OK, first a word about the movie ... although the general settings, names, and adversaries coincide with the book's, the movie is a completely different beast! Personally, I think Starship Troopers is big screen sci-fi at its best. Though some may balk at its violent content, with seemingly relentless decapitations and dismemberments, the gore is mostly imagined (to the director's credit). The construct of the story, the special effects, and the cinematography make this action-packed movie a must see for fans of big-screen sci-fi.
Now, back to the book ... As this is written well into Heinlein's career, it is easy to see his maturation as an author. Unlike the movie, this work is not action-packed (we don't even meet the Bugs until the very end). Instead, the book is especially introspective as we follow Rico through his training as a Federation Trooper and into service as an officer. I found RAH's sermonic treatment of juvenile delinquency and his insightful exposition of the Citicratic style of government extremely engaging.
So go ahead ... see the movie, read the book -- they are so dissimilar it really doesn't matter what order. But they are both very good.
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