Earth Unaware is the latest book in the Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card. The story takes place 100 years before the award-winning 1985 novel. I’m a huge fan of Ender’s Game. The first time I read it, I fell in love with the main character, Ender Wiggin. If you haven’t read it, go get it. It’s still in my all-time top 5. You may have heard the buzz about the film adaptation of the book coming out next year. For Ender’s Game fans, it’s been a long time in the making. Again, read Ender’s Game.
Since that first novel, Card has expanded the universe, writing 12 novels. The story centers on the interactions between humans and ant-like aliens known as Buggers, or the Formic. Over many years and wars, the two civilizations struggle to destroy each other. The series is written out of chronological order, taking readers from one end of time and space to another. For me, Ender’s Game has always been the best.
Earth Unaware is the 13th novel and first book in a new prequel series. The series focuses on the start of the first Formic War. This prequel doesn’t include the main character from the other novels, Ender, who hasn’t been born yet. Instead, you have the crew from the old independent mining space ship El Cavador and a slick new Jukes corporate mining ship. These two mining ships find themselves in competition for the same territory. Meanwhile, something large and moving impossibly fast is moving toward them and in the direction of Earth.
I enjoyed immersing myself in the mining culture, the tech, and the frontier lifestyle of those living and working on the edge of the solar system. However, as a follow-up book to one of my favorite books of all time, it seemed a little weak. First, Ender Wiggin is nowhere in sight. For me, that’s like making a Bond movie without James Bond. Second, there were some great characters introduced in the novel, but there was very little character development.
However, this is just the first of a new prequel series. I have high hopes for the next novel, Earth Afire, due out in June of 2013.