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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The inevitable, all-out War., 19 April 2014
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This review is from: Earth Afire: Book 2 of the First Formic War (Paperback)
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.
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