Lauren's Reviews > Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
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Jan 09, 12

Read from January 06 to 09, 2012

I've read a lot of enjoyable books over the course of the past two years. However, I have not read one that gripped me so tightly as this book did. I absolutely couldn't put it down - I could not predict what would happen or where the story might go! (this is pretty unusual for me. I typically suspect something along the way and find that I'm right, or at least was on the right path. Not the case here).

What I marvel at most in this book covers are the rich and varied topics covered in any given chapter, intro or page. At times, you watched the psychology of human and alien interaction, the underlying similarities and differences we experience in our range of motion and intellect. Other times, you were left spinning with the scientific implications of physics and space travel, biology and genetics, or anthropology and cultural contamination. While all thought-provoking topics that inspired hours of interesting conversation for me, it was the adept writing on the exploration, understanding and ultimate acceptance of cultural differences that made this book incredibly powerful. Three thousand years after the Bugger War is over, we find four races clamoring to trust and ultimately love one enough enough to believe that what they say are Truths (yes, four - you don't realize that until about halfway through the book. Bring an entirely new level of depth to the story). The "Speaker for the Dead" is meant to expose truths to those who are left behind when a loved one passes away. There are so many questions left unanswered when you lose a loved one, to the point where one character in the book says {paraphrasing} "Death is the hole left in the living's life when someone passes away. The body left behind is simply death's debris."

I always find science fiction and fantasy books to hold powerful moral messages borne from extreme circumstances. While this book was no different in it's extremity, it was more powerful than most I've ready in the genre. Bravo, OSC. I will highly recommend this book (and Ender's Game) to others while adding your other works to my collection.
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