I've enjoyed both the previous books in this series, and the third was pretty much just what I expected. Scalzi's books read like an Sci-Fi action movie, and I'm honestly amazed there hasn't been any sort of film based on this series yet, possibly directed by Joss Whedon. The human drama is perfectly balanced against the epic space war and would by all rights be a rocking flick.
It's not a flick, though, it's a novel, and it has its faults. Scalzi still overuses the “said” speech tag to a distracting level, and I tend to speed-read the dialogue so I don't process the tags. The dialogue is incredibly clever, though, so I'll forgive that. This book also has a very different theme from the first two, which I thought had a lot to do with what “age” means relative to experience. The Last Colony takes a big leap away from that, and I don't get the sense that John Perry is 88 or that Jane Sagan is 16. They've both stopped showing their ages so much and act mostly like any other middle-aged couple.
That said, they are another pair for my short list of successful, effective married couples, so that's nice.
The theme of this book is much more about parenting and balancing honesty with safety. We get the microcosm of this with John, Jane, and Zoe as they try to protect their daughter who may be better equipped to handle things than they expect. This expands to John and Jane taking care of the colony and limiting the information they give to colonists, sometimes at great cost. Then the Colonial Unions information stranglehold on the colonies all the way back to Earth. Scalzi seems to be making the statement that with-holding information, though often necessary, always has consequences. I don't think he's blanket-stating: inform everyone of everything every time, but he does say that people have a right to make their own decisions and need all the information available to make the best ones. I certainly appreciate that theme.
Scalzi is always a nice break for me from heavier literature, and The Last Colony didn't let me down. It was fast-paced, action-packed, and bitingly clever. The characters are likable if not the most multi-dimensional, and everything ends with satisfying closure while still leaving room to go back. That's how I like my series. I don't have the fourth book yet, though I'll without a doubt acquire it eventually. Scalzi's world is always a fun place to spend a slow weekend.