Review: Earthweb

Earthweb - Marc Stiegler

I thought this was an interesting and enjoyable book, although it fell short in a few areas for me.  The story is set on Earth, in the future.  Every five years, an alien race sends a ship to Earth to attack the planet.  Each time this happens, a small team of people intercept the ship, board it, and attempt to destroy it in order to save Earth.  The story is set during the final month before the fifth such event.  There are several point-of-view characters ranging from those directly involved in the defense of Earth to those who have a less direct but equally important impact on events.

The story was pretty straight-forward.  There were no real twists and turns and I found events to be generally predictable.  The story itself, however, was interesting and so were several of the characters.  But there were a lot of characters in proportion to the rather short length of the book, so there wasn’t as much page time as I would have liked to allow me to get to know all of the characters better.  There were also a couple of romance side-stories in the book which I found to be jarring.  In one case, it was between two characters who had very little “page time”.  I had no investment in their relationship, so I felt like it detracted from the story rather than added to it.  In the other case the romance was more important to the story, but I had trouble buying into it.  At least, it needed more build-up to make it believable for me.  I also think the story would have worked just as well with a strong but non-romantic relationship.

The ending was reasonably good, if predictable.  We were given a decent wrap-up for each character, with an idea of what the future held for them.  I wasn’t entirely happy with how everything turned out, but it was far better than having an abrupt ending with open questions and no closure.  The one thing I really wanted to know, which was never covered in the book, was more information about the attacking aliens and their motivation.  I suppose it wasn’t really the point of the story, and it probably wouldn’t have fit in very well without drastically changing the length and structure of the book, but I did find myself pretty curious.  Although the book tells a complete story, my first reaction upon finishing it was to double check that it really didn’t have a sequel.  There was definitely room for continuation of the story had the author chosen to do so.  I liked the book well enough that I probably would have read it.