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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Slow and poorly written... so far.
on 4 July 2013
I'm only halfway through but felt prompted to write this anyway. As another reviewer has alluded to, Earth Unaware decidedly lacks the concise prose and elegant style of Ender's Game, leading me to think that Orson Scott Card actually wrote almost nothing of this prequel. Whereas Ender's Game is driven forward by the interactions between the main characters, Earth Unaware contains large chunks of detailed and repetitive exposition, as if the reader is assumed to have no more than a 10 minute attention span and must be continually reminded of key facts and plot points. Think what Kevin J Anderson did with the prequels to Frank Herbert's Dune and you get the picture.
Characters behave inconsistently: in one scene, the protagonist argues his family should be willing to sacrifice themselves to protect the human race, yet not long after, he changes completely and is willing to sacrifice everything for a single person. The explanation of why this particular person is in a position to need saving at all also seems very laboured, lasting the best part of an entire chapter when a single paragraph would have sufficed. Sadly I can't help but be left with the impression that things happen when they do because the plot needs them to happen in order to progress, not because it makes logical sense, and talking of plot, it goes at a fairly turgid pace with little in the way of real tension or excitement. I am beginning to suspect this is another of those "take the material for one book and pad it out into a trilogy" efforts.
Equally there are numerous schoolboy physics errors. Note to author: rocks and small asteroids are not held together by gravity, but by electromagnetic forces (i.e. the fact that they are 'solids'). It makes no sense at all to talk of spacecraft "coming to a stop" out in the Kuiper Belt. Even if the operation of a mining laser (yes, OK, laser light carries momentum) created sufficient reaction force to require the ship to be held in place by thrusters (iffy), the reaction force would not fall to nothing when pockets of ice are hit, leading to the ship 'leaping forward'. It's like the author has imagined drilling through a piece of concrete with a hammer drill and then suddenly reaching a layer of butter, and thinking the same thing would happen. I could go on but I think the point is made.
I will keep going simply because this book fits into the Ender's Game universe but if it were a standalone novel it would be a struggle to maintain interest.