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
I used to be a die hard Orson Scott Card fan. But, "Earth Afire" is very disappointing. The book is bloated, characterization is half baked, and the narration is a mess. One narrator would have been sufficient. I suspect that Card is trying to emulate Larry Niven by working with a second writer. But Niven works with very good writers; Aaron Johnston doesn't seem to live up to his, or Card's previous, standards. I would very much like to recommend this book out of respect for Card and the many hours of pleasure I've had from his books over the years; but I can't.
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.
Ender's Game is a wonderful book, so I guess these prequels were bound to be a disappointment. Card and Johnston improved on their first book in this "bug hunt" series by adding some nicely crafted, even poetic, language in some parts, along with more realistic action and better character development overall. However, this second book in the series still came across a bit sappy and choppy. Unfortunately, the wonderful performance lured me into buying the third book, so I am hooked - darn it!
Evil forces lured me into listening to the first two books in the series (probably psychic powers of the Formix) so I am doomed to buying and listening to the third.
I appreciated the authors making an effort to develop the various businessmen into something more interesting than popular stereotypical jejune cardboard cut-outs of Lex Luthor.
I have loved Card's previous books but this one ends as a cliffhanger and no resolultions to any story line. Usually a series has at least a soft resolution to minor ones but this leaves you totally hanging as you have to wait for the next book. Do not buy this one until the next one is out..........or maybe the one after that?
The narataors are all excellent as for the other Ender books.
When they ease endings to each episode.
The horror of an invasion that is truly alien was captivating. Beyond that, I don't see what all the positive comments are about. Slow moving, people make the same comments over and over again ("We need to warn earth NOW!" "We need to rescue as many people as possible!" "Grandfather, you need to keep moving!"). One of the few sf books where I wished it had been abridged for the recording. It struck me as paint-by-number - how do we get from "Earth at peace" to Ender? Not exciting.
Make the dialogue more believable.
Avid reader and listener. Business owner, Father, traveler. Over-educated medical professional.
Oh my! Honestly, I have listened to about 25 minutes of this book and I want to stretch my EARS OUT! The person reading the story is changing from adult (for narration) to different children's voices and I tell you it is one of the most painful experiences. I honestly just want to turn it off. The backstory is interesting enough, but MY G-D! This reader makes it feel like I am watching a VERY BAD anime....reminds me of pikachu reading a book. TERRIBLE. The adult voice is fine enough, but man the child voices make me want to put a screwdriver through my ears and I just want to forward through the story. If I didn't like the first formic war audiobook so much, this would immediately go into the delete file.
FREAKING reader switching from adult to child voices! TERRIBLE
Again, going from adult to child....honestly couldn't stand it.
Reminds me of a mix of pikachu and gabriel iglesias (the comedian)...when he does the child voice.
Only 25 minutes into it....can't see it as a movie or TV series yet.
PLEASE redo this....terrible! I understand needing to allow the reader to believe it is a child. But, I have 4 kids of my own, and NONE of them sound like these terrible voices.
I didn't buy Earth Unaware so it took me a bit to pick up the back-story, but the authors did a decent job with that. The story was pretty engaging until it got to the last hour or so. Then it was like the authors suddenly realized they were running out of paper and had to finish. After providing endless detail about matters of moderate interest the final battle was reduced to a few unconvincing paragraphs. Very contrived. A very minor character at the end sacrifices his life to win the day. Who cares? I didn't have any idea who he was let alone care about him. There is obviously a third book coming, but I doubt I'll invest the time to read or listen.
I'll save you some time. ALL that happens in this book is the formics land on earth. Other than that it's a bunch of forgetable nonsense and little resolutions. I remember when Card used to develop amazing characters and then put them in philisophically interesting situations. None of that here. Just flat characters that do predictable things. Mazer Rackham and Bingwen are sort of interesting and "save" this book from being completely dull. I think Card is writing for the big screen as this seems like it could be a better movie than a book.
I am an electrical engineer and have served a stint in the Navy. I own a company that installs custom home theater systems and other home entertainment products. My favorite books tend to be action fiction or fantasy. I like some romance but not too mushy
It needs a good ending
Great storyline, well built characters, moves along at a good clip and then ends in the middle of the story.
Decent enough narration
It would have to have one. I think that Orson Scott Card is a great writer but I am getting tired of these series books. I did not realize that this book was the second in the series, nor that the third had not been released yet. By the time the third is released, I will have forgotten all the characters and their background stories. I usually wait until I think a series is finished before I start the first one. I made a mistake on this one because I did not have time to research before my purchase. I really enjoyed the book but am really ticked off at the ending. I guess I will research better before I purchase another Card book. I really wish he would write non-series books more often. Enchantment was great!
Hurry up with the 3rd installment and maybe I'll read it. If it takes longer than a month, I will likely pass.
very good storyline
narrator was very good
i guess that there will be another book to finish this unfinished book.
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