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Earth Alone: Earthrise Book 1 Paperback – June 17, 2016
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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"Earth Alone is full of soul. Set in a horrid dystopia in which Earth has been devastated by alien invaders, the book is about the humanity that shines even in a time of privation and war . . . Earth Alone is about war, but most of all about friendship and heartbreak." -- The Huffington Post
"The most exciting and sophisticated space opera I've read since The Forever War! The Earthrise series is shaping up to be a classic readers will remember for years." -- Nicholas Smith, bestselling author of Hell Divers
"Earth Alone kept me turning the pages well past my bedtime! It's exciting, heartbreaking and triumphant. Daniel Arenson gives you a glimpse into the lives of handful of young men and women being put through hell in order to protect the remainder of the human race. I can't wait to read more in this series!" -- Michelle Garza, author of Mayan Blue
"Earth Alone is an epic tale of heroes and monsters, of humanity rising to face a fearsome scourge from the depths of space. An exciting read for fans of classic adventure science fiction." -- Jeff Bryan, author of Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper
About the Author
Daniel Arenson is a bookworm, proud geek, and USA Today bestselling author of fantasy and science fiction. His novels have sold over a million copies. The Huffington Post has called his writing "full of soul." He's written over forty novels, most of them in five series: Earthrise, Requiem, Moth, Alien Hunters, and Kingdoms of Sand. Learn more about the books at DanielArenson.com. --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
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1) Meet the protagonist & see him in normal environment/home. Nice guy. Likable. Maybe a bit artistic/sensitive.
3) Boot camp is hard, a series of examples of how hard it is and how overwhelming and "I just wanna go home, I miss... stuff."
4) Things start coming together, the company/platoon/whatever starts gelling and getting less haggard feeling.
5) Death. Someone dies. Not an important character but one that's been added in there, perhaps after the story was written because all boot camp stories need this person to die. You can literally remove them from the story and it doesn't change in any way. It just serves the purpose Coulton's Death did in The Avengers and brings the team even closer together. "We're doing this for DEAD GUY!!!"
6) Graduation. Everything's golden.
7) Off to war. OMG - it's horrible. I hate this. Thank Glob for all that training! this is what we trained for people! Our protagonist turns out to be a great leader of men but denies it and says he was just doing what had to be done.
8) Much death but remains of the troop go on to bigger things.
That happens in ALL boot camp stories. It's THE story arc and I felt like this book was doing the same thing. Hitting all the same beats as Ender's Game (The Ender Quartet series Book 1) (Orson Scott Card - read the book, ignore the movie) Starship Troopers (Robert A. Heinlein - read the book, ignore the movie), and countless others that've gone before.
You know why it happens this way? Because it works. The death scene that is always there and that I always see coming even if I don't know who it's going to be... it's there and it is the click. It's the moment the hero goes from the person he was when we met him to the person he is going to be in the end. It's a transformative death, the chrysalis moment where he changes and the death is a punctuation mark, an exclamation point when done correctly, and a comma when done incorrectly (I'm looking at you Madonna's baseball movie A League of Their Own... nobody even knew who that character WAS! You knew the beat, but you did it wrong.)
This book hit all those beats, and you know it's going to. It's that kind of book. And it did it exceptionally well. To the point where I finished the last of the book (Beats 6-8 above) in Taco Johns eating their super nachos and drinking a giant tea and crying. Literally wiping my eyes with a napkin and sniffling crying as I read it. I cried from happiness and joy and sadness and pride. It was outstanding. I cried unashamedly and kept reading right there in public with a napkin in one hand as I blotted my eyes with it one at a time so I didn't have to stop reading. At one point I thought I was going to choke on my churro as I tried to swallow it and found that being "choked up with emotion" is more than a figure of speech. My throat rebelled against the idea of swallowing at that moment.
The characters are good. I liked them. There's one, a tiny girl, who has a story she tells about two times too often but, it's there to make a point so Arenson beats us over the head with it, the characters too. I get it. I went to boot camp and the mouthiness these characters had... and the punishments they were given... that part was unrealistic to me. They had quite a few more smart-assed remarks than I thought they should have. That bugged me some. But it didn't take away from how much I liked the characters, the story, or the book itself.
Listen, it's not A Tale of Two Cities, or The Stand (seriously, one of the best books ever written) but it's really really good. I read it on my kindle and on the last page when it offered to sell me the next in the series I clicked BUY NOW without a moment's hesitation. I won't read it next though. I'm wrung out. I need something lighter.
I usually don't like this kind of hard boiled SF novel, but I found his writing accomplished. He presents characters as a diverse group of people, but the aliens are one dimensional in they're just evil. My only wish was that the aliens actually have a motive for attacking earth and trying to destroy humanity (other than just being evil). It's a really good read though, no matter what i think about the alien 'character' development.
The blurb says this is an ideal fit for fans of Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers. I agree. Earth Alone delivers on the sense of camaraderie that builds in a boot camp setting, while empathizing with the difficult scenarios that brought each member. The main character has a strong love triangle situation going, and while Earth Alone is not a romance, you feel for the young man being a bit of a romantic, and getting his heart broken once or twice along the way. We have plenty going for it as the series builds off book two in this regard, but more so in the aspect of him learning to be a soldier. I don’t want to spoil the transformation, so I’ll just say Arenson did a great job with this character and making me want to root for him in subsequent books.
The premise is a good one for fans of alien invasion and military science fiction. The aliens that invaded fifty years ago pushed Earth’s buttons, and got nuked pretty bad because of it. The strategy shifted to more of a death by a thousand cuts approach, where they send advance troops that land like meteors, can infect people with hideous and sterilizing diseases, and can certainly kill hundreds at a time before they’re taken down. This takes our main character, who would rather read and write his life away in the comfort of peace, and forces him into war. I really empathized with him in this. I have so much admiration for our service members for doing what I don’t and can’t. Well, our main character doesn’t have that freedom to avoid the sacrifices and struggle to come in the war he’ll be thrown into, and I admired seeing not only how he reacted, but also how Arenson crafted his story.
There’s a sense looking back on books like Starship Troopers, Ender’s Game, and more modern examples like Germline and Quarter Share that books this good, and the authors who write them, are hard to find. I believe Earth Share is one of those books, and seeing how prolific Arenson is encourages me of the many more stories I’ll have to enjoy.
The narration by Jeffrey Kafer is as always a rock solid contribution to audiobook loving military science fiction. This guy keeps getting gigs for a good reason, and I’m glad to see him joining this project.
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