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Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet #2)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  125,624 ratings  ·  4,994 reviews

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenoc

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Audio CD, 0 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by MacMillan Audio (first published 1986)
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Hanno Phoenicia I read it. It was fairly good in a number of areas, although I found the last two chapters out of step with the rest of it and very unpleasant. I wish…moreI read it. It was fairly good in a number of areas, although I found the last two chapters out of step with the rest of it and very unpleasant. I wish Card had left those last two chapters out. The graphic novel was good although left a lot of good characters out. The inner world of Ender was once again explored, so it was a psychological drama too, but not that intense. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
One of my ALL Time Favorites. I loved Ender's Game, but I think that this novel surpasses it on just about every level. Writing, emotional resonance, characterization and depth. This novel is a much more "adult" read than Ender's Game. It impacted me greatly and I found that it stayed with me long after I finished reading it.

6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

Winner: Hugo Award Best Novel.
Winner: Nebula Award Best Novel.
Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.
Nominee: Cam...more
Keely
While Ender's Game is a solid piece of modern sci fi, the sequel falls all too short. 'Speaker' is preachy and allegorical, and the characters often devolve into simple mouthpieces for the author's opinions, which are numerous, long, and not particularly original.

While I do respect that every author has his own point of view, and that one should be able to glean some understanding from their books, such a heavy-handed case detracts from the story and characters as a whole. The suspension of disb...more
Lacey Louwagie
Jul 16, 2007 Lacey Louwagie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sociology / anthropology types
Orson Scott Card has said that Speaker for the Dead is the book he always "meant to write" and that the only reason he wrote Ender's Game was as a "prequel," so he felt a little baffled when Ender's Game ended up becoming his most famous and most read work. After reading Speaker for the Dead, I understand where he's coming from. The complexity of issues tackled in Speaker for the Dead are much deeper than those in Ender; likewise, the cultures and worlds explored through Speaker are much more in...more
Clouds

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
...more
Doc Opp
When I first read this book I was in middle school and I hated it. It was such a disappointment as a follow up to the brilliance of Ender's Game. I re-read it when in grad school, and it was an entirely different experience.

The book has elements of mystery, religion/mysticism, anthropology (albeit fictional anthropology), philosophy, politics, and intrigue. But its got a very slow start, and there isn't much in the way of action - its all about two cultures trying to understand each other. Its...more
Tony
Jun 01, 2007 Tony rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you
My favorite book of all time, if only because it brings back sentimental memories. More than simply a sci-fi page turner, it deals with non-trivial matters such as guilt and love. In a whole different league than the rest of the Ender series, not to mention the rest of Scott Card's works. A must read for anyone who was ever interested in sci-fi.
Brian
Aug 03, 2008 Brian rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists
Shelves: r_fiction
Calling this book the sequel to Ender's Game is like calling Mary Poppins the sequel to Star Wars. It's boring, overly observational, and totally unrelated in style and setting to Ender's Game.
Kerry
Blah. After Ender's Game, I was all excited to read this one, and it . . . was pretty boring. It wasn't TERRIBLE -- I finished it, but it was mostly boring.

The only really interesting things about it were a) biological concepts that are totally different from what we have here on earth, which, after watching a lot of "forehead aliens" on Star Trek is a nice change, and b) the impact of the whole you-don't-age-when-you're-travelling-close-to-the-speed-of-light thing (i.e. relativity and whatnot....more
Britney
UGGHHH! I figured since some of my all-time favorite books are Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, that Speaker for the Dead - another installment of Ender's life - was going knock my socks off too...I was SO disappointed. This book won the Hugo and Nebula awards - and one critic even said this was Card's best work. I have to assume that they weren't reading the same novel I was. They just couldn't have been. It was awful. This book was such a let down, I wish I never would have read it. It complet...more
Synesthesia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn
I can understand why this book might not enthrall all of its readers but for me, it was brilliant. The anthropological framework certainly entertained me and the deeper themes hooked me.
The concept of a Speaker for the Dead and the healing properties of truth make the book a self-searching read. Perhaps the book does not glorify the catholic concept of confession, but it certainly values repentance and forgiveness while acknowledging the absurdity of the act of forgiveness. Above all, it reminds...more
W.C.
Card is wrong when he tells his readers that Speaker is a better book than Ender's Game. He says young readers don't like it as well because it doesn't feature kids. I don't like it as well as Ender's game because while Ender's game is a psychological epic, with all the heartfelt intensity of a writer's first real story, Speaker reads to me like just another science fiction novel. Some aliens, a superintelligent virus; snooooozer. Well depicted snoozer, but still. Ender spends his whole life in...more
Davie
Made me question what I thought I liked about Ender's Game. Like a Dan Brown book, it manipulates you into reading onwards in order to find out what the hell was going on in the first chapters -- even as you suspect more and more strongly that it's not going to be worth it in the end. Hokey space soap opera.
Leighton
What's a hero to do once he's accomplished his heroic deed? Ender doesn't quite know--and unfortunately, Card doesn't quite seem to know either. Ender decays into something of a pathetic and self-pitying figure who wanders about uttering platitudes and aphorisms. It's Card at his preachiest, and thus at his worst.
Rabindranauth
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a drastic difference between books as I have between Ender’s Game and Speaker For The Dead. By comparison, Ender’s Game reads like a YA novel. Speaker For The Dead is most definitely entirely another case.

Speaker For The Dead takes place 3000 years after the events of Ender’s Game. Due to the Einstein’s Theory of Relativity [it wasn't mentioned in the book, but it's because of that], Ender, who has been travelling all over the universe, is now 35 years ol...more
Wes Morgan
Wow. This book was a very pleasant surprise. Absolutely one of the finest works of fiction I've ever read. It's unfortunate that it's technically science fiction because that stigma will cause many to dismiss it out of hand. That would be a big mistake, as this is a great novel regardless of genre.

Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Card's best-known work, Ender's Game. I read that first and enjoyed it, but it is The Hobbit to Speaker's Lord of the Rings. It helps you understand the characters a...more
Joey
I mean, its interesting how he sets up his plots with time : Characters use light speed to bump around, and while for people on planets time ages 50 years, the people on the ship don't age more then a couple of days. THIS I like.

But I'm sick of his subtle racism; I'm a bit sick of how Card pretends to be able to view people like an open book - his characters can PREDICT exactly how other characters will act, due to their personality type etc.

And we'll see if the plot has a pay-off, Its just a bi...more
Jeff Duarte
Mar 07, 2008 Jeff Duarte rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like things
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ekairidium
I never expected Ender's Game to be so damn engrossing when I finally got around it last January. I certainly wasn't expecting I would even read anything written by Orson Scott Card ever, considering his homophobic stance which had personally offended me. However, I wasn't quick to dismiss his literary contributions to the science fiction genre, so I put aside my negative bias and bought the Ender Quartet series.

And I'm glad I gave myself the chance to do that because I can honestly say that tw...more
Mark
I’m currently reading Characters & Viewpoints by Orson Scott Card, it’s a book about writing and so far I like it and agree with the things he is saying. But it’s really funny because before starting Speaker for the Dead I read something in his Characters book that said that every author has to answer three questions every reader asks automatically, and the author has to do it within the first 2 or 3 pages of his book or the reader will naturally lose interest in the book. The three question...more
aPriL purrs 'n hisses
A grown ups' book, a literary science fiction that has a lot of the Big Questions, by the end answered by Ender the best he can by his understanding of what's needed. Perhaps not satisfying for those who want a comic book hero but instead the kind of hero that has more living man as part of his character than a storybook person. He wants to be a husband, father, and someone who is building a home, not a military genius, not an adventurer, explorer or even a businessman. The title and job he take...more
Mike
Apr 08, 2012 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Mike by: aggie_mike2003@yahoo.com
Shelves: scifi, xcharity-2012
5 Star all-time favorite best book. I have no idea why this second reading of Speaker for the Dead was so moving. My previous rating of 3 Stars is now incomprehensible to me. I am not a very emotional person and I have seldom been moved to laughter, tears, heartache or sheer joy while reading but this book did all that. I was mesmerized by the story of Ender, the colonists of Lusitania, the pequininos, Jane, Novinha and the Hive Queen. So very different from Ender's Game and, yet, so perfect a s...more
Faye, la Patata
Such a beautiful book. Seriously, this made me sit down and think so much about the universe and the threads of human and alien life, and how even if we haven't met other species from the other parts of the cosmos yet, we are all still somehow connected. If there's one thing that I thought of upon finish this book, it's that one day, humanity will progress so much that we can travel the stars, find other creatures, and learn from them and then have them learn from us. There is so much to learn a...more
Apatt

Ender's Game is one of those rare sf classics that are placed in the top 5 of most "All-time best sf books", I have seen it occupy the pole position in a few such lists. Such accolade is not undeserved as Ender's Game is a great book, and one of the best military sf novels ever published, alas military sf has never been my favorite sf sub genre so Speaker for the Dead is much more to my taste. What makes this book very special are the existential and philosophical issues raised by this book. I a...more
Stuart
Ender’s Game: The best coming-of-age military SF adventure every written

Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of a really fascinating exploration of alien biology

Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead really opened my mind to the wonders of the SF genre back in junior high. Ender’s Game was a gripping coming-of-age military SF adventure about child genius Ender Wiggin, which raised serious questions about training children...more
Danny
Ender's Game is a classic sci-fi book to which this is a disappointing sequel.

Card's gift as an author is in his storytelling and his bend for the magical/fantastic. In Ender's Game, Enchantment and a few of his other works, we are drawn into a different universe and captured by the drama that unfolds around us. However, Card uses Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and the Homecoming series as a soap box for his moral values. While there are certainly worse role models out there (and there are bett...more
Rollie
In an amazing movie or show, sometimes, it makes us silent and open mouthed in astonishment and explode all the praises until we have calmed and the hype have been subsided. In relation with this book, I would not have made a review of this book due to the same reason I mentioned above. Even if I have calmed, I didn’t think of reviewing this book because I rather think and dream the story instead. Thanks to my reading buddy Kwesi for asking me million of questions. Read his review.

Ender the Xeno...more
Philip
If Ender's Game was great, I'm not sure there's a word to describe how much this book transcends that greatness.

I loved it.

Whereas Ender's Game felt completely YA, Speaker for the Dead did not. I'm sure it's because our protagonist, Ender is 6 in the first book and 36 in the second. Card said Speaker was the book he wanted to write, and he did a fine job.

The idea of a Speaker is a fine one - someone who comes and tells the truth at funerals, but that wasn't even the crux of the story for me.

I lo...more
John Doe
My first confrontation with Christianity was the phrase, "Humans are not animals." OSC raises the possibility that another species could be, "like us," responsible for their actions. I have never considered this, but why not?

Is it intelligence that we are talking about? I don't think so, but that is how the question is sometimes framed--intelligent life on other worlds, etc. Look, some people are smarter than others, but that doesn't make them more human.

Could another species be "human?" Obvious...more
Sarah
I didn’t find this as enjoyable as Enders Game. While it deals with a lot of issues that I usually enjoy in a story (religion, technology, sociology), I felt like the story took a back seat to the writers agenda. It is still a well written book as far as I’m concerned, however, and if I had not read Enders Game first, I probably would have rated it higher. It’s amazing how the controversies that Orson Scott Card raises in this series are still relevant today. My husband listened to the book as w...more
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This book is too mature... O.o 5 76 Sep 13, 2014 08:13PM  
The Book Reviews 4 U: What Did You Think of Speaker for the Dead? 1 7 Jun 21, 2014 06:16PM  
Orson Card 5 74 May 10, 2014 12:35AM  
Lusitania 5 80 Apr 01, 2014 04:15PM  
Book Review 1 19 Mar 29, 2014 09:34PM  
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th...more
More about Orson Scott Card...
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) Ender's Shadow (Ender's Shadow, #1) Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3) Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #4) Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's Shadow, #2)

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“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.” 544 likes
“No human being, when you understand his desires, is worthless. No one's life is nothing. Even the most evil of men and women, if you understand their hearts, had some generous act that redeems them, at least a little, from their sins.” 507 likes
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