One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. Earth Afire by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston is the story of the First Formic War. Victor Delgado beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. Not soon enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. They didn’t believe that until space stations and ships and colonies went up in sudden flame. And when that happened, only Mazer Rackham and the Mobile Operations Police could move fast enough to meet the threat.
©2013 Orson Scott Card (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
Another I'll keep brief.
I'm enjoying the Ender series, and with the movie coming out soon, I feel that this is a must for anyone that wants to get into the series, or plans to see the movie. I say this because I seriously doubt that a single movie can catch the scope of the first Ender audiobook. It's like that with so many great novels - It's often better read or listened to, to gather the depth and scope of the author's intent.
Mr. Card has once again captured my attention with his wonderful writing, despite the 70s anime' styled narration of a fair portion of this work. Don't get me wrong, anime' has it well-deserved place, but this was so over the top, that it got to be challenging at times to listen. This was SO over the top, that I expected to hear Chim-Chim and Spritle start squeaking and squawking in the background. Sorry, too much like watching Speed Racer at times.
But having declared my dislike for the narrators...
The meat of this work is great, and it really does draw you in, once you get past the narrators. If you're able to get by them, you'll be treated to a sweeping plot, rich and deep direction, and a worthy listen.
I don't DARE put anything here regarding the story, because it's so rife with juicy stuff for you Ender lovers, that I'd destroy the fun of discovery herein. Sorry, but if the roles were reversed, and YOU gave ME spoilers, I'd be upset. If I have to endure the narration, I'd better have a reward waiting for me. Frankly, you do.
So, forgive the Speed Racer narration, and go for the story. You'll be glad you did.
I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.
The narration was good and the story kept my interest, but it seemed to be too much of a stretch. Bug like aliens that have to walk around with spray cans? Seems they would have developed a better delivery method. Then all the subordination of the troops - driven to fight the creatures against orders, because, of course, no-one-else on Earth can. I also thought it was a bit too early for Mazer Rackham. I thought he was the hero of the 2nd Formic war, not the 1st also.
Don't get me wrong, the story is well told, the characters (as always with OSC) are well developed; it just became too far-fetched I thought. If you can suspend disbelief then it actually is a very good story.
Very good, but not quite as good as Earth Unaware. The first half of Earth Afire loses all of the tension and momentum that had built up over the previous novel, as new characters are introduced and the driving force of the first novel takes a backseat for a time. Overall the second title suffers from having less focus on the science fiction characteristics that make the universe so interesting.
Too much of this novel is focused on a boy living in a rice-paddy village in rural China. His setting isn't interesting, the dialog around him is rife with stereotypes and clichés, and you get the impression the authors learned everything they know about Chinese culture from watching American television shows marketed for children. The narrative tends to stall while dwelling on ridiculously unimportant details in all of his scenes.
I could listen to the lives of deep-space miners living on a ship roaming the Kuiper belt all day. Peasants on a farm in China arguing about dishonoring their elders? Not interesting at all.
Kudos to Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston!! Thank you. It was such a great experience.
Thank you also to Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Stefan Rudnicki, Vikas Adam, Gabrielle de Cuir, Roxanne Hernandez and Emily Rankin. You guys are the best audio book narrators ever!
About the Book...
My favorite characters are Captain O'Toole, commander of the Mobile Operations Police (MOPs) and Lieutenant Mazer Rackham, a Maori soldier. They are the coolest soldiers ever!!!
Mazer singing a Maori war song Ka Mate? Love it!!
After reading the interaction between Mazer and Bingwen, I understand better the relationship between Mazer and Ender (not in this book) in Ender's Game.
Lem and Bingwen made me LOL frequently, but mostly at the end of the book.
Bingwen's grandfather is the nicest person in the world along with Rena Delgado.
Victor, makes you wonder...
Yes, the different narrators add personal touches to the story.
The different narrators
Gives each character their own voice (literally) :)
as always, the people we follow in Orson Scott Card's books are relatable, consistent, predictable but yet unpredictable.
Enjoyed every second of it
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