Prior to this book, I don't think I've ever read a work that, as a sequel, was actually better than it's predecessor. According to the Introduction's...morePrior to this book, I don't think I've ever read a work that, as a sequel, was actually better than it's predecessor. According to the Introduction's first page (whose remaining 13 pages, written seven years later by the author, I did not read because Introductions are for wimps), the author intended this to be a completely separate work from Ender's Game, able to stand on it's own. I can't say that I think Card succeeded, if for no other reason than if you haven't read Ender's Game, it's so much more difficult to understand how utterly great this book is.
After Ender's saga in beating the Buggers, the reader finds the 100 Worlds 3,000 years post Ender's triumph. Ender is a Speaker for the Dead (in fact, the first of his kind), one of a group of priests whose calling is to speak the truth about the lives of those who have passed on (the whole "Ender being millenniums old" thing is "plausibly" explained, don't worry). He is called to a planet whose sole mission is to study the lives of an intelligent alien race, the only one found since humans slaughtered the entire society of buggers. In the hope that humans can redeem themselves, they have sent people among these piggies, so-called because of their snout-shaped noses and stout figures, to observe without interacting with or influencing the piggies' culture. A clearly impossible task.
The remaining plot is difficult to explain, but thoroughly enjoyable and well-crafted. Ender is called to speak at the death of a man that left behind an abused and scorn family, but also to help humans recognize the gift of interacting with an alien culture and seeing their differences as acceptable and necessary for the progress of human understanding. The heart of this work manages to identify the sought-after humanistic belief that others are not to be tolerated, but accepted and appreciated.
Not Moore's best by a stretch, but still a fun read. With characters from more than one of his books, it seemed more like an experiment than a complet...moreNot Moore's best by a stretch, but still a fun read. With characters from more than one of his books, it seemed more like an experiment than a complete work. Still, it was fun. (less)
This was not fantastic, though it did have some great moments. For instance, when traipsing to complete a task to obtain his kingdom, Aqua gets bored...moreThis was not fantastic, though it did have some great moments. For instance, when traipsing to complete a task to obtain his kingdom, Aqua gets bored and starts singing a variant of what can only be I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by The Proclaimers. Mostly, I was dismayed by some leaps between panels that just didn't make sense and action that I just don't feel portrayed what the artist really wanted to. Additionally, there was a lot of narrative (with holes in it), that did a lot of explaining and storytelling that was just kind of, well, boring. Apparently, I like my comics more direct. Eh, I don't know. All in all, it just wasn't really my thing.(less)
My sister recommended this book to me, which normally isn't a good sign. It's not that she reads bad stuff, we just have different tastes in genres an...moreMy sister recommended this book to me, which normally isn't a good sign. It's not that she reads bad stuff, we just have different tastes in genres and styles. I was, however, completely enthralled with this book. I couldn't stop reading it. The beginning was that perfect mix of "let me start four or five different story arcs and then bring them all together later." 900 pages later I was still reading.
The book is long, but it keeps your attention and Follett takes the time to really wrap up all his story lines (and does it in a way that doesn't try and cover everything in ten pages, hence the books length). Also, it's about the building of a cathedral in the 1100s. Stuff like that took a long time, so you can imagine that a story about it might be a little longer than normal. Granted, you could leave a little bit out here and there, but Follett simply chose not to do that. (less)