The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
El Cavador has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big for the ship. There are claim-jumping corporate ships bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.
They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. The first Formic War is about to begin.
©2012 Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
This is supposed to be a mostly hard science fiction, as were the original Ender's Game series by Card. Subjects such as relativistic speed and time dilation effects were intrinsic to the tales.
But in this one, forget relativistic issues, the understanding of simple, Newtonian physics seems to be beyond the author, which, based on the flat, expositional style and low def characterizations, does not appear to be Card. How does one come to a "full stop" in space? Why would one need to "full stop" to do repairs outside the ship? Why would ship's velocity have any effect on a person outside? How can one get from the Kuiper Belt to Earth in 5 months at a speed of 100,000 mph? Simple math shows a time of more than three years to make that journey at that speed...traveling at 36,000mph, New Horizons took nine years to reach Pluto, which is barely at the edge.
Is this nitpicking? Yes, and no. When the story is flat, characters are uninteresting, AND the science is appropriate to early grade school understanding, one has to wonder: where was Orson Scott Card, and why didn't he even read this before putting his name on it?
BTW, the performances were fine, I think. I was so distracted by issues that I don't really remember.
The first chapter was horrible. It felt like a soap opera so I almost deleted the book. It got better later in the book so overall it was an ok book.
Each chapter was essentially read by a different narrator. I felt that this was rather jarring and interrupted the flow of the story.
After the first chapter it was an ok book to listen too.
Earth Unaware is the first in the First Formic War series - as a result this is like a very distant prequel to Ender's Game. I can honestly say that Ender's Game and the subsequent books following it was the first Sci-Fi series that I latched onto when I was a kid. I've since heard the audio version - and I can say that these books are wonderfully performed and Orson Scott Card's writing style, by his own admission, translates extremely well when read aloud. The production decision to jump from reader to reader as the story changes point of view in each chapter is a good one- and all of these readers are excellent. This book ends in a cliff hanger and as a result I immediately downloaded the second book - see my review of that - Earth Afire - also here on Audible.
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
I didn't think I'd enjoy the prequel to Ender's Game, and it doesn't come close to it. I need to put it out of the way.
That being said, this is a story that stands alone pretty well on its own. The multiple narrators, especially when they keep switching mid-chapter, can be confusing. And some narrators are more invested in the narration than others.
I like to read about wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
I really enjoyed this book! I should start by stating that I am an Orson Scott Card fan and have reall ALL of his books. I read several reviews stating that this book ended abruptly...and I guess it kind of did, but it isn't like it ended in the middle of a sentence or anything. It was an intro book to a series and ended much like many of Orson Scott Card's series books do. As a fan of the enderverse I really liked reading (listening) to this book. You do not have to have read any of the other enderverse books to understand this one...but I think it would be more enjoyable if you had.
Regarding the book itself...just like all the others it has an allstar cast/performance with the character development that I have grown to love in Card's works. This book tells the story about the lead up to the first formic war. Mazor makes a small appearance but mainly as a namesake...forshadowing that he will play a bigger role in the following books. I for one liked the book and am anxiously anticipating the next one.
Card has given us a view of the opening of the first Formic War by introducing compelling characters and telling a moving story. There was nothing shallow about the relationships between the members of the different ship crews, or the main point of view characters on each ship. The journey each character made from the beginning to the end of the book was rich and individual and authenticly human. It was great to see what may prove to be the origins of the DR Device that was so important in the end of Ender's Game. It was also great to explore the limitaions the absence of the Ancible placed on comunications abilities.
This was a wonderful story, masterfully told, and I believe absolutely properly named. The entire point of the multiple protagonists struggles were that these characters knew something that Earth did not. When one amazingly brave young man puts himself through a 7 month torturous journey to get the warning to Earth only to find himself arrested for breaching typical burocratic noncence, it is only right that the book end with the final act to let the planet know what is coming. Yes, there obviously MUST be a sequal. After all, this was the beginning of the First Formic War and Ender won the Third.
I listened to this in one sitting. I was deeply emotionally engaged, and as key point of view characters gave their last full measure I cried. I truely hope I can live up to the nobility of spirit portrayed in Mr. Card's world.
The story line and production of this book are so sadly inferior to the Ender series that it is misleading to even mention the Ender series when "selling" them. The reader for Viktor, one of the main characters, has a high pitched voice and adds such a sardonic tone to all his narration that I ended up listening to over half the book in double time just to make it tolerable. I loved the Ender series so much and wanted so to learn the backstory that was promised, but only the last 2-3 chapters of the book really held any substance. It's hard to believe that this was written by the same author.
Written a better script. There is a lot of insignificance that I suppose was to create empathy for the characters .. only it didn't.
Dump the reader for Viktor first of all. His voice is high pitched and his tone is full of contempt. Other readers whom we've heard in OSC's books are starting to sound tired and bored. I'd rather have had a single good reader than a tired cast.
The last chapter gave some promise for the next book, which I'd already bought because I "trusted" the Ender author to give me good quality.
This is SUCH a disappointment!
this book is well written and i get the feeling that i'm going to love the sequel, but the story of this book standing alone didn't do it for me.
i won't ruin anything for you, but it seems like very little happens in this book. it is pretty much a build up for the sequel.
one of the things that i didn't like was how OSC seemed to spend too much time reviewing what characters think. i usually like that stuff, but i found myself at times wondering why OSC felt the need to put so much in. you are privy to the decision process of some of the characters and it gets old because it didn't strike me as interesting or creative. and many scenes had a surplus of it. i'm not sure what to suggest in its place, but that's how i felt listening to it.
having said that, i'm still excited to listen to the sequel and i hope i love it as much as i liked the ender's series.
Good but flawed.
Good story, but seems it has some scientific flaws.
- Everything is moving in space, slowing down doesn't make you any safer from space junk.,
-The formics couldn't project noise over all electromagnetic wavelengths and frequencies with out being noticed. I don't see a reason that the free miners or the Jukes couldn't have transmitted a morse code warning with full spectrum white light. Parabolic reflectors to aim the light at Earth wouldn't be that hard to make for someone like Vico or the Juke scientists.
Secundo alone in space
Looking forward to the next book.
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