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One hundred years before Ender's Game the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. But it wasn't enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. One hundred years before Ender's Game the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. But it wasn't enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat.


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One hundred years before Ender's Game the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. But it wasn't enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat. One hundred years before Ender's Game the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. But it wasn't enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat.

30 review for Earth Afire

  1. 5 out of 5

    Eric Allen

    Earth Afire By Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston A Review by Eric Allen In my review of Earth Unaware, the first book in this prequel series, I stated that I have waited more than twenty years to get the story of the First Bugger Invasion from Ender’s Game. It was a part of the backstory that highly intrigued me. I was rather disappointed that the first book, with the subtitle “The First Formic War” was not that book. It was a great book, and highly entertaining in its own way, but it was not the Earth Afire By Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston A Review by Eric Allen In my review of Earth Unaware, the first book in this prequel series, I stated that I have waited more than twenty years to get the story of the First Bugger Invasion from Ender’s Game. It was a part of the backstory that highly intrigued me. I was rather disappointed that the first book, with the subtitle “The First Formic War” was not that book. It was a great book, and highly entertaining in its own way, but it was not the book it promised to be. HOWEVER, Earth Afire is. It is the book I have waited the majority of my life to read, and it was everything I could ever have hoped it would be. Leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, the Formic ship plows through the Solar System toward Earth, disrupting communications so that little word can be sent ahead of it to warn the people of Earth of the danger. With little effort, the Formics shrug off every attack thrown against them upon reaching Earth and send down landers to southern China, where they begin killing everything in sight and stripping the land bare. Disobeying orders, Mazer Rackham, future hero of the Second Invasion races to one of the landing sites to help with the evacuation and finds himself alone, behind enemy lines, unarmed, against an entire army of aliens, whilst special forces try to sneak into China against the wishes of the Chinese government to help. Meanwhile Victor has a plan to take out the Formic Mothership in orbit, and must ally himself with the man who murdered his uncle in order to accomplish it. The Good? The characters are all very likeable, and well written. Card understands how people think, act and interact with one another. He’s always been very good at creating relatable, realistic characters with real moral dilemmas that pull you in and are every bit as exciting as his action scenes. There are a lot of nods to books that happen later in the Enderverse timeline that fans of the series will likely find highly enjoyable. Normally such things are rather distracting, but Card was able to incorporate subtle winks at his readers throughout the book without it being oppressive or distracting. Card has really captured the horror of invasion by an utterly alien species that has no understanding of humanity, or care for it. The way the Buggers, a.k.a. Formics, act is consistent with their behavior in later books, and believably alien. Their motivations make sense once the characters sit down and think about them, but on the surface they’re completely nonsensical and utterly alien. This is something that Science Fiction writers rarely get right. Aliens are usually either beasts, or so close to human in behavior that they might as well be human. Card realizes that an alien race is going to be alien and does a very good job of conveying it. The Bad? In Ender’s Game, the First Invasion is portrayed as a primarily space based conflict, with a few mentions of landers in China. In this book, it’s pretty much the other way around. It’s just a nitpick, but it doesn’t fit with pre-established continuity. Nor does Mazer Rackham’s role in this book. He was the hero of the Second Invasion, an unspecified number of years after the First Invasion, but the implication in Ender’s Game is that it was several decades later, especially with the advancements in technology as described in Ender’s Game when talking about the Second Invasion, which was definitively a space conflict. There’s just a lot of continuity issues with the original source material. It’s nothing that anyone but the most avid of fans will really notice or care about, and it probably won’t take away from anyone’s enjoyment. But, while I was reading it, I was constantly thinking about how a lot of things didn’t fit with pre-established continuity. The Chinese are not portrayed very well. I believe that Card was going for showing how proud a people they are. However, it does come off as subtly racist. I'll leave you to decide for yourself whether he's calling China as he sees it, or whether he's being quietly racist. It's a pretty fine line to walk. In conclusion, this book was pretty enjoyable. It does have some continuity issues with later books in the Ender Saga, but they don’t really detract too much from enjoyment. The characters are well written and interesting, and the aliens are sufficiently alien. The horrors of war are very well described, and things come to a very good climax, followed by an excellent lead-in to the next book. Check out my other reviews. ***Edit*** Removed rant about Card from the review. I felt that it was too political, and have actually received several death threats over it. At the time that I wrote this review I was working for a local newspaper as an editor and columnist. I wrote the review to be published in that paper, and word came down from above that I was to include a condemnation of Card's views in the review, as the paper had taken the opposite stance as Card on the issue, and I shared their views on the matter. Looking back, I feel that it was somewhat inappropriate to repost here on Goodreads, and have removed all traces of it from the review. I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by what I had to say, but at the time that I said it, I felt that it was something that needed to be said. The wonderful thing about mistakes, though, is that, even though you can't always remove them with a few clicks, you can always strive never to make the same mistake again in the future. I have also wiped the comments section, as there was some rather heated, and not very civil discussion on the matter.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan Townsend

    Added this note a good bit later: I was in a really bad mood when I wrote this review, but the ending really ticked me off. I stand by what I said about not reading it unless you can go directly into the 3rd book (which I still haven't read.) I still think it's not up to the standard I expect from OSC, but it's probably not as bad as the 1 star rating I originally gave it. I'm willing to update that to 2, maybe 2.5. My comments on the audiobook stand! Except that it wasn't Stephen Rudnecki I dis Added this note a good bit later: I was in a really bad mood when I wrote this review, but the ending really ticked me off. I stand by what I said about not reading it unless you can go directly into the 3rd book (which I still haven't read.) I still think it's not up to the standard I expect from OSC, but it's probably not as bad as the 1 star rating I originally gave it. I'm willing to update that to 2, maybe 2.5. My comments on the audiobook stand! Except that it wasn't Stephen Rudnecki I disliked so much. Mow here's the original review..... STOP! Before you read this book.... (NOTE: this is really a review of the audiobook -- I am vision-impaired and do most of my "reading" aurally.) I got this because of the author, without having listened to Earth Unaware -- not a problem. I had no trouble understanding what was going on. I was going to give it 3 stars until the last sentence. DO NOT read/listen to this book until the series is complete. It stops right in the middle of a crucial scene, then....."to be continued." Boo. Hisssss. Note to authors: it IS possible to do a series in which each book wraps up at least part of the action and still leaves the reader hungry for the next installment. See Ender's Game for an example of how it is done. I'm a big Orson Scott Card fan, but this is not one of his best. (Collaborations should raise suspicions.) It took me awhile to get into it, but I eventually got interested in the characters. I really liked the military types, the strategies, etc. The aliens are enigmatic and creepy, nicely done. (Knowing what's going to happen in the Ender series does sort of change your reactions. I think it's best to suspend foreknowledge and accept the point of view of the characters, who DON'T know how it's going to turn out.) I don't mean to be totally negative: I enjoyed a lot of it, and I'll consider getting the next book in the series, if only to see what happens in the scene that was left hanging. Now for the narration: some of the narration rates 1 star, if that much, while some of it is quite good. I almost qquit listening about 10 minutes in: there is a young boy whose voice is the second most grating one I've ever heard on an audiobook; unfortunately, the little girl in the same scene is worse. The narrator who does the parts about Victor (I think it's Stefan Rudnicki) sounds like he's doing a bad imiatation of a person doing a eulogy for someone he never met, trying really hard to sound mournful. Like I said, wait until the 3rd book in the trilogy comes out. Then, go ahead and give it a listen if you have time on your hands and an extra credit. Better, avoid the cheesy narration and read it, if that's an option for you and you like OSC.

  3. 5 out of 5

    stormin

    Congratulations! Another entrant into my "too-bad-to-finish" collection! This book doesn't offend reason or human decency like some horrors I've confronted (Red Mars, Ringworld, or Ancillary Justice all come to mind), but it's a dull, utterly lifeless work. The characters? I. Don't. Care. Mazer Rackham was at least interesting because, you know, Ender's Game, but he only showed up for one of the 9 chapters that I read and then did absolutely nothing of note in it other than pose in front of plot d Congratulations! Another entrant into my "too-bad-to-finish" collection! This book doesn't offend reason or human decency like some horrors I've confronted (Red Mars, Ringworld, or Ancillary Justice all come to mind), but it's a dull, utterly lifeless work. The characters? I. Don't. Care. Mazer Rackham was at least interesting because, you know, Ender's Game, but he only showed up for one of the 9 chapters that I read and then did absolutely nothing of note in it other than pose in front of plot devices that were obviously, obviously going to come back and be used again in obvious, obvious ways. The plot? Idiotically predictable. How do I know, since I didn't finish? I read the plot summary on Wikipedia. And it's just slavishly predictable. It's like someone wanted you to not have to read the book, because everything you need to know exactly how the story ends is presented in the first few chapters. Fact: if some random and obnoxious Chinese kids are shown as characters who obviously are not getting out of their village any time soon, then obviously the aliens are going to get to Earth and land conveniently near their village. Fact: if two absurdly overly-specific military inventions (an anti-grav transport and--I kid you not--an under-ground burrowing thingy) get introduced then those silly devices are going to be combined to surprisingly kill the alien invaders near the aforementioned Chinese village. Having Mazer actually get sent to China to train the Chinese on the anti-grav transport doohickies was like writing "PLOT" on a wooden plank and then smashing me in the face with it. Enough, already. Also: B.O.R.I.N.G. It's bad enough that we get long, tedious scenes of nothing happening except the author clumsily manipulating the plot to get people in the right place to see stuff we're supposed to know about, but what really rubs salt in the wound is that interesting things *do* happen. We just don't get to see them. A lone mining ship mounts a desperate attack on the alien ship... but it's off-camera. A coalition of 60 mining vessels try to gang up on it... and we see the battle tersely described on recovered footage dozens of pages after we already know how it ends. I mean, come on, it's like every time the author saw something that could plausibly be exciting they pulled out all the stops to make sure we didn't get anywhere near it! I say "the author" 'cause the book says it's "Orson Scott Card with..." somebody else I've never heard of. Given that Card is a busy man and wouldn't share headline space unless the other guy did a lot of work (and the incredibly amount of suck crammed into this book) I'm going to assume the other guy wrote it and I'm too lazy to look up his name right now. Why bother? Do. Not. Read. This. Book. If you really, really need an Ender fix either re-read one of the originals or check out the graphic novel (that was pretty good!) or the comics or something. This "novel" was just a total waste of space. Oh, almost forgot, I was listening to it on Audiobook and they splurged for a full cast, but some of the voices are TERRIBLE. The make the little Chinese girl sound even more annoying than her dialogue alone would be, and then there's this guy named "Chubs" who sounds like he's being voiced by a drunk rejected from a Loony Tunes audition. Yuck.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hirsch

    Ugh. Probably the worst book I've read of Card's. I'd like to think that it is all the fault of the coauthor, because this book has none of the insights and humanity displayed by everything else I've read from Card. The characters are all one note voices. They have one way to react to everything and they never change. The dialog is contrived and completely unbelievable--especially when it is children talking. There was nothing clever anywhere in the book. There were a lot of really smart characte Ugh. Probably the worst book I've read of Card's. I'd like to think that it is all the fault of the coauthor, because this book has none of the insights and humanity displayed by everything else I've read from Card. The characters are all one note voices. They have one way to react to everything and they never change. The dialog is contrived and completely unbelievable--especially when it is children talking. There was nothing clever anywhere in the book. There were a lot of really smart characters, but they never did anything particularly smart. In fact, any time the plot require a not so smart move, the smart characters would have a brain fart and do it. it makes the writer's job easier, but as a reader it is very annoying. Finally, they couldn't even finish the story. There are two plot lines going simultaneously, both approaching the climax. One succeeds (in a totally predictable ways that I saw coming 200 pages earlier) and the other is about 5 pages from a conclusion when the book ends. Very bad form! I'd recommend against reading the book, but I know you will because it is by Card and is set in the Ender universe. 2.5 stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paulette

    This novel is why I'm a huge fan of Orson Scott Card - but woe to be the second book of a trilogy. I'm begging for the final installment already! In this instance, the reader should really read "Earth Unaware" - the first in the Formic Wars series. Several references are made in this novel that would make more sense having read the first book. Weaving in four plot lines is a dauntless task, but Aaron Johnston and Card do a marvelous job of bringing it all together by the end. Follow the story of a This novel is why I'm a huge fan of Orson Scott Card - but woe to be the second book of a trilogy. I'm begging for the final installment already! In this instance, the reader should really read "Earth Unaware" - the first in the Formic Wars series. Several references are made in this novel that would make more sense having read the first book. Weaving in four plot lines is a dauntless task, but Aaron Johnston and Card do a marvelous job of bringing it all together by the end. Follow the story of an alien attack on earth and the courageous but flawed heroes who are working to save humankind. Just know that readers who loved Ender's Game will lose sleep as these books cannot be put down!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Flanagan

    The mile a minute thrilling second book in the Formic War series. A pre-trilogy to the "Ender's Game" saga. And just as I was helpless to put down 'Ender's Game' as well as the first book to this series "Earth Unaware." My only suggestion is that these are so good you don't want to stop, therefore wait for book 3 to come out!! The mile a minute thrilling second book in the Formic War series. A pre-trilogy to the "Ender's Game" saga. And just as I was helpless to put down 'Ender's Game' as well as the first book to this series "Earth Unaware." My only suggestion is that these are so good you don't want to stop, therefore wait for book 3 to come out!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Lester

    Loved it. Would read it again. Would recommend to a friend. I'm a huge fan of the universe and enjoyed the story. There are some nit picky things that bothered me, but didn't stop me from enjoying it at all. Loved it. Would read it again. Would recommend to a friend. I'm a huge fan of the universe and enjoyed the story. There are some nit picky things that bothered me, but didn't stop me from enjoying it at all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Watanabe

    Good added characters and I liked reading about Mazer. The book suffers the most from the cliffhanger ending for me. If not for that I'd have given it 4. Good added characters and I liked reading about Mazer. The book suffers the most from the cliffhanger ending for me. If not for that I'd have given it 4.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ethan I. Solomon

    I would again like to take this opportunity to mention that I would love if Goodreads had a 1-10 rating system. If so I would give this book 2 out of 10 stars. This is the second book in the First Formic War trilogy. If you are expecting any sort of greatness, I would restrain myself. Ender's Game this is not. No grand ideas on philosophy and morals are explored here. Once again, the characters are sidelined for the all too predictable story. An exploration of Mazer Rackham's character is barely I would again like to take this opportunity to mention that I would love if Goodreads had a 1-10 rating system. If so I would give this book 2 out of 10 stars. This is the second book in the First Formic War trilogy. If you are expecting any sort of greatness, I would restrain myself. Ender's Game this is not. No grand ideas on philosophy and morals are explored here. Once again, the characters are sidelined for the all too predictable story. An exploration of Mazer Rackham's character is barely begun in the first book and not explored in this book either. All in all, I can only recommend this book to diehard Ender's Game series fans. It seemed to me that Orson Scott Card had very little to do with the writing of this book but perhaps simply gave his name to be used by the other author Aaron Johnston. These books already exist as a series of Marvel produced graphic-novels and was then adapted into these books. Very poor execution, poor writing, poor characters and progression. The entire book is an exercise in money-making, with OSC's name on it and it being part of the Enderverse will assure its success.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Edmund

    Earth Afire begins immediately after Earth Unaware, Victor is on the Moon trying to convince the world of their impending doom, Rem is out in space continuing to struggle to define himself from within his father's 'long shadow' and a few other characters its hard to care about do some stuff in space. Afire offers far in terms of futuristic earth, insight into corporate culture, politics and importantly what earthlings think of 'space-born' While I appreciated the effort to create a believable wor Earth Afire begins immediately after Earth Unaware, Victor is on the Moon trying to convince the world of their impending doom, Rem is out in space continuing to struggle to define himself from within his father's 'long shadow' and a few other characters its hard to care about do some stuff in space. Afire offers far in terms of futuristic earth, insight into corporate culture, politics and importantly what earthlings think of 'space-born' While I appreciated the effort to create a believable world for the future, I felt like the novel was essentially anti-China in its politicking. While some of the international relations portrayed seemed to have some level authenticity, the level of belligerence of China in the face of alien invasion is hard to swallow. On the positive side the level of action is high and there was little boredom to be experienced within the chapters of this book. Like many middle children, one fells like this book is a 'conclusion-tease.' Looking forward to the next installment

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    This one keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The Formics arrive at Earth and bad things happen. Great characters and 3 different story lines are going on: Victor tries to warn of the impending arrival of the aliens; Mazer Rackham locates to China on a peacetime training mission when the Formics arrive nearby; and the free space miner wives and children who survived the battle of the asteroid belt join up with some space scavengers to survive. I only take a star away because This one keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The Formics arrive at Earth and bad things happen. Great characters and 3 different story lines are going on: Victor tries to warn of the impending arrival of the aliens; Mazer Rackham locates to China on a peacetime training mission when the Formics arrive nearby; and the free space miner wives and children who survived the battle of the asteroid belt join up with some space scavengers to survive. I only take a star away because we already know Mazer Rackham will survive this battle...takes away from the excitement of his adventures in China. 4 Stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Hayden Goodman

    In general I really love some of the books in the Enderverse, and I REALLY love the overarching story, but man I think this one is just objectively bad. The lazy character development and dialogue weighs down the whole book. Corporate villains are villains because they’re corporates, the hero is a reckless egalitarian, Chinese villager dialogue is predictably limited to blanket concepts of honor/dishonor. You could definitely argue that Orson Scott Card has a history with some cringey Chinese ch In general I really love some of the books in the Enderverse, and I REALLY love the overarching story, but man I think this one is just objectively bad. The lazy character development and dialogue weighs down the whole book. Corporate villains are villains because they’re corporates, the hero is a reckless egalitarian, Chinese villager dialogue is predictably limited to blanket concepts of honor/dishonor. You could definitely argue that Orson Scott Card has a history with some cringey Chinese characters (Xenoxide, Children of the Mind) but at least they’re complex, like-able, and have meaningful character arcs. I do not know how you go from writing characters as complex and thoughtful as Novinha, Bean, or Peter, and then write someone as bland as Victor? Or “Chubs”(????) Honestly wished they all died.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Stilley

    It was difficult to become engaged in the book. The book has six different parallel storylines going on simultaneously, and every time one storyline becomes interesting it shifts to another. The disjointed narrative requires constant work on the reader's part to stay engaged. I didn't notice this so much in volume 1 of the trilogy, so maybe it won't be a problem in the final volume. It was difficult to become engaged in the book. The book has six different parallel storylines going on simultaneously, and every time one storyline becomes interesting it shifts to another. The disjointed narrative requires constant work on the reader's part to stay engaged. I didn't notice this so much in volume 1 of the trilogy, so maybe it won't be a problem in the final volume.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Kwok

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While I enjoyed much of Card's continuation of The First Formic War prequel, I found that a lot of it was centered around China being attacked first. The characters in Card's China just didn't come as alive for me, as an Asian-American, partly because of Card's generalizations for how Chinese men would react/how Bingwen and his grandfather would react. I also wonder if Card had previously thought out the plot line with China being the first to get attacked, or if recent events had nudged him to While I enjoyed much of Card's continuation of The First Formic War prequel, I found that a lot of it was centered around China being attacked first. The characters in Card's China just didn't come as alive for me, as an Asian-American, partly because of Card's generalizations for how Chinese men would react/how Bingwen and his grandfather would react. I also wonder if Card had previously thought out the plot line with China being the first to get attacked, or if recent events had nudged him to put that as the main point in the plotline. It just seems a bit too coincidental for me. However, the stance of STASA and the United Nations (and the reactions of the US, China, Russia, and GB) to me seems a bit more realistic, and really brought forward the idea that this is still a future society, but one that we can relate to. I also found the military depictions of Mazer Rackham's time in China a bit too technical, although I was able to understand the dialogue that was going through between Rackham and the other characters, the descriptions of events, although realistic, didn't really appeal to me. However, I did enjoy the depictions of the MOPS/Stratego forces as they made their way into China, Lem Jukes' conflicts as he struggled with a changing view of his father, the conflict with the Formics, and the struggle he faces as he prepares to take over Jukes Lmtd. I enjoyed reading the struggle that Victor has in confronting and then accepting the help that Lem has to offer, as well as confronting an Earth that doesn't believe him. While Card's depictions of the military were meant to be a bit more technical, as to make them realistic enough, I did find that the personal struggles, emotional responses/struggling between a relationship to the human race vs to individual nation states, and emotional growth in some of the characters really made this book more worth reading than for the actual beginning action scenes. In the end, I cannot wait to see how Card wraps up the prequel series of books about the First Formic Wars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Buck

    This is the middle book in the First Formic War trilogy, the prequel to Ender's Game. I read the first book, Earth Unaware, when it was first published, almost four years ago. It was good - lots of excitement - but it left us hanging for the second book. Now that I've finished the second book, I see that this is really a very long novel divided into three parts. If you read it, I recommend that you read all three in fairly close succession. I've immediately started the third book. It continues e This is the middle book in the First Formic War trilogy, the prequel to Ender's Game. I read the first book, Earth Unaware, when it was first published, almost four years ago. It was good - lots of excitement - but it left us hanging for the second book. Now that I've finished the second book, I see that this is really a very long novel divided into three parts. If you read it, I recommend that you read all three in fairly close succession. I've immediately started the third book. It continues exactly where the second left off, without a pause. There are a number of concurrent stories, some continued from the first book and some of which have converged. I expect that the still separate story tracks probably will converge in the third book. From Ender's Game, we know that New Zealand pilot Mazur Rackham saved humanity. He was introduced in the first book. His story continues in the second as he repeatedly narrowly escapes from certain death. He hasn't defeated the formics yet, so I guess that's coming in the third book. One of the heroes, Mazur's young companion, is an 8 year old boy. Card continues his fascination with exceptional young children, like Ender and his cohorts.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kurt

    Not until after I finished did I realize I read book 2 of a 3 part mini series. Doh! Being an Ender's Game slut, I will of course read the other two now. This was a good book, but not to the quality of the original Ender books nor the Shadow series. SPOILER'S BELOW. The book's main failure was the unrealistic nature of most of the characters. It just wasn't believable to me that they would all be so petty in light of the Earth being attacked by aliens. I thought the book was worth reading for two Not until after I finished did I realize I read book 2 of a 3 part mini series. Doh! Being an Ender's Game slut, I will of course read the other two now. This was a good book, but not to the quality of the original Ender books nor the Shadow series. SPOILER'S BELOW. The book's main failure was the unrealistic nature of most of the characters. It just wasn't believable to me that they would all be so petty in light of the Earth being attacked by aliens. I thought the book was worth reading for two reasons: 1) Getting the background stories of Mazor Rackham as well as the formics/buggers. The book was interesting in that once you see how ruthless the formics were in action, you look at Speaker for the Dead a little differently. Ender understandably felt bad about wiping out the formics, but perhaps had he known what they were really like, he wouldn't have been so contrite. 2) The science fiction technology. I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of what will reasonably be the future of computing. Seeing how far voice recognition and data analysis has come in the last 10 years makes me think the computer technology shown in Earth Afire will be achieved in our lifetime.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Hamill

    Good golly, this is quite a read! I was so emotionally invested in these characters. I felt Victor’s frustration and hopelessness. Bing Wen (please excuse the spelling, that’s what I got from the audiobook) and Mazer Rackham are fantastic. I very much enjoyed the flashes between Earth, the Moon and the Belt. The characters are easy to get drawn into, even Lem, who’s a piece of work. I highly recommend this to fans of sci fi, particularly fans of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Saga. I borrowed the audi Good golly, this is quite a read! I was so emotionally invested in these characters. I felt Victor’s frustration and hopelessness. Bing Wen (please excuse the spelling, that’s what I got from the audiobook) and Mazer Rackham are fantastic. I very much enjoyed the flashes between Earth, the Moon and the Belt. The characters are easy to get drawn into, even Lem, who’s a piece of work. I highly recommend this to fans of sci fi, particularly fans of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Saga. I borrowed the audiobook from the library. Excellent continuity in narration from the first book, same actors. Each perspective has its voice, which definitely helps in a book that follows several stories on a greater stage.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarai

    This book is excellent all the way through. I've been waiting for this release after reading the Ender's books, the Shadow series books, and the book before this one "Earth Unaware". It's really interesting to experience the events leading up to Ender's Game and to delve further into the backstories of characters like Mazer Rackim. I also really loved the way the author always paints a picture of the world politics surrounding an event such as an alien invasion. OSC always weaves an amazing tape This book is excellent all the way through. I've been waiting for this release after reading the Ender's books, the Shadow series books, and the book before this one "Earth Unaware". It's really interesting to experience the events leading up to Ender's Game and to delve further into the backstories of characters like Mazer Rackim. I also really loved the way the author always paints a picture of the world politics surrounding an event such as an alien invasion. OSC always weaves an amazing tapestry out of plot, character development, and social environments all laced with action. Can't wait for the next one!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Obrigewitsch

    One of the better Sci-Fi book written this year, and considering it's also a one of those dreaded Young Adult stories it was actually pretty good. It stands head and shoulders above other young adult books I've read. One of the better Sci-Fi book written this year, and considering it's also a one of those dreaded Young Adult stories it was actually pretty good. It stands head and shoulders above other young adult books I've read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alyssia Cooke

    An interesting pulling together of the different narrative threads that were depicted in the first novel. The descriptions of the formic invasion are well done indeed to send shivers down your spine. Characters are interestingly developing with a selection of very human, very real set-ups. Whereas the first novel in the series is completely based on setting up the story for the formics, this novel starts with the formics reaching earth and follows their landing. The focus shifts from the Chinese An interesting pulling together of the different narrative threads that were depicted in the first novel. The descriptions of the formic invasion are well done indeed to send shivers down your spine. Characters are interestingly developing with a selection of very human, very real set-ups. Whereas the first novel in the series is completely based on setting up the story for the formics, this novel starts with the formics reaching earth and follows their landing. The focus shifts from the Chinese ground level to soldiers both with the MOPs and New Zealand Special Ops on the Chinese land... with or without permission. Then you have Victor and his efforts to make himself useful now his task of warning Earth is done and the women of his family, doing their best to survive with no ship and no men. Card intersperses an action filled narrative with wry commentary on human nature and the political power plays that occur in all worldwide crisis’. Individuals find their actions curtailed by these international politics or they go off grid and work without the approval of superiors... making difficult tasks even more tricky.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Tim Healy

    So, yeah...this isn't the best of the Enderverse novels. It does pick up the store from Earth Unaware and carry it along. It's just not got the snap of the original stories. I'm sure there's a continuing audience for filling in the history that led up to the action in Ender's game, but there's just not a lot of excellent stuff here. It really picks up at the end, or it probably would have rated only 3 stars. And there is more Mazer Rackham in this one. That was one of my complaints about "Unawar So, yeah...this isn't the best of the Enderverse novels. It does pick up the store from Earth Unaware and carry it along. It's just not got the snap of the original stories. I'm sure there's a continuing audience for filling in the history that led up to the action in Ender's game, but there's just not a lot of excellent stuff here. It really picks up at the end, or it probably would have rated only 3 stars. And there is more Mazer Rackham in this one. That was one of my complaints about "Unaware". He was there, but really neglected. Oh well. One more to go in the series. I should finish it off, but I'm not sure that I need to fill more of these in. My suspicion is that Card may have done plotting, but much of this is actually Aaron Johnston's writing. That could be the missing "spark".

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul Baker

    This is the second book in the First Formic War trilogy and it is every bit as exciting as the first novel in the series. While the first book shows the build-up to the Formic invasion of Earth., this novel carries the same characters forward as the Formics land in China and begin to kill everything. One small warning: it ends on a cliffhanger, so be sure to have the third novel handy to continue the story when you put this one down. Lots of fun, very well written, and a ripping good yarn. This i This is the second book in the First Formic War trilogy and it is every bit as exciting as the first novel in the series. While the first book shows the build-up to the Formic invasion of Earth., this novel carries the same characters forward as the Formics land in China and begin to kill everything. One small warning: it ends on a cliffhanger, so be sure to have the third novel handy to continue the story when you put this one down. Lots of fun, very well written, and a ripping good yarn. This is science fiction the way it used to be!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liam Tamulonis

    Interesting idea, however the book was kind of all over the place and I had a hard time following the story.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Litz

    ok, was boring at first but then I was hooked. They ended with just enough grab to make you follow next book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Marc

    Both this book and the first one of the Formic wars are awesome. The story flows perfectly and the characters are so real. I felt like this one was gripping me and I liked it. Fight in the sky and ground. Total sci-fi. It’s been years since I’ve read Enders game, and this book does not disappoint.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Haak

    Excellent book. Just as good as Earth Unaware, and it picks up right where the first Formic War book ended. I look forward to reading the third in this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Noah Goats

    I thought this was solidly entertaining. It’s the middle novel in a three book series so it just takes you from point A to point B with a lot of plot and action. Nothing is resolved. But it’s a fun ride. This is definitely not a book you want to read if you haven’t read the first book in the series or don’t want to read the last.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This is the second book in the novelization series of the prequel "Formic Wars" era to the Ender Quartet. Pacing is good and characterization's *not bad*. But the reason I can only give it three stars is perhaps personal preference: Unlike the Ender books, which offered a sense of closure at the end of each of the books of that series, the first two books of the Formic Wars series is not really serial in nature but rather episodic, with cliffhangers setting up each installment of the subsequent This is the second book in the novelization series of the prequel "Formic Wars" era to the Ender Quartet. Pacing is good and characterization's *not bad*. But the reason I can only give it three stars is perhaps personal preference: Unlike the Ender books, which offered a sense of closure at the end of each of the books of that series, the first two books of the Formic Wars series is not really serial in nature but rather episodic, with cliffhangers setting up each installment of the subsequent book. As a series author myself, I've always felt it important to provide a complete story for each book -- even when I wanted to expand and take the meta story to another level or in a new direction. That's clearly not the intent here. Card pulled this off nicely with other Enderverse novels. I suspect it may have something to do with the original format for the Formic Wars as a series of graphic novels. The authors state they wanted to flesh out and deepen the story left untold in the visual version, and kudos to them for that. But the artifactual result is a storytelling format that leaves readers unsatisfied at the end of each episodic installment. Be forewarned that readers will need to resort to the Marvel Comics Formic Wars: Burning Earth #1-7 telling of the tale to see the whole prequel vision -- that, or await the release of one book at a time (this latest book was just released summer 2013), which will take quite some time at this rate.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Miller

    Enjoying these prequel to the events in Enders game and the first Formic war. Still there are some quirks in the storytelling that annoy me a bit. For example several times we see events coming to a crescendo and then we move onto another one of the story segments. When we return the event has now passed and build-up you expect is now talked about as having already occurred. It is also nice to see characters introduced in the first book that were not part of the action are now fully engaged in wha Enjoying these prequel to the events in Enders game and the first Formic war. Still there are some quirks in the storytelling that annoy me a bit. For example several times we see events coming to a crescendo and then we move onto another one of the story segments. When we return the event has now passed and build-up you expect is now talked about as having already occurred. It is also nice to see characters introduced in the first book that were not part of the action are now fully engaged in what is going on. Plus there is an introduction of a new character that is kind of Ender-like in age and intelligence. One interesting plot point is that the Earth is finally warned of invasion as per the cliffhanger events of the fist book. The response is government infighting and bureaucracy in spades instead of preparing for the invasion. Interesting since the plot of many books is that such an event would bring nations together in response. I think the view in this book is closer to reality or at least those elements would limit unity. The audiobook like the first is more of a audio drama in that there are multiple narrators and this works pretty well. Really though there is a narrator connected with individual characters and their associated segment, so not quite a dramatization. This book ends with yet another cliffhanger.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cale

    Do yourself a favor - if you're interested in this series, get all the books at the same time and read straight through them. I haven't, and I think it suffers for it. Book two picks up almost immediately after Book one, and doesn't spend much time reintroducing the characters, so if you haven't recently read Earth Unaware, you're likely to be lost. And it includes several Card trademarks - the overly brilliant child that talks like an adult, long-winded conversations that methodically build out Do yourself a favor - if you're interested in this series, get all the books at the same time and read straight through them. I haven't, and I think it suffers for it. Book two picks up almost immediately after Book one, and doesn't spend much time reintroducing the characters, so if you haven't recently read Earth Unaware, you're likely to be lost. And it includes several Card trademarks - the overly brilliant child that talks like an adult, long-winded conversations that methodically build out concepts, and some interesting new technologies. The story is fragmented into a few more pieces than feels absolutely necessary (Rena's part, especially, seems barely related), but several plot threads do come together. The book ends rather abruptly with one fast-paced action sequence, leaving the reader literally on the doorstep of another major sequence when it drops off. And something I noticed in this book; the action/combat is very asynchronous - there's rarely a scene where the opposing sides are actually in combat with each other; it's mostly one side acting on barely involved opponents. All told, it's not a bad book, but there's nothing here that is really adding to the expanded universe it sits in. There are occasional ties, but it mostly stands alone, for good or ill.

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