Colleen's Reviews > Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
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Jul 17, 11

bookshelves: re-read
Read from July 09 to 16, 2011

This book is in the same universe as Ender's Game, but really, it might as well be part of a separate sub-series. I can see where the fan base splits between them. Speaker for the Dead is a slow paced, minimal-action story compared to Ender's Game. A perfect example in miniature -- the dialogues that precede each chapter in both books. In Ender's Game they usually offered insight into the Ominous Authority Figures and often foreshadowed something happening to Ender. In Speaker, they were between scientists, and served mostly to highlight the various xenobiological or xenological puzzles the characters had. (Which didn't keep many of them, particularly between Os Venerados or between Miro and Ouandha, from being quite poignant.)

Another difference is that the reader is strictly inside the heads of adults for this book. Grego, Quara, they're the kinds of characters that, in Battle School, child-Ender would have spent a great deal of time figuring out, interacting with. And we do have that fantastic scene when adult-Ender first enters the Riebera household and tames them both. But the emotional oomph is much more in scenes like Elena's disclosure to Ender of all that her mother Novinha keeps from her, or the fatherly gesture Ender makes toward Miro when he 'hands off' Jane to his son.

Ultimately (-and taking it as a separate experience than Ender's Game-) I have very few complaints. The xenologers, on re-reading it, can't help but seem to have their heads in the sand with some of their persistent comparisons to human society. (view spoiler) And I've always been a little leery of Jane's brashness. I'm not sure what Ender finds attractive there unless it's in contrast, perhaps, with Val's saintliness.

As a final postscript, I have to note that for me, the re-reading stops here... I will NOT go on to Xenocide or Children of the Mind.
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