As anyone who has been reading my blog for a while knows, I am a solid fan of Edwards’ writing – see my reviews of Earth Girl, Earth Star, Earth Flight, Earth and Air, Frontier, which are all books set in her Earth Girl series, as well as Telepath, Defender, Hurricane and Borderline in the Hive Mind series, and Scavenger Alliance and Scavenger Blood in the Scavenger Exodus series, which is a spinoff prequel series set in the Earth Girl world. So I was delighted when the author approached me and asked if I would like an arc of Earth Prime to read and give an honest, unbiased review.
BLURB: This collection is set immediately after Earth Flight, and focuses on Jarra, Fian, and the other archaeologists before they head to excavate the alien ruins on Fortuna.
Full Contents List:-
The End, and the New Beginning – Jarra Tell Morrath (Revised collected edition of the serial previously published on the author’s website.)
I Will Be Right Here Waiting – Fian Eklund (Novelette)
Twenty Seconds in Ark – Dalmora Rostha (Short story)
Full Circle – Lecturer Dannel Playdon (Novelette)
Raw Material – Krath Karman (Short story)
Balance of Power – Amalie Roche (Novelette)
The Real Jerez Rivera – Jerez Rivera (Novelette)
Year End 2788 – Lecturer Dannel Playdon (A related short story set eleven months earlier.)
REVIEW: While the contents above give a sense that these are standalone short stories, or novelettes, I read them as an ongoing narrative as they followed on one from the other, covering the same narrative timeframe, except for the story at the end. These stories and novelettes aren’t particularly short, so there isn’t any jarring or sense of dislocation in moving from one to the other, as we got to know more about some of the members of the History class that Jarra attended. I enjoyed learning more about some of the people I’d already read about in Jarra’s previous adventures, but this could just as easily be a taster and introduction to the Earth Girl series.
It’s a clever idea to produce this book. Edwards excels at writing in first person viewpoint (I), but inevitably the big drawback with that point of view, is that we can only have access to what the protagonist knows. As the Earth Girl trilogy books are in Jarra’s viewpoint, this fills in some of the details she isn’t privy to – such as the private life of her lecturer Dannel, which I particularly enjoyed. I’d always felt his constant attention to the needs of his class was slightly unrealistic, but now that detail makes sense, given his need to lose himself in his job while coping with the aftermath of a personal tragedy.
One of the reasons why I’m such a fan of Edwards’ writing is her upbeat tone. Even when tackling difficult issues, such as the prejudice against babies born with the Syndrome, while she deals with the subject with suitable seriousness, the mood is always infused with the energy and can-do enthusiasm of her young protagonists. It is an aspect of her writing that I have always much admired, as so often older writers don’t successfully depict that sense of overriding optimism that many youngsters display, even when coping with overwhelming odds.
If you have read and enjoyed the Earth Girl trilogy and would like once more to dive back into that world, this collection comes highly recommended. And if you haven’t and want to know what all the fuss is about, then it is an ideal place to start. It reminded me all over again just why I became such a fan of Edwards’ writing.
I haven’t read this series, but its nice to know this collection will be waiting when I do😁 Thanks for sharing, Sarah!
You’re welcome, Tammy. Edwards is a talented writer and her Earth Girl premise is a brilliant one.
Glad to hear you enjoyed this. Always nice when a favorite author delivers.
Thank you, Kimberly – you’re right:). I was really pleased that this is such a strong addition to the Earth Girl franchise.
I’m always in favor of corner-filling short stories that shed some light on unexplored sides of an ongoing series, and since you label this anthology as a good entry point for the overall series I will have to take this one into serious consideration 😉
Thanks for sharing!
It’s a really strong premise – and I love the archeological aspect of the story, too.
Hello! I actually disagree that Earth Prime is a good entry point in the series. A much better entry point if you are interested in checking out the series for a taste is Earth 2788 it is a collection of short prequel stories and really the beginning of the series. The two novella’s Earth and Fire and Earth and Air are good introductions to the main POV character in the Earth Girl Trilogy. Honestly if I hadn’t of read the prequels before the main trilogy I probably wouldn’t have finished Earth Girl. The short stories in Earth 2788 are carefully written to not give any spoilers away.
Earth Prime makes the assumption that you have already read the series so know the background of the characters but it also shows a tremendous amount of growth in the characters. So if you read these stories and novelettes first you may be disappointed in the way the characters are written in the earlier works.
Thank you for your input. I haven’t read Earth 2788 – though I can believe that Janet has written them so as to avoid spoilers. I have read Earth and Air, and agree with you that it also makes a great starting points, though I happily read the main trilogy before reading any of the novellas.
As for Earth Prime, while I agree it is designed to be read as an addition to the Earth Girl trilogy – if anyone does want to pick it up to get a taster of the world, I still stand by my opinion that it works as an entry point in that it doesn’t provide too many spoilers. I am one of those people who regularly crash midway into series – and so I’m aware that there are readers who don’t always manage to get to read series in the correct order:)).