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Earth Awakens
by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston
Tor, $7.99, 480pp
Published: May 2015

Earth Awakens is set 100 years before the events of  Ender’s Game. It is apparently the third in a prequel series following Earth Unaware and Earth Afire.

Aliens arrive without warning. Earth had no idea it was being invaded until the alien ship made orbit and landed terraforming crews in China. Outlying ships had been unable to warn Earth or Luna of the approaching aliens due to communications being blocked so no one was prepared; and now that the aliens are here, Earth politics are getting in the way of a quick response.

Mazer Rackham and his Mobile Police set off on a mission to destroy the alien landers and try and stop the slaughter in China. Meanwhile, Victor Delgado has infiltrated a Formic vessel and is trying to find a way to neutralize the alien creatures. On Luna, Lem Jukes is trying to find a technological end to the war and is also at odds with his father, president of the mining company.

The action was fast, the climax seemed not as satisfying as it could have been and the characters did not seem as fully developed as they could have been. And, of course, we still are really unsure how we get to the point that 100 years later Earth is using child soldiers. Perhaps we will get that explanation in the next book. I also suggest reading the first two books in the series as I am sure the additional background would make this a much more interesting read.  Recommended for fans of Ender’s Game. ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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