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Earthbound (A Marsbound Novel) by Joe…

Earthbound (A Marsbound Novel)

by Joe Haldeman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Marsbound (3)

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In this third novel in the Marsbound series, the crew of the Ad Astra return to Earth after their brief and unsatisfying meeting with the mysterious “Others.” Their welcome back celebration has barely begun before the virtually omnipotent aliens to decide to torment humanity again. We never learn much about them from direct communication, but from their actions, it is clear the Others are a sadistic bunch, treating humanity they way a budding psychopath might treat a fly, pulling off one wing and then one leg at a time for whatever amusement that might provide.
Humanity itself is presented as almost as bad. One of the torments the Others impose on Earth is to deprive it of electricity. Any technology requiring electricity stops functioning. Generators, no matter how simple, cannot create a current. Batteries won’t store it. Nothing electrical will work. Within an hour of this happening, people start shooting one another. Those whose veneer of civilization is not so thin and do not respond to disaster by immediately visiting their neighbor, murdering them, and stealing their canned goods are apparently in the minority.
Carmen Dula, the Mars Girl, from the previous two books again provides the first person point of view in this book. She has matured and not nearly as irritating as she was in the other two. Many of the other characters are back as well, but some of them die. New characters are introduced, and many of them die. Several unnamed characters die, and billions of nameless people are presumed to die quickly from violence or ultimately from starvation. This is not an uplifting story.
One interesting character, a humanoid construct of the Others called “Spy,” appears -- and then disappears. He pops in and out of existence and we never learn much about him.
This trilogy (so far) begins with humanity reaching for the stars and discovering new life and ends with it a squashed from outside, its achievements destroyed, and its ability to recover denied. I can’t say it was a fun read for me.
Sorry if that’s a spoiler.
( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
loved the characters.

just going to say the end was depressing and kinda unfulfilling.

first book was the best. second was worth it if you liked first enough. would only recommend third to completionists
  halkeye | Feb 4, 2014 |
This was the third book in the Marsbound trilogy and I had not read the other two. i was very disappointed in the book in that there was very little 'meat' to it -- especially given that it was from a Hugo Award author. Character development must have occurred in a previous book as there wasn't much here -- to the extent that one was not at all emotionally attached as various ones met their demise in the wars following the 'Others' turning off the energy on Earth. I would not recommend this book. ( )
  skraft001 | Jan 15, 2014 |
This is the third book in the Marsbound series. The Others have just turned off all electronics on Earth, and now we need to survive. One problem with this book is that it jumps straight into the action -- I had to go back and re-read Marsbound and Starbound in order to understand what was happening in this book. That was ok because those two books are excellent, and I enjoyed re-reading them. In fact, those two are probably a little better than this one.

Overall Earthbound is pretty dark, and there isn't a lot of hope presented -- its just a series of scenes where the main characters attempt to deal with an all powerful adversary. Perhaps if the Others weren't so powerful this would be a better book, because you just know that everyone is doomed. I also respect authors who are willing to kill off lead characters, but that happens a lot in this book, which sort of bothered me. Perhaps that's what combat is really like though -- people you have an attachment to just stop being there. There's no warning or explanation.

The end of this book isn't very satisfying. There better be a sequel or I'm going to be annoyed.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Joe_Haldeman/Earthbound.html ( )
  mikal | Jan 18, 2013 |
I found this really boring and struggled to finish reading it. I didn't feel any connection with any of the characters and it feels like the narrator didn't either. It neatly ties up the story started in Marsbound and it does so in Joe Haldeman's usually abrupt style and that's all I can really say about it.
I would only recommend this for people who have read Marsbound and Earthbound and want to know how the story ends. Don't bother reading it if you haven't read the others as you will have no idea who the characters are and why you are suppose to care because I've read those two books and by the end of this, I didn't care what happened to the people. ( )
1 vote bj | Dec 16, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Haldemanprimary authorall editionscalculated
DeFex, Annette FioreCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 044102095X, Hardcover)

"One of science fiction's most reliable practitioners" (San Francisco Chronicle) continues his saga of space exploration.

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel-destroying Earth's fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues struggle to find a way, using nineteenthcentury technology, to reclaim the future that has been stolen from them.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:16 -0400)

The mysterious alien Others have prohibited humans from space travel--destroying Earth's fleet of starships in a display of unimaginable power. Now Carmen Dula, the first human to encounter Martians and then the mysterious Others, and her colleagues struggle to find a way, using nineteenth-century technology, to reclaim the future that has been stolen from them.… (more)

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