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
I am a huge fan of Orson Scott Card, but I, like many of his fans, worry that he's overdoing the series. There comes a point when I hear he is writing a new Enderverse book and I just groan.
That said, the books are always fantastic, and this one may seriously be my second favorite Ender book (aside from Ender's Game, of course). The characters, the plot depth, it's all vintage Card. I expected it to be rushed, but aside from the ending, it wasn't.
The producers always get the best out of a fantastic narrating cast as well. Props to them for continued excellence.
The ending was rushed, yes. We'll have to see in the final two books if the whole thing could have been stuck together in one book, especially considering WE ALL KNOW HOW THIS ENDS. But it wasn't a let down, it's vintage, fantastic Card.
Sorry personally I only listen to books.
The number of Characters, the lead up story to the next book.
Lean Duke, Victor, Chubs
I have enjoyed most of the Ender's series, this collection should not disappoint; It just so happens that all the books are not out yet, so it's the waiting game.Yes the book is leading to the first war, so that is kind of publisher over sight that gets in the covers' way. But will be looking forward to the next book - whenever that might be. I would go to say this book was short, but then looked at the play time and it is normal for most books I listen to.Guess that just means I really enjoyed it.
It has been some time since I've written a review, but I feel compelled to now. I loved this book. The writing was up to Scott Card's best works; well developed and many layered characters, exciting battle scenes, and a great set-up for the sequel. The promo description may to some to be misleading, but I took "the Formic War is about to begin" at the end of the description to mean that the book was building up to the event, not about the event itself.
I am baffled that this book got such good reviews. Man, does it drag! I suggest you only listen/read this book if you've read the entire Ender series first, so you know what you're getting yourself into. Like, a big pile of boring.
Anyone. God, anyone else! Every sentence was enunciated and communicated like it was someone's last words! I am confused why every reply from the female narrator was read in such a snarky, offended way. So. Freaking. Weird.
This was not a BAD story, but I've come to expect a lot more from Card. Frankly, this novel really smacked of commercialism to me being as short as it was. I get the feeling the mortgage was due and it was time for another book.
- Concise, fast moving plot
- Nearly perfect performance by the narrators
- Short, especially at the climax. Just when it felt like an epic battle should have been starting, the book ends way too fast. Yes, we know this was a prelude and thus the ending was "pre-ordained" but that doesn't change the under-whelming feeling at the end. Even if you went straight to page 1 of Enders Game and read that, you would feel like you missed a book somewhere in between.
- Shallow character development, the "antagonist" was especially frustrating, with teasers of plot development that went nowhere all over the book. The entire sections of shallow Mazer Rackham (sp?) development should have just been left out of the book. They were pointless, went nowhere of substance, and pulled you away from the real story.
- Incredibly cheesy, almost magic "computer hacking." The book would have really benefited from some basic technical consulting. In other genres you can get away from this, but in the hard sci-fi genre of year 2013 it really comes across as a rather cheesy and sloppy deficiency.
The story was interesting. I am used to listening to series, so the fact that this is the start of the saga doesn't bother me. The characters were angst ridden, petulant teenagers. Even the adults. The only ones with any maturity were the military personnel.What would have made this a 4 or 5 star? Realistic and mature characters. I don't mind the young protagonists in the story. But their constant anxiety about their parents or other in authority got in the way of the story, and certainly slowed its pace.
Ender's Game. But it was so long ago that it wasn't memorable; I think for the same reasons. I know that Ender's Game is a modern "classic"; but it wasn't until many years that I was tempted to give OSC another try.
Which one? The fact that there were so many certainly was. Those reading the child protagonist's parts were occasionally overly whiny.
Interesting space opera, which is OK by me. The science around the fiction was convincing.
I may listen to the next in the series at some point, just to see whether there are any improvements the authors made.
The readers are great. They really make the story come alive with emotion.
Parts of the story are very emotional. You feel like you are there.
Wanted more of the story at the end. Should have been called "First Encounter" or part 1.
I hope there will be a "rest of the story" soon.
I might recommend it to a teenager but not an adult. My impression in several instances was that little effort was put into making the dialogue between the characters interesting and engaging. An example is when Victor (a teenager) explains the potential physical ailments of long term space travel to Mono (a nine-year-old). The dialogue "reads" as if from a textbook, and is made more unpleasant by the breathless and over-dramatic reading by the voice actor.
Most interesting: the setting and situation seemed a plausible and a realistic future projection of current technology, which I always find interesting. Least interesting: the dialogue.
The quality of the narration is inconsistent. The voice actor reading Lem's chapters is the most skillful and nuanced; the reader of Victor's chapters is overdoing it to the point of severe annoyance. I guess the idea is to make the reading more dramatic, but the result is off-putting, at least to me - I feel like I'm listening to sports announcer at a soccer match the entire time. The reading of the children's parts by adult voice actors at the beginning of the next book in the series is particularly grating on the ears.
I liked the story enough to want to continue listening to the rest of the series.
If you can, I'd recommend buying a paper copy of the book, rather than listening to it. I do a lot of long distance car commuting and enjoy an audio book if it is a pleasure to listen to, but this one I often wanted to turned the stereo off or fast forward.
The story is a good one but there are a few areas where it is annoying. For instance, the characters can "hack" into any ememie's computer network on a complete whim while at the same time their networks are 100% secure. There are inconsistancies with relativity as well that are bothersome. For example, in one part this one ship had to come to a complete stop in space to do repairs because it was too dangerous for a space walk at their speed. They also mentioned that hitting some debris at their speed would kill a man and that was the justification for coming to a stop. This is absurd. First off, the ones on the walk would be moving at the same speed as the ship regardless of its actual speed. Secondly, while I agree that if you were moving at 70,000 kph and hit something it would be bad but by coming to a stop to prevent that makes no sense - do you realy think everything in space is not moving? Whether you are moving or not, there are plenty of objects out there traveling much faster than you are - so by stopping you really are not doing anything to increase safety.
Good book, but these type of things bother me.
This is probably my least favorite Card novel I've read or listened to. Yeah yeah, Card is amazing at building characters you either like or hate. The philisophical dilemas people face when confronted with the first sightings of the Formics is interesting and Card's take on the event is fantastic.....but then the book just ends.
There will obviously be a follow up to this as the book leaves about 1,000 unanswered questions. Kind of frustrating as this book serves as nothing but a tease to a fascinating situation....If you're thinking about making this your first dive into the Ender Universe do youself a favor and hold off on this. Start with Enders Game.
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