“Hundreds, maybe thousands, of other civilizations. Some of them predatory, others benevolent. But they were all far, too far to help humanity. Earth alone would have to hold back the scum or Earth would fall.”
Though the plots may be kinda similar, this is not Ender’s Game. Yeah there are aliens that came to earth and humans went to war with them and humans are now preparing for a huge showdown told in a story that focuses on the main character training for a military career (at least for a few years in the case of Earth Alone). Similarities pretty much end there.
Our main character Marco is a interesting character. He is against the alien Scum, for the pain they have caused him as well as humanity, but he doesn’t want to fight. He wants to live his life and let those who fight, fight. But when it comes down to defending the ones he loves, he will take anyone down.
In a lot of ways this book seemed like less of a human v. aliens ultimate showdown and more like teenage kid complaining about boot camp (which admittedly did suck) and thinking about two girls (one of whom is his adopted sister) in the shower.
The plot is interesting enough if hugely predictable but the majority of the book is set in a boot camp preparing for war. Without spoilers, one of the best things is how gruesome and scary the tone changed once the finished boot camp. The author did such a good job of showing how scary and different the real world is to boot camp when they actually are in a war situation.
As this story revolves so much around a military and military life, there was a fair amount of sexism in this book, a tooooon of “locker room talk.” This may bother some readers. What actually bothered us though was the treatment of heterosexuality. It seemed like the author was trying to win brownie points by included a few LGBT characters and this is great and all except for one thing.
One of these characters informs a guy that is interested in her that “she only likes girls.” Less than five minutes later, she has stripped down naked with no prompting from said guy and tells him that he can have sex with her if he wants to. Just like that. There is a very strong impression that this was a “I’m only gay until the right guy comes along” kind of thing
Sorry buddy, that is really and incredibly not how that works. Girls/women that say they are lesbians are usually actually lesbians and not just waiting for you to show up.
We know this is a apocalyptic world and all, but every person in this book has tragic back story. Usually everyone having different character traits for different reasons would be great. But because the book is so short, it feels like every other paragraph someone else is whining about there lives.
This was overall an okay book. At times it feels like it borrows from other series but the best parts of this book and the best writing was definitely the last few scenes and the actual battle with the scum. This does show some promise for future books. Enough to keep us going for at least one more.
If you would like a more in depth and spoiler-y talk about this book, please listen to our last podcast of 2016!
Not much to say that I haven’t already except that I want to read the next book to see if it gets better.
Other readers may not be so concerned by this but it really bothered me that we are never given a reason as to why the scum are trying to invade Earth. None. We are told that they are a predatory species and that they are more intelligent than humans.
Okay. So if they are more intelligent than humans that implies that they are not just mindless killing machines so they must have a reason for wanting to wipe out humanity. WHAT IS IT!?!?!