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Publisher's Summary

Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston return to their Ender's Game prequel series with this first volume of an all-new trilogy about the Second Formic War in The Swarm.

The first invasion of Earth was beaten back by a coalition of corporate and international military forces and the Chinese army. China has been devastated by the Formic's initial efforts to eradicate Earth life forms and prepare the ground for their own settlement. The Scouring of China struck fear into the other nations of the planet; that fear blossomed into drastic action when scientists determined that the single ship that wreaked such damage was merely a scout ship. There is a mothership out beyond the solar system's Kuiper Belt, and it's heading into the system, unstoppable by any weapons that Earth can muster.

Earth has been reorganized for defense. There is now a Hegemon, a planetary official responsible for keeping all the formerly warring nations in line. There's a Polemarch, responsible for organizing all the military forces of the planet into the new International Fleet. But there is an enemy within, an enemy as old as human warfare: ambition and politics. Greed and self-interest. Will Bingwen, Mazer Rackam, Victor Delgado, and Lem Juke be able to divert those very human enemies in time to create a weapon that can effectively defend humanity in the inexorable Second Formic War?

Full cast of narrators includes Susan Hanfield, Emily Rankin, Orson Scott Card, and Aaron Johnston.

©2016 Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Swarm

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great for a theoretical physics geek

I think what interests me most about Scott Card's books are the ideas or theories he presents and work to help you understand. It is true that sometime the explanations can make to story drag if you aren't interested it them but I am and they make the story that much more interesting. It was predictable what was going to be in the asteroids but was suprised by what else was in them (hope that doesn't give too much away).
Another great book and I can't wait for the next one.

9 people found this helpful

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

too many voice actors

It is obvious how this book is on the path to Ender's Games. loved the introduction to the fighting cage. But having multiple voice actors read different parts for a single character, namely Mazer Rakum, is very frustrating.

6 people found this helpful

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

Interesting, but feels unnecessarily drawn out

What did you like best about The Swarm? What did you like least?

Liked best: the parts of the story were those that actually dealt with the Formics strategy and actions, also the politics of the I.F. were interesting.

Liked least: Without giving away too much, there is a character in this book that magically discerns far too much about things that previously only were discovered in the far future according to other Ender/Shadow books. SPOILER ALERT: Specifically, the philotic connections between things; they were just figuring that out hundreds of years in the future according to the Ender/Shadow books, but somehow a person on Earth before the second war theorizes it? Not likely.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Get rid of the above mentioned character that knows way too much about the Formic's capabilities.

Which scene was your favorite?

The last one (on the peanut shaped asteroid)

Was The Swarm worth the listening time?

Not really. Many times, it felt like the authors are stretching one book into two or three. (seems to be a pattern in the last several books in the Enderverse)

Any additional comments?

I've listened to and/or read all of the books so I'm sure I'll get the next ones but I sure wish they would finish a story instead of adding filler to sell 2 or 3 books.

14 people found this helpful

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Extremely happy

This was a marathon for me, done so quick. it was right in line and properly throughout. now back to the beginning!

9 people found this helpful

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Very good, just hope we can finish the saga

Once again, the story is addictive. I just hope we can get to the end in less than 3 years.

14 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A story derailed by science illiteracy

The Bingwen and Mazer segments were excellent, but all the plot devices that involve technology, physics or science in general were completely ineffective due to the authors obvious science, engineering illiteracy. Usually these are segments involving Lem Jukes. Whether it's a military exoskeleton that relies on visible light for navigating tunnels (instead of night vision), the lack of understanding on the concept of relative velocity ("we can't do X outside the ship until we come to a full stop"), or the author's (I suspect Johnston) make it painful to read and the story incohesive. The authors attempted to patch up the worst cases of these errors from the previous series but even that is fumbling and inconsistent.

To all aspiring and established sci-fi writers, please consult engineers, scientists, or at the least hard sci-fi authors!

3 people found this helpful

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When is the next prequel coming out?

The Swarm is a seamless, well-crafted yarn in the very best tradition of Ender's Game. Without space battles near Saturn and no Rackham children we trust what we read was a pre-prequel. Mazer promises to be an even more interesting character than Ender, if that's possible. The child heroes are no disappointments either. Bingwen, who we were introduced to in Earth Alive plays a pivotal role in the story and may be saved from an asteroid explosion thanks to high tech armor and nanotechnology co-developed by Mazar and Victor with input from Bingwen himself..

3 people found this helpful

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A great prequel

Loved the filling in some of the story in between 1st and last fornic war. The narration was outstanding. I can't wait for more

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Please rid this series of Vikas Adam

The series itself is ok. If you hunger for more of the Ender series, it will appease you a bit. Not brilliant but entertaining enough to keep listening and keep you going through the series.

But every time Vikas Adam reads I cringe. Children are treated in the writing as playing a critical role in this series, but Vikas Adam always reads them with a whine in his voice, or as disrespectful brats that clash with the culture the children reportedly come from. It drives me crazy. There's a little bit of that in the writing itself, but a whole lot more in Vikas Adam's chosen portrayal. There are plenty of lines that could be read as courageous but are instead read with a whine. It's not just this book, it's I think all books in both Formic wars. The child characters seem to become more central with each book, which means more and more of Vikas Adam's portrayal of the children as whining brats. Perhaps this is the fault of a director; I'm sure Vikas Adam is an accomplished actor and fine for other material, but I have had far too much of him in this series. I hear enough whining from my own kids. I don't need more of it when I escape to entertainment, particularly when the children in the novel can easily be read in much better light given the material. I'm sort of surprised that the authors don't have more control of the reading here; it seems to go against the very role that children play in the entire series.

The other readers are all fantastic, which is why I gave the performance 2 stars. I hate for the performance of one actor to ruin the entire rating, but it does do major damage to the story itself, and someone in the production should have corrected this.

2 people found this helpful

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Needs another edit

The relationship details between Victor and Imalia was poorly written and way too protracted. I wanted to strangle the authors for wasting my time.

6 people found this helpful