Jen's Reviews > Xenocide

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
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's review
Aug 09, 2011

I began reading this series because my boyfriend said my philosophy of human connection resembles Card's philotes. I enjoyed Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but I was impatiently waiting for philotic connections to be described. Xenocide finally delivered, and I will never forget the AHA! moment when I read that passage.

Xenocide's fully-developed characters seem real because they act in response to deeply-felt emotions. In particular, I was surprised by Card's sensitivity toward Novinha. Jealousy is often treated as if it is inappropriate, no matter what the circumstance. But Card treated Novinha's understandable jealousy toward Jane--the one who had always been there first and would always be justalittlecloser to Ender than Novinha could be--as a natural inevitability rather than an inappropriate nuisance. Ender's contrition was too little too late, but it was touching.

Forging a connection simply by thinking of another person is not a new concept to me, but the power given here to the act of such REACHING is fascinating. Plikt created a shockingly strong connection to Ender simply by reaching toward him with her mind. I look forward to seeing this explored more as the series continues.

Finally, I like the way Card explores the importance of narrative in the construction of self-concept. What happens when one's self-concept is built upon a story that is revealed to be untrue? Some can't accept the truth without shattering their entire identity, and therefore choose to cling to a lie.
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