Nearly 100 years before the events of Orson Scott Card’s best-selling novel Ender’s Game, humans were just beginning to step off Earth and out into the Solar System. A thin web of ships in both asteroid belts; a few stations; a corporate settlement on Luna. No one had seen any sign of other space-faring races; everyone expected that First Contact, if it came, would happen in the future, in the empty reaches between the stars. Then a young navigator on a distant mining ship saw something moving too fast, heading directly for our sun.
When the alien ship screamed through the solar system, it disrupted communications between the far-flung human mining ships and supply stations, and between them and Earth. So Earth and Luna were unaware that they had been invaded until the ship pulled into Earth orbit, and began landing terra-forming crews in China. Politics and pride slowed the response on Earth, and on Luna, corporate power struggles seemed more urgent than distant deaths. But there are a few men and women who see that if Earth doesn’t wake up and pull together, the planet could be lost.
©2014 Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
Powerful ending, gets you charged for the Second Formic War! Keep in mind, there is still one more war before Ender - but the story concludes with a believable resolution and connects some of the dots between a pre-Formic era and that of Battle School.
Seeing Mazer develop and witness his initial recognition of the unique value that (gifted) kids can provide. Some of the tenets of Battle School gain their origin in this book.
When the band was finally all together. After two novels of parallel story lines I was eager for them to be in the same room planning for an attack. All history of "only being a free miner" or a "corporate snake" is at last left behind with all focus on a high risk mission.
Lem's holo to Victor; after all they had been through together and against each other - admitting that he truly appreciates and respects him.
Love the conclusion to this story arc. Being former military, and having directly worked with several other countries militaries, the bureaucracy is totally believable. I know the science is probably a bit much for academics to accept but if you have read the other 15-ish books in this series you should be beyond that. There are two reasons that this story did not get 5 stars: 1. There's only so many times that I can hear "I can't let you risk your life" and actually believe it. The characters are always in dire situations and I'd think by the time it's do-or-all-humans-die it's total war time and everyone is all-in, just accept the help and MOVE!2. I have been to China and know how prideful and protective a society/government they are, but the thought that they would STILL not ask for help after millions of their civilians are butchered by aliens is a stretch. If nothing else at least the Russians and maybe the North Koreans would be welcomed.
the actual writing still feels like OSC, but the imagination put into this book doesn't feel remotely close to the first ender series. it's at the point where despite reading the original and a few of the shadow series books, i'm not even sure i'll listen to book #4. :(
Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite writers, but in these books, he seems to be giving his cowriter too much room to screw it up. Don't get me wrong, this is a must read for all Ender readers and its pretty good. But here's the main issue, although all of his books are a little loose with the science, in these three books, science is thrown out the window in places to add drama. There is plenty of Drama with the bugger invasion without upsetting readers who recognize when the science if off.
The books are great and I look forward to the next set where Mazor confronts the Bugger fleet but there are some inconsistencies you won't find in Cards earlier Ender books. Also, most of the narrators add to the book but some of the narration is overly dramatized and it can be a bit annoying.
The book is full of the type of characters that you can really cheer for. Sound minds face seemingly insurmountable challenges and their solutions are so wise, you can almost learn life lessons from them. O ya, and there is a ship load of thrilling action.
Mazer Rackam is my hero. (So is Col. Graff but he isn't in this book.) He is tough as nails, teachable as a child, innovative as Ender, and yet he still develops and progresses in the book.
Lem Dukes' voice is something special. His oily self righteous personality is all over his voice.
There were quite a few heart wrenching cliff hangers of especially potent strength. And at the chant of WE ARE THE SONS OF U.D.T.... I am so glad I chose to get this as an audiobook.
I have not read the print version to compare.
The most interesting aspects of this story is the accounting of the first Formic encounter. The least interesting is the character development.
Stephan Rudnicki brings every character he reads to life.
Overall I'd rate this series 3.5/5. It's a nice back story of the Formic conflict, but it lacks the depth of the Enderverse entries written exclusively by Orson Scott Card. OSC excels at character development and dialog; the works of his that I most enjoy are the one that are about people instead of events.
I was really looking forward to Mazer Rackham getting similar treatment as Andrew (Ender) or Julian (Bean) did in their respective series, but this series has not delivered. It is not about Mazer Rackham, it is a somewhat plodding description of the events the Formic War with Mazer appearing as a character. It was apparent that this was a "co-written" series. An enjoyable listen (as is production involving Stefan Rudnicki) and fans of the Enderverse will appreciate it. But I don't think I would recommend it as a standalone literary work to anyone who was not already fully invested in the Enderverse.
I read everything OSC puts out these days. This book was not his best but I still enjoyed it. I would recommend it to any OSC fan. If you are new to OSC though he has many other books I would start with.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
After the first two installments of this trilogy, this one delivers. You get all the action and tension you could hope for, and then some. My only complaint is that the final few chapters feel rushed, and the conclusion could have been better by mentioning things such as Battle School and what they plan to do next.
Great story and finale on the first formic war. Orson when he is at his best.
Good action and a good story line. Couldn't wait to finish it.
I absolutely love this book. I would definitely recommend to a friend. There was one particular portion of the audiobook that skipped over a few words, but it did not affect the quality of the audiobook overall. I love how every series has the same performers. It gives a sense of continuity that would not otherwise occur.
Mazer is by far my favorite. Then Vico, and then Lem. I love that we get to see Mazer fighting in the Formic Wars. Vico is hard to not love. His drive, and loyalty are phenomenal. Then there is Lem. He is a child of privelege who has a "father wants to control everything" complex.
I think as far as narration is concerned everyone did a wonderful job, but I really liked Lem and Vico's performers. Even though Vico's performer was obviously much older than Vico's character was supposed to be, he gave perfect intonations for every mood Vico would have given off, and the age wasn't noticeable. Lem's performer was perfect as well. You could feel his pain in the dealings with his father. The performer elevated the story and made Lem a more likeable character than he would otherwise be.
The entire book was action packed, and genuinely believable.
I absolutely love that the characters' performers are the same in all of the Ender's Universe books. I can really appreciate the story line so much more with the consistency in this area.
Avid reader through college now with no time to read. Audiobooks saved my life!
Semi-spoiler alert here... but I think it will actually HELP you enjoy this book. There will most likely be another series of books that will get us from where this one ends to where I and probably a lot of other people expected this series to end. If you know Mazer's story from Ender's Game, then you know what I'm talking about. Contrary to what I thought going in, this series does NOT end with the events told in that story. That's actually a good thing though because Card has left a lot more room for additional content and more Ender's content is always a good thing.
Despite being somewhat baffled all the way through this book at how they were going to get from Point A to where I KNEW Point B had to be, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. Card did an amazing job with the plot and the narrators did a great job too.
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