cover image Earth Afire

Earth Afire

Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston, read by Stephen Hoye, Arthur Mory, Stefan Rudnicki, and a full cast. Macmillan Audio, unabridged, 13 CDs, 15.25 hrs., $44.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-3096-6

With a stellar cast of narrators, this prequel to Card’s sci-fi classic Ender’s Game is a rollicking, rollercoaster ride of an adventure. Set more than 100 years before the events of the Ender Quintet, this second part of the trilogy describes the beginning of the Formic war. With a brutal invasion that catches Earth by surprise, the Formics establish a strong foothold in China and proceed to rain death and destruction on the planet. A diverse group of people, including both military personnel and civilians, struggles for survival and endeavors to fight back against the invading hoard. From the very beginning of this audio edition, the almost-nonstop action is delivered perfectly, keeping listeners on the edge of their seats. At the same time, the narrators manage to bring a large and diverse cast of characters to life with a sharply realized array of distinct voices and accents. The standout performance belongs to Stefan Rudnicki, who offers up a pitch-perfect rendition of Mazer Rackham, a New Zealand special ops officer, as he, along with a young refugee, labors across a war-torn Chinese countryside toward a nail-biting showdown with the invaders. The audiobook ends on a major cliffhanger, leaving listeners chomping at the bit for the next installment. A Tor hardcover. (June)