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Earth Afire (The First Formic War, #2)
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Earth Afire

(The First Formic War #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  10,852 Ratings  ·  762 Reviews
One hundred years before Ender's Game the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. This is the story of the First Formic War. Victor beat the alien ship to Earth, but just barely. But it wasn't enough to convince skeptical governments that there was a threat.
Hardcover, 1st edition, 399 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by Tor Books, New York
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Eric Allen
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Earth Afire
By Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston

A Review by Eric Allen

If you wish to skip straight to the review, the beginning will be highlighted in bold for your convenience. Before I begin, allow me to address the elephant in the room. Mr. Card’s rather outspoken views on same sex marriage. Being a fellow Mormon, I am ABHORRED by his recent behavior, and the way he hides behind religion to support his bigotry. Is this not the same man that wrote Speaker for the Dead? A beautiful book that i
Susan Townsend
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
Added this note a good bit later: I was in a really bad mood when I wrote this review, but the ending really ticked me off. I stand by what I said about not reading it unless you can go directly into the 3rd book (which I still haven't read.) I still think it's not up to the standard I expect from OSC, but it's probably not as bad as the 1 star rating I originally gave it. I'm willing to update that to 2, maybe 2.5. My comments on the audiobook stand! Except that it wasn't Stephen Rudnecki I dis ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, gave-up-on
Congratulations! Another entrant into my "too-bad-to-finish" collection!

This book doesn't offend reason or human decency like some horrors I've confronted (Red Mars, Ringworld, or Ancillary Justice all come to mind), but it's a dull, utterly lifeless work.

The characters? I. Don't. Care. Mazer Rackham was at least interesting because, you know, Ender's Game, but he only showed up for one of the 9 chapters that I read and then did absolutely nothing of note in it other than pose in front of plot d
Michael Hirsch
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
Ugh. Probably the worst book I've read of Card's. I'd like to think that it is all the fault of the coauthor, because this book has none of the insights and humanity displayed by everything else I've read from Card. The characters are all one note voices. They have one way to react to everything and they never change. The dialog is contrived and completely unbelievable--especially when it is children talking.

There was nothing clever anywhere in the book. There were a lot of really smart characte
May 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This novel is why I'm a huge fan of Orson Scott Card - but woe to be the second book of a trilogy. I'm begging for the final installment already!
In this instance, the reader should really read "Earth Unaware" - the first in the Formic Wars series. Several references are made in this novel that would make more sense having read the first book.
Weaving in four plot lines is a dauntless task, but Aaron Johnston and Card do a marvelous job of bringing it all together by the end. Follow the story of a
Kelly Flanagan
Aug 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The mile a minute thrilling second book in the Formic War series. A pre-trilogy to the "Ender's Game" saga. And just as I was helpless to put down 'Ender's Game' as well as the first book to this series "Earth Unaware."
My only suggestion is that these are so good you don't want to stop, therefore wait for book 3 to come out!!
Jessica Lester
Dec 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Would read it again. Would recommend to a friend. I'm a huge fan of the universe and enjoyed the story. There are some nit picky things that bothered me, but didn't stop me from enjoying it at all.
Crystal Watanabe
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Good added characters and I liked reading about Mazer. The book suffers the most from the cliffhanger ending for me. If not for that I'd have given it 4.
Thomas Edmund
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Earth Afire begins immediately after Earth Unaware, Victor is on the Moon trying to convince the world of their impending doom, Rem is out in space continuing to struggle to define himself from within his father's 'long shadow' and a few other characters its hard to care about do some stuff in space.

Afire offers far in terms of futuristic earth, insight into corporate culture, politics and importantly what earthlings think of 'space-born' While I appreciated the effort to create a believable wor
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
In love with Lem
Ethan I. Solomon
Dec 21, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: own
I would again like to take this opportunity to mention that I would love if Goodreads had a 1-10 rating system. If so I would give this book 2 out of 10 stars.

This is the second book in the First Formic War trilogy. If you are expecting any sort of greatness, I would restrain myself. Ender's Game this is not. No grand ideas on philosophy and morals are explored here. Once again, the characters are sidelined for the all too predictable story. An exploration of Mazer Rackham's character is barely
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, scifi
This one keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The Formics arrive at Earth and bad things happen. Great characters and 3 different story lines are going on: Victor tries to warn of the impending arrival of the aliens; Mazer Rackham locates to China on a peacetime training mission when the Formics arrive nearby; and the free space miner wives and children who survived the battle of the asteroid belt join up with some space scavengers to survive. I only take a star away because ...more
Kevin Stilley
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
It was difficult to become engaged in the book. The book has six different parallel storylines going on simultaneously, and every time one storyline becomes interesting it shifts to another. The disjointed narrative requires constant work on the reader's part to stay engaged. I didn't notice this so much in volume 1 of the trilogy, so maybe it won't be a problem in the final volume.
Alexander Kwok
Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: OSC Fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This is the second book in the novelization series of the prequel "Formic Wars" era to the Ender Quartet. Pacing is good and characterization's *not bad*. But the reason I can only give it three stars is perhaps personal preference: Unlike the Ender books, which offered a sense of closure at the end of each of the books of that series, the first two books of the Formic Wars series is not really serial in nature but rather episodic, with cliffhangers setting up each installment of the subsequent ...more
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the middle book in the First Formic War trilogy, the prequel to Ender's Game. I read the first book, Earth Unaware, when it was first published, almost four years ago. It was good - lots of excitement - but it left us hanging for the second book. Now that I've finished the second book, I see that this is really a very long novel divided into three parts. If you read it, I recommend that you read all three in fairly close succession. I've immediately started the third book. It continues e ...more
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Not until after I finished did I realize I read book 2 of a 3 part mini series. Doh! Being an Ender's Game slut, I will of course read the other two now. This was a good book, but not to the quality of the original Ender books nor the Shadow series.


The book's main failure was the unrealistic nature of most of the characters. It just wasn't believable to me that they would all be so petty in light of the Earth being attacked by aliens.

I thought the book was worth reading for two
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent all the way through. I've been waiting for this release after reading the Ender's books, the Shadow series books, and the book before this one "Earth Unaware". It's really interesting to experience the events leading up to Ender's Game and to delve further into the backstories of characters like Mazer Rackim. I also really loved the way the author always paints a picture of the world politics surrounding an event such as an alien invasion. OSC always weaves an amazing tape ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Y paso lo que siempre pasa cuando se lee una saga de la cual se sabe no se podrá leer pronto el siguiente libro, final abierto y el siguiente libro no está en castellano... No es la mejor saga del mundo de Ender pero como entretiene, se dejan a un lado las confusas historias filosóficas y enredos mentales de libros pasados y pasan a contar sin más como es el encuentro y lucha contra los Formicos. Debo aprender ingles ya para por fin leer toda esa lista de libros que no he terminado por no traduc ...more
Andrew Obrigewitsch
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, young-adult
One of the better Sci-Fi book written this year, and considering it's also a one of those dreaded Young Adult stories it was actually pretty good. It stands head and shoulders above other young adult books I've read.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: desafío-2018

Esta es la continuación de la saga de la Primera Guerra Fórmica, donde de hecho llega la nave de los Fórmicos (o insectores, como prefieran llamarlos), a la Tierra. Como bien decía el título del primer libro, los seres humanos prefirieron no creer en la hostilidad de estos seres y estaban completamente desprevenidos para lo que hicieron ellos al llegar. De hecho, hubo reacciones desesperadas y los planes más inteligentes de contraataque fueron llevados a cabo por pequeñísimos grupos de pe
Alyssia Cooke
An interesting pulling together of the different narrative threads that were depicted in the first novel. The descriptions of the formic invasion are well done indeed to send shivers down your spine. Characters are interestingly developing with a selection of very human, very real set-ups.

Whereas the first novel in the series is completely based on setting up the story for the formics, this novel starts with the formics reaching earth and follows their landing. The focus shifts from the Chinese
Amairany Hoffner
El inicio un poco lento pero pff, ¡es maravilloso!
Lo que más me gusta de Orson Scott Card son sus personajes; son tan profundos y bien hechos. Y la mancuerna que hace con Aaron Johnston es un acierto tremendo.
Todo en este libro es espectacular, con cada página que vas avanzado la tensión va creciendo.
Sin duda este libro se lo llevan Mazer y Bingwen aunque Lem y Víctor no se quedan atrás.
Las precuelas de "El juego de Ender" se equiparan q la grandeza del original (incluso pueden llegar a gustar
Carmelo Medina
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lo que se veía en la anterior parte se demuestra, Scott tenía en mente construir una saga interesante y dedica toda una novela (la primera) en mostrarte el tapiz y los personajes que van a interaccionar durante el resto de la saga. La mezcla de novela de guerra, espacial y económica con tintes psicológicos es algo que solo Card consigue. Es una novela de 4,75 ya que la parte en la que te muestra la cultura china es, por lo menos para mi gusto, histrionica y documentada con pinzas.
Patricia Hamill
Excellent series so far. I cannot wait for the next book to come off of hold at the library.
Liam Tamulonis
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting idea, however the book was kind of all over the place and I had a hard time following the story.
Chris Haak
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Just as good as Earth Unaware, and it picks up right where the first Formic War book ended. I look forward to reading the third in this series.
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Do yourself a favor - if you're interested in this series, get all the books at the same time and read straight through them. I haven't, and I think it suffers for it. Book two picks up almost immediately after Book one, and doesn't spend much time reintroducing the characters, so if you haven't recently read Earth Unaware, you're likely to be lost. And it includes several Card trademarks - the overly brilliant child that talks like an adult, long-winded conversations that methodically build out ...more
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
My comments on the first book in the series, Earth Unaware are still largely true here in the second installment. I was pleased to see that Lem did get a bit more development--still true to the character we saw in the first book, but deepened.

All things considered, Bingwen couldn't help but seem like a sort of precursor to Ender--a child genius who draws Mazer Rackem (who of course will one day be Ender's mentor) to conclude (and I thought the conclusion was a bit forced, actually) that perhaps
David B
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Formics reach our planet and begin their devastating invasion in China. The nations of Earth are fragmented and ineffective, so it is up to the scattered cast of mavericks we met in the previous novel to begin formulating an effective defense.

I have been mostly underwhelmed by the novels of the Enderverse following “Ender’s Game” and “Speaker for the Dead,” but I am rather enjoying this series. Perhaps it is due to the presence of coauthor Aaron Johnson, but it is nice to take a break from O
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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 Th

Other books in the series

The First Formic War (3 books)
  • Earth Unaware (The First Formic War, #1)
  • Earth Awakens (The First Formic War, #3)
“If you wait until you know everything, you never do anything.” 1 likes
“Bingwen didn’t argue. What good would it do? When adults became defiant in public, no amount of evidence, however irrefutable, would make them change their minds.” 0 likes
More quotes…