I read several reviews which gave me the impression that this story was somehow unfinished, that there was an unexpected cliff-hanger and/ or that this story ended abruptly without fulfilling the listener's expectations. I would like to assure people reading these reviews in order to make a decision about buying this book, that this is not the case. The title of this book is "Earth Unaware" and that is the story about which this book is written.
Is this book a set-up for the next book to come? Yes. Of course. But it is also a story that can stand alone in many ways. There is a lot to know about what was going on when the Formics show up and this book is the starting point.
To keep this review short, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. I have listened to all of the "Ender" and "Ender's Shadow" series and I liked this book more than some of those. The reading is fantastic, as usual. I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series.
I purchased this book because of Orson Scott Card. I am a huge fan of his Ender/ Bean series and thought I might enjoy a collection of short stories to which he has given his support/ endorsement. I have to say that I disliked this collection overall. Several of the stories just bored me. Several felt incomplete or too short. The worst thing, however, was the abundance of what I can only describe as Sci-Fi Torture Porn.
While I'm a big fan of fantasy, sci-fi and even to a certain extent, horror, there was just no reason to include several of these stories in this book as they have been done before, have been done better, and made for a disgusting read. I like Stephen King short story collections a lot, and in his collections, there are always a few stories that are just gross, but usually only at the end of the short and usually in a surprising way. In other words, I am able to enjoy his short story, even if repulsive, because it has something in it that is clever or surprising. In this case these grotesque stories whole point seems to disgust and horrify the reader endlessly. When the end of these stories came, I just felt used and as if the writers were just trying to manipulate me, rather than entertain or enthrall me with their tales.
I would recommend a pass on this collection. There are much better collections out there with stories that are enthralling, entertaining and surprising, rather than just boring and/ or disgusting. Overall, the performances were fine or better, but couldn't make up for the material being.
I would not listen to this book again, although I might read it. I tend to listen to books I like over and over again, but Mr. Kings narration is not good. The story is wonderful, and I would like to get more out of it, but it's just not possible with his read.
I liked the "story within a story" format, which Mr, King has used before. Of course, I am a huge fan of The Dark Tower series, so I enjoyed my time with Roland and his Ka-Tet.
I'm so sorry that Mr. King chose to read this book himself. He's a wonderful writer, but a very poor audio performer. His voice, which is not a pleasant voice anyway, and the way that he performed the story was very distracting and actually put me to sleep several times, which never happens when I listen to a Stephen King novel!
If you like Stephen King, you will enjoy this story. However, beware that the author has done his own wonderful novel a disservice by reading it himself.
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