Joe Haldeman
Camouflage Cover



My review of this will be short, because really I don't have that much to say. The basic premise involved to alien shapeshifters who had spent millions of years on Earth. So long, in fact, that both had forgotten their origins. In the near future, however, a team of scientists unearth an alien artifact that draws them both to it - the one because he is trying to discover his origins, the other because he is driven to kill any beings like him.

It was a fairly interesting set up, with aliens that were moderately alien in their psychology (though not enough so if you ask me). The pacing was also quite good, and I kept turning the pages waiting to find out who these aliens were, why they were on Earth, and why the one was driven to kill the other. There was too much of that modern science-fiction impulse to have frequent and pointless sex scenes. I find it all rather juvenile, but can look past it for a riveting story.


Unfortunately, all that excited page turning went entirely unrewarded. The book ends with an anti-climactic battle between the two aliens, followed by the "good" one giving us exposition on who he is that only tells us information we (as the readers) already knew, and explaining that he doesn't know who the other alien is. Then he flies away.

That's it.


This actually seems to be a chronic problem with science fiction writers. They're often brilliant at set up, but totally fall on their faces when it comes to execution.

Oh well.

Ultimately, Camouflage was neither particularly spectacular, nor entirely terrible, and so my concluding thoughts on the book are... "meh".