Earth Awakens: The First Formic War #3
Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnston
Tor, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Reviewed by Hilary Williamson
is the third in the
The First Formic War
series (a prequel to the
. These books are written by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston.
, asteroid-mining ship El Cavador spotted an alien starship heading for Earth. Lem Jukes, heir to a wealthy space-mining corporation, was in the area, testing a new gravity laser. On Earth, Mazer Rackham was rejected by Captain Wit O'Toole for his elite, international peacekeeping force, the Mobile Operations Police. On the Moon, Apache Lunar Trade Department auditor Imala Bootstamp was sidelined after refusing a bribe. El Cavador's young mechanical genius, Victor Delgado, risked his life on a cargo rocket to Luna, while a small fleet of miners took on the aliens.
, Victor was helped by Imala, but his vid of the aliens was largely discounted as phony. Mazer was sent to Southern China, just in time for the alien landing there. He helped civilians, including precociously brilliant eight-year-old Bingwen, and was eventually joined by Captain O'Toole's MOP. The Formics devastated Earth, though Mazer and others fought back, using drilling sledges to nuke their enemy. Meanwhile Lem gave a distrustful Victor and Imala the resources they needed to get a shuttle to the Formic mothership, infiltrate and find out more about their enemy.
he action in
mainly involves attacks on the ship, Lem's struggles with his father, and defensive battles on Earth. There, international politics hinder Mazer's plans, while the inventive young Bingwen (the most appealing character aside from Victor) helps move them along. As Victor investigates the Formic ship, he begins to suspect that the aliens have some sort of telepathic communication and develops a plan to destroy this mothership. He implements it with the help of the MOP team (Mazer an honorary member) and some of them survive. An International Fleet is formed and an Earth Hegemon appointed.
s usual, the episode ends on a cliffhanger, when the real mothership is spotted - Earth's problem just got much bigger. I love the series, but
was not my favorite episode - I found it got rather bogged down in technical details and in Lem's paternal problems. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to what comes next.
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