The first book in the epic saga of humankind's war of transcendence.
There is a milestone in the evolution of every sentient race, a Tech Singularity Event, when the species achieves transcendence through its technological advances. Now the creatures known as humans are near this momentous turning point.
But an armed threat is approaching from deepest space, determined to prevent humankind from crossing over that boundary - by total annihilation if necessary.
To the Sh'daar, the driving technologies of transcendent change are anathema and must be obliterated from the universe - along with those who would employ them. As their great warships destroy everything in their path en route to the Sol system, the human Confederation government falls into dangerous disarray. There is but one hope, and it rests with a rogue Navy Admiral, commander of the kilometer-long star carrier America, as he leads his courageous fighters deep into enemy space towards humankind's greatest conflict - and quite possibly its last.
©2010 William H. Keith, Jr. (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers
This seems to be Ian Douglas' new philosophical approach to storytelling in "Earth Strike", which starts a new series in a new fictional universe.
Seriously... The battle starts with the book's opening pages and takes up literally the first half of the book. After that, a short lull as the factions regroup (and we get our only short period of character-building), and then the second battle starts, running all the way till the end.
Does this work? Well, it depends on what you're going for. If you like reading military sci fi simply for the action (or watch movies simply for the mayhem and the explosions) then you will probably dig it. He writes action pretty well. There aren't many new technological ideas involved, rather an amalgamation of different tech and themes common to sci fi. Probably the most stand-out theme is that Douglas has figured out a way to make star fighters important again, giving him the excuse to write a highly "fighter pilot-focused" book. In fact, this book probably has the most starfighter action since the "X-Wing" series, albeit with much more powerful fighters fighting at near-relativistic speeds.
On the other hand, the lack of character development means you don't really engage with any of them that much, and this of course lessens the impact of the fighting itself. If you're hoping for a really deep story, look elsewhere. Furthermore, this imbalance in the time devoted to action vs worldbuilding makes me hesitate to recommend it to military sci fi fans. There are books out there that have the total "package" wrapped much more completely, including, I daresay, the X-Wing series itself.
Overall, this is a light, action-packed story that probably will appeal most to those who are already Ian Douglas fans.
I would recommend this book to a friend because the story is quite interesting, keeping to a science fiction setting that is well developed.
I like the political setting just as much as the technical details which are explained in a way that the listener is able to keep up with.
NIck Sullivan is able to bring the book's characters to life by using his voice in a consistent way that allows the listener to easily keep up with the story.
This is not a book that inspires the urge to listen to the entire thing in a single sitting. Although I was interested in keeping up with the story, it was not too difficult to take a little break every once in a while. That may have something to do with the way I listen to books, though.
Yes, my very lackluster headline reflects my experience with this book. The story is very heavy on the tech elements, and light on character, plot, and story. Douglas and Sullivan do a great job of explaining some very heady physics and military science concepts. These academic concepts seem to take priority over the narrative. It's unlikely I'll give the rest of the series space on my iPod.
I purchased the Audible version on sale and decided to give this series a try. Unfortunately, turns out this is the type of military sci fi that generally turns me off: uber jingoistic "superpower" Americans fighting thinly veiled Islamic aphorisms while bogging down on endless scientific drivel. I tend to prefer character and story rather than technical jargon and macho men.
Story: Well, typically I'll put a story synopsis here. But this book was so all over the place that I'm not quite sure what the story is about. There's a lot of fighting, your typical military incompetence/apathy/negligence/politics horror stories, and some aliens.
This novel pretty much failed to engage me at all levels. At one point, I started to vacuum the carpet and didn't bother to turn up the volume so I could hear the narration. When the vacuuming ended 20 minutes later, I didn't feel like I had missed anything. I realized then that I'd had enough of Earth Strike.
At the half way point, I felt confident that I could go apply for a degree in xenobiology or speculative physics. There is so much endless scientific discussion it felt almost like a case of phallus waving - macho soldiers and they have a brain too! It was boring and really difficult to skip through those sections in an audible presentation.
Added to the endless annoying science was the complete lack of characterization. No one in the book felt real and each seemed to react rather than actually think through situations with emotion or any kind of feeling. Add in a real pet peeve of mine - POV chapters from an alien - and I was left with no one to root for or want to know more about.
Finally, the whole first part of the book seemed to be about the author making observations about the current Islamic condition as it pertains specifically to the US. The whole idea that there are no Christian fundamentalists wreaking havoc (or Buddhist!)only those evil daughter killing Muslims - it got old fast.
I did manage to get through most of the book but really want that time back. But at least perhaps I've grown some hair on my chest (to my husband's dismay) thanks to all the machismo in there - and I can drop terms like "relativistic" into ordinary conversation with ease.http://www.audible.com/write-review?asin=B00657NR2K&rdpath=%2Flib#
You've got to get all of the rest of the books in the series. The military sci fi, the political environment, and the character development was plenty believable. In addition there is a lot of mystery about the protagonist alien species that keeps you guessing throughout the storyline. My only issue is that it currently stops at book 5.
Not enough character development. After 2.5 hrs of descriptions about the star ships, technology, etc. and no character development (or even dialog!) I still didn't know what the story was about and didn't care.
I really enjoyed the Star Force series and thought this would be similar. But, there was no dialog, no character development, nothing but tech, tech, tech. I don't mind getting up to speed on the technology of the time, but let's also have some people (or aliens) we get to know and care about.
Absolutely, this was a good story that moves pretty quickly so i think a repeat listen will be just as entertaining. This story perfectly sets up an entire series of books that could range from 4 to 15 books easily. I really like how he features two main protagonists, not focusing on the single protagonist was different and very clever as it opens up more plot lines very easily.
Lots of action, enigmatic aliens, giant FTL ships, Earth hanging in the balance. What's not to love. I hope the next in the series is as good.
1.5 Hours a Day in the Car Equals, Must Have Audible!
This book crawls at the beginning, you feel almost no attachment to the characters until mid-way through the book, and Douglas takes way too long to set up the battles.
That said, the second half starts to pick-up and my initial distaste was overridden "just enough" for me to look forward to the next book (which has already been published).
This looks like the beginning of a great series. The physics, units, and ideas are well thought out. The main characters are intelligent and likable. This book does drag while it sets up the entire series. I listened to this book while doing a lot of driving this last weekend and even though I was tired at times it helped to keep me awake.
The description of the book is a little bit misleading and is probably better suited for the entire series even though only the rest of the books can verify that.
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