“Earth Unaware (The First Formic War)”
by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
published by Macmillan Audiobooks
Being a fan of Science-Fiction I have had the book “Ender’s Game” on my to read list for years, but for some reason or another I have just never gotten around to reading it. When I saw that Macmillan Audiobooks was publishing the audiobook of the prequel to “Ender’s Game,” I thought, “Well, I guess now’s the time to get to it.” I know, as with all prequels that are written after the main book, th element of surprise won’t be there if I read the prequels first, but I got the chance so I took it.
This book is the first of a trilogy of sequels to the “Ender’s Game” series and takes place 100 years before the event’s in “Ender’s Game.” The story takes place in three major areas that by the end of the book all merge to tell of the arrival of the Formic’s to our universe. The audiobook features the voice talents of Stefan Rudnicki, Stephen Hoye, Arthur Morey, Vikas Adam, Emily Janice Card, Gabrielle de Cuir and Roxanne Hernandez. Each reader reads the a section when told from a different character’s point of view. For example when told from one female’s point of view one of the above female narrators will take charge. This really helped to emphasize the change of not only person but also of location. When on Earth training with an elite group of special forces the male voice reading sounds very military, when told from the point of view of a young girl in space the voice fits and you know you are in a different location. This keeps the book fresh.
Like I said, the story is split in 3 different locations, one from the mining ship “El Cavador,” on Earth as an elite group of military special forces is being recruited and trained and one from a corporate ship testing out a new mining process, a GLASER, a Gravitational LASER.
When a young girl training to be a sort of lookout on the mining ship discovers a faster than light speed ship moving toward the Kuiper belt, where the El Cavador is mining asteroids, and whose course continues on to Earth she is unsure who to tell. After some time the miners decide to alert everyone they can. The problem is they are so far out in space that messages are hard to pass on. They decide to alert the corporate ship in the area, hoping they will be better suited to get the message back to Earth. The problem is that the corporates want the asteroid El Cavador is mining and in sneaking up on the miners misses the message.
The corporates “bump” the mining ship and take over mining the ship. In the process one of El Cavador’s crew is killed. The El Cavador sends a sniffer, a type of data mining satellite, to the ship to download all their data and send a warning message that they will avenge the death.
In the meantime an Italian mining ship is attacked by a probe from the light speed ship. The Italian ship is destroyed. When the El Cavador finds the wreckage after the probe has left they begin searching for survivors. While searching the probe returns, one group of miners attacks the probe and as they are dismantling the ship from the outside the occupants of the probe emerge. The aliens appear to be human-sized ants. Calling the aliens Hormigas (spanish for ants) they miners try once again to alert the corporate ship. The corporates soon change the alien name to Formics (latin for ants) and agree to side with the miners to help keep the main ship from arriving at Earth.
The first Formic war has begun and it is up to a few miners and a corporate mining ship to prevent the possible annihilation of humanity. This story tells of love, betrayal, family and corporate greed all while gearing up for a major war between Earth and Formics.