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Bought the first book and couldn't wait to get home to buy the second one so I bought it immediately on my Kindle as soon as it was released! These books are fantastic. Highly recommended if you want to know all about the back story to Ender's Game.
I feel vaguely ripped off after reading this novel. The writing was ok, the plot was ok, the action was sometimes above average, but it wasn't subtle. All the plot points were telegraphed well in advance (no spoilers here).
But what I cannot abide is that it was absolutely not a novel. A novella perhaps, an installment, or just a cash grab. It ended so abruptly that it left my head spinning. I haven't read a book in my history of reading books (since 1964) that was so terribly ended. It was so jarring that I actually checked to see if the download had accidentally stopped and I was missing the last part of the book.
I just paid $14.00 to be badly teased. Very not cool, Mr Card and Johnston.
I am a very easygoing person, but pulling a stunt like this has caused me to plan to boycott the next installment until it is in the bargain bin. You will not get my money under false pretenses again.
Like the latter half of the first instalment of the new series, this second book races past and the action doesn't let up until the end. While the first book was about how easy it would be to mistake the intentions of any approaching alien race - in this second part we are in no doubt that the formics are hostile and deadly to the human race.
The series has made the most of the new characters and we find out how they all play a part and they are fleshed out well in this continuation. Probably not the best place to start, but it is now all about the way we as a a species or society, deal with the threat. It's clear that most institutions would be paralised and useless - weighed down with bureacracy and red tape, to prevent any resistence. It's only those working outside of any constraints that can actually mobilise to do anything.
Of course, as the plot moves on, we realise that we are with the only groups of people who can make a difference and this is in no way a big spoiler, as it's pretty clear from the start that these are no ordinary people and some, like Mazer Rackham, have their stories pre-determined from events in the "Ender's Game" series. This is a very enjoyable series and while this one may have less philsophical depth, it moves us into the world of all-out war, where this is no room for doubt of hesitation - it's them or us - and no room for communication or scientific method.
In a way this is quite a sad outcome - but the writers are quite convincing in their portayal of the inevitability of the idea that any contact with an alien species, will be about a battle for resources and that we will be at war, rather than sitting down to talk and swap ideas. Personally, I would like to hope that humanity could be more rational and conciliatory - but our history tends to show this is unlikely. Also, these ideas are explored further in the later books of the "Ender" series and maybe we do have to grow further as a society before we are ready for a different outcome?
All in all a good read and I can't wait for the next one.
5.0 out of 5 starsIf you liked Enders Game even a little, the prequels are a great foundation worth the escapism.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 21, 2014
Bought the first part of this as a cheap, time filling read and based on seeing Enders Game as a prequel to that movie. I haven't read sci fi for years but enjoyed the setting, build up and secondary stories; Yet another book had me ordering the sequel from here - why are these so 'can't put down? I actually looked forward to commuting so I could get my daily fix of Vico and the Formics! As with another series of book I've reviewed here, the downside is now I have to wait for the next published book some months from now.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2014
Another amazing book from Orson and Aaron. I first read Ender's Game about 10 years ago and instantly fell in love. I didn't know there were sequels but I now am on a mission to read the whole Ender Saga. I love reading the prequels, Mazer Rackham is a wonderful character and I find the Earth books great because we can relate to them more closely! Due to them being set a closer time to ourselves. I'm excited for the last prequel that will finish Mazer's story and give light as to why everybody talks about him in Battle School.
I don't know, definitely different from all previous books (except the fact that thet main character is a small genius boy) . It seems a very boyish book. you have astronauts, aliens, marines, prince (sry, the son of the biggest corp) , a tough hot chick, a sensible (probably hot) girl. What it doesn't have from previous books are: politics, evil genius and a not-that-complex grand plan.
3.0 out of 5 starsGood prequel but simply written.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 18, 2015
A good prequel to the Ender series, however it is very simply written in that many people have to be idiots, although in positions of power, to allow the plot to work. This is now becoming common in our fiction writing. Well worth the read, particularly at this price. I had the first one out as a library book and this one on Kindle was a great experience. As a result I now have 40 books on my Kindle.
5.0 out of 5 starsEnder's Series has a couple of new stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 7, 2013
Orson Scott Card continues the Ender's prequels creating two new star characters along the way. Yes, they both appears in the first installment in this new series but here they really come to life leaving you wanting more.
Mazer Rackham and Victor are both fully fledged and the ending here is as abrupt as it's logical.
A real cliff-hanger. Now all I need is the publishing date of the sequel.
Bought the paperback earth unaware that I cam across while browsing in waterstones. Finished that and couldn't wait to read the next in the series to see what happened so downloaded it and earth afire does not disappoint ! The ending of this one however is a real cliffhanger and had to buy earth awakens - just download the series at the outset !
Picks up straight after Book 1, all 1 book really; would be 5 starts but this book doesn't really have an ending either. If you like any of the Ender stories, Shadow saga etc. you should read these too.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2015
It's just not that engaging. I'm not used to an OSC book I can happily put down and leave for a couple of days. Is it interesting enough to finish the series? Of course even if it wasn't OSC it has enough in it to be worth reading. Will I read and re-read like the Ender series ? Unlikely.
5.0 out of 5 starsRipping SF...can't wait for next one.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 19, 2014
Prequel stories to the Ender's Game and Shadow series. Page turner that is written with the expectation of a film screenplay being extracted with little effort. It is definitely worth reading if you enjoyed Enders Game series, but read Book 1 (Earth Unaware), first.
4.0 out of 5 starsFills in more gaps in the Ender story.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 18, 2014
Although written with hindsight the story continues to provide background for the Ender series. Although it's a good story in its own right it helps if you are familiar with the characters of the previous book(s) in this new series.