Zoe's Tale is a parallel retelling of Scalzi's third Old Man's War novel, The Last Colony, written as a first-person narrative from the viewpoint of Zoë Boutin Perry. It follows up on several plot points that were underrepresented in the original novel.
Zoë is the 17-year old adopted daughter of John Perry and Jane Sagan, two former-soldiers-turned-colonists who were the subjects of Scalzi's first book, Old Man's War. Her biological father, Charles Boutin, created a device capable of giving a race of creatures, called the Obin, consciousness. The Obin worshiped him, but he was killed for being a traitor to mankind and wanting to overthrow the Colonial Union. Since Boutin gave consciousness to the Obin, his daughter Zoë became a demigod to them. As such, she is accompanied at all times by a pair of Obin bodyguards, Hickory and Dickory, who also relay all they experience and feel back to the rest of the Obin.