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The international space station is suddenly and inexplicably transported from earth orbit to the outer solar system. All the astronauts aboard die. A group of nearly human aliens arrive to explain it was their rivals who did it. “Join us, so we can protect you from them.” They insist. Earth quickly gathers its strongest and brightest on a journey with our new alien friends out into the far reaches of the galaxy. Purpose unknown. Things aren’t always as they seem, however. It is unclear who is friend and who is foe, not only among the aliens, but among the Earthers.
We learn about the aliens and how Earthers are closely related in genetic origin. Our genes were manipulated thousands of years ago, against galactic rules. A complex play of alien morality and motivations are at work, with Earth as the prize. The transported Earthers must learn who to trust and then move quickly against overwhelming technology and odds with little information.
There are several main characters that the author switches at each chapter, each presenting his or her story from a first person perspective. As an audiobook, this sometimes gets confusing. Though you are told who is speaking at each chapter change, the voice and perspective can be similar and you might lose perspective if you don’t listen carefully. You may catch yourself asking, “who’s this again?” Not a fatal flaw, just probably more effective in reading, rather than in audio.
There is a great deal of political science discussion between human and alien. Most of it is quite interesting and important to the story; but be warned, there isn’t a lot of action or suspense until you are two thirds of the way into the book. Sexual tension pervades most of the inner thoughts of three of the main characters, a kind of lust triangle. One man wants to shtup every female with a pulse (human or alien), one wants to find a woman like dear old mom, and finally the girl who is attracted to the bad boy, but doesn’t want to get hurt. We want to respect these brilliant scientists and powerful soldiers, but these juvenile sex fantasies tend to lead us astray.
The story starts off interestingly enough with hard science fiction, trying to envision futuristic governments and alien hierarchies, but soon morphs into a Scifi fantasy, Narnia in outer space or something. It is hard to say without listening to the sequel(s).
The story is narrated by Jeffrey Kafer. He has a good voice and is easy to listen too. Unfortunately, the changes between male lead characters are not different enough, so that occasionally we are confused as to who is speaking. Not a deal breaker and very good over all.
Here Comes Earth is generally entertaining, though confusing at times. The novel ends abruptly, leading us to the clear understanding that this is book one in a series, probably a long one. Perhaps put in context of a much larger story (assuming several sequels), the jury should hold its verdict on the novel until then. One should listen knowing that it is only the start of a much more involved story of unknown length.
Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
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11 of 18 people found this review helpful
Story tries to tie up loose ends of earth history. Is there anyone that Stoll doubts that we have been visited before in earth's past? Story is the usual earth first contact and the global/political reactions. Good narration. Worth a credit.
3 of 5 people found this review helpful