cover image Earth Unaware

Earth Unaware

Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston. Tor, $24.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2904-2

Card and Johnston expand Card’s near-future universe in this readable, if not notable, novel, which launches a prequel trilogy to the bestselling Ender’s Game that will cover the same ground as the recent Formic War comics from Marvel. The residents of the mining spaceship El Cavador discover what appears to be an alien ship, and although young Victor advises alerting as many people as possible, he is overruled by the too cautious ship’s council. Then a human corporate ship, under the guidance of Lem Jukes, a son attempting to crawl out from his father’s shadow, attacks the El Cavador. Between the alien attacks and the intra-human warfare, there’s plenty of action, but the story adds little to the space invasion subgenre, and even less to the Ender universe. Fans won’t find anything to actively dislike, and they might appreciate the added development of characters who were one-dimensional in the comics, but there’s little to love. (July)