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Earthbound (Marsbound) [Mass Market Paperback]

Joe Haldeman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 4.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 258 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (24 Dec 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1937007839
  • ISBN-13: 978-1937007836
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 10.3 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Joe Haldeman was born in Oklahoma in 1943 and studied physics and astronomy before serving as a combat engineer in Vietnam, where he was severely wounded and won a Purple Heart. The Forever War was his first SF novel and it won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, a feat which The Forever Peace repeated. He is also the author of, among others, Mindbridge, All My Sins Remembered, Worlds, Worlds Apart and Worlds Enough and Time.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you've never read Joe Haldeman before then his "Carmen Dula" trilogy is an excellent introduction. It's about first contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence. Read them in order for maximum effect (Marsbound, Starbound, Earthbound)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Shortchanged. 13 Dec 2013
By Bootho
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really like Joe Haldeman and, almost without exception, I have really enjoyed his previous novels but this is the first one that has left me with a sense of regret at spending my money. It really did feel that the author's heart wasn't in this and that this was written purely to meet a contractual obligation. Other reviewers have commented on the rapid descent into anarchy and the rather abrupt and, I would suggest, lazy ending amongst other flaws so I don't feel the need to detail them again. One for the completists only. I suppose every author may be allowed one duff effort but I really hope Mr Haldeman gets back to form with the upcoming "Work Done for Hire."
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 31 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As usual from Haldeman; Magic!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  60 reviews
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars TGIO (Thank God Its Over) 18 Dec 2011
By James Tepper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After a brilliant start with "Marsbound", which left room for, but did not demand, a sequel, Haldeman's 3 book series headed straight downhill. The wonderful new ideas in the opener included not one but two first contacts, great SF tech and wonderful characters with witty banter. All this just crashed and burned in the sequel, "Starsbound", for which I ended my review as follows: "I am a huge fan of Joe Haldeman and this is the first of his novels that I didn't think was great. Certainly do not read this one without first reading Marsbound - this one is not stand-alone - and don't read this as your introduction to the great SF of Joe Haldeman. Try "The Accidental Time Machine" instead. Perhaps the final entry in the series will pull everything together. I sure hope so."

Well, nope. The third one, "Earthbound" does tie everything up, but not in a very satisfying way. From a great outer space/alien romp, the series devolves into a third-rate post-apocalyptic bore that picks up right after the end of "Starsbound", on an Earth where all electrical power has been (somewhat magically) abolished by the Others. And there you have it. So far I've given away nothing, but there is really nothing to give away. Everything that made "Marsbound" so much fun is absent, and everything that made "Starsbound" so disappointing is here, and less. It was a chore to get through. In retrospect, I guess I wish I had given "Starsbound" 3 stars instead of 2 just so I could rate "Earthbound" lower. But in my scale, 1 star reviews are reserved for works that are so bad that they are unreadable, and as disappointing as it is, "Earthbound" does not qualify.

Major disappointment from an extremely talented author whom I respect very much.

Not recommended.

JM Tepper
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope there's more... 13 Dec 2011
By dennisw61832 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having really enjoyed the first two books in the Marsbound series, I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of Earthbound. I just finished it and all I can say is - hmmmm.....

Haldeman stays true to the story line, the characters, the interplay between them and has very convincing scenarios for the "what if Earth was suddenly plunged back into 1800's technology". But, as I got closer and closer to the end, I kept wondering how he was going to end this. The end (which I won't spoil), came in just a few pages and felt like it was rushed and not thoroughly thought out. I sincerely hope this was not the finale to this wonderful series, since if it is, it's weak and not up to Haldeman's normal brilliant writing. I'm seriously hoping that this is an interlude between the terrific beginning of a great series and the tumultuous ending of the saga of Carmen Dula, the Martians and the Others. (Joe - if you read this, please let us know that more is in the works! Thanks.).

As a standalone book, Earthbound will make little sense to readers who are not aware of the two previous volumes. As a conclusion to the Marsbound series, it makes even less sense to the avid Haldeman fan. It only makes sense as a transitional novel between the Marsbound past and the Marsbound future.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing 15 Jan 2012
By DaveP - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The first book of the series, "Marsbound", was excellent...but it should have been left alone. The second and third felt like movie sequels - needed to continue the story for popularity/profit reasons, but the author really didn't have much left to say, or much interest in saying it. The second, "Starbound", was okay, but felt like a transitional story. The third, this one, was very disappointing. After going on in an uninspired "Post-Apocalypse" form, it just....stops. One gets the distinct impression that the author was just sick of it all, wanted to get on with other things, and just created a Deus Ex Machina of the worst sort just to have some sort of quickie resolution. I suppose he could claim that was the point of the arc of the story, facing the caprious and godlike "Others", and that it was intended to be more a character study and evocative of life, which often is capricious and just ends....but if that were the case, the character development is just too shallow to qualify. If it's to be "space opera," then do that justice!

The author is here unfair to to his readers, as we invest time and commitment (not to mention, money) in the main characters, only to have them cursorily tossed aside. Perhaps there will be a fourth to have a better resolution - and frankly, to make it up to his readers - but I'll be very leery of it, and his other works, after this...which is a shame, because when he's really engaged, as in "Marsbound" and "The Forever War", he's a master.

If you must read these, borrow "Starbound" and "Earthbound" from your local public library, and save your money.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weak finish to a strong series... 18 Dec 2011
By B. Hubbard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For a series that really felt like it was going somewhere in the first two books, this one never really had direction. Might be worth reading if you liked the first two books, but overall a disappointment.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't I read this exact story line as part of the "Worlds" trilogy? 18 Jan 2012
By Jason Reedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As many other reviewers have noted, this series started out with a great deal of intrigue. Then stopped making sense in the second book of the series, "Starbound", but still kept you interested. By the last book, however, it not only stopped making sense, but also had the exact same story line as the second book in the "Worlds" trilogy (i.e. Earth suffers some sort of cataclysmic event, and regresses to 19th century technology levels).

There were two things about this book which were very disappointing:

1) How society completely breaks down about ten seconds into the loss of electricity.

I wouldn't argue with the fact that society would break down if electricity was suddenly not available, but we have had blackouts before without people immediately grabbing guns and society turning into "Lord of the Flies" in under 12 hours. Yet that is what happens here. The lights go out, and before the day is over, everyone and their brother has obtained some sort of gun and is shooting anyone else they see on sight.

2) How there was absolutely no resolution or explanation whatsoever about "the Others".

I felt kind of cheated that I invested myself in the previous two books, and was looking forward to some sort of explanation about the mysterious aliens known as "the Others". However, the mysterious aliens are not even in the book, and only their proxy "Spy" makes a couple of brief appearances. Nothing is ever explained about who "the Others" are, why they act the way they do, or what they are even trying to accomplish. I realize it wouldn't do the author credit to fully explain a mysterious alien race, but I was expecting at least some hint of information.

All in all, this book left me extremely disappointed. Out of the 200+ pages in the book, probably only a dozen were worth reading with regards to content on the series. The remaining pages is just a story of people trying to survive without electricity in a society gone insane, which is a story that I have already ready by this author before.
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