An interesting read which takes a look at various views of society, such as freedom, ownership and social responsibilities. I really enjoyed the firstAn interesting read which takes a look at various views of society, such as freedom, ownership and social responsibilities. I really enjoyed the first half or maybe two-thirds of the book, but it seemed to slow down a bit towards the end. Still, worth the read for sure!...more
The aftermath of the war which began after the formic wars is just the beginning. Like most large scale wars, peace is ephemeral. Now, the power shiftThe aftermath of the war which began after the formic wars is just the beginning. Like most large scale wars, peace is ephemeral. Now, the power shifts once again and the children from the battle school once again are at the center of the action.
Bean and Petra, Peter, The Wiggins, Graff, Hot Soup, Virlomi and Alai all play roles in this novel. As usual, there are quite a few moral dilemmas as well as lots of strategy and tactics. The action sequences of the book, during the war are somewhat few and far between - although that was really the case for most of the novels in the series, minus Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow.
Card takes the opportunity to explore how the children will act as they get older. The problem with this is, that "older" here is still only 12 years old or so by my count and now we have children getting married and attempting to have babies. He also throws his argument in for anti-abortion propaganda, posing the question through one of the characters - is there any difference between killing twenty two 2 year-old toddlers or destroying 3 artificially inseminated embryos? The whole when does life begin question... at that point, I was tempted to put the book down.
I don't think that this installment was as strong as the previous two, but it is still worth the read. It is good enough that I will be continue with the final book of the series, Shadow of the Giant....more
Shadow of the Giant centers once again on Peter Wiggin, Bean, Petra and the rest of the battle school students after the formic war. There is more polShadow of the Giant centers once again on Peter Wiggin, Bean, Petra and the rest of the battle school students after the formic war. There is more political intrigue as nations race to establish supremacy by both war and diplomacy. Peter's vision of a world without nations is finally established. We are further drawn in to the effort to find "Petra and Bean's" babies which were implanted in random women around the globe.
A decent, but not great, conclusion to the series. I would state that, much like the main path of the ender series, the shadow series had its best books first. Still, if you have made it this far, the book is worth reading to conclude the events which establish the order of earth after the war......more
This novel continues the story of Petra and Bean as they attempt to make sense of and influence the direction that the world would be taking in the afThis novel continues the story of Petra and Bean as they attempt to make sense of and influence the direction that the world would be taking in the aftermath of the formic wars. This novel is more a story of political intrigue and struggle than the adventure story of either ender's game or ender's shadow. An entertaining read....more
**spoiler alert** Ender's Shadow is one of the fun literary games where similar content based around the same time and place as Ender's Game is explor**spoiler alert** Ender's Shadow is one of the fun literary games where similar content based around the same time and place as Ender's Game is explored, but from the viewpoint of a different character. In this novel, we get to delve into the psyche of Bean. Bean was the side character whom some critics of the original viewed as Ender's propagation of dismissing someone's talents or abilities because of age or size, exactly as had been done to him.
As I was reading this book it seemed like the classic one up scenario. In Ender's Game, we have Andrew "Ender" Wiggins who is the most brilliant strategist and commander the world has known and which the whole of humanity has rested it's hopes. In Ender's Shadow, we learn that Ender wasn't the smartest, and in fact was unknowingly relying on Bean... who had a better understanding of, well... Everything. The only exception being how to handle people and instill confidence and courage. In other words, Bean is better than Ender in every way except one. This seems a little hokey to me. Particularly as we read through Part One of the book, wherein we find that Bean is able to accomplish all sorts of wonderful feats, all while four years old, malnourished and living on the streets. Let alone the fact that he saves himself from certain death, teaches himself to read, speak multiple languages, etc with no help. In a word, Hokey.
Soon, however, we learn that Bean is a super-intelligent genetically modified version of a human. (Is he still human?) He isn't limited in what a normal human can learn. The theoretical trade-off? He won't live long.
The events of the novel are, for the most part, not too much of a surprise. We have already seen these same events unfold in Ender's Game. And yet, in my mind, instead of making the novel less interesting, it makes it more-so. But then, I enjoy an introspection that can take a look into how different people will view the same events.
I enjoyed this novel quite a bit, even if it was hokey. Well worth the read... Much better than the last two Card novels I read, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Hopefully the rest of the Shadow series will live up to this one....more
**spoiler alert** Children of the Mind picks up where Xenocide concludes. The author has stated that the two novels were initially thought of as a sin**spoiler alert** Children of the Mind picks up where Xenocide concludes. The author has stated that the two novels were initially thought of as a single volume, but that it grew too large and was split to allow both stories their full potential. I think that it might have been better to have kept these in a single volume and attempted to streamline the stories.
As is, Children of the Mind seems to jump around a lot. We follow many sets of characters on their various goals, such as Peter and Wang-mu's struggle to convince the philosophers of two worlds, who inadvertently sway the starfleet congress, that destroying the world of Lusitania would be wrong, or Miro and New-Val's struggle to find new worlds for the various races to inhabit and then to find the ultimate threat who initially unleashed the virus. We also follow Jane and Ender, although separately as they leave their current existences behind and move on to the next phases of their respective existence.
Somewhere in the various story-lines something was missing. The book flowed relatively well, but at the same time seemed a little disappointing. I think that it was perhaps the direction that the story took in Xenocide that set this volume up for failure. We did not have the action sequences or need for raw action present in Ender's Game, nor did we have the introduction and inspection of the new species as well as the well grounded moral dilemmas that accompanied them in Speaker for the Dead. Instead, the last two books seemed to be moving ahead not of their own volition, but instead almost just as a force set in motion by the previous novels. From what I have heard, the Shadow Series is better than these last two... Here's hoping that that is true, as the first two novels were very good......more
Xenocide continues the story of Lusitania, through the eyes of Ender, Valentine, Jane, Miro, and the rest of Ender's adoptive family. However, the stoXenocide continues the story of Lusitania, through the eyes of Ender, Valentine, Jane, Miro, and the rest of Ender's adoptive family. However, the story also branches out to include a storyline with Chinese culture influence, which includes a strange subplot with a society which revers OCD like activities - claiming that the gods must talk to these people. There are a number of philosophical discussions, moral dilemmas and much character development. However, it just didn't feel like it was pulled together as well as in the first two books in the series. The ending was also a little off for me.
All in all, the book was OK. I didn't like it nearly as much as either Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead. I did like it enough that I will probably continue with Children of the Mind. I've also heard that the Shadow series is much more in-line with the Ender's Game feel....more
**spoiler alert** Speaker for the Dead is the second book in the "Ender" saga. However, if you are coming into this book expecting more of the same as**spoiler alert** Speaker for the Dead is the second book in the "Ender" saga. However, if you are coming into this book expecting more of the same as Ender's Game you will more than likely be unpleasantly surprised. Instead, Speaker presents itself in a more toned down light and there is nowhere near as much "action".
Although this book is a science fiction novel, it has more to do with character development and the examination of familial and societal relationships than on the flashy explanations and cool tech which define its' genre. The story revolves around the follies and triumphs of a family of scientists who are trying to study the only other sentient species known to exist in the universe. After the untimely death of the patriarch, the Speaker of the Dead is called in to perform his special brand of eulogy. However, as that speaker is not currently present on the planet, it is many years before his arrival. During this time, more unfortunate events occur. So, it happens that the speaker attempts to dig through the events of the past years, uncovering the truth of the lives that were lived while untangling the hurt, fears and joy present for those who have passed on and those affected by their passing. All this while also attempting to learn more about the "piggies" culture and society while maintaining the proper relationships with the new and interesting creatures.
"Flow my tears, the policeman said" delves into a police state society in which nearly anyone can be forced into controlled labor camps. A state where"Flow my tears, the policeman said" delves into a police state society in which nearly anyone can be forced into controlled labor camps. A state wherein corruption has come to the point that laws which should be enforced are not and others are used to control the populace. A system wherein those in power are only interested in others inasmuch as how they can be used. But all of these things are only a backdrop to the story. They set a mood wherein the reader can question things already taken for granted.
What is it to be famous, or, conversely, to be normal? What would happen to you, if everything about you came into question? How do you prove that you are yourself, in a society so controlled? And, most importantly, what is it to love, to lose and to grieve.
Overall I found I really enjoyed the book. It is the second Dick novel I have read, the other being Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (i.e. Blade Runner), and I would say the better of the two. Worth the read....more