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Publisher's Summary

They came from deep space. They came to destroy us.

Fifty years ago bloodthirsty aliens devastated the Earth. Most of humanity perished. We fell into darkness.

But now we rise from the ashes. Now we fight back.

Marco Emery was born into the war. After his mother is killed, he joins the Human Defense Force, Earth's ragtag army. Emery must survive basic training, become a soldier, and finally face the aliens in battle.

Against the alien onslaught, Earth stands alone. But we will fight. We will rise. We will win.

If you loved Ender's Game, Starship Troopers, and Old Man's War, you'll love Earthrise, a new military science fiction series. From a USA Today best-selling author.

©2016 Daniel Arenson (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Laith
  • MATTHEWS, NC, United States
  • 01-12-17

Meh

The idea seemed cool, but the execution was nothing to write home about. Performance was good, albeit a bit melodramatic.

The writing left something to be desired, juvenile character interaction and language, one-dimensional characters, an obvious storyline, horrible plot holes and nonsensical story decisions which are obviously intended to set up the analogy of this book to modern day mid-east politics in an extremely thinly veiled manner.

The book is a cliche of Starship Troopers and any bootcamp flick you've ever seen. It was also VERY hard to ignore the writer's Mideast politics being shoved down your throat. I tried, god help me I tried. But this book reads like a love poem to the author's own ethnic heritage. I don't think I've ever seen so much self aggrandizing in any book in my life.

I half expected the Israelis in the book to sprout wings and win the day with a golden sword and a heavenly light shining down on them as they rode a pegasus into battle, shedding one tear and killing the 'Aliens'.

Maybe it wouldn't have been as glaring if the book had other redeeming qualities... but nothing else was engaging - not the characters, not the tech, not the attempt at military customs, not even the action. Disappointing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

50 years of war, death, destruction and despair

It's been 50 years since the Cataclysm, since humanity's first contact with an alien race, since scolopendra titaniae - the scum from space - had slaughtered sixty percent of the world's population and plunged mankind into this war. The scum had ravaged the world in a massive assault, bombing and gassing city after city, wiping out billions - a year of death, of inferno, of humanity hurtling towards extinction.

Humanity had scrambled, bonded together, and launched their own warships into space. Ship after ship had perished until one intrepid pilot, the hero Evan Bryan, had launched a nuclear bomb against the scum homeworld, slaying millions of centipedes. The Cataclysm had ended that day. Humanity had emerged from the flames stronger, a civilization with the power to ravage distant worlds, to face enemies in the depths of space and defeat them. That day the genocide had ended and the long War of Attrition had begun.

The HDF, the Human Defense Force, the global military created to fight the scrum, was the gauntlet all humans from every last corner of this ravaged earth entered at eighteen, then spent five years in the fire. Marco Emery lived with his father above the library where his father worked. Addy Linden had lived with them since the day seven years before when she had saved Marco's life, pulling him away from the scum that killed his mother and Addy's parents. The scrawny eleven-year-old had grown into a tall wild woman.

This terrific tale, first of the Earth Rise series, continues to delight with Addy and Marko in basic training, taking me back to memories of the excitement and terror of my own basic training. The rich and colorful descriptions of the characters bring them and their stories to life. Great characters spring from the pages, providing emotional and exciting action. I can't wait for the next installment of this tale!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the HDF ... the Human Defense League.

Set after a failed alien invasion which still managed to destroy more than half of the human population, Earth continues to battle on. All 18 year olds are drafted into the Human Defence League, put through a rigourous, if short, training session, then spat out to continue the battle against the insectoid-like Scum. The story basically follows the initiation of Marco, nicknamed Poet, a young man who only wishes to continue writing his book about a turtle, become a librarian and live peacefully with his girlfriend. Well, that's not going to happen.
The reader follows Marco and a small group of other conscripts, some there more willingly than others, through the rigours of boot camp to their first major encounter with the alien enemy, a battle which is both fierce and bloody action. Although nothing much is new, it is still an exciting read and the character of the main protagonist well drawn.

What does concern me, however, is the overall world picture: the aliens are capable of inflicting huge casualties. After fifty years of fighting, surely there would be too few survivors to be able to continue the defense in such organised number, especially when conscription of Earth's youth is for a five year period. Yet the central figures yearn for the peaceful home life left behind, daily and sports events as other social activities. Who would be left to enjoy them? And where? Cultural mentions also seem to reference the present day, or even our recent past, - like the recruit who is constantly singing Elvis songs - rather than introducing new: the story is supposed to be set a couple or more centuries into our future.

Jeffrey Kafer's narration, however, leaves the listener little time to ponder this. Reading at a fast pace, with good intonation and pleasantly voiced, his performance is slick, but not overemotional, allowing the author's words to tell the story. He draws the listener along with him, through the loves, fears and horrors confronted by the Poet.

I enjoyed this book. Certainly not without flaws and, as mentioned by others, very reminiscent of some earlier works, it nevertheless can stand on it's own as good entertainment. And if action is what is desired by the reader, the final chapters alone certainly provide that. And, yes, I have already purchased book II in the series.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Once More, Into The Plothole

What did you love best about Earth Alone?

It's a nice action novel. That's really about it.

Would you recommend Earth Alone to your friends? Why or why not?

Depends on the friend. Earth Alone (and the subsequent books) are ... okay. If you're into military science fiction, it's not awful. If you aren't -- well, I'd recommend people go check out exemplars of the genre first, like Starship Troopers and Old Man's War.

What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Jeffrey, I think, captured the author's intent in dramatizing the descriptions the author left in the story. It made an otherwise cheesy story more listenable.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions. It just sort of was.

Any additional comments?

Some books are a fine, gourmet meal. Starship Trooper and Old Man's War are good examples of the genre, and it's exceedingly clear that the author is trying to channel those works. He tries to channel them so hard that it becomes derivative. This is more like fast food. It satiates some hunger, but it's not exactly nutritious.

It's evident that the author knows what he knows of the military from playing roleplaying games or watching bad Hollywood movies. It's in subtle things. Soldiers rarely refer to their weapons as "rifles" or "pistols," instead using the more catch-all, imprecise term of "gun." Boot camp as depicted is very much a caricature of the real thing, and the odd million-in-one chance pairings and meetings (serving in the same unit as your foster sister? Really?) of particular characters constantly war to break your suspension of disbelief. Deus ex machina and unlikely chances abound (especially the very forced timing and outcome of the book's conclusion).

Characters themselves are more caricatures. Each fits neatly into a careful trope. The angsty Leilani, the hot-headed Addy, the "old soul" main character Marco, the burly Russian "Beast," the fat kid. Each is a stereotype. The enemy is a black-and-white evil thing with zero there to lend sympathy to the reader. The "scum" are less nuanced than if the antagonist were a natural disaster like a hurricane or an earthquake. That'd likely be fine if the idea were to not distract from the characters and their own stories, but it's disingenuous in what is ostensibly a "war novel" (shades of grey with the enemy are always evident in wars, and scrubbing this reality here doesn't add any focus to the novel, as it perhaps did in Armor). Even human antagonists in later books are utterly two dimensional, like the uncreatively named Captain Petty.

The plot progresses along in a forced fashion. It doesn't change by the second book, by the way, which plays out pretty much exactly as the latter half of the Starship Troopers movie did, with extremely precious little variation.

It's a YA novel, at or slightly below the same quality level as the Hunger Games or Divergent -- at least those two had something of an original interpretation of older stories behind them. This is derivative. But I still read it, perhaps to punish myself for past sins.

The narrator provided by Audible is a tasty sauce on an otherwise bland dish.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

It was a great start to the series, however it is short for the price.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I JOINED THE ARMY TO DIE

A Liberal in The Army
I found this to be entertaining and the miles melted away as I listened. Yes, it is formulaic and predictable. A lot of books are formulaic, because that is what works. I read a lot of Westerns for that reason. This is a character driven story. We are given a background on most of the characters and I found that very thoughtful. It really made me think in my own life, as to why some people are the way they are.

LOGGERHEAD NOT JARHEAD
The main character, MARCO, wants to be a writer, does not want to fight, but he is drafted. I did not find him to be whiny. The author compares his disgruntle complaints to those of other characters, pointing out that no matter how bad we have it, someone else has it worse. My main complaint would be that they did not go into space. The book has a spaceship on the cover and I like space travel. Like most Military books, this is about boot camp. Unlike most Military books, this has characters with complex personalities. This has some action, but probable not enough to please the hard core action fans.

Kafer is hitting his stride as a narrator and I considered him in the top tier with Bray and Porter.

Polo

62 of 79 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

alright!

I was a little bit wary at first... But soon the characters captured a little piece of me. It was real and I even shed a tear now and then LOL

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I can not wait to listen to the next 2 books.

This is one of the best sci-fi books I have ever read or listened to. Will definitely be buying the next two books in the series. Let's hope Marco doesn't get romantically involved with another woman....that will be trouble waiting to happen.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Starship troopers

I am a big fan of sci-fi and I felt this book was well written. It reminded me of the movie starship troopers at the beginning but then it started to sound distinct. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in an starship trooper themed story line. Looking forward to the next book.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love Starship Troopers? Earth Alone is a win

Where does Earth Alone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Earth Alone was an awesome book. The audio was fantastic and the story kept you hooked. Great story of an "every man" going to boot camp and the experiences he gains there.

What did you like best about this story?

Daniel puts the reality of preparing to war into a sci-fi story with honesty and grit.

Which scene was your favorite?

You're hooked at the very beginning when you find out why the character has so much to gain and to lose by going to fight the scum. I was on the edge of my seat at the last battle, praying they would make it out!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to listen to this story all the way through!

Any additional comments?

A great beginning to a series that will keep you coming back to feel the humanity of the characters Daniel has created!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • 11-23-16

Does This Book Stand Alone?

An interesting start to the series. The initial scene setting is pretty standard alien invasion stuff but well done all the same. Arenson outlines a grim future where a war of attrition with a hostile alien race has lead to semi apocalyptic conditions on Earth. The human race is up against it, youth are being conscripted and death is a constant companion. No-one is safe.

After what feels like a very pacey and atmospheric start our hero heads off to basic training and the book seems to slow up and while I expected some time to be spent on this it actually takes up most of the rest of the book. I don't mind that, building characters and their backgrounds is to me the sign of a good author. In truth there are lots of cliches and the similarities to Starship Troopers are hard to ignore but I still enjoyed the story.

Towards the end the action suddenly picks up again and the scene is well set for future adventures in the series. The narration by Jeffrey Kafer sets just the right tone for the characters and story.

It is though a book that you can ask questions of. Why these super intelligent aliens behave in some of the ways that they do is very much open to question for example. For me though while this all looks promising if you want some military sci-fi I do question if this first book gives enough. It's relatively short, in itself not a problem. The author spends time developing his characters, to me a good thing. However, put the two together and in a credit-based system like Audible I think I would have expected more per episode in the series.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Martin Monsrud
  • 10-07-17

Grow up.

It’s a good written story with a lot of potential. The first book is about Marco a young boy who is drafted in military in an after apocalyptic environment. Where earth is still under attack. The story focuses a lot about the camp life. It’s good but I can’t wait for the next book where I feel the story will really begin. I recommend the first book, just to know the Dragon company and how it all started. But I think the second book is where it really begins.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • N. J. Addley
  • 03-23-17

Boot Camp

Is there anything you would change about this book?

For a MilSciFi too little sci too much stereotypical boot camp and too little military action. For me chapter 1 and 2 into's chara... chapters 3 to 19-ish could be dropped as too tedious to bother with. As they say I'll never get that time back!

What could Daniel Arenson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

cut the bootcamp from 3/4 of book to 10%.

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Performance was fine

Could you see Earth Alone being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

No NO No NO No!

Any additional comments?

Now i have to decide whether to waste another credit on next book or just abandon the author and write this off as experience

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Martin Anderson
  • 08-13-17

Another good book runined by poor naration

What disappointed you about Earth Alone?

The naration

What did you like best about this story?

Dont know didnt get past the first 2 minutes

What didn’t you like about Jeffrey Kafer’s performance?

Very very poor emphasis on the wrong words, over dramatisation of simple terms

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • steven adam
  • 04-01-17

Audio book won't download any more than first 9 mins

Tryed to fix this, been charged for book but only getting first 9 mins!!! Not happy at all will go back to reading rather than using audiobook

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • S
  • 05-03-17

Regretful

Author clearly did not research any technical subjects and editor must not have actually read the book. Purchase was a real regret.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful