If it were possible to leave just a one word review of a book here on blogcritics.org, that would be my complete review of Joe Haldeman's Earthbound. Sure there are more things that I could say, but any other words I bring into use would simply be there to dance around that original idea and try to enhance it by echoing the sentiment over and over again.
Despite going into this book having not read the two books which proceed it in the overall story arc, Haldeman's words drive immediately to the point and made me feel as if I had not necessarily missed a single thing. Sure there were people and characters I didn't know that seemed to share that previous history between themselves that occasionally left me feeling like a voyeur late to their show, but what Haldeman gave me in the scant 261 pages of Earthbound laid before my eyes enough to feel as if I truly had the chance to know them individually.
Set on an earth that has had contact with Mars, Martians and a race known as the "Others" Earthbound begins with a bang as you turn that opening page to find that the moon has been destroyed. The "Others" intend all the billions of disintegrated parts to serve as a boundary that they do not wish us to pass. Of course, being human, we try to send a rocket up just to see if we can pass… and that's when the rug gets pulled out from under the entire world.
The "Others" turn off the power. Literally.
From there we are left with characters, some of them famous for having been among the first to set foot on Mars, as well as an actual Martian, who have to figure out just what to do and where to go now that the world has pretty much been cut off.