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Earth Unaware cover art

Earth Unaware

Written by: Orson Scott Card,Aaron Johnston
Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki,Stephen Hoye,Arthur Morey,Vikas Adam,Emily Janice Card,Gabrielle de Cuir,Roxanne Hernandez
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Publisher's Summary

A hundred years before Ender's Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies.

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on them, are few and far between this far out. So when El Cavador's telescopes pick up a fast-moving object coming in-system, it's hard to know what to make of it. It's massive and moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light.

But the ship has other problems. Their systems are old and failing. The family is getting too big. There are claim-jumping corporates bringing Asteroid Belt tactics to the Kuiper Belt. Worrying about a distant object that might or might not be an alien ship seems…not important.

They're wrong. It's the most important thing that has happened to the human race in a million years. This is humanity's first contact with an alien race. The First Formic War is about to begin.
Earth Unaware is the first novel in The First Formic War series by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston.

©2012 Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

“The somber basso voice of Stefan Rudnicki and two well-chosen players march through the story, with a young man's voice particularly effective in segments featuring the angst-ridden teenager. This is an outstanding job, with more to come.” —AudioFile Magazine

“As the narration passes from character to character, the talented cast... easily keeps listeners intrigued with skillful characterizations that feature unique voices, accents, and dialects. And by the time the huge alien ship arrives and the story kicks into high gear, listeners will be utterly captivated by this exciting adventure.” —Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about Earth Unaware

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earth unaware

loved listing to the book I hated stoping the book to do other things!

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I want aliens and spaceships not teen angst.

loved Ender's game and follow-up but this... I can't. first 15 minutes and I had to stop. I think its the reader... can't stand the voice. too much inflection. It does reflect well the emotional state of a regular teenager and it irritates the F*** out of me. I want aliens and spaceships not teen angst. maybe I'll just read it.

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  • Don Gilbert
  • 2014-08-22

The beginning- or a plot filler

Earth unaware is a prequel to the Ender series and I guess the listener/ reader could begin with this series and then move on to Ender Games; but having already listened to the entire Orson Scott Card’s series, listening to Earth Unaware gave me such an Ominous sense of foreboding; and, even though I know what was coming, it kept my ears glued to the story.
I believe it fills a void that was missing from “Ender Games.” It gives us a more detailed background story about earth and the characters that will play a major part in the war, before the Formic, or “Buggers” attack.
This is not a standalone book, of course, and there are many sub-plots left hanging for the next book in the series, but O.S.C. is such a polished and professional writer that it was a satisfying start. His character development is superior; and, as he eludes to in his authors notes, he writes each segment of the book as if it were a scene in a play making the dialogue come to life.
A word about the narration; I’m not usually a fan of an assembled cast, preferring one talented narrator, but I thought they all did a superb job.

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84 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle Cunningham
  • 2012-07-23

ummm....What??

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I love this series but this book was like a long intro. I agree with the other reviewer, I thought my download was messed up and there was another part to the book. I was rather disappointed due to the high quality that typically comes from Card. I honestly felt like I wasted 14hrs getting ready for a book that has yet to come. The book is like a typical "sequel book" where you know the next book is going to be great but you have to get through this one. I would wait before purchasing this book until the next one comes out. The title is extremely misleading because there is absolutely no war at all in this book. They spent an entire book trying to set up a plot for a book that doesn't exist yet. No climax or resolve in this book at all. It reminded me of the 2nd to last Harry Potter movie where all they did was wander around in the forest for a while - in watching it with the last movie it was good but as a stand alone bad. Have I mentioned how disappointed I am yet??

What could Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Actually have a book instead of just an intro.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The narrators were wonderful as usual.

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34 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2014-01-30

We have spotted an alien ship

We have spotted an alien ship, but that is all I got to say about that.
Let's talk about future hero Mazer, but first lets talk and talk and talk about victor. When Victor talks and talks let's use the worse narrator we can find. Another reviewer said is voice was sardonic, I agree. It sounded to me the way someone sounds when they are patronizing someone.

Card USED to be my favorite author, then we hit the 21st century and Wha Wha What? Had these authors devoted more time to Mazer or exploring the Alien ship, this could have been a great book, but they wanted to write a trilogy, so they came up with Victor to fill in the spaces.

Rudnicki is a great narrator, but lately he has been producing and the job is over his head. I am not sure which narrator does Victor, but he is awful and Victor takes up most of the book. This guy went to the Scott Brick school of over acting. He is painful to listen to and if Rudnicki can not spot talent or lack of talent in other narrators, he needs to quit producing.

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  • danny lawrence
  • 2012-07-21

And then.....

I have been completely drawn into the Enderverse and was starting to get into what was going on in this book when it all ended abruptly. I thought that perhaps my download ended at a very bad point when I get to the interview of Orson Scott Card. Obviously this is the setup to the next book, and I will get the next one when it comes out, but I just felt the story was ripped out from under me. If I knew this I could have waited and got the entire series all at once. (who am I kidding, I will get these as they come out and wait almost patiently until the next installment) Other than all that I am ready for what happens next. The Formics are on their way to Earth after deadly encounters with miners at the fringe of the solar system. Where is Mazer when you need him?

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29 people found this helpful

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  • Keith
  • 2012-08-08

Earth Unaware is a must listen for Ender fans

Where does Earth Unaware rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Earth Unaware is one of the better audio books that I have listen to. Orson Scott Card is a master writer and the audio book performance is brilliant. It utilizes multiple people to deliver an element of realism lacked often in audio books.

Any additional comments?

When I downloaded this audio book I did not know it was part of the “Ender” series. I just knew that Orson Scott Card wrote it and he has not disappointed me in the past. After about an hour into it I realized that it was a prequel to “Ender’s Game”. I recommend this audio book to both long time “Ender” fans and people who have never enjoyed the many works of Orson Scott Card. I believe this audio book will make a great gateway book for those wanting to explore Orson Scott Card’s universe. Reading the rest of the “Ender” series is not a prerequisite for this book.

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24 people found this helpful

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  • SAMA
  • 2013-07-05

A worthy prequel

I didn't think I'd enjoy the prequel to Ender's Game, and it doesn't come close to it. I need to put it out of the way.

That being said, this is a story that stands alone pretty well on its own. The multiple narrators, especially when they keep switching mid-chapter, can be confusing. And some narrators are more invested in the narration than others.

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  • Brian
  • 2013-09-03

Good Build-up

Any additional comments?

Orson Scott Card is a master of detail. I'm not sure how much he wrote vs. Aaron Johnston but it had a full OSC feel for sure. Like all OSC books, the details of the story are delivered in painstaking precision. Sometimes too much, sometimes just enough. You definitely get to know the characters.

This book is just a build up to the Formic invasion but we do get to see a little action. The narration was good and the various narrators were good at their respective parts. The weird part was when you were used to a certain character voiced by a certain narrator, then all-of-a-sudden, a different narrator is voicing them.

A good story. It will keep your interest even though (as with most OSC books) it is drawn out a tad too much IMO.

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  • Michael
  • 2017-06-13

Good but no Ender and a lot of padding

I read the first three books in this prequel-series and they were good, but have a lot of padding. These three books could definitely have been one, significantly better, novel by cutting fluff. Even with the fluff these were better than most in the genre but nothing close to Ender's Game. If you love the series these are fine. but don't really stand on their own.

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  • EquiPro
  • 2012-09-27

A Story Unto Itself, Which I Really Enjoyed.

I read several reviews which gave me the impression that this story was somehow unfinished, that there was an unexpected cliff-hanger and/ or that this story ended abruptly without fulfilling the listener's expectations. I would like to assure people reading these reviews in order to make a decision about buying this book, that this is not the case. The title of this book is "Earth Unaware" and that is the story about which this book is written.

Is this book a set-up for the next book to come? Yes. Of course. But it is also a story that can stand alone in many ways. There is a lot to know about what was going on when the Formics show up and this book is the starting point.

To keep this review short, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. I have listened to all of the "Ender" and "Ender's Shadow" series and I liked this book more than some of those. The reading is fantastic, as usual. I am definitely looking forward to the next in the series.

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  • Edward
  • 2012-07-20

Extremely Misleading Subtitle


The publishers summary was a bit misleading.so if you want a break down on what the book is about without any details here you go.
This is not a book about the first formic war. This is a book about people before the war. 99% of the book is about space miners. 1% is about military people on earth.



They should change the tittle to something else and add Book 1

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17 people found this helpful