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.
the individual readers are all pretty good what to switching from one voice cadence and narrative to a different voice cadence and narrative is disconcerting. Plotline and action are much better in this than the first book which was fundamentally character introduction.
Good Story, But Schizophrenic NarrationAfter listening to the first book I pulled the trigger on the second two. The story is engaging, albeit a bit confusingly told by what can best be described as a schizophrenic narration. By that I mean we had upwards of five narrators telling the story and giving each character a new voice from the previous narrator. This really served to just knock you out of the story over and over again breaking up the flow and rhythm of the overall narrative. At times I became so confused by the juxtaposition of one narrators voices for characters compared to others. I honestly enjoyed the story but found it increasingly difficult to listen too. Don't get me wrong, the narrators all did a brilliant job and are masters of their craft, but having them all work on the same project really just made it a chore to listen too. The story mainly focused on the Earth ground war, notably and specifically in China. Some elements from the previous book made popped their heads up for a bit as needed back filler and character development but for the most part it focused on the Chines boy character. Not that that was bad, it wasn't. The story line was strong and well handled and I never got board listening too it. I found the characters to be interesting and engaging and was surprisingly drawn into the plight. The author captures the emotion of loss well. Grief and the aftermath of horrendous personal loss story elements is where you can really tell the author did his home work. Overall the story is engaging, albeit not as much as the first book, but still rather good. The narration was good but confusing with so many narrators playing the same characters.
It cliff hanged well.
Use only one or two narrators, not five or six.
I wouldn't have cut so much of it out that was cut out and used as filler for book 3. I would have kept that material in book 2 instead.
The narration was done well but confusing as all sin with so many narrators playing the same characters. I got lost so many times and taken out of the story because of this. This alone is why I rated the overall book so low.
Let me start off by saying these are the first Enders stories I've read. (though I saw the movie, and thought it was so so) I think that's a good thing. I can not stop listening to these stories! part 1 and part 2 have solidly established the characters. I really feel invested in them. The voice actor for Victor, and the voice actor for the MOPs are my favorite.
Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!
Despite the narrative is a little bumpy trying to fill the blanks if you didn't read the 1st book... Whean action hits the ground MOPS AND maser are great characters and loved the kid too! Listening to the 3rd book right now!!!
This book is in some of the other books is written I think it's really great like I said Orson Scott Card is really an amazing writer.
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