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Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card
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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This was a great book for what I was doing: moving from a place I raised my kid back to the town when I was a kid. I have read 11 Orson Scott Card books, and all of the Ender ones have five stars. I checked out Earth Afire the day I finished this novel. When I am old and can't think for myself, I hope someone will read me these books. Actually any book in my LibraryThing collection I rated five stars will be great. 511 members; 3.66 average rating; 3/29/2017 ( )
  mainrun | Apr 11, 2017 |
Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston have collaborated to tell the story of the Formic War. So whilst one knows how it will end, flesh is put on the bones of the 'Ender's Game' backstory. 'Earth Unaware' is the first installment of a trilogy, and begins in the icy depths of the Kuiper Belt, where free miners first detect a fast moving object. First Contact does not go well, and this fast paced tale follows the trail of destruction toward the inner solar system and Earth...


( )
  orkydd | Feb 2, 2017 |
Actually, not that bad at all.

Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game) and Aaron Johnston (producer, collaborator).

These guys put together one heck of a story. The book starts out a bit slow and seemed to be a prelude to a soap opera. The asteroid miners are working the asteroid belt and fire back to Luna Station minerals for sale which they use to support their families. Victor is a part of said family, making a living in outer space, which some bigoted people call “space borns” and look down on them.

Card creates a world with new rules of society levels that is clearly a condemnation of the current social strata of rich/poor, have/have not.

Victor and Janda are cousins and yet they’re falling for each other. To handle this, the families separate them, sending Janda on a trip with the Italian fleet.

At this point I thought there was going to be a soap opera plot. Janda though is never developed as a character. Instead, the main character is Victor, who has a talent for machines and space mechanics and lacks a lot of social skills which is at times humorous.

Fathers and Fathers:

Victor respects his father (“father” is always initial caps when spoken by a son, interestingly) and Father has taught him everything he knows. When an alien spacecraft is discovered, Victor and Father go into action to find out what it is and what to do about it, at times to deadly result!

Lem is the son of the manufacturing conglomerate Jukes Enterprises and runs a ship that is testing a “glaser”, a machine that destroys matter with an energy field.

Lem is also a result of a fatherly upbringing. Unlike Victor, Lem feels controlled and manipulated by his father and wants to prove the father wrong by making a show of himself and how he operates his ship. Turns out that his father has manipulated the ship and crew to Lem’s shock and dismay.

Themes of family, fathers and sons, and ultimate sacrifice for the good of the group (and certain characters who say heck with the group, look out for yourself) are in constant conflict, which makes the book interesting, thought-provoking and intelligent.

Lastly we have the military MOPs, (Mobile Operations Police), an elite corps of soldiers, and in the training cycle we meet Mazer Rackham, who you might remember as the guy who beat the Formics in the Ender’s Game trilogy of books. Here he is new and he is trying to get into this elite corps. I won’t spoil it, but let’s say he has less than great luck to make this happen.

We meet Wit O’Toole, the commander of this unit who acts as a “father” of sorts to his crew but puts up with nothing and expects all to meet a set standard. Similar to Victor’s father and Lem’s sire, Wit takes on the role of forcing standards, demanding obedience and getting it or else.

Conclusion:

Great start to hopefully a good series of books on the Formics and how the invasion started and what happens when people who are in the know and want to warn Earth are scoffed at and invalidated while the Formic threat draws closer.

I would have liked more characterization with some people in the book as I did not feel a lot of love for them: “Imala” the accountant who hates her job, Janda, the girl who dies early in the book (and who also has father issues, it turns out) and her sister, the astronomer who discovered the alien craft.

The “tech” of the story is realistic and could happen as we continue to struggle with machines and computerized gadgets, as well as the money-grabbing corporations that Card clearly is gunning for.

Recommended.


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1 vote James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
One of the pleasures of listening to science fiction audiobooks over the years has been hearing Orson Scott Card's Ender series. Besides being expertly narrated by an ensemble led by Stefan Rudnicki, these audiobooks are entertaining because Card isn't delivering the same book over and over. In Earth Unaware, Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston take the series in yet another direction.

I know, I know. It's been proven time after time. When a book series gets to the point where [Original Author] picks up [Insert new author here (often a relative)], the results are just... not good. I'm happy to report that Earth Unaware is an excellent novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Aaron Johnston and Orson Scott Card created and are telling the story of the First Formic War in the comic format. I haven't read those, so I can't say how similar this novel is, but Aaron Johnston says in the Afterword that Earth Unaware draws from the characters and events in those comics.

The subtitle (First Formic War) implies that we're in for a military SF novel, but that's not what this is. This novel is a tense near-space adventure set in the not too distant future and peopled with characters I cared about. The opening reveals the thoughts and feelings of teenager on the El Calvador, a mining ship in the Kuiper Belt. Close by, on a different ship, is a man who has invested much time and effort into the invention of a gravity laser. He needs to prove his worth to his corporate employer. And back on Earth, an elite military unit is being formed. These lives, some entwined, move forward as normal until all interests are altered in the face of the arrival of an alien ship in the solar system.

Even though the cover doesn't say it, this is Book 1 of at least a few. I look forward to the continued development of the concept of difference. On Valentine Wiggin's Hierarchy of Foreignness is Varelse. True aliens, aliens so alien that we can't even communicate with them or even hope to understand them. How could war with such a race be avoided? Difference also extends to human beings, who seem so content to drop their conflicts in the face of greater danger. Why is that what it takes?

The audiobook is performed by multiple narrators in the style that fits Orson Scott Card's stories so incredibly well. The narrators (all excellent) change with the POV of the story. Reading the story were: Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Vikas Adam, Emily Janice Card, Gabrielle de Cuir, and Roxanne Hernandez. Top notch! ( )
  ScottDDanielson | Nov 23, 2016 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13754136 ( )
  Lunapilot | Jul 19, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnston, AaronAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Eric Smith, for silly accents, grisly deaths, and spontaneous musicals. On stage you are a thousand characters, but off it, the most constant of friends.
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Victor didn't go to the airlock to see Alejandra leave the family forever, to marry into the Italian clan.
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The war on apathy moved much slower than real wars fought on the ground.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The mining ship El Cavador, beyond Pluto, detects a fast-moving incoming object headed toward Earth. The crew decides it's probably not important, but they're wrong: it represents the opening wave of the first Formic War.

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