It's hard to imagine that 2 incredible books could be written about the same story, and with so much time between writings. Yet Card has done it.
I couIt's hard to imagine that 2 incredible books could be written about the same story, and with so much time between writings. Yet Card has done it.
I could even go as far to say that I enjoyed this book even more that Ender's Game, but I could only say that as I set this book on the shoulders of the first.
I appreciate Card's eye for symmetry in his stories even as I want to criticize it. I've noticed that he foreshadows heavily, and ties everything up into a relatively neat package where past experiences matter more than they realistically should. But really, why would I be reading fiction if I wanted reality? I admire that Card can create such logical-yet-exciting plots.
If you have read Ender's Game, read this. I might even recommend that you read it right after that one instead of reading the whole series in the order of publication as I am, but doing it that way might be disappointing. Bean is never mentioned again in the rest of the Ender series, even though he obviously plays a huge roll in the Bugger Wars final battle and in the ensuing political turmoil on Earth. Obviously Card recognized this when he decided to give Bean his own series. Better late than never.
Unfortunately, Card obviously didn't know that he would be writing Bean's story when he wrote the original. The crucial intersection points between the two books, where Ender and Bean have confrontations/conversations, made sense in Ender's Game, but felt forced and patched in because they were required in Ender's Shadow. Bean's character became too big to fit back into the shallow container that was originally created to tell al part of Ender's story. ...more
It's strange how the books from Speaker for the Dead to Children of the mind are so closely entangled that they really are one contiguous story. EnderIt's strange how the books from Speaker for the Dead to Children of the mind are so closely entangled that they really are one contiguous story. Ender's Game really sticks out as being very different, but still very relevant to the rest of the "saga". Card treats it as a prologue to the story he actually wanted to write. Which is almost a shame, but I have to admit that an interesting and valuable story grew this way....more
To get this out of the way: not as good as Ender's Game.
I've read this before, in high school I think, and the mysteries of the piggies' behavior wasTo get this out of the way: not as good as Ender's Game.
I've read this before, in high school I think, and the mysteries of the piggies' behavior was obviously spoiled for me this time around. So without that, it's all mostly philosophical discussions about love and truth. Card created some interesting characters in this book that could definitely warrant their own protagonist roll in other books.
To summarize the plot:
Ender is now about 30 years old. Quite a jump from 11 years old at the end of Ender's game. After Ender writes "The Hive Queen and the Hegemon" and signed it as "Speaker for the Dead", he and Valentine spend the next 3,000 years traveling the universe (at speeds approaching the speed of light, so that they keep their subjective ages while the rest of the universe grows older). Speaking has earned a following (Speakers are treated as a priest by law) and Ender travels to speak the deaths of important people and search for a new home for the nearly-extinct buggers, while Valentine, as "Demosthenes", writes histories. Ender now goes by his given name, Andrew, since "Ender" is the name known for committing the first Xenocide (I guess nobody takes into account that he was only 11 and was tricked into believing it was a video game).
All of that is background provided at the beginning, given about as much attention in the book as my paragraph here.
Valentine has finally decided to settle down and make a family when Ender, sory, Andrew, gets a new request for a Speaker, from the human colony of Lusitania. This is a special colony because it exists as more of a scientific base of operations for studying the only other seemingly-sentient species known to man, aside from the "extinct" buggers: the "pequeninos", mostly referred to as "piggies".
And then, a lot of stuff happens, mostly involving the people surrounding Novinha, the one who originally called for the Speaker. By the time Ender, I mean, Andrew, arrives, She's in her 30's, has married and had children, and her life is fubar. And End...Andrew comes and heals all by speaking the truth, by loving people in order to understand them and their motivations, including the piggies, who by the way have been splitting scientists open and positioning their organs around them while their hearts still beat in their chests (or somewhere on the ground around their mutilated body).
So, if you're expecting something similar to what made Ender's Game great (3D, 0 g battle tactics, space warfare, violent-yet-thoughtful confrontations, the goings-on of children-geniuses...) then go read another book, like John Scalzi's Old Man's War. This book, apparently the one Card always wanted to write, is very different. In fact, he only published Ender's Game as a full-length novel in order to write Speaker for the Dead as its sequel. Considering Card's personal beliefs and convictions, I'm not surprised that I liked the necessary background book more than Card's mind-baby....more
As I said in the previous books review, I'm already way ahead in the series and can't seem to think of a coherent review to write. I know it was an amAs I said in the previous books review, I'm already way ahead in the series and can't seem to think of a coherent review to write. I know it was an amazing read, but the story lines in this series are so wonderfully intertwined that I have trouble remembering where on book started and another began.
Warning: if you've come this far with the Thursday Next series, you won't be able to stop any time soon....more
This was the best one so far! The best parts, in my opinion, are bits that connect with plot lines started in previous books in the series. I'm alwaysThis was the best one so far! The best parts, in my opinion, are bits that connect with plot lines started in previous books in the series. I'm always fascinated by these occurrences in a series of books, and I wonder: Do authors plan on finishing these started plots and just not get to them before the end of the book, or do they know ahead of time what will happen in the next book? I'd be curious to hear about the strategies involved.
I found this book through my interest in Douglas Adams and my love of clever self-reference/meta-communication. I am already reading the second book iI found this book through my interest in Douglas Adams and my love of clever self-reference/meta-communication. I am already reading the second book in the series, and, so far, it is even better than the first. As for "The Eyre Affair," I've never even heard of Jane Eyre or her book, which this work of fiction is based around (and in?). However, I don't believe it is necessary to know Jane Eyre in order to enjoy "The Eyre Affair," because I enjoyed it very much. This book blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality in a handy, portable format! I recommend this to fans of British wit and literary humor.
One criticism, and possible tame spoiler: We never do get to find out what gives the antagonist his special powers, and why he is defeated only with a certain method that doesn't seem to fit. Perhaps we will find out in a later book.
Now I'm curious about Chuzzlewit, a novel by Charles Dickens that I've never heard of until now....more
Too long for its own good, but well written. It has a way of revealing little bits of information at a time that convince you to keep reading, but theToo long for its own good, but well written. It has a way of revealing little bits of information at a time that convince you to keep reading, but the storyline was not for me. It is definitely a postmodern book, appealing to our short tv show attention spans by chopping up the narrative into 3: 1. Iris Griffen, an old woman writing about her life, growing up rich and ending up poor, 2. a 3rd person account of a woman sneaking around to meet a guy, have sex, and listen to him tell sci-fi stories, and 3. newspaper clippings about horribly boring upper-class social gatherings.
All in all, I'm glad I read it, but I'm also glad I'm done reading it....more