Sunday, September 15, 2013

Earth Afire

This is the second of the Ender's Game prequels. Very little attempt was made to make this book "stand alone". It starts with the attempted warning of the Formic invasion and continues on with the invasion, ending on a cliffhanger with an attempt to stop the Formics.

The novel follows a few distinct characters. We have Mazer Rackham in China. He seems to be near death a few times, but we know from Ender's Game that he will survive. We also have Victor Delgado and his attempt to fight through red tape to warn the earth. He only succeeds by working with the evil conglomerate that helped destroy his livelihood and kill a family member. The story pulls in a few tear-jerkers as well as a nuanced social relationships. (Good guys show their bad parts, and bad guys show their good sides.

I wonder how much each of the authors contributed to the story. Usually, when a story is credited to a famous author and a not-so-famous co-author, I assume that the co-author did most of the work, with the author merely lending their name and perhaps the "big idea" for the story. This story does, however, seem to adhere closely to Card's writing style. Perhaps Johnston is really good at mimicking, or Card really did have a lot of involvement in the writing. I just wish they would finish the whole thing, rather than leaving it on a cliffhanger with a "yet-to-be-released" next book. (And Card has the nasty habit of losing interest in his series before tying things up. (cough) Alvin Maker.

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