Book Review: “The Human Division #3: We Only Need the Heads” by John Scalzi

CDF Lieutenant Harry Wilson has been loaned out to a CDF platoon tasked with secretly removing an unauthorized colony of humans on an alien world. Colonial Ambassador Abumwe has been ordered to participate in final negotiations with an alien race the Union hopes to make allies. Wilson and Abumwe’s missions are fated to cross—and in doing so, place both missions at risk of failure.

we-only-need-the-headsSlightly longer than Walk the Plank, this third installment of The Human Division, entitled We Only Need the Heads ties together in multiple ways various pieces from the first two parts of the story. I’ll admit that when I first saw the title for this episode all I could think about is what on earth needing heads was going to have to do with the story, especially since Scalzi has made it pretty clear that the titles for each episode will have some sort of connection to the events within.

Given previous lore in this universe it stands to reason that a wildcat colony, especially one on a planet claimed by a species other than humanity is going to be frowned upon quite heavily by The Conclave. Interestingly, there is no Conclave involvement in this episode because when Harry Wilson arrives in New Seattle with crew members from his new ship assignment he discovers something very interesting. Everyone is dead.

How they died, why they died, and who did the killing is all a complete mystery for the most part. Well, at least it is until the very final lines of the episode, but it certainly paints a clear picture that things are heating up across the galaxy as various governments and species jockey for position in the aftermath of John Perry revealing the true nature of the CDF to the inhabitants of Earth. Things are only going to get more crazy, that much I can tell three episodes in to this new storyline.

I don’t want to reveal the connection the title has with the content of the episode because it reveals a very important plot moment (trust me, my previous revelation that everyone is dead is quite minor to the plot), but I have to say that I liked what Scalzi did with the connection; most especially with the final scene of the episode.

Length: 48 pages
Grade: B

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble   |   Goodreads   |   Audible


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