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Earth Unaware: Book 1 of the First Formic War by [Card, Orson Scott, Johnston, Aaron]
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Earth Unaware: Book 1 of the First Formic War Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in First Formic War (3 Book Series)

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Length: 417 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

A standout tale of sf adventure that gives Ender series fans fascinating backstory to the classic Ender's Game (LIBRARY JOURNAL)

The story progresses nimbly, with plenty of tension and excitement and Card's usual well-developed characters (KIRKUS REVIEWS)

Literate prose and superlative characterisation . . . excellent (BOOKLIST)

Book Description

The start of a brand new space adventure series set in the world of ENDER'S GAME - a classic science fiction novel due to be released as a major motion picture in 2013

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1491 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0356502740
  • Publisher: Orbit (4 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CBFPRQO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #171,910 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a lover of books, particularly sci-fi, dystopian futures, and the occasional fantasy. After reading Ender's Game, which I quite liked, I picked this up. I found that I love the Formic Wars series are FAR BETTER than Ender's Game, or the saga of Ender, which seems to go on forever.

The first book of this trilogy sets the stage, but books two and three are really where it takes off. I highly recommend picking this up if you enjoy a nice fast paced read, and you are looking for a solid Sci-Fi book to put in your queue.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read all of Orson Scott Card and I am currently working my way through the graphic novels. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if I were to get bored with the Ender thread, but apparently not. This novel held me spellbound as usual. In particular, because this is a back story, I can enjoy the foreknowledge of what will happen next, and Card's skill as a writer meant that this knowledge enhanced my reading. I would highly recommend this to someone who is familiar with the series. If not, then the book will be a good read, but I would suggest going back to Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and read through the novels from there. You will most certainly not be disappointed.
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Format: Hardcover
I find it hard to believe that Card had anything to do with this book, other than to take his cut of the royalties. It is poorly written and riddled with errors. It confuses speed and acceleration throughout, keeps talking about spacecraft coming to a dead stop, ships can't dock or undock because they are going too fast and a trip from the Kuiper belt to the Moon takes just a few months when the speed or velocity or whatnot mentioned in passing would seem to indicate something of the order of five to ten years depending on the trajectory. Lastly the Formics apparently have facial expressions that are easily interpreted by humans as soon as they encounter them! Amazing! Description and characterisation are also clichéd.

If you liked Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead et al then avoid this rubbish like the plague. I've read it and I can't un-read it, but I wish I could.
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By Bruce TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
This book does start slowly and really only picks up momentum after nearly 200 pages - but this is to be expected at the start of a multi-book series, where the characters and situations are being established. As a big fan of Orson Scott Card's Science Fiction I was very glad that he was venturing back into Ender's universe and although not up with the best, this is in no way a disappointment and can be enjoyed by those who haven't read any of his work and maybe have just seen the recent film, with no problems.

I thought this first book shows exactly how human civilisation could easily misinterpet the actions of any alien species and you get the sense of the inevitability of hostilty and war. The characters that we meet are often people we would like and trust - the community of the El Calvador is warm and very familiar. But they are no better at dealing with the arrival of an alien species, than the manipulative and calculating "corporates", who are set up as the "bad guys".

In the end though, the friendly Italian and Hispanic communities may be just as much to blame for starting hostilities and the inevitable slide into war - they are just as much at fault in the way they interact with the Formics. Their intial reaction is disgust and fear, rather than any attempt at communication and understanding. But as readers, we can all too well understand why they behave as they do and the emotions that govern their responses to something totally alien and apparently unresponsive.

This is a story of big ideas - how we can possibly engage with another species - but as usual with Card, he makes it very personal and small-scale - dealing with family matters to which we can all relate.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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').
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