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Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet #3)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  165,831 Ratings  ·  6,049 Reviews
In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told of 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 Xeno
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Published January 15th 1991 by Tor Books (first published March 1986)
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Abby I read it, and hated it. Ender in Exile isn't so much the "actual sequel" as it is the afterthought to a great book. It was written much after these…moreI read it, and hated it. Ender in Exile isn't so much the "actual sequel" as it is the afterthought to a great book. It was written much after these books, and it conflicts some with the later books. I'm not a huge fan of pre-sequels in general, but I thought Ender in Exile was particularly bad. For what it's worth, I've read almost everything in the Ender universe--all the books following Ender's Game, the entire Shadow series, many of the short stories, the companion guide, the First Formic Wars series, etc.--and thought that Ender in Exile was by far the weakest of the books.(less)
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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
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J.G. 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
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Lacey Louwagie
Jul 16, 2007 Lacey Louwagie rated it really liked it  ·  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
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Will M.
Dec 17, 2014 Will M. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, sci-fi, books-i-own
Card claims that this is his masterpiece. He said that he only wrote Ender's Game so that he could write this. It's such a shame though that Ender's Game became such a hit, and Speaker for the Dead became its shadow.

Before I start with the serious part of the review, let me start with something that I can't seem to erase from my mind while reading this. The new alien species are called piggies. Piggies. The thing running inside my head was



and it stayed like that till the end. I'm not proud of i
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Doc Opp
Apr 29, 2007 Doc Opp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
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Lyn
Jul 26, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ian McKellon, Ellen DeGeneres, Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons and Samuel Delany sit in a trendy coffee house in Chelsea and discuss Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel Speaker for the Dead.

Ian: Let me begin our book club meeting with a very special thank you to our very gracious host, thank you Andre, as always your staff have been kind and hospitable and have once again made us all feel at home.

[all thank the host and servers]

Ian: Alright, so … Speaker for the Dead, Card’s sequel to his fine novel Ender's
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Tony
Jun 01, 2007 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  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 did not like it  ·  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.
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
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Kerry
Oct 03, 2014 Kerry rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fromthelibrary, scifi
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.)
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Britney
Dec 28, 2008 Britney rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Spider the Doof Warrior
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wes Morgan
Jan 01, 2009 Wes Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Stuart
Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of plot and narrative

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 for military combat, and whether genocide can ever be justified, even in self-defense of humanity.

Synop
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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
Apr 29, 2008 Davie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finished
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.
Apatt
Sep 11, 2011 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
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aPriL does feral sometimes
'Speaker for the Dead' is a grown ups' book, a literary science fiction that has a lot of Big Questions, and by the end Ender answers the best he can by his understanding of what's needed.

Perhaps this novel, book two in the Ender series, may not satisfy those who want a comic book hero. Ender is 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
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Leighton
Jul 05, 2007 Leighton rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mike
Apr 08, 2012 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Kee the 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
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Jeff Duarte
Mar 07, 2008 Jeff Duarte rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Joey
May 08, 2007 Joey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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Đorđe Bajić
Retko se desi da drugi deo nadmaši prvi - a upravo je to slučaj sa Govornikom za mrtve. Enderova igra mi se veoma dopala, ali je Govornik ambiciozniji i maštovitiji roman. Bez obzira na obim (preko 400 stranica), pročita se za čas - Kard je odlično postavio priču i zna kako da zaintrigira čitaoca. Uz to - još jedan veliki plus - Govornik nije puka kopija prvog dela, već nudi originalnu priču koja se nadovezuje ali po strukturi i pristupu ne kopira izvornik.

Vreme je da napustimo Zemlju i da se ot
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Arielle
Oct 23, 2014 Arielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books in a long time! Ender’s Game was an enjoyable sci-fi read, but Speaker for the Dead was a much more interesting book with complex characters and relationships. Yes, it’s still sci-fi, but it’s about so much more: family, love, guilt, empathy, forgiveness, responsibility, religious freedom, politics, understanding other cultures. I read some reviews that criticized the book for being allegorical, but this is one of the main reasons why I liked it. Highly recommend!
Annie
Feb 25, 2016 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, wishlist
THE FEELS, MAN.

This book has all the feels. There were tears. I don’t know what to do with myself right now tbh. Bittersweet to the max. I love this book, I love it so much, I love it even more (maybe) than I love my precious Ender’s Game which has a cozy home on my favourites shelf. It put me through the emotional wringer more than anything I’ve read in the past year.

It is just so… complete. That’s the best word I have to describe these books. Complete characters- characters so complete and w
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L.A. Starks
Jun 26, 2016 L.A. Starks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good, complex sci-fi, the second after Ender's Game. More of a religious aspect than EG but that fits the plot.

The use of Portugese (always translated) is a welcome touch.

Card's imagination of the "third life" and the different piggy anthropology is innovative, as is his explanation for Lusitania's limited biological diversity.

Readers who like Ender will like The Sparrow & Children of God by Mary Doria Russell.
Mike (the Paladin)
What can I say. I liked Ender's Game (though I did find the end weak and maybe that should have told me the direction things would go).

I just didn't care for this one it was too "full of itself" the Story" seemed so convinced of it's own superiority and how original it was (I seriously ask, didn't most veteran Science Fiction fans and probably many others spot the "secrt of the tree" without being told).
I just didn't care for it. For me , and if you liked it or loved it let me stress again FOR M
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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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Dialouge in Speaker for the Dead 5 35 Dec 20, 2015 11:31AM  
Why did I read this 40 286 Jun 08, 2015 07:42AM  
This book is too mature... O.o 6 133 May 07, 2015 12:07PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: #35 - Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card - great sci fi 1 2 Mar 05, 2015 02:55PM  
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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
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More about Orson Scott Card...

Other Books in the Series

The Ender Quintet (5 books)
  • Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1)
  • Ender in Exile (The Ender Quintet, #2)
  • Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #4)
  • Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet, #5)

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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.” 636 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.” 593 likes
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