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Seeds of Earth (Humanity's Fire) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Cobley
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.00
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable.

The first intelligent species to encounter mankind attacked without warning. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable. With little hope of halting the invasion, Earth's last roll of the dice was to dispatch three colony ships, seeds of Earth, to different parts of the galaxy. The human race would live on ... somewhere.

150 years later, the planet Darien hosts a thriving human settlement, which enjoys a peaceful relationship with an indigenous race, the scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien's forest moon. Secrets that go back to an apocalyptic battle fought between ancient races at the dawn of galactic civilization. Unknown to its colonists, Darien is about to become the focus of an intergalactic power struggle where the true stakes are beyond their comprehension. And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed and the skies grow dark with the enemy?

Editorial Reviews


Praise for the Humanity's Fire trilogy:

"Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera ... a worthy addition to the genre"—Iain M. Banks

"A complex, finely detailed thriller-cum-space opera"

About the Author

Michael Cobley was born in Leicester, England and has lived in Glasgow, Scotland for most of his life. He has studied engineering, been a DJ and has an abiding interest in democratic politics.

His previous books include the Shadowkings dark fantasy trilogy and Iron Mosaic, a short story collection. Seeds of Earth, The Orphaned Worlds, and The Ascendant Stars, books one, two and three of the Humanity's Fire sequence, were his first full-length forays into space opera.

Product Details

  • File Size: 895 KB
  • Print Length: 630 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (September 25, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076DCR32
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #324,812 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of everything October 29, 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The UK reviews on this book are mixed. I admit, this book is not perfect and the story - not original. However, if you like Greg Bear, Larry Niven and Orson Scott Card, you should like this book. Those influences are omnipresent in this vast story. Darien will remind readers of Lamarckia from Bear's novel Legacy, a sequel to EON. Some the mechanicals and aliens could have been lifted right from Niven's Ringworld (one in particular reminds me of the puppeteer). The politics are oh so Ender in Exile and beyond from Card. Some people find their novel and reread it over and over. If that's you, stick with Bear, Niven and Card. I wouldn't recommend this one over any of the aforementioned. But, I do recommend this one, nevertheless.

I for one don't mind old themes, characters, and plots presented in a different manner. Cobley tells a great story that is immense in scope. He has this unique ability to introduce a tidbit of back story (the such and such war or the XYZ race) without wasting pages upon pages of filler when all that is needed is the reference to give the reader the ability to fill more with imagination. For the most part, the characters are rich and interesting and the prose is well paced. If you are looking for a familiar friend in the world of Space epics (i don't like the reference to Space Opera because everyone has a different definition of what that is), try this out.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A clunky first effort October 29, 2011
Call me churlish, but when a book has a quote from Iain M. Banks on the cover declaring "Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera" then I'm going to expect something along the lines of a Banks novel.

But unfortunately, "Seeds of Earth" aint that.

Sure it's a weighty novel, chock full of characters - both alien and human - and a series of set piece chapters...but it is missing the subtle emotional threads that tie the mosaic together, and more importantly for me, it is missing the depth of vision that makes for outstanding science fiction.

Cobley populates the galaxy in what seems to be a near future timeline with dozens of alien species (one of which aggressively attacks Earth in the 'first contact' scenario that opens the book) that have come and gone with numerous wars over millenia. Given the energies involved in these wars, I had a continual niggle that surely, with all the telescopes trained on the skys, some boffin somewhere would have noticed said aliens. As I said, a niggle, but one of many that piled up as I waded my way through the book.

A more serious niggle was that each of the aliens we meet have essentially human motivations. It may be true that petty politics is indeed "galaxy spanning", but it ensures the plot stays ordinary. Basically, Cobley gives us good aliens and bad aliens (and indeed, good Human's and bad Human's). I prefer shades of gray with all the underlying uncertainty and corresponding tension it provides and was disapppinted that over 600-odd pages it was white hat and black hat and nothing in between.

And then there is the technology....or lack of it This is where Cobley seriously lets the side down. This is a future devoid of any serious consideration for impact and consequence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book 1: Almost too much to absorb September 15, 2011
By 2theD
This is my first Michael Cobley novel as I'm sure it's the first of many who choose to begin this trilogy of Humanity's Fire. Like other trilogies (Cosmonaut Keep (The Engines of Light, Book 1) to name one) or quadrilogies (Lords of the Middle Dark (Rings of the Master, Book 1) to name another) I've completed, Seeds of Earth has the same problem of getting the plot off the launchpad when weighed down with a load of new characters, a shipment of proper nouns and crates full of exotic aliens, planets, flora, fauna, honorific titles... I could go on. It's one of those books which is difficult to find a toehold. It's also one of those books which lends itself to be read in one week in order for the reader to fully understand the setting Cobley has just placed.

The 9-page prologue of Seeds of Earth takes place on Mars when the Solar System is under attack by the Achorga Swarm. Plans have been made to launch fifteen arks to save humanity in case the Swarm prevails. The Swarm has been virulently persistent to only allow humanity to construct and launch three arks. Chapter One opens 150-years after the ark Hyperion has made landfall on the planet Darien. The mix of Scots, Scandinavians and Russians settle the hospitable planet and befriend a race of intelligent bipeds who inhabit the breathable atmosphere of moon.

Living in ignorance about the fate of the earth and the two other arks, the tiny outpost somewhat flourishes. Politics plays a big role in Book One, but not to the extent of what MacLeod includes in his novels (but you can bet they both emphasis the Scottish accent!).
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak June 13, 2010
By the numbers space opera. The type of story where everything is driven by political intrigue and the level of politics show themselves to be pretty rigidly defined in the end. There's some ambivalence among squabbling but well-intentioned factions in the 'good polity', but the evil polities lack any such nuance and it becomes distressingly clear which argument is serving the greater good far too early and forcefully.

Beyond that we have the list of modern space opera points to checklist off in a matter similar to Wheel of Time running through a checklist on post-Tolkien fantasy---gesture at huge scales involved in interstellar war, make a small group of heroes feature decisively in this conflict, have those characters have pencil-thin personalities, make the first book of the trilogy push through big revelations for a sequel hook, show advanced tech for weapons but have little substantive change in daily human life.

It's been done a lot before and it's been done better, and there seems little point to even work up much disappointment over it. To be fair, the ultimate plot did turn out to better I was expecting from the initial setup and on a page by page level it's quite readable. Still, it's not great or even good fiction and it provides compelling demonstration that science fiction can be just as stale, unambitious and over-familiar as fantasy can.

Better than: Titan by Stephen Baxter

Worse than: Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I didn't care for the style of writing... felt as though I had to work to get through it
Published 1 month ago by Frank J Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Michael B. Powers
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Pretty slow.
Published 3 months ago by sean bise
5.0 out of 5 stars this series is aong the best scfi written.
Space opera sci fi and its absolutely amazing. I still think about 2 years after i read it. an absolute must read.
Published 5 months ago by Dane
4.0 out of 5 stars It hurts my head when I think....
I would count readers of speculative/science fiction as a cut above the normal reading audience...both in intelligence and imagination. Read more
Published 7 months ago by L. A. Veronie II
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I read it...
Definitely tough getting started with such a huge context to establish, but I was thoroughly engrossed halfway through and read the last 250 pages obsessively in one sitting. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mike G.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very nice and entertaining!
Published 9 months ago by Laurent
3.0 out of 5 stars Frustrated with distractions.
I normally wait until I am done a novel before critiquing it. But this novel is so frustrating that I just had to find out if other people were as frustrated as I was with it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by primem0ver
1.0 out of 5 stars ridiculously and needlessly complex
Why Mr. Conley felt it necessary to pepper this tale with hundreds of bizarre names (of species, devices, place names, etc.) is beyond me. Read more
Published 12 months ago by James D. Weinstein
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
This book was a great read. I enjoyed it enough to where it was a go to book while I was on vacation.
Published 14 months ago by NMI
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