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Earth Unaware

(The First Formic War #1)

by
3.95  ·  Rating details ·  40,706 ratings  ·  1,376 reviews
A hundred years before Ender's Game, humans thought they were alone in the galaxy. Humanity was slowly making their way out from Earth to the planets and asteroids of the Solar System, exploring and mining and founding colonies.

The mining ship El Cavador is far out from Earth, in the deeps of the Kuiper Belt, beyond Pluto. Other mining ships, and the families that live on
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Audio CD, Unabridged, 14 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Macmillan Audio (first published July 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Read This Review & More Like It On My Blog!

Written as a prequel to the well-loved Ender's Game, Johnston's Earth Unaware tries to fill in some of the holes and unexplored history of the "Enderverse" and the first Formic War that led to Battle School, and Ender's adventures in vanquishing the "hormigas"/Formics. When this book works the most, it succeeds predominately on misplaced nostalgia for the earlier-published-but-later-in-the-chronology novels like Ender's Game, Xenophobe, Children of
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David
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a huge fan of the Enderverse, I knew that I would like Earth Unaware. I was not aware (hah!) of how *much* I would like it- I found it gripping and nearly impossible to put down.

Like Michael Flynn's "Wreck of the River of Stars", there is no question how the Formica wars turn out: very, very badly for the humans. We know that from the basic premise of the universe. So knowing the doom that is coming could lend a funereal tone to the work, but in Card and Johnston's hands it does not. The
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Scott
Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't have high expectations going into Earth Unaware. It's a collaboration, and even though Orson Scott Card's name is plastered on the front it's a good bet that Aaron Johnston did most of the writing. I wasn't particularly fond of their last collaboration, Invasive Procedures, where it felt (to me) like someone else writing a book based on an Orson Scott Card idea. For that matter, I haven't been overwhelmed by the recent Enderverse books such as Shadows in Flight and Ender in Exile.

Well,
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Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I've read Ender's Game two or three times, and I love it. Needless to say, the fact that it was getting a prequel series filled me with curiosity and trepidation in about equal measures. While finding out about first contact with the aliens could be interesting, Card could definitely much it all up with his asshole opinions. Turns out, though, that this was mostly neither. Card didn't assault me with a religious message, but this book also just was not that good.

The first chapters of Earth
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Unwisely
I didn't know this book existed until a coworker dropped it on my desk. I might have been happier then. I have read an awful lot of Orson Scott Card, starting in college when I came across Ender's Game in college and read it through in one sitting. (I did not sleep, I did not eat, I did not go to class, just read until I was finished. Luckily I'm a quick reader so it was a one day thing.)

I was skeptical about the Shadow books, but they were fine. So I was willing to give this one a shot.

It is
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Nathan
Oct 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So many science issues it was distracting, either this book was written by the coaurhor with no real oversight by Card or I've lost a lot of respect for Card as an author.
Dave
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story, but despised the poor basic physics in this book. That has made it me least favorite of Card's books. Add the fact that it is an unresolved ending (unlike any of his other 12 or so books I've read) and it's 2 stars for me.

For those interested, the physics blunders mostly focused on a misunderstanding of relative velocity and what's speed means in space. They make a big deal out of a high speed docking maneuver in space, but that is absurd. As long as the 2 ships match each
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Neil
Sep 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was not good. There was nothing grievously wrong with it - except the author's apparent complete lack of understanding of physics - but there were lots of little things that just rankled. First of all, some of the audiobook narrators were terrible, particularly the ones who voiced Victor and Lem. If you're going to write about a Venezuelan family of space miners you'd better find somebody who can pronounce Spanish words properly.

None of the characters were that great and many of them
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Rich Kulesus
Aug 10, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Die-hard Ender's Game Fanatics
Earth Unaware is to Orson Scott Card what "Lady in the Water" was to M. Night Shyamalan - The latest disappointing tale in a descending career abruptly punctuated by explanatory paragraphs to beat you over the head with every concept since he couldn't work it in more craftily. Ender's Game was Card's brilliant supernova of a novel, which, Like Shyamalan's Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense, expertly twirled the reader's mind an incredible twist ending that left one pondering the meaning for days to ...more
Michael
Aug 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ender's Game is still one of my top 5 books of all time. While I didn't like the followup novels as much -- they didn't quite my satiate my reading tastes as much as Ender's Game -- I could still appreciate how well they were written. Earth Unaware, however, is a completely different beast. Seeing that the book was co-authored should have set alarm bells ringing in my head, but I was excited to read a new Card novel, so...

Earth Unaware is more of a series of short stories that are loosely tied
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Scott Danielson
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio
One of the pleasures of listening to science fiction audiobooks over the years has been hearing Orson Scott Card's Ender series. Besides being expertly narrated by an ensemble led by Stefan Rudnicki, these audiobooks are entertaining because Card isn't delivering the same book over and over. In Earth Unaware, Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston take the series in yet another direction.

I know, I know. It's been proven time after time. When a book series gets to the point where [Original Author]
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John Sorensen
The story was typical Orson Scott Card. Solid characters, I wanted to read more. I was entertained. However, the physics and common-sense errors in this book were absolutely horrible, it made me want to scream. If that was it, I would give the book 4 stars.

Here is an example: In the first chapters of the book, the need for one of the characters to give an update to the board, drove all of the action - to speed up tests. Then that same character, who had to do a bunch of things for the updates to
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Carolyn
A decent enough entry in the Ender saga. I would have preferred that all the various characters and plot points got tied together more before ending the book. All the MOPs backstory was a waste of time, briefly introducing Mazer Rackham and then booting him offstage. We know we'll see him again, but in this first book, it seems very gratuitous. Most of the science of this book is very fictional, so check your science background at the door, if you've got one. Finding out that the book was ...more
Virginia
As far as I'm concerned, Card can write as many stories in the Enderverse as he wants. Milk that cash cow, man! Especially if the stories are as compelling as these. It was particularly thrilling to read how certain elements in Ender's Game started out (eg: Battle School, the MD, the IF, etc). My only complaint is that the dialog isn't as snappy as Card's other books, but that could be a side effect of the co-authoring. I still found it very enjoyable! Loving the fleshed out backstory and can't ...more
Eric Herboso
I went into this thinking I'd be reading the story of the elusive Mazer Rackham. Without giving anything away, let me say that this is much more than that.

As the first in a planned trilogy, I am a little upset that I can't yet read the sequels which have yet to come out, but this is actually a very good sign when it comes to how good a novel is. I'm extremely pumped by the story, even though (since it's a prequel) I technically know what's going to happen.

Note that there are some marvel comics
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K
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
While this book says it's by Orson Scott Card, I'm wondering if most of the writing was actually done by Aaron Johnston, who worked w/ Card while writing the comic book version of this story.

If you'll remember, I accidentally read book 2 of this series first. Since Card often starts strong but goes downhill in subsequent books, I was excited to read book 1...book 2 was excellent. Apparently Johnston has the opposite problem as Card. Thanks to Earth Unaware, I started disliking characters. This
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thethousanderclub
I now have read twelve books in the Ender Universe. And, sadly, I think I'm done reading books in that universe. The last book I read from Scott Card was Ender in Exile, and I largely left off reading that book with a positive feeling. I wrote in part: "With so many books and so many authors in the wild to enjoy, I'm not exactly sure why I keep coming back to the Ender well. Regardless of whether I figure it out or not, I'll be back to take another drink and more than likely enjoy the taste just ...more
Robert Blaylock
Oct 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won volume two of this series in a drawing on Goodreads. Not wanting to read the series out of sequence I bought EARTH UNAWARE in paperback. While the book successfully (and, I hope, intentionally) mimics the tone of ENDER'S GAME, I suspect that much of the writing here is actually by Aaron Johnston. That's not a bad thing. In fact, despite some readers' qualms about gaffes in the the physics utilized in the book, I found most of the scientific exposition to be considerably more detailed than ...more
Emily
Feb 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Card and Aaron Johnston began writing the Ender's Game comic book series, they began to see that what happened prior to Ender's story deserved a story of its own. Hence, Earth Unaware, having to do with the events leading up to the first Formic War.
Vico is young, but a master mechanic. He and his family have a small ship, El Cavador, and they mine asteroids out in the Kuiper Belt. They are the first to discover an anomalous ship heading their way. Lem Jukes, heir to Jukes Unlimited, a
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Jacob Ediger
Ender's Game is a book about people who happen to live in the future and what technology there is there to drive the story and is not explained in detail, it is left at the level of "magic." In Earth Unaware technology is used to drive the story and explained in detail. This would be OK if the author had any appreciable understanding of the technicalities of space travel, unfortunately they do not. Spaceships are treated as cars on a highway, occasionally being required to pull over to make ...more
Staci Johnson
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot wait for the next installment on the Formic Wars.
Vicki
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Science fiction may not be for everybody, but IMHO, it ought to be! The science stretches your imagination with exciting technological possibilities and the fiction enriches your mind with great plotting and character development that equals or surpasses other mysteries and thrillers which don't happen to be set in remote outer space at some remote future time. So if you haven't been a sci fi fan, welcome aboard from here on!

In Earth Unaware, the authors have gone back to recapture the very
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Michael
The only other Orson Scott Card book I've ever read was Ender's Game. So I may not have the best background for determining if this was a good book or not. On the other hand, it may give the best background to determine if it was good.

Honestly, I liked Earth Unaware. It was full of intriguing plot-lines and characters, intense action sequences, and extremely interesting business models (space mining). Sure, it was a little far-fetched with ultra-intelligent teenagers inventing remarkably useful
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Annette
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
When I saw Aaron Johnston listed as co-author on this book, I was ready for it to be something of the general quality of Invasive Procedures - in other words, poor. Indeed, I nearly gave it up after the first few chapters because I didn't think I could handle 350 pages featuring a host of emotionally damaged, introspective characters plagued by dysfunctional family relationships - written by someone other than Card - just then. Having no other book on my "must read" list ready to hand, I stuck ...more
Ashley E
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Let me start off saying, that this is the first Orson Scott Card book that I've read (though certainly not the last), so while I had a vague notion that it was some sort of prequel thing to the Ender books, I didn't really know what it was about. Fortunately, I didn't need to know a thing. It was amazing anyway.

Earth Unaware follows a large and scattered group of characters through the initial discovery of the "hormigos", or Formics, when they first invade our galaxy. It's not the easiest book
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William Bentrim
May 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Earth Unaware by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johsnston

This book is a back story for Ender’s Game. If you have not read the Ender series, do so, you will not regret it. Victor is a mechanically talented young man in a mining clan thrust into the role of interstellar hero.

Card has the ability to create characters with utter realism. You may even think you have met some of his characters. Stretching the comparison, I was a small independent computer dealer in competition with corporate entities
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Bill
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Enderverse Fangasmic Types
Shelves: science-fiction
Ender's Game is one of the Masterpieces of Science Fiction space opera literature. This novel, the 1st in a trilogy of prequels expands on the Formic wars, mentioned in Ender's Game.

This 1st prequel is a disappointment. My take is that it was only written to line the pockets of the authors and publishers, esp with it and its sequels coming out with the EG movie. Even this 1st book ends without being a standalone. I suspect the prequels are a single book split into 3 just to make more money.

All
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Ian
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel began as a graphic novel in the increasingly bloated and now franchised series that began with _Ender's Game_, and it has all the strengths and weaknesses of a graphic novel: a page-turning plot and incredibly shallow characters and setting.

Though billed as the work of Orson Scott Card, the book is in fact a collaboration with Aaron Johnston, and the writing is consequently spotty. There are passages that sound like Card, with his characteristic tense dialogue and sense of character,
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G33z3r
Start of a prequel series to Card's big hit Ender's Game, and not a self-contained story but rather the hook for the series. Prequels are difficult since the reader usually knows where they're going, though Card left some room to fill in details and characters. Humanity in this case is represented by tightknit clans of cantankerous asteroid miners and a nasty, evil corporation. (Plus the introduction of a super-elite military special ops unit that's irrelevant to the events in this novel, but ...more
Kevin Mammoser
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
OH how they teased me with Mazer Rackham! Some of the most exhilarating parts of this book were the snipits of Wit O'Toole and his crew, and they were only training for the most part. I fully believe that Lem Jukes will have a change of heart, considering the author literally makes it blatantly obvious that he doesn't like the person his father has molded him to be, and constantly makes up excuses for why he isn't to blame, it's a bit annoying actually, how obvious the author makes it. Lem Jukes ...more
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series
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Other books in the series

The First Formic War (3 books)
  • Earth Afire (The First Formic War, #2)
  • Earth Awakens (The First Formic War, #3)
“My mind, my logical, practical, reasoning mind, is peeing in his mind pants.” 3 likes
“The problem was, the people who should shut up were the ones talking the most.” 2 likes
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