‘EARTH AFIRE’ – ORSON SCOTT CARD & AARON JOHNSTON
‘Earth Afire’ blasts onto the scene and never pretends to be anything but the rip-roaring-alien- invasion-story we have all anticipated. Arriving as the second book chronicling the First Formic War, this entry into the Enderverse shows us just what “the scouring of China” is all about.
‘Earth Afire’ continues to follow the protagonists of ‘Earth Unaware’, Victor Delgado and Lem Jukes. Victor seeks to warn humanity about the alien threat and Lem, a complicated character, follows the Formics towards Earth and continues his fight for humanity and (conveniently) for his company, Juke Ltd.
The Formic arrival and subsequent invasion are everything fans anticipate. After teasing us with a glimpse of Mazer Rackham in ‘Earth Unaware’, I’m happy to say that the young New Zealander is featured heavily in this installment. In fact, Mazer is the vehicle through which we are transported into the heart of the action, surviving first, then fighting the Formic invasion in China. During his time in China, Mazer also picks up a young Chinese companion and at one point tells him that, “Children don’t fight wars.” Oh, how things are about to change. We see this budding change when young Bingwen, a companion of Mazer, proves himself more useful than most as he combats against the alien threat.
‘Earth Afire’ finishes with an excellently worked cliffhanger, and I would defy anyone that reads it not to be on tenterhooks. We will have to wait for the resolution to come with the final installment of the First Formic War Trilogy, ‘Earth Awakens’. All things considered, ‘Earth Afire’ by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston is a worthy addition to the ‘Ender’s Game’ story and will certainly add some meat for fans of the Formic War comic books. It is an absolute must read for fans of the Ender story everywhere.
Disclaimer: ‘Earth Afire’ was sent for review by Orbit Books. All opinions are my own.