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The Swarm

The Second Formic War (Volume 1)
Length: 18 hrs and 1 min
5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston return to their Ender's Game prequel series with this first volume of an all-new trilogy about the Second Formic War in The Swarm.

The first invasion of Earth was beaten back by a coalition of corporate and international military forces and the Chinese army. China has been devastated by the Formic's initial efforts to eradicate Earth life forms and prepare the ground for their own settlement. The Scouring of China struck fear into the other nations of the planet; that fear blossomed into drastic action when scientists determined that the single ship that wreaked such damage was merely a scout ship. There is a mothership out beyond the solar system's Kuiper Belt, and it's heading into the system, unstoppable by any weapons that Earth can muster.

Earth has been reorganized for defense. There is now a Hegemon, a planetary official responsible for keeping all the formerly warring nations in line. There's a Polemarch, responsible for organizing all the military forces of the planet into the new International Fleet. But there is an enemy within, an enemy as old as human warfare: ambition and politics. Greed and self-interest. Will Bingwen, Mazer Rackam, Victor Delgado, and Lem Juke be able to divert those very human enemies in time to create a weapon that can effectively defend humanity in the inexorable Second Formic War?

Full cast of narrators includes Susan Hanfield, Emily Rankin, Orson Scott Card, and Aaron Johnston.

©2016 Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (P)2016 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If you like the series you will enjoy this Book.

Orson and Johnston work well to develop a back story on characters for which the ending has already been written. Much is same when it comes to this book of the series. Character development and plot lines are well established and the story line itself fits well with an ending we all know is written in The Ender Game series.

Without getting into details fans of the series will appreciate the story for what it is and the details and thought that went into developing the main characters back stories. At times I will say that I found the repetitiveness of the details a little over done but the details themselves were well developed.

The narrative team did another great performance adding character depth that listeners can really follow.

Overall great story.

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Could the prequels be better than the sequels??

In my opinion yes! I loved the First Formic War series and I love the Second Formic war even more! Great book.

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great

As always, these books translate great into audio. If you liked the prequels, you'll like this, simple as that.

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Come on get book 2 out already

Makes you hungry for the rest of the trilogy. An excellent and worthy addition to the Enderverse.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel A. Dennett
  • Locust Grove, VA, USA
  • 2016-09-20

Great for a theoretical physics geek

I think what interests me most about Scott Card's books are the ideas or theories he presents and work to help you understand. It is true that sometime the explanations can make to story drag if you aren't interested it them but I am and they make the story that much more interesting. It was predictable what was going to be in the asteroids but was suprised by what else was in them (hope that doesn't give too much away).
Another great book and I can't wait for the next one.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Katy Troe
  • 2016-08-09

Extremely happy

This was a marathon for me, done so quick. it was right in line and properly throughout. now back to the beginning!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • GWcritic
  • 2016-08-03

Very good, just hope we can finish the saga

Once again, the story is addictive. I just hope we can get to the end in less than 3 years.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Eric A. Smalling
  • Euless, TX USA
  • 2016-09-02

Interesting, but feels unnecessarily drawn out

What did you like best about The Swarm? What did you like least?

Liked best: the parts of the story were those that actually dealt with the Formics strategy and actions, also the politics of the I.F. were interesting.

Liked least: Without giving away too much, there is a character in this book that magically discerns far too much about things that previously only were discovered in the far future according to other Ender/Shadow books. SPOILER ALERT: Specifically, the philotic connections between things; they were just figuring that out hundreds of years in the future according to the Ender/Shadow books, but somehow a person on Earth before the second war theorizes it? Not likely.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Get rid of the above mentioned character that knows way too much about the Formic's capabilities.

Which scene was your favorite?

The last one (on the peanut shaped asteroid)

Was The Swarm worth the listening time?

Not really. Many times, it felt like the authors are stretching one book into two or three. (seems to be a pattern in the last several books in the Enderverse)

Any additional comments?

I've listened to and/or read all of the books so I'm sure I'll get the next ones but I sure wish they would finish a story instead of adding filler to sell 2 or 3 books.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Kain
  • Seward, Alaska USA
  • 2016-09-19

A great prequel

Loved the filling in some of the story in between 1st and last fornic war. The narration was outstanding. I can't wait for more

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Donald E. Mansell
  • Paradise, CA
  • 2016-08-21

When is the next prequel coming out?

The Swarm is a seamless, well-crafted yarn in the very best tradition of Ender's Game. Without space battles near Saturn and no Rackham children we trust what we read was a pre-prequel. Mazer promises to be an even more interesting character than Ender, if that's possible. The child heroes are no disappointments either. Bingwen, who we were introduced to in Earth Alive plays a pivotal role in the story and may be saved from an asteroid explosion thanks to high tech armor and nanotechnology co-developed by Mazar and Victor with input from Bingwen himself..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • shaneseggar
  • 2016-08-17

Needs another edit

The relationship details between Victor and Imalia was poorly written and way too protracted. I wanted to strangle the authors for wasting my time.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 2019-07-11

Another Formic Book...

This is the first book in the Second Formic War series in the Ender universe and is the fifteenth book overall.
If you have read every other book in the series, this is one more.
This is not the best of the series, and not the worst.
This seems a bit more bland, predictable, less thought provoking, and more stretched out than the best of the series.
The characterization was OK as was the story (although a bit slow).
I will likely read the next in this series when it comes out, but I will not be waiting with bated breath.
The narration was quite good, with multiple voices leading to good energy and clarity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-04

too many voice actors

It is obvious how this book is on the path to Ender's Games. loved the introduction to the fighting cage. But having multiple voice actors read different parts for a single character, namely Mazer Rakum, is very frustrating.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 28 year old gamer
  • 2019-04-19

letdown

I was disapointed that the book did not really end the formic war, story did not progress far enough.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful