Wednesday, 5 August 2015

REVIEW - EARTH 2788 - THE EARTH GIRL SERIES BY JANET EDWARDS

Title: Earth 2788
Series: The Earth Girl
Author: Janet Edwards
Release Date: 11th June 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
EARTH 2788 - The Earth Girl Short Stories

You can read this set of stories for free on the author's website until at least the end of 2015, http://janetedwards.com/free-stories/. They are also available as a Kindle ebook.

A collection of eight prequel stories, set in the distant future of the Earth Girl trilogy (Earth Girl, Earth Star, and Earth Flight)

In the year 2788, people use interstellar portals to travel between over a thousand colony worlds scattered across six sectors of space, each with their own contrasting cultures. On the rich worlds of Alpha sector, you aren’t considered fully adult until 25, while the frontier worlds of Epsilon sector expect a girl to marry at 17. Clan centred Beta sector is notoriously permissive, while Deltan worlds consider it shocking behaviour to kiss in public. In Kappa sector, the military battle to make new worlds safe for colonization, while Earth is a semi-abandoned ruin.

Each story features one of the characters from the Earth Girl trilogy. Eight people, with eight very distinctive backgrounds and problems, all destined to get caught up in one girl’s fight for acceptance. A fight that will change Earth forever. 

EARTH 2788 – Short story. Jarra trespasses on forbidden ground.

ALPHA SECTOR 2788 – Short story. Dalmora’s sheltered life is about to change.

BETA SECTOR 2788 – A novelette. Lolia’s marriage is falling apart.

GAMMA SECTOR 2788 -Short story. Krath’s life is literally on the scrap heap.

DELTA SECTOR 2788 – Short story. Fian’s father is planning his future for him, but Fian has his own ideas.

EPSILON SECTOR 2788 – Short story. On a frontier planet, Amalie is considering possible husbands.

KAPPA SECTOR 2788 – A novelette. As he hands over a new world to its first colonists, Colonel Riak Torrek plans to retire.

ZETA SECTOR 2788 – A novelette. The heroic Major Drago Tell Dramis has finally found something that scares him.


PURCHASE LINKS

INITIAL THOUGHTS
I purchased my daughter Rachel (of Rai29BookReadNReview) Earth Flight at Christmas as we had both read and thoroughly enjoyed Earth Girl and Earth Star and I was taking a look at the series on Goodreads when I discovered Earth 2788. So I took a look at it on Amazon and couldn't resist. After reading the description I decided to learn more about the characters featured in the series.

MY REVIEW
I bought this story collection from Amazon. I know they are free to read on Janet Edward's website but I strangely cannot read on a computer or laptop long enough to read even a novelette before it triggers my meniere's disease. The book is listed as 0.5 but I think after reading it that fans would enjoy this collection before, during or after reading the Earth Girl Series.
The cover fits in well with the rest of the series. The main features on it are a portal and a female standing looking through the portal. The female could be Jarra? 
So would the cover make me pick up this book in a book store shelf? Being totally honest, I'm unsure, if I hadn't read the other books in the series possibly not. If I hadn't read the other books in the series I would be worried this one would be too "Star Trek/Star Wars" for me. However being part of this great series, the book cover wouldn't put me off!

EARTH 2788 – Short story. Jarra trespasses on forbidden ground.
This story is centered on the characters of Jarra and Issette when they are just 6 months away from "freedom". Soon they will be moving on in their studies, though as they are both "handicapped" they cannot use the portals and go to other sectors. They will always remain on earth. This short gives us an insight into how the Portals system works as well as giving us a taste of the predjudice that those confined to earth go through, such as being referred to as "apes" or as having the "throwback" gene.

ALPHA SECTOR 2788 – Short story. Dalmora’s sheltered life is about to change.
We learn more about Dalmora, daughter of the famous TV Vid maker and historian Ventrak Rostha. Dalmora is also soon to become 18 years old. To be considered an "adult" in Danae, in the Alpha Sector you have to be 25 yrs old. Until you are 25 years old though you may vote, it only counts as 1/2 a vote. As an 18 year old female Dalmora will take on more responsibility and stand at her mothers side during any parties they have. Dalmora's family are so well off they have their own portal! It is decided that Dalmora will attend University Asgard to follow in her fathers footsteps into becoming an historian. A meeting with one of the Professors from the course is set up. Though to begin with the Professor thinks Dalmora a spoilt child, he soon realises she has a genuine interest in the studying history, from reading the books to doing the dirty work of digging at the sites on earth re-discovering lost treasures.

BETA SECTOR 2788 – A novelette. Lolia’s marriage is falling apart.
This short story takes place in the Beta Sector. Poor Lolia is devastated as her marriage is disintegrating before her very eyes. Lolia is 24 yearsold and is part of what is referred to as a triad marriage. So there are three people in her marriage. In reality she has two husbands, Ardeath and Lolmack. Ardeath has decided to remove himself from the lease on their co-rented home and file for divorce too. This is a great shock to Lolia and she wonders what will happen next. Will her other husband Lolmack also leave her? Whilst the rest of her clan is quiet, Lolia is surprised when help appears to be coming from her Great-Uncle Lolek. Is he trying to help her or perhaps further his own interests? Can Lolia come out of this mess with any dignity?

GAMMA SECTOR 2788 -Short story. Krath’s life is literally on the scrap heap.
This short story is based in Gamma Sector and is about 17 year old Krath who is presently working for his father in the family business of a scrapyard. Krath has traveled around to many different planets. Krath never seemed to be anywhere long enough to make friends. Krath's father also runs a kind of pirate radio channel, one that according to him tell's the real news. So Krath is in a somwhat dead end job with not much to look forward to until his Aunt Galina turns up one day to offer Krath a much different future and the support he needs to change his life.

DELTA SECTOR 2788 – Short story. Fian’s father is planning his future for him, but Fian has his own ideas.
We visit Delta Sector in this short story, in which Fian's father is telling him that he is a disgrace to the Ecklund family. Fian's father does not approve of Fian's "too long blonde hair", which is the number one reason Fian keeps his hair that way!
Fian's father is taking his disappointments that Fian came second in the school physics test! Fian's father reminds him that his older sister Gina scored 97% on her test, and got her degree when she was just 20 years old. Fian'd father goes on and on, saying Fian should be thoroughly ashamed of himself, as he is the great-grandson of the brilliant Jorgen Ecklund! Fian's father blames his son's interest in history, a subject he considers worthless! Fian's father has his son's life all mapped out, at 18 years old he expects Fian to do a physics degree at Hercule University. What Fian's father does not know is that along with another two fellow classmates, Fian has been secretly studying history. So what will happen when Fian's father discovers his sons wishes?

EPSILON SECTOR 2788 – Short story. On a frontier planet, Amalie is considering possible husbands.
We are in the Epsilon Sector with Amalie in this short story, she has been babysitting her younger siblings and is running late for her afternoon school session. She is hurrying along to the portal knowing full well that Torrin Summerhaze is probably somewhere lying in wait, to jump out on her and taunt her calling her an "old maid". Amalie is the only girl actually left in class now. All the others girls have given into the social pressure from their families and others and are now married.
All males in Epsilon Sector need good exam scores so that they can then register for their 3 years community service to earn a farm. All the males have to earn their farm, except for Palmer whose rich father has bought him a farm. So Amalie is sick of receiving marriage proposal's but is growing weaker and running out of excuses for not marrying as every day passes. Her teacher Lomax suggests a way out of having to marry. A fantastic opportunity, a great way of being her own person, not needing a man. Then she receives a marriage proposal from a surprising source. . .What will she/should she do? 

KAPPA SECTOR 2788 – A novelette. As he hands over a new world to its first colonists, Colonel Riak Torrek plans to retire.
In this short story of a more novelette length, we are in Kappa Sector on Planet K21228 which is going from the first colony stage to Colony Ten stage. It is to be Colonel Riak Torren's last ever handover. We read about the Colonel talking to a young recruit, encouraging them to "stick with it" as an officer once did to him, many years ago. The Colonel ponders what he will do or can do with the rest of his life. It would be easy to carry on, take on another new Planet, plenty of Officer's have asked him to stay on, to continue his great career. There is always a party after the pomp and ceremony of the official handover. It's during this party that one of the Colonel's clan asks him to don a toga and run with him. At first the Colonel says no but he is eventually cajoled into joing in with the rowdy run to celebrate the Planet handover. The Colonel reflects a lot on his career, from when he first started out, from those he has loved, to those he has lost. Will he be allowed to retire fully? . . .Only fate can answer that.

ZETA SECTOR 2788 – A novelette. The heroic Major Drago Tell Dramis has finally found something that scares him.
Another shorter novelette length story about the heroic, unafraid, Major Drago Tell Dramis. We have already met Major Drago Tell Dramis in the previous novelette, we know he is a respected military man, by both his superiors and those under his command too. In this short tale we actually discover that Major Dramis Tell Drago does have a weakness. He has feelings for a female officer but is unsure of how to approach her, and how to reveal his feelings for her. He has a trip home and visits a friend and what I would describe as a pub owner called Asante. Though Asante's place is more than a mere pub. It is a place to drink, to flirt and get a woman. It seems "What happens in Asante's place stays there". No communication devices are allowed at all no exceptions . Major Dramis discusses his dilemma, his feelings for the female officer with Asante, during which his phone rings. At first Asante is offended with Major Dramis for breaking the "house rules" until it is revealed it is an emergrncy call. It seem's the problem of coming up with a reason to contact the female officer will no longer be a problem, as she is needed for this emergency. Major Dramis and his chosen crew will need to travel to Planet Zeta, and make it safe to be colonized at a later date. It see's fate is throwing the female officer and the Major together again sooner than he thought.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I really enjoyed having the insights these short stories and novelettes have given into the back stories of some of the great characters from the Earth Girls Series. I am now really looking forward to reading Earth Flight. Some of the stories are funny, some explain the perhaps more odd or intricacies of the characters and how and why they react to each other in certain ways. For example the way of the Beta Sector people who show lots of flesh, have different types of marriage, duo, and triad. I also loved the use of the "slang" that Janet Edwards came up with for this series. Some easier to translate into "our normal language" and explain than others, such as amaz = amazing, nardle = idiot etc. I also enjoyed the poignancy in the short story about Colonel Riak Torreck as he stands looking at pictures from when he first joined the military and we learn he was in a triad marriage. Just brilliant!

So did I enjoy this collection of short stories? I loved it, learning the back stories of the existing characters.
Would I recommend this collection? Yes, it's a must read for fans of the Earth girls series. And a great way of sampling the books, it could, in my opinion, be read and enjoyed before, during or after the series.
Would I want to read more of this series? Yes, I have yet to read Earth Flight, and I'd like to read the Earth & Fire 0.2 novella even though I have read the first two chapters within this collection. Having said that I have yet to find it on Amazon UK.
Would I want to read other titles by this author? I have loved the style of Janet Edwards writing, she really pulls you in and the original thought up slang is really great too, or should I say amaz! or zan!

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