Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Swarm: The Second Formic War (Volume 1)

I didn't realize this series of books could fit in the Endger's Game timeline. I had thought that the first Formic War was immediately followed by Ender's Game. However, there is the matter of Mazer Rackham having been traveling through space to be able to talk with Ender, so I guess it makes sense. This books feels like the previous Formic War series. There are some people that see what is going on. Those with power don't believe them and dilly dally until it starts to get too late. Most leaders are greedy and really in it for their own benefit. They feel threatened by people that are more capable precisely because they are more capable. The "heroes" are crazy smart, but suffer from self doubt and can be a little bit too humble. (And how is it, that the Aliens always happen to be near mining ships that know how to identify them?) Mazer is ignored and in trouble with the military. Young Jukes is working hard and tries to do the right thing, but not ruthless like his father. Victor can fix anything and is brave enough to go into space. His fiance enlists in the military and soon finds herself in command of their now commandeered mining ship. Everyone seems to understand the political reason for their actions - except for the politicians themselves.
The author's seemed to go all George Lucas on the story. In the afterward, they acknowledged that there was not a whole lot of detail on Mazer in Ender's Game. Thus, they got to make an entire backstory to fulfill a couple small, nearly throwaway lines. It must have been a lot of fun to write the story. In reading it, you know how the main arc will turn out, but there are still plenty of sub-plots to keep things interesting. There are obviously going to be a few more books in this series.

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