Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Earth Unaware

Orson Scott Card is back with another entry in his Ender series.  This time, however, he is taking us back to the first invasion of the Formics, before Ender was born.  He's teamed up with Aaron Johnston (who co-wrote the entertaining Invasive Procedures with Card a few years back) for this new trilogy and they do not disappoint.  If you love space opera with great characters, Earth Unaware is a book you shouldn't miss.

 Usually I like to write up my own synopsis of the book, but I'm feeling lazy right now, and it was a few weeks ago when I finished the book.  So here's the synopsis from the Tor website:

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador’s telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it’s hard to know what to make of it. It’s massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.
But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.

They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. This is humanity's first contact with an alien race. The First Formic War is about to begin.
There you have it.  The characters are great, the setting interesting, and the conflict quick and tense.  It reminded me a lot of Leviathan Wakes--which I reviewed not too long ago--though not quite as good.  I think it's the best science fiction novel Card has written in quite some time, and I'm excited to see where the series goes.  It did end abruptly, but I was satisfied with where things were left.  
The audio was a bit annoying.  Card's books typically have a full cast--different narrators for different characters--but EU was missing the familiar voice of Scott Brick.  His usual narrator, Stefan Rudnicki, is present but doesn't narrate any of the main characters.  I wasn't a fan of the two narrators that took up most of the book.  Would have been better to feature Rudnicki and Brick with the others doing for the minor characters.
Earth Unaware gets 4 stars out of 5.  I highly recommend it if you're an Orson Scott Card or space opera fan. 
P.S. Mr. Card, I love ya, man, but please finish the Alvin Maker series before starting another series!!

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