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Earth Unaware (The First Formic War) Mass Market Paperback – April 30, 2013
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I'll give you a particularly nerdy complaint: The author doesn't understand the difference between acceleration and velocity. There are so many examples of this misunderstanding that it completely ruined my enjoyment of an otherwise completely mediocre story.
Regardless, I really enjoyed the book and am aleatory into the follow-up.
Instead, this novel builds up other characters. And this is where my complaint lies. Orson Scott Card (and Aaron Johnston, who obviously buys into the same) has decided that this series is about children. It is about gifted children who make grown up decisions and are smarter than any person you've ever met. I understand that was what "Ender's Game" and the subsequent books were about, but they were based on the IF finding gifted children from across the globe to play war games. This book just happens to find other gifted children, who just happen to find themselves in the way of history. I'm sorry, but it just gets to be a little much. I'm all for gifted kids, but it is a reoccurring theme in this whole series that just gets a bit old.
And it is not just this extension of the series, either. "Speaker for the Dead" just happened to find over-intelligent children (the cousins who had a thing for each other), as did some of the children in Bean's adventures, and "Ender in Exile". All I'm saying is that it makes for a good story occasionally, but building an entire (very large) series of books over one theme (that turns out to be a coincidence in many of the stories) just starts to wear on a reader at some point. I have read the great majority of the stories in this series, and I have to say, it's wearing down.
That being said, I think Aaron Johnston has blown a little life into the series. The nitpick of the last few paragraphs aside, I think this was actually a good read. It builds up the backstory and leaves you wishing for the next book. I think my main concern with this novel, was that it was going to cater way too much to the "Ender's Game" crowd, but it actually has its own story. Someone could pick up this book, having no knowledge of "Ender's Game" and still enjoy it. I think that give it a few points.