means the rest of their lives could be measured in days (or perhaps a smaller unit of time measurement if you want to make the actual amount of time look longer). There is something very strange going on, something that most of the rest of the crew have noticed and take steps to protect themselves from. And it gets a large amount of humor out of the situation itself and our main character being aware of the ridiculousness of the events they encounter.

    What I didn't care for was the twist. I was expecting something that would fit within the established setting. Looking at the source material this novel is riffing on, there wasn't exactly a shortage of aliens advanced enough in technology to pull off what we see here and dickish enough to actually do it. But instead, the author goes in a much more meta direction for the ending. It wasn't bad, but for me it was disappointing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2012

    I love John Scalzi and couldn't wait to pick this book up on it'

    I love John Scalzi and couldn't wait to pick this book up on it's release date. It was like torture waiting a week to go on vacation before I started reading it. That being said, it was just OK. I didn't dislike the book, but I didn't think it was up to the standard of the rest of his works either. True there were some moments when I laughed, and there were some interesting ideas, but you could kind of see where things were going the entire time and he certainly didn't leave you on the edge of your seat wondering what was going to happen on the next page.

    I thought the 2 "codas" at the end were cheap and unwarranted. Sure, they added a little bit and tied the story together some. However, I get the sense that the publisher came back and said: "This needs to be 50 pages longer." I do wish the story would have been a bit longer and more detailed. Perhaps some of the away missions should have had some more depth to them.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't read it if you're interested. It's a decent book and I read it in less than 2 days. However, if you're looking for a rip-roaring adventure that will consume you for days on end, you'll come away slightly disappointed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    How about making it 3.7588 stars out of 5!

    C my previous wall posting : )

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Decent story. It got a bit tiresome that just about every chara

    Decent story. It got a bit tiresome that just about every character had nothing but smart a$$ comebacks for everything and since they were all doing it...well, it got a bit tiresome. Few laugh out loud moments but I was mildly amused all the way through it. I am glad I read it, but this will not be something I read over and over like I do my favorites.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 18 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1