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Children of the Mind

(Ender's Saga #4)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  102,656 ratings  ·  2,567 reviews
Children of the Mind (1996) is the fourth novel of Orson Scott Card's popular Ender's Game series of science fiction novels that focus on the character Ender Wiggin. This book was originally the second half of Xenocide, before it was split into two novels.

At the start of Children of the Mind, Jane, the evolved computer intelligence, is using her newly discovered abilities
Paperback, 370 pages
Published August 24th 2002 by Tor Books (first published August 1st 1996)
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Charles Cherry Compared to the rest of the series, Ender's Game seems very simplistic. Don't get me wrong - I loved it - but the rest of the Ender series, and the Sh…moreCompared to the rest of the series, Ender's Game seems very simplistic. Don't get me wrong - I loved it - but the rest of the Ender series, and the Shadow series, are all light-years ahead of Ender's Game when it comes to writing, plot, characters, emotion, and everything that makes a great book and a great series. In fact, they just seem to get better as you go along!

By the way, I've enjoyed these novels as audio books - the production quality, narration, and so forth, are the best I've ever heard, and I listen to a LOT of audible books. The author himself says his books are best experienced by listening to them, and I agree!(less)
Jack Vasen Absolutely, but Ender in Exile is a wild card.
I call the middle three (Speaker, Exoncide, Children) the Lusitania trilogy and it's hard to make sense…more
Absolutely, but Ender in Exile is a wild card.
I call the middle three (Speaker, Exoncide, Children) the Lusitania trilogy and it's hard to make sense of them without reading in order. It wouldn't be too hard to read these three without Ender's Game, but I consider EG to be the gem of all the Enderverse.
Ender in Exile takes place after EG and before these three. It is really the 2nd book written 20 years or so later. It could easily be read with EG leaving these three out.
These three books are completely different than EG and somewhat different than Exile. These three spend a lot of time on what I call philosophizing. A lot.(less)

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Greg Fishbone
I know several readers, myself included, who were blown away by Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. They then found the sequel, Speaker for the Dead, to be equally as riveting and eagerly reached for Xenocide, book three in the series, with the highest of expectations--only to be slammed with disappointment. This otherwise serviceable book, with an original premise and interesting characters, crashes to an unsatisfying and confusing ending that combines the worst attributes of deus ex machina and ...more
Jun 30, 2009 rated it it was ok
Wraps up the series neatly enough . . . until you stop to think about how ridiculous the entire premise is or how annoying it is that everything seems to fit so nicely together.

I suppose I have to recant the part of my Xenocide review where I called the "birth" of Peter and Young Val "unnecessary." That was obviously a crucial episode for what Card had in store for the series conclusion. But I still won't take back the opinion that it's annoying.

Positives: After starting slowly, the plot did pic
Ahmad Sharabiani
Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4), Orson Scott Card

At the start of Children of the Mind, Jane, the evolved computer intelligence, is using her newly discovered abilities to take the races of buggers, humans and pequeninos outside the universe and back instantaneously. She uses these powers to move them to distant habitable planets for colonization. She is losing her memory and concentration as the vast computer network connected to the ansible is being shut down (An ansible is a category o
Alain DeWitt
Jan 07, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I just finished this book and I read it not too long after reading 'Xenocide'. I really should review 'Xenocide' but I wanted to get this out while it was still fresh since 'Children of the Mind' was so awful. A full review of 'Xenocide', though, isn't really necessary since both books are terrible and suffer from the same flaws.

The big problem with this book is that Card violates the 'Show, Don't Tell' rule of writing. This book consists almost exclusively of long dialogue between characters an
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Whoo, finished, finally. Sometimes you get sucked in a series and you just can't wait until its over because of the command over your whole attention that it has on you. Andrew Wiggin is somebody who we would all like to become; understanding, compassionate, brilliant, and charitable. Yet he is a tragic character who carries the burden of humanity on his shoulders, always taking on more responsibility than is seemed his share.

This final novel is the fast paced, engaging, climax to the series. Sp
Spider the Doof Warrior
May 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
I have to find that quote in this book that PISSES ME OFF. It made me take away a star.

Why so RACIST? To asians and whites! Ever think that maybe Peter just wants to sit in a chair because chairs are more comfortable than kneeling?

Sorry, but what he wrote about Hiroshima and Nagasaki is OFFENSIVE AS ALL FUCK!

I hate this book. I hate OSC's writing. Why did I EVER think he was a good writer?

Oh, that is IT Orson Scott Card. I'm going to go out and DESTROY THE NUCLEAR FAMILY! I will destroy gender
The End

Children of the Mind is the end of the Ender Quartet and the story of the passing of the torch to the next generation of Ender’s “Children.” His children include memory creations of his siblings, his adopted family, and the connected one, Jane. It’s a fitting conclusion to a series filled with wonder, with magic, with spectacle.

It has thus far met with rather mixed reviews, but if you’ve been following these characters, it’s like revisiting old friends when you open up the next book. You
Nov 23, 2013 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this. I really did - after all, I love Miro, who is given a lot more page space, and I was excited to see what Peter would bring to the table. But after Xenocide, it was pretty weak.

Now to make a few comments (ehem, rants)…
a) Why is it that the only truly negative bits in the series come from the women? You know, the only truly unforgivable, unredeemable, unreasonable, and supremely infuriating bits… Let me summarize what these bits were: QUARA, Qing-Jao, and Novinha. Welcome t
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
I couldn't wait to finish this book. The Ender quartet started so strong and got progressively worse with each book. I hated who the characters became in this book (particularly Wang-Mu) and the long-winded monologues about the difficult love relationships got excessive. The tired philosophy and ruminations on the human condition were boring and unwanted.

Children of the Mind started with so much potential but it was poorly executed. I was really hoping to see the ruthless Peter emerge, having b
Aug 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
This book actually led me to break two rules of mine: 1) Never give up on a book more than 30 pages in, and 2) Nobody needs to read my review of a book, so what's the point in writing one. But this time I just... I just couldn't do it.

What I loved about Ender's Game was that it's not a blatant, lasers'n'aliens sci-fi novel (although there is NOTHING wrong with laser'n'aliens), so much as it's the story of a boy placed in relatively difficult circumstances, "up against it" if you will, who learns
Mar 23, 2010 rated it did not like it
Don't get me wrong, Orson Scott Card is one of the greats. Ender's series is one of the best series of all time. However, this book was his weakest due to being monotonous and preachy. The characters were going back and forth, stating the same dialogues. I understand the message and the characters' purposes, but the book lasted way too long; thus,I barely finished the book. Of course, there were many moments, but the bad outweighs the good. ...more
Warren Pagel
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
The last book in the sci-fi series following Ender Wiggin is disappointing to say the least. It takes all of the amazing characters introduced in Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide and devolves them into what boils down to a soap-opera-in-space.

Card excels at creating interesting characters, but he obviously struggles with writing romance; this is all the more apparent when, in a series that until this book never had any focus on romance between characters, suddenly has romance fo
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
A solid conclusion to the Ender Quartet.

It was thoughtfully written and obviously much more than just a science fiction book.

A few of my favorite quotes:

"But we were there, and during the time we lived, we were alive. That's the truth—what is, what was, what will be—not what could be, what should have been, what never can be. If we die, then our death has meaning to the rest of the universe. Even if our lives are unknown, the fact that someone lived here, and died, that will have repercussions
Shayna L
Dec 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Children of the Mind flows from the rest of the Ender saga. Aside from the issues that carry over from the previous book, there's less focus on all the philosophy in the universe and more story. It's mostly about Jane and her bid for survival along side all the peoples and aliens on the world of Lusitania. Like the other books, it's pretty enthralling and opens up the type of moral and philosophical issues that probably have entire sections of the library dedicated to understanding them.
The big
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Book four of the classic Ender series. Not quite as good as the previous books but still excellent and highly recommended.
Sep 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Well, now I've finished the "Ender Quartet" (or saga, as it's called here) at a very leisurely pace. The first book, Ender's Game, was excellent. Second was Speaker For The Dead, which was great. Then there were Xenocide and this one, both of which were merely okay.

It seems that Xenocide and Children Of The Mind were originally meant to be one book. I suspect that if Xenocide had stayed within its own borders, it would have been much better. These two books are weighed down by a lot of ideas. Th
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is more of a review for the entire series.
I didn't care much for the first book (Ender's Game), but the surprise ending captivated me enough to read the next book (plus the series was a Christmas present and I didn't want to leave it unread). The second book (Speaker for the Dead) was much better and I love the Speaker for the Dead idea. This is where things in the book get complicated. The third book (Xenocide), whoa, huge leap in time, love how chaotic everything is with the race to save
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed it but the ending was lacking. It didn't feel significant or suspenseful.

The first quarter of the book had a really good recap of the previous book as well as the series and tied it into this book well.

What I love most about this book and series is the philosophical out of the box thinking the character's have. Also about moral and doing what is right.

“...back when people lived on only one world, all the nations and races and religions and philosophies crushed together elbow to
Dr Bolderdash
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was ok
Ender's game was really fun and interesting read. It made me excited to explore more of Card's work. With each subsequent book of the Ender Saga I have enjoyed it less and less.

Throughout the entire series there has been a strong drive to explore philosophical notions of war and survival and the connections between people. In Ender's game it is not too heavy handed and mostly submerged beneath the narrative. By Children of the Mind Card might as well be bludgeoning you over the head with it.

I h
Olivia Sussex
This book was not good :(

-the female characters were all written badly
-the plot wasn't captivating, everything they wanted to happen just kinda worked out
-it was too self aware? as if every event had to be justified by the unrealistic conversations of the previous page

It's disappointing but I just didn't enjoy it. That being said, I'd still recommend reading the first two books of the series, as I think they hold their own nicely & I think they're brilliant.
Whitney Jamimah
May 14, 2022 rated it it was ok
The long and short of it is that I shouldn't have read this book to begin with.

Upon finishing Xenocide I was very disappointed and had pretty much given up on this series. Fast forward to Medieval-A-Thon in which one of the reading prompts was "read a book you're scared of", I chose to read Children of the Mind. Xenocide went so poorly I had no high hopes for this installment, I was scared to read it because I figured it wouldn't be any good and I was correct.

Xenocide as well as Children of th
Jun 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
These books are a great combo of sci-fi and philosophy, but I feel like the Ender series begins with the best book and then they gradually lose appeal. The first book in the series was skillfully crafted to weave complex strategy lessons for a child, and I was very pleased with how clever the author was, with only a few areas that were a bit heavy-handed. The subsequent books got a bit more convoluted, and lost some of the brilliance. It seemed like Card spent most of his effort on coming up wit ...more
 ♥ Rebecca ♥
Dec 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ender fans, and anyone interested in a "saga of the ethical evolution of humanity"
An excellent conclusion, a great outcome, almost happy all around. Speaker for the Dead is still my favourite of the four, and Xenocide is still my least favourite. But of the two left, Ender's Game and Children of the Mind, I'm not sure which I prefer. Ender's Game is absolutely brilliant, but so different from the others its hard to figure out where it fits. Ender's Game is like the introduction to Ender's character, his background, but the last three are the story. I must admit, I have a grea ...more
Mar 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
I'm torn on what to rate this. I was told by many internet people to stop reading after Speaker for the Dead, and I almost did because I loved that book so much on its own.

Buuuuut I didn't want to leave the world. And if all you want to do is stay in the world, then the last two books in the quartet are good (though this is the weakest, I think).

But if you're more interested in a satisfying conclusion, then you should know the writing and storytelling does get progressively weaker after Speake
Nancy O'Toole
The end is coming. Starways Congress has sent the little doctor, a weapon that can destroy an entire planet, to the world of Lusitania, regardless of the fact that the Descolada virus has been cured. Meanwhile, they have also discovered the existence of Jane, a computer program that has grown into a being of consciousness, and is planning on destroying her due to her inconvenient interference. It will take the efforts of everyone to stop Starways Congress, save Lusitania, and keep Jane alive.

Jul 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hospital, sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Duffy Pratt
Aug 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
In each successive book, Card seems to have honed in on the worst points of the last book and then used them as the focus for the new one. This one mostly involves Ender's very serious identity crisis. He's three different people at once, and apparently has barely enough lifeforce or whatever to sustain two lives at once. So something's got to give.

In the meantime, the Lusitania fleet is still hurtling toward the poor planet, and any minute now it might utterly destroy it. One of Ender's selves
May 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
After reading the earlier books in the series, the final installment was really a disappointment. However, since this was essentially the second half of Xenocide (which I actually enjoyed), I pushed myself to finish the book to find out what happens to Ender, the Piggies, the Descolada virus, etc. Sadly, those topics where overwhelmed by the pages and pages devoted to the love stories which were seemingly modeled after a supernatural tween romance. This can be exemplified with the following pass ...more
Jeff Yoak
This book was depressingly awful for me. I've loved this series. Early on I committed to drudging through it as a series with seven novels (before this one) and 9 short stories, ranging from good reads to loved, calls for great patience in reading the last story. I just couldn't make it. "Life is too short." took over.

The first full half of the novel consists of pairing off characters, sending them to remote locations, and then switching between scenes of the pairs bickering with each other. Ter
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
By far the Ender's book I enjoyed the least. It's overwrought with half-baked, twice-explained philosophical discussions that add very little in terms of content, while doubling the page count. Every chapter is full of extended monologues that come out of nowhere, don't seem realistic, and appear to simply appease the author's need expound upon purely theoretical philosophies in worlds that, by definition, only exist in his head/stories, since its fiction. In Xenocide, Card is able to keep the d ...more
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th

Other books in the series

Ender's Saga (6 books)
  • Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1)
  • Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2)
  • Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3)
  • Ender in Exile (Ender's Saga, #5)
  • The Last Shadow (The Shadow Series, #6)

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