Ryan Rebel's Reviews > Xenocide

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
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Jun 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in July, 2011

I was very, very, very tempted to give this book five stars. I really enjoyed it, although I found it to be of less quality than its two predecessors. I do finally see what people mean when they say that the Ender series gets too philosophical for them down the line, however. It wasn't too philosophical for me, but there was a bit of an overload of talkiness, to the point that it sacrificed the tightness of Ender's Game and, to a lesser extent, Speaker for the Dead. That being said, the questions being asked and discussed at length were very interesting to me, so I didn't mind.

The only thing that I actually minded about the book was the ending--it smacked of taking the easy way out. The beauty, in my opinion the best thing, about this book is the intensity of the moral situation that the characters find themselves in, and how it continually ratchets up, chapter by chapter, until the horror of the title becomes very real to the reader. And then, they figure out a "solution". This "solution" is a really cool idea, I will admit. But I am worried that it's just a cheap tension-solving device. However, I will not know this until I can know its limitations, so in other words, I won't know whether I can like it or not until I read the next and final book.

I have to say, I am still tempted to give this a five. There's nothing really wrong about this book, and I loved the ideas at play. I've grown fond of the characters as well, although sometimes they are a bit too all-knowing to be anything close to realistic. Just a smidge. It's just, as I said, not as tight as the previous books, not quite as visceral--more distantly horrifying. Call this a solid 4.5/5 stars.
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