Earth Star Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Eighteen-year-old Jarra has a lot to prove. After being awarded one of the military’s highest honors for her role in a daring rescue attempt, she finds herself - and her Ape status - in the spotlight.
Jarra is one of the unlucky few born with an immune system that cannot survive on other planets. Derided as an “Ape” - a “throwback” - by the rest of the universe, she is on a mission to prove that Earth girls are just as good as anyone else. Except now the planet she loves is under threat by what could be humanity’s first-ever alien contact. Jarra’s bravery - and specialist knowledge - will once again be at the center of the maelstrom, but will the rest of the universe consider Earth worth fighting for?
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 13 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 19, 2021|
|Publisher||Dreamscape Media, LLC|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #252,537 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#38 in Fiction on Disabilities & Special Needs for Teens
#282 in Action & Adventure Sci-Fi for Teens
#2,386 in Teen & Young Adult Science Fiction Action & Adventure
Top reviews from the United States
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Since most humans now reside in one of the many off-planet colonies connected by easily traversed portals, people like Jarra with an immune system that only allows them to live on Earth are considered handicapped, and rudely referred to as “apes”. Growing up Jarra hadn’t had much contact with “normals” but in the last book she got herself into the first year Earth-based program of a university from Gamma colony by hiding her identity and “condition” from her classmates. It’s a history program and the off-planet students have come to Earth to study what remains of its abandoned settlements. Jarra has already had some experience in the dangerous dig sites of New York City’s ruins so compared to her classmates she’s a superstar. While she had expected to be enemies with her fellow students, assuming they would despise her for her disability, she ends up making friends, falling in love, and is largely (but not completely) accepted by her peers when her unfitness for off planet travel is revealed.
In this second book Jarra and her class are excavating the ruins of what was once the most advanced city on Earth, Eden in Africa. Constructed just before most of humanity fled the planet Eden had advanced technologies humans no longer understand so it’s thrilling work, but the students have barely gotten started when Jarra and her boyfriend are abruptly and secretly drafted into the military and put in charge of a new history division created to research possible past contact with intelligent alien life. That new division is needed because an alien probe has been spotted--not in one of humanity’s faraway colonies, but hovering just above Earth--and the powers that be don’t yet know what to make of it.
Jarra has Earth-bound experiences and a military family background that make it a little less absurd that bigwigs high up the chain of command turn to her for leadership and advice. We learn more about Jarra’s family in this book, which is both interesting and moving, and seeing the future Earth from Jarra’s lively perspective is definitely fun--at one point the whole planet is temporarily evacuated into a huge network of caverns carved under Australia where they proceed to party like it’s the end of the world (and it just might be.)
Earth Star is the middle book of a trilogy and as sometimes happens with that placement its conclusion in my opinion is not strong, but that didn’t much affect my pleasure while reading and I can’t wait to get my hands on the conclusion of the series.
I liked Jarra better in this instalment, she is more confident and ready to accept her destiny. The plot line felt a little contrived, forcing the situation to make Jarra indispensable, and many of the mechanisms in the story adding to that were eye-roll inducing. You could really feel Janet Edwards shaping the path of the novel rather than Jarra experiencing her narrative organically. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed it, much like I would an after school special.
The story is unique, and even with the author pulling the strings for much coincidence, remained true to its core predicament – there was no ‘cop out’ and magical discoveries to change the story and make it more sensational. Which I felt added to the tension throughout, making it a real page turner.
We still get more of the site excavation and its unusual technological advances that were present in the first book, and Jarra gets to use her knowledge and military background (well, faux background) to her strengths. As well as seeing some expanded group dynamics and see her stepping outside of the school environment.
There is still some lingo (and slang) which felt unnecessary, and many of the secondary characters lacked depth. But Edwards writing style possesses an easy flow that allows you to delve into the new world and enjoy the pace and action. With a few comical moments to lighten the narrative, I found I was hoping for more, and with any luck we’ll see the characters returning in the third book of the series, Earth Flight, and embellish this fun read. But overall an easy and entertaining read to spark imagination.
Earth Star still managed to surprise me, some plot twists I could see a mile away, and others came out of nowhere – so it’s not totally predictable. Still a series I’d recommend to a young adult audience with a love for science fiction. I loved the additional threat… or benign threat… that is woven into the series - masterful!
Overall feeling: Pretty cool!
Heaps of sci-fi all from the ground - 3 and a half out of 5 stars.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the story of Jarra, a teenage girl from the year 2788. When humanity has left Earth via portal technology and spread out to other worlds. The home planet was a devastated place which has now been returned to, and is of great interest to historians and archaeologists.
But some people still live there. Those who have no choice. One in a thousand humans born on other worlds have a mutation which means they can't survive anywhere other than Earth. They face great prejudice from many other humans. Jarra is one such. The series began with Earth Girl (Earth Girl Trilogy 1) . The prologue to this summarises what happened in that book. But you're still better off reading that rather than starting here in order to get the most from the series.
This volume runs for three hundred and seventy four pages. It has the aforementioned prologue and thirty seven chapters.
Recommended reading age would be thirteen and up, thanks to some mild adult moments and references.
Earth Girl didn't really feel as if it needed a sequel. A point that the prologue does rather neatly and obliquely make. But here we are. Jarra and Fian are now a couple and getting on great. But their lives take a turn for the unexpected when humanity makes contact with an alien craft. Jarra has a lot of professional and personal things to deal with as a result...
The appeal of the first book was the wholly original concept and setting, as it was something that was different from the norm. It also had a likeable and strong main character and good clear and readable prose. You get all that here as well. The initial third of the book does well capture what alien contact would be like, as humanity has to act fast admist a very confused situation, and you see that from a character who gets caught up in the middle of such things. People would react to it in very different ways. As the supporting cast do here.
It changes focus in the middle third, getting more back to her personal life. All through the first third that's been touched on as well, but for a while the thrust of the initial third isn't quite there. So there are times when this does feel perhaps a little bit overlong, and you're not sure where it's going.
Even so, the main relationship holds you, as it is very believable and very well done. And all the time the book does have some interesting things to make you think about people and prejudice. How we react to those who are different and what it's like to be that way.
The writing does though, as you will find out in the final third, know where it's going. Which leads to a decent and convincing finale that pulls everything together well. It's not an ending to the story, though. It ends on big set up for a third volume.
This is perhaps a bit overlong, but it's still a good read that's nicely different to the norm. And it will make you want to find what happens next.
This interesting concept is braided into the idea that Earth is now a backwater, largely inhabited by those unable to survive on other planets, and large tracts are now deserted and falling into ruin. But as a great deal of knowledge has also been lost in the social upheaval engendered by the flight to new planets, archaeologists from all the colony worlds congregate in the race to discover some of the scientific advancements now denied to humanity. It's a cool twist - the world that comes closest to this idea is Eric Brown's fabulous depiction of Paris in Engineman, which I think is one of the best slices of world-building I've ever read...
In addition, the story in Earth Star is pacy, event-filled and engrossing such that I didn't put the book down until I'd finished. Jarra's adventures in Earth Girl were exciting enough - but everything moves up a gear in this second book, when an alien spaceship appears. This being Edwards, of course, this often-covered science fiction plot device doesn't settle into any sort of generic tale, but is given an extra twist. Jarra is pitchforked right into the middle of the action, along with her boyfriend. And before you roll your eyes at the notion of a teenage girl finding herself right in the middle of a major flap about an incipient alien invasion - there is a solid reason why she is there. And it works, in my opinion.
In amongst all the non-stop action, we also have Jarra's relationship with her boyfriend deepening and her fear of commitment addressed. We meet other interesting characters - and learn a bit more about some of the main protagonists that appeared in Earth Girl. Niggles? Um. No. Not one. I just relaxed into this enjoyable, thoroughly readable book and am very much looking forward to reading the third book in the series to discover what will happen next.