- Series: The First Formic War (Book 1)
- Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; First Edition edition (April 30, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 076536736X
- ISBN-13: 978-0765367365
- Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 545 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Earth Unaware (The First Formic War) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2013
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A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.
The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.
“Orson Scott Card made a strong case for being the best writer science fiction has to offer.” ―The Houston Post on Xenocide
“Card has raised to a fine art the creation of suspense by means of ethical dilemmas.” ―Chicago Sun-Times on Xenocide
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Top customer reviews
The setting for the series is developed beautifully, especially surrounding the culture and economy of asteroid belt mining, a major focus of this first book. Free Miner clans spend generations in deep space mining metals from asteroids and sending material back to a lunar base and then Earth. They compete with mining corporations, who treat the Free Miners as pests while trying to assuage their insatiable hunger for territory and profit.
The primary story in EARTH UNAWARE centers around Victor Delgado, an engineer with a free miner family way out in the Kuiper Belt. His unlucky family is among the first to encounter the invading aliens and Victor realizes that a warning must be sent to Earth no matter the cost. However, fights and distrust between the various human groups in deep space make coordinating a response to alien invasion much more difficult than you might think. Much of the book focuses on absurd and very-human conflicts, even in the face of imminent doom. These sections of the book are excellent.
However, a substantial portion of the book was also devoted to a Special Forces group known as MOPs (I can’t remember what that is an acronym for, but something like world police) and their leader Wit. This storyline was seriously confusing in the context of this book, apparently only included because of the involvement of MOPs in the rest of the series. These sections definitely felt tacked on here and not necessary at all, and worse, it takes the reader away from the central storyline of Victor and the first encounters with the Formics.
Overall though, I enjoyed this one and look forward to continuing the series. Simple and easy reading, but tells a story worth hearing. Highly recommended.
The reason I gave 3 stars instead of 4 or 5 is that there are several key concepts in Ender's Game that get completely changed for these books. I'm not going to mention what they are so I don't spoil anything. However, there are several events, items, etc. that are described in some detail and that come about in a specific chronological order in Ender's Game that're pretty much the opposite in these books. I have a big problem with that.
Overall, both books are good enough to be worth reading. I just had issues with certain parts that I didn't think should be changed so completely.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Still a good introduction to the series.