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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Earth Unaware

Copyright 2013 by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

In Association with Amazon.com In Association with Amazon.co.uk
SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this on the 14th August 2014.

You pretty much know that anything by Orson Scott card is going to be a good story and well told. Sometimes he creates outstanding novels like "Ender's Game" and "Speaker For the Dead".

But not all the time. I have to admit that I grew reluctant to buy any of his more recent novels because they're good but just not good enough, not as good as his classic works. Furthermore they always seem to be part of some trilogy, and frankly I don't have that sort of time to spare.

So, I was down at the Maruzen bookshop in the OUZO building opposite Tokyo station. It's a pretty big bookshop with a good selection of English language books. There were two new SF books that caught my eye: Michael Flynn's "The January Dancer" and Orson's "Earth Unaware". I decided to buy "The January Dancer" because I recalled his fabulous "Firestar" series. But then I said to myself "Max, you haven't bought any books for ages, make up for it and buy both" and did so. Darn lucky I did - I gave up on the "January Dancer" half-way through. But boy, did I enjoy "Earth Unaware", So much so that I immediately ordered "Earth On Fire" and "Earth Awakens" from Amazon Japan. "Earth Awakens" (the final book of the trilogy) arrived the next day but "Earth Unaware" (book two) took two days. That was a tough time trying not to read the books in the wrong order. Please show sympathy.

However, I was a little disappointed with myself. Firstly for not spotting early on that this was a prequel to "Ender's Game". Not spotting it at all in fact. Secondly - as an one-time Marvel comic books fan - for having absolutely and completed missed the Ender's Game comic book series. How can one be so out of it? Anyway, I caught the movie "Ender's Game the day I finished the "Earth Unaware

Back to the book. Some parts were distinctly odd. There were implausible military goings-on with a supranational combination of SEALS and SAS with the stirring name of "MOPS". That didn't feel exactly likely. There were some spacecraft manoeuvres that also seemed rather implausible. Implausible is my word of the day. But forget about that right now, and those implausibilities.

The novel was pretty good. I really want to know what happens to Victor, the youthful genius who will, I sincerely hope, be able to save the Earth. There were several other people that I felt strongly for, but sadly Orson quickly made it very clear that it's not a good idea to care for these characters. They die. Most every notable character in this novel gets killed off. Quite surprisingly dead. Orson is a hard-hearted writer. No sentimentality about keeping a character going a little bit longer because he likes him. Nope, as soon as the plot calls for it, bang, you're gone, wiped out. Erased. I find that all a bit final. Too much like real life.

About 30 pages from the end I realized "oh heck, this is another trilogy". Well, it did say it on the cover, but I'd not checked. So, as mentioned earlier, I turned to Amazon for a speedy solution.

I recommend this book, and hopefully the series, It was great.

Loaded on the 14th November 2021.
Cover of Earth Unaware
Cover art by John Harris

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris:
Ancillary Mercy
Light Raid
The Stonehenge Gate
Old Man's War
The Ghost Brigades
The Last Colony
The Moat Around Murcheson's Eye
Radio Freefall
Children Of The Mind

Reviews of other works with covers by John Harris and Carol Russo Design:
Earth Made Of Glass