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Говорящий от Имени Мертвых.: Возвращение Эндера

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Говорящий от Имени Мертвых.: Возвращение Эндера PDF, ePub eBook Продолжение «Игры Эндера», одной из величайших саг в истории научной фантастики, лауреата «Хьюго», «Небьюлы» и множества других наград. Когда война человечества с жукерами завершилась тотальным уничтожением враждебной расы, мальчик, на плечи которого легла вся тяжесть этой победы, исчез. И тогда люди услышали Говорящего от Имени Мертвых, человека, который рассказал, что на Продолжение «Игры Эндера», одной из величайших саг в истории научной фантастики, лауреата «Хьюго», «Небьюлы» и множества других наград. Когда война человечества с жукерами завершилась тотальным уничтожением враждебной расы, мальчик, на плечи которого легла вся тяжесть этой победы, исчез. И тогда люди услышали Говорящего от Имени Мертвых, человека, который рассказал, что на самом деле произошло в том эпическом сражении, когда с лица Вселенной была в одночасье стерта целая раса разумных существ. И люди ужаснулись содеянному и прокляли имя своего спасителя. И теперь Эндрю Виггин - Эндер Ксеноцид, Эндер Убийца - странствует среди звезд в поисках планеты, которая по&

30 review for Говорящий от Имени Мертвых.: Возвращение Эндера

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    One of my ALL Time Favorites. I loved Ender's Game, but I think that this novel surpasses it on just about every level. Writing, emotional resonance, characterization and depth. This novel is a much more "adult" read than Ender's Game. It impacted me greatly and I found that it stayed with me long after I finished reading it. 6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!! Winner: Hugo Award Best Novel. Winner: Nebula Award Best Novel. Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Nominee: Cam One of my ALL Time Favorites. I loved Ender's Game, but I think that this novel surpasses it on just about every level. Writing, emotional resonance, characterization and depth. This novel is a much more "adult" read than Ender's Game. It impacted me greatly and I found that it stayed with me long after I finished reading it. 6.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!! Winner: Hugo Award Best Novel. Winner: Nebula Award Best Novel. Winner: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Nominee: Campbell Award Best SF Novel.

  2. 5 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    While Ender's Game is a solid piece of modern sci fi, the sequel falls all too short. 'Speaker' is preachy and allegorical, and the characters often devolve into simple mouthpieces for the author's opinions, which are numerous, long, and not particularly original. While I do respect that every author has his own point of view, and that one should be able to glean some understanding from their books, such a heavy-handed case detracts from the story and characters as a whole. The suspension of disb While Ender's Game is a solid piece of modern sci fi, the sequel falls all too short. 'Speaker' is preachy and allegorical, and the characters often devolve into simple mouthpieces for the author's opinions, which are numerous, long, and not particularly original. While I do respect that every author has his own point of view, and that one should be able to glean some understanding from their books, such a heavy-handed case detracts from the story and characters as a whole. The suspension of disbelief should not be broken by the author's message; rather, the message should be communicated by carefully built characters and situations so that it emerges naturally and believably. While in the first book the main character was often guilty of extended internal monologue, this underlined the character's personal journey instead of just pushing a preconceived worldview. The second novel has a transparency of motive that, for me, destroyed both believability and the central flow of the story. Card's belief is not a hindrance to his ability to write a good story, but his overbearing expression of it sadly is.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lacey Louwagie

    Orson Scott Card has said that Speaker for the Dead is the book he always "meant to write" and that the only reason he wrote Ender's Game was as a "prequel," so he felt a little baffled when Ender's Game ended up becoming his most famous and most read work. After reading Speaker for the Dead, I understand where he's coming from. The complexity of issues tackled in Speaker for the Dead are much deeper than those in Ender; likewise, the cultures and worlds explored through Speaker are much more in Orson Scott Card has said that Speaker for the Dead is the book he always "meant to write" and that the only reason he wrote Ender's Game was as a "prequel," so he felt a little baffled when Ender's Game ended up becoming his most famous and most read work. After reading Speaker for the Dead, I understand where he's coming from. The complexity of issues tackled in Speaker for the Dead are much deeper than those in Ender; likewise, the cultures and worlds explored through Speaker are much more intricate. One thing I love about Orson Scott Card -- which I somehow always end up forgetting when I'm not reading him -- is that, despite the fact that he writes fairly "hard science fiction," his stories are still completely character driven. Unlike many SF writers, he spends as much time developing his characters as he spends developing his society, and the result is a compelling book regardless of the plot. (Heck, I even enjoyed Ender's Shadow, which basically had the same plot as Ender's Game except told from a different character's perspective.) Despite my enjoyment of the book, there were a few things that annoyed me. Although Orson Scott Card's characters are well-developed, the female characters seemed to have less complexity; in particular, the principle female character spent about 3/4 of the book wallowing in her own self-pity. This may endear her to male readers with a knight-in-shining-armor complex (as, indeed, it endeared her to Ender), but as a female reader I wanted her to just get over it already. Orson Scott Card seems to play the female moral superiority card even as he grapples with some real ambivalence about female leadership -- the female leaders in this book were either veiled tyrants (whom Ender felt compelled to put in their place) or rendered ineffective as leaders the moment Ender burst on the scene. Finally, Ender himself is a main character in this book whom you're almost tempted to despise just because the author is so clearly in love with him. But truth be told, that didn't keep me from being a little enamored with him, myself -- although the "piggies," an alien race introduced in this book -- held my heart and my attention most completely.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Clouds

    Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done. On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me. While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done. On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me. While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became a father. As such these stories became imprinted on my memory as the soundtrack to the happiest period in my life (so far). I really liked this book. I’ve never read Ender’s Game . I’ve never read any other Orson Scott Card. But I will, because I really liked this book. The overall premise is superb – mankind’s dark history with the buggers, their potential for redemption with the piggies, the mysterious Descolada plague, the precautions taken to protect the xenobiology making understanding the evolutionary leaps impossible... it’s fascinating stuff. But it's the individuals who populate this world – Ender who is the very epitome of his race, the killer seeking redemption, the last Hive Queen, Jane, the insecure AI, Ender’s genius sister, Valentine, Novinho, the brilliant but bitter xenobiologist who Ender is determined to make accept his love – her dysfunctional family! and finally, there are the stars of the show – the piggies themselves – an alien race who rank up their with Hamilton’s Kiint as my personal favourites. Lots of sci-fi starts with a good idea or two – but very few have a cast like this. It’s awkward, anguished personal stuff, wrapped up as a murder-mystery inside a scientific enigma, driven along relentlessly by a humble messiah. My only complaint is the choice of names, the ‘buggers’ and the ‘piggies’. Let’s face it – these are bloody ridiculous names for well-crafted alien races. One of the ways I judge a book is by how many moments remain behind afterwards, resonating with my understanding of the world. For Speaker , there are dozens – and they’ve lingered in vibrant, sparkling form. The one I’ll never forget is the moment that gives Ender his purpose (and the book it’s title) – when he Speaks the Death of Marcão. It’s a scene that I knew was coming from the get-go, – a scene I tried to guess and second guess, and still found surprising, still found emotional and couldn’t have broken away from had my wife gone into labour while the house was on fire. When the piggies ask (view spoiler)[a brothertree (hide spoiler)] for wood – I was grinning like a loony! When the piggies realize why (view spoiler)[Pipo and Libo hadn’t grown into Fathertrees (hide spoiler)] – my heart broke for the (view spoiler)[murdering (hide spoiler)] little aliens! When Ender helped (view spoiler)[plant (hide spoiler)] Human – my chest ached. When they crack (view spoiler)[the descolada (hide spoiler)] ! When Ender wins over (view spoiler)[Grego (hide spoiler)] ! When Valentine (view spoiler)[comes to join the rebellion (hide spoiler)] ! Olhado’s eyes! When Ender (view spoiler)[marries (hide spoiler)] Novinho! When Ender (view spoiler)[buries the Hive (hide spoiler)] Queen! When Ender writes (view spoiler)[The Life of Human (hide spoiler)] ! Speaker for the Dead is the kind of book I was looking for when I started my Locus Quest and I’ve found it hard to resist buying Ender’s Game and Xenocide immediately. But those are the bad old ways – to find a new author I like and then devour their catalogue before moving on - that’s a habit I’m trying to break. So I’ll space out the Ender's Saga books – enjoy them over a few months (or maybe years?) – but I will definitely be reading them at some point. (I've now read Ender's Game and Xenocide too and loved them both, so we're still going strong with one more in the core series to go)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Ian McKellon, Ellen DeGeneres, Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons and Samuel Delany sit in a trendy coffee house in Chelsea and discuss Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel Speaker for the Dead. Ian: Let me begin our book club meeting with a very special thank you to our very gracious host, thank you Andre, as always your staff have been kind and hospitable and have once again made us all feel at home. [all thank the host and servers] Ian: Alright, so … Speaker for the Dead, Card’s sequel to his fine novel Ender's Ian McKellon, Ellen DeGeneres, Nathan Lane, Jim Parsons and Samuel Delany sit in a trendy coffee house in Chelsea and discuss Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel Speaker for the Dead. Ian: Let me begin our book club meeting with a very special thank you to our very gracious host, thank you Andre, as always your staff have been kind and hospitable and have once again made us all feel at home. [all thank the host and servers] Ian: Alright, so … Speaker for the Dead, Card’s sequel to his fine novel Ender's Game, any opening remarks? Nathan: Well, what can I say, I loved it. [all agree] Ellen: It reminded me of Ursula Le Guin’s writing, much more so than Ender’s Game or any other of his writing that I have experienced. Samuel: Yes, and Card used Le Guin’s ansible, the device that allows for instantaneous communication across light years of distance. Jim: On the set of Big Bang Theory, we often talk about the technology as a part of our back-story and we have frequently discussed the ansible. Samuel: Speaking as a science fiction writer myself, I have to say that this may have been his virtuoso performance, again, more so than Ender’s Game, which has some irony because Card stated that this was the book he intended to write before Ender’s Game, and Ender’s Game was written almost as a prequel, and then it became far more popular. Ian: Certainly this was the more spiritual of the two books. [all agree] Nathan: I think that Card also borrowed from or paid tribute to many other writers in this book: Heinlein, obviously Le Guin, Clarke, and also maybe Joe Haldeman. Jim: The lost in time, relative time gaps, where a traveller in a near light speed vehicle will age less than someone on Earth may be a ubiquitous them in his work. Samuel: Yes, this was reminiscent of his The Worthing Saga stories, where one character finds himself centuries, even millennia older than his peers. Ian: What do you think of his use of the aliens as being described as “piggies”, was this perhaps an allusion to William Golding’s’ brilliant 1954 novel Lord of the Flies? Ellen: I wondered about that too! I mean maybe, almost in reverse, as if they are the alien juveniles to our older, but still immature and incomplete adults. Nathan: Yes, I think that was definitely a goal of his – to make the piggies into a kind of retro mirror to ourselves, although they are certainly alien. Samuel: The inclusion of the Hive Queen and the Hegemon is also an important inclusion, very much like something Frank Herbert would write, to offer a path towards redemption. Ian: So it’s unanimous, we all like his work and simply must invite him to our next book club meeting.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Doc Opp

    When I first read this book I was in middle school and I hated it. It was such a disappointment as a follow up to the brilliance of Ender's Game. I re-read it when in grad school, and it was an entirely different experience. The book has elements of mystery, religion/mysticism, anthropology (albeit fictional anthropology), philosophy, politics, and intrigue. But its got a very slow start, and there isn't much in the way of action - its all about two cultures trying to understand each other. Its When I first read this book I was in middle school and I hated it. It was such a disappointment as a follow up to the brilliance of Ender's Game. I re-read it when in grad school, and it was an entirely different experience. The book has elements of mystery, religion/mysticism, anthropology (albeit fictional anthropology), philosophy, politics, and intrigue. But its got a very slow start, and there isn't much in the way of action - its all about two cultures trying to understand each other. Its not a traditional sci-fi read, but for the right reader, it can be a really deep and meaningful experience.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Will M.

    Card claims that this is his masterpiece. He said that he only wrote Ender's Game so that he could write this. It's such a shame though that Ender's Game became such a hit, and Speaker for the Dead became its shadow. Before I start with the serious part of the review, let me start with something that I can't seem to erase from my mind while reading this. The new alien species are called piggies. Piggies. The thing running inside my head was and it stayed like that till the end. I'm not proud of i Card claims that this is his masterpiece. He said that he only wrote Ender's Game so that he could write this. It's such a shame though that Ender's Game became such a hit, and Speaker for the Dead became its shadow. Before I start with the serious part of the review, let me start with something that I can't seem to erase from my mind while reading this. The new alien species are called piggies. Piggies. The thing running inside my head was and it stayed like that till the end. I'm not proud of it, but for me, Card wrote of a new alien species, in which they are pigs. Not so new to me. Another thing running in my mind would be the word ramen. It kept appearing from time to time. Mr. Card, a ramen for me would be I believe that this is my first time using pictures for my review. Might be my last time, but who knows what the future might hold. -------------------- Like what 90% of the goodreads people say about this, Speaker is more of a philosophical novel, rather than a hardcore SF-war one. That didn't bother me, to be honest, because the issues tackled in the novel were quite interesting. There was not a dull moment in the novel, so that's a good start. The reason why I didn't like this though would be because of the bad ending. After such an amazing world building and character development, the ending was just terrible (for me). It felt rushed and incomplete. He could've made the novel a bit longer, considering how average the size is. It's either the novel was inadequate in size, or I was just wanting more. Only two characters from Ender's Game were still present in this novel, Ender and Valentine. I really liked both characters, so I was thrilled to read more of the two. The novel was 90% Ender of course, and probably 5% Valentine. I'm not complaining much because Ender's one of my favorites, but the other characters were just not interesting to me. The main problem would be their names. I hated their names. They were made up and weird as shit. I hate those things, it hinders my ability to like a character. If I hate the name right from the start, odds are I'll hate the character itself. Come to think of it though, even if the characters had better names, I don't think I'd like them as much as some characters from Ender's though. Most of the characters here were rather flat and boring. They contributed a lot in the plot, but I couldn't see myself remembering them in the future. Plot wise, this novel was above satisfactory. It didn't falter off at one point, so consistency was present. Chapter after chapter I was impatient to know what would happen next, and what would be the explosive ending I was expecting. I was really disappointed though. Even the secret of Pipo was terribly bullshit. After reading the whole novel to find out about it, it felt like Card gave me a piece of canned meat, after expecting a nicely grilled steak. 4/5 stars. Main problem would be the dull characters and terrible ending. Overall though, this novel was really great. The "journey" was good, but not enough to garner a 5 star rating. I really liked Ender's Game more, but I'm not saying don't read this, on the contrary, I'm also recommending this. Not sure if I'll read Xenocide right away, because the ending of this one doesn't make me want to know what's going to happen next, but I will read it probably next year (2015).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    So great to revisit one of my absolute favorite novels of all time! Back when I first read this, Andrew Wiggin immediately jumped into my heart to become my ultimate role-model, my hero, and the idealized version of myself. Ender's Game had him go through some horrific things and really set the stage for the man he was later to become, but it is the full-grown man that really pulls on my heartstrings. No. He wasn't truly at fault for wiping out the Formics. That can be laid at other's feet. But h So great to revisit one of my absolute favorite novels of all time! Back when I first read this, Andrew Wiggin immediately jumped into my heart to become my ultimate role-model, my hero, and the idealized version of myself. Ender's Game had him go through some horrific things and really set the stage for the man he was later to become, but it is the full-grown man that really pulls on my heartstrings. No. He wasn't truly at fault for wiping out the Formics. That can be laid at other's feet. But he absolutely pulled the trigger. And the end of Ender's Game showed us the beginning of his redemption. Where redemption takes the form of Understanding. And then telling All the Truth, the good and the bad. Exposing it to the world for good or ill. I LOVE how this turned into a very powerful force for good. Better yet, I love how turning it upon this special world of Lusitania transforms everyone's lives this dramatically. Or how it affects four intelligent species. Or how it paves the way for real redemption. I'm not all that fond of Christian motif stories because they're generally all ham-fisted and overdone. Like, A LOT. But this one does NOT go that way. It's humanist. It's understanding that all of us have good and bad within us, and that accepting (and really understanding) each other is can be the most life-affirming thing that any of us can do. The story of Speaker for the Dead is powerful on all levels of worldbuilding, strange aliens, mystery, love, and sheer cussed awesomeness. The threat of another Xenocide times three is shocking enough on its own, but when combined with all the events from Ender's Game, Speaker basically turns me into a quivering ball of emotional jelly. And worse, the characters, and I mean ALL the characters, from Pequenios to Navi's family to Andrew himself, just draws such a warm feeling from me that I can't even stand it. It's more messed up than Ender's Game. More wonderful. Deeper, adult, complex, painful, and glorious. I can't particularly think of ANY novel that deep down affects me more on a personal level. I'm thinking along the lines of putting this in one of my top ten best novels of all time. :) So gorgeous. So important. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    Calling this book the sequel to Ender's Game is like calling Mary Poppins the sequel to Star Wars. It's boring, overly observational, and totally unrelated in style and setting to Ender's Game.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    My favorite book of all time, if only because it brings back sentimental memories. More than simply a sci-fi page turner, it deals with non-trivial matters such as guilt and love. In a whole different league than the rest of the Ender series, not to mention the rest of Scott Card's works. A must read for anyone who was ever interested in sci-fi.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Britney

    UGGHHH! I figured since some of my all-time favorite books are Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, that Speaker for the Dead - another installment of Ender's life - was going knock my socks off too...I was SO disappointed. This book won the Hugo and Nebula awards - and one critic even said this was Card's best work. I have to assume that they weren't reading the same novel I was. They just couldn't have been. It was awful. This book was such a let down, I wish I never would have read it. It complet UGGHHH! I figured since some of my all-time favorite books are Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, that Speaker for the Dead - another installment of Ender's life - was going knock my socks off too...I was SO disappointed. This book won the Hugo and Nebula awards - and one critic even said this was Card's best work. I have to assume that they weren't reading the same novel I was. They just couldn't have been. It was awful. This book was such a let down, I wish I never would have read it. It completely ruined the future Ender for me, so I'm going to forget the whole story as soon as possible. It was SO far out there, completely boring, and just too nuts that during the most intense part of the book, I found myself reading it as "and blah blah blah, and then blah blah blah..." Ender isn't the same brilliant and complex character he once was, and the new characters Card introduces are just sad. If you are looking for another story that brings back the excitement and intrigue of battle school, look elsewhere. Ender's future is bleak...make a good future for yourself by picking a different book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I can understand why this book might not enthrall all of its readers but for me, it was brilliant. The anthropological framework certainly entertained me and the deeper themes hooked me. The concept of a Speaker for the Dead and the healing properties of truth make the book a self-searching read. Perhaps the book does not glorify the catholic concept of confession, but it certainly values repentance and forgiveness while acknowledging the absurdity of the act of forgiveness. Above all, it reminds I can understand why this book might not enthrall all of its readers but for me, it was brilliant. The anthropological framework certainly entertained me and the deeper themes hooked me. The concept of a Speaker for the Dead and the healing properties of truth make the book a self-searching read. Perhaps the book does not glorify the catholic concept of confession, but it certainly values repentance and forgiveness while acknowledging the absurdity of the act of forgiveness. Above all, it reminds readers of our common humanity and urges each to pursue peace through understanding. "When you really know somebody, you can't hate them...Or maybe it's just that you can't really know them until you stop hating them...Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart." "...she felt strangely healed, as if simply speaking her mistake were enough to purge some of the pain of it. For the first time, then, she caught a glimpse of what the power of speaking might be. It wasn't a matter of confession, penance, and absolution, like the priests offered. It was something else entirely. Telling the story of who she was, and then realizing that she was no longer the same person. That she had made a mistake, and the mistake had changed her, and now she would not make the mistake again because she had become someone else, someone less afraid, someone more compassionate." "Sickness and healing are in every heart. Death and deliverance are in every hand." "How suddenly we find the flesh of God within us after all, when we thought that we were only made of dust."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wes Morgan

    Wow. This book was a very pleasant surprise. Absolutely one of the finest works of fiction I've ever read. It's unfortunate that it's technically science fiction because that stigma will cause many to dismiss it out of hand. That would be a big mistake, as this is a great novel regardless of genre. Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Card's best-known work, Ender's Game. I read that first and enjoyed it, but it is The Hobbit to Speaker's Lord of the Rings. It helps you understand the characters a Wow. This book was a very pleasant surprise. Absolutely one of the finest works of fiction I've ever read. It's unfortunate that it's technically science fiction because that stigma will cause many to dismiss it out of hand. That would be a big mistake, as this is a great novel regardless of genre. Speaker for the Dead is a sequel to Card's best-known work, Ender's Game. I read that first and enjoyed it, but it is The Hobbit to Speaker's Lord of the Rings. It helps you understand the characters and names of things and places better, but reading it first is not essential to appreciating the story in Speaker. Although, if you enjoy Speaker half as much as I did, you'll want to (re-)read Ender's Game next anyway just to get more background on Ender himself and the events of his childhood. So you may as well start there. :) Speaker for the Dead reminds me of other epic, character relationship-focused novels such as One Hundred Years of Solitude or Midnight's Children. Here the advanced future technology stands in for the magical realism of those works. Unlike much science fiction, the characters are very well realized and developed, as are their relationships with each other. Card's background is in psychology, not technology, which makes the book much more accessible to those who aren't big sci-fi geeks (and, I would argue, a more interesting story over all). As an example of this, the book focuses on the painful effects space travel has on human relationships (because of the time dilation effects of relativity, a voyage of a few weeks for those on the ship lasts several decades for those they leave behind) rather than how the propulsion technology works. The story revolves around a small colony of Brazilian Catholics on a planet they've named Lusitania. They discover another intelligent species on this planet, the second humanity has ever run into. We wiped out the first such species in an act of self-defense, but we have since come to regret this action after realizing it was based on mutual misunderstanding. So humanity is determined not to let the same thing happen here. This story of epic scope is told from the perspective of the family who is charged with studying this species on Lusitania and the small community of the colony in which they live. We see 3 generations of this family over the course of the book, but most of the novel focuses on Novinha (pronounced no-VEEN-yah) and her 6 children. The family's broken home and lives of quiet desperation are interrupted only by death, on several occasions and twice at the hands of the alien species. These deaths deflate humanity's hope of peaceful coexistence with the aliens. Into this mix comes Ender, who has a very unique connection to the first alien species we wiped out (I won't say anymore about that because it's a spoiler for Ender's Game). He is now a Speaker for the Dead, which is a sort of humanist priesthood of people who learn about those who have died and speak the truth of their lives, their hopes, fears, intentions, virtues, and vices. He is called by several members of the family to speak the deaths they have experienced in an act of defiance of the Catholic hierarchy that essentially runs the colony. As I've implied, the characters are what make this book great, and that applies to all of them, human or otherwise. The alien species on Lusitania are called "piggies" because they resemble pigs who walk upright and speak. They are a fascinating creation of Card's imagination and you grow to care very much about them and a few individuals in particular as you read the book, as does Ender in the story. The humans' attempts to understand their culture and help them to understand ours are a central component of the book and cast many things we take for granted in a fascinating light. This book is a wonderful story of redemption; of old misunderstandings and pain turning into mutual respect and love via decades of blood, sweat, and tears; of humans (and non-humans) learning and growing and being better than our worst demons; and of loss and suffering planting the seeds of new loves and lives. It's a story spanning thousands of years and a hundred worlds, but told in the most intimate of settings, a single extended family. It shows humans at their best and their worst, and makes you care a great deal about the individual characters all the while. I can't recommend this novel highly enough.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    Blah. After Ender's Game, I was all excited to read this one, and it . . . was pretty boring. It wasn't TERRIBLE -- I finished it, but it was mostly boring. The only really interesting things about it were a) biological concepts that are totally different from what we have here on earth, which, after watching a lot of "forehead aliens" on Star Trek is a nice change, and b) the impact of the whole you-don't-age-when-you're-travelling-close-to-the-speed-of-light thing (i.e. relativity and whatnot.) Blah. After Ender's Game, I was all excited to read this one, and it . . . was pretty boring. It wasn't TERRIBLE -- I finished it, but it was mostly boring. The only really interesting things about it were a) biological concepts that are totally different from what we have here on earth, which, after watching a lot of "forehead aliens" on Star Trek is a nice change, and b) the impact of the whole you-don't-age-when-you're-travelling-close-to-the-speed-of-light thing (i.e. relativity and whatnot.) Besides that . . . eh. Jane could have been interesting, but she wasn't. And I missed Valentine. And the stupid Portuguese names were too similar and therefore confusing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Spider the Doof Warrior

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I've read this book several times since I first read Ender's Game back in 2001. The problem with this book is everything could have been solved by simply asking the aliens how they reproduce from the start instead of assuming they reproduce like humans do. That kind of story almost always annoys the beejeesus out of me. No, I'm sorry, Orson Scott Card is NOT a good writer. Why doesn't anyone else NOTICE this? It drives me nuts. Maybe I should read this again, but I don't want to. I just seems li I've read this book several times since I first read Ender's Game back in 2001. The problem with this book is everything could have been solved by simply asking the aliens how they reproduce from the start instead of assuming they reproduce like humans do. That kind of story almost always annoys the beejeesus out of me. No, I'm sorry, Orson Scott Card is NOT a good writer. Why doesn't anyone else NOTICE this? It drives me nuts. Maybe I should read this again, but I don't want to. I just seems like this one simple little thing would have changed everything. But OSC has to make things SEEM complicated. Like Novinha can't marry the man she wants to marry because he'll learn everything because she will be one person with him. Why? For what reason do married people have to be the SAME PERSON? So, if you have some secret account, your husband gets to share it suddenly? This makes no sense. There's no real reason for it. I have got to get these OSC books out of my house. Anyone want them? Edit-I am sorry, but no real actual scientist would ever, ever encounter aliens and assume they reproduced the same way humans do! This is just so deeply dippy. Couldn't Libo or that other fellow simply have said, we can't turn into trees, don't cut us? And you get 2 people in which this happens to. How are we supposed to believe that two people could not have said, don't do this, our bodies don't work like that. SEE? Simple! I'm sorry, OSC is overrated! Another Edit Now, you have to understand that I was a fan of OSC since Jr. High school when I read Seventh Son for the first time.But he's been driving me crazy. There's the homophobia to consider, the constant nagging in his stories and SWITCHING FROM THIRD PERSON TO FIRST PERSON! It's extremely irritating. You are not SAYING something silently but THINKING it and there's no reason to switch from third person to first person every few paragraphs. I'm skimming through this book and I still can't believe that characters would actually be this stupid in the sense of letting themselves be killed by the piggies when they didn't have to be. This doesn't make them look noble or self sacrificing but really, really dumb and lacking in respect for another being's culture and way of life. Also, the romance between Ender and Novinhua is not believable. Perhaps from Ender's side, but not from her. On the bright side, at least Jane is AWESOME. I love her. I do find her whole part very satisfying and I hate when Ender turns her off and she becomes lost. 12/18/12 Edit- Why did I read this book again? I think I need to just not read OSC the way I should NOT watch Anti-christ by Lars von Trier because I don't even want to SEE all of that genital mutilation. I will hurt. OSC just isn't a good writer. It seems like he is but he isn't. He nags and lectures. He tells when he should show you. He has no subtlety. His bad guys are too evil and his good guys are too good. He's terrible at character development. You're better off reading Wraethlu or something like that. Especially if you are keen on gay rights. That serious has fantastic character development, interesting beings going from being human to something else dealing with that. It's also very gay friendly too, unlike OSC who will never be gay friendly and will always think homosexuality will destroy society if you just allow people to openly be themselves.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Time to Meet A New Species Speaker For the Dead is a magnificent epic work full of surprises. It joins as well as echoes the great science fiction works such as More Than Human, The Dune Trilogy, and Stranger in a Strange Land. But, make no mistake about it, Speaker is a bold original work that stands on its own. Originally conceived before Ender’s Game at least in idea form, it is a sequel to Ender’s Game but has as little in common with the world of Ender’s Game as a player piano has with a one Time to Meet A New Species Speaker For the Dead is a magnificent epic work full of surprises. It joins as well as echoes the great science fiction works such as More Than Human, The Dune Trilogy, and Stranger in a Strange Land. But, make no mistake about it, Speaker is a bold original work that stands on its own. Originally conceived before Ender’s Game at least in idea form, it is a sequel to Ender’s Game but has as little in common with the world of Ender’s Game as a player piano has with a one-legged ostrich whose done a dozen shots of ouzo. Forget game theory. Forget computer games and battle training. The buggers were vanquished. Humans have spread to 100 worlds. It’s 3,000 years later and the great xenocide of the buggers is a collective guilt trip. Ender is still around - bouncing through lightspeed travel saves some time. He’s been around an awful long time as has Valentine. And he’s now the Speaker For the Dead, here to spread the truth and his past is obscured but he’s almost a sacrilegious leader revered across the cosmos. But, what till you meet his new best friend Jane, the seductress of the cosmos. Most of the action takes place on a small backward colony which has importance because the forests around it are teeming with intelligent piggies. And, we don’t want to screw up this second intergalactic meeting of species. But, with limited contact, and carefulness about revealing technology, it’s a conundrum how to find out anything. The cultures are just so different. And the piggies are just as good at not revealing much. Along the way, Card questions so many things and what makes us sentient and how do we deal with that which we don’t understand. Can’t give this one enough star ratings. It’s up there. Right up there On the top shelf.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Apatt

    Ender's Game is one of those rare sf classics that are placed in the top 5 of most "All-time best sf books", I have seen it occupy the pole position in a few such lists. Such accolade is not undeserved as Ender's Game is a great book, and one of the best military sf novels ever published, alas military sf has never been my favorite sf sub genre so Speaker for the Dead is much more to my taste. What makes this book very special are the existential and philosophical issues raised by this book. I a Ender's Game is one of those rare sf classics that are placed in the top 5 of most "All-time best sf books", I have seen it occupy the pole position in a few such lists. Such accolade is not undeserved as Ender's Game is a great book, and one of the best military sf novels ever published, alas military sf has never been my favorite sf sub genre so Speaker for the Dead is much more to my taste. What makes this book very special are the existential and philosophical issues raised by this book. I also love the Pequeninos (piggies) alien species and their highly unusual stages of growth. Their culture is very alien and this leads to a terrible misunderstanding and a couple of tragic human deaths, that said, there are some recognizable human characteristic in their behavior. Characterization has always been a particular strength of Orson Scott Card and this is very much a character-centric book, though the sf element, the sense of wonder and immersion is very strong. The character of Andrew Wiggin (Ender) is very different from the previous novel he has grown up, grown old and attained a lot of wisdom. Some of the alien piggies characters such as Rooter and Human are as vivid as the human ones. For me this book has a lot more emotional resonance than its predecessor as I can identify with some of the problems the characters go through. This book epitomizes all that I look for in a perfect sf novel. The two books in the Ender's Saga that follow this one, Xenocide and Children of The Mind are not shabby either.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stuart

    Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of plot and narrative Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead really opened my mind to the wonders of the SF genre back in junior high. Ender’s Game was a gripping coming-of-age military SF adventure about child genius Ender Wiggin, which raised serious questions about training children for military combat, and whether genocide can ever be justified, even in self-defense of humanity. Synop Speaker for the Dead: Way too much talk about morality, guilt, and redemption through the truth, at the expense of plot and narrative Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead really opened my mind to the wonders of the SF genre back in junior high. Ender’s Game was a gripping coming-of-age military SF adventure about child genius Ender Wiggin, which raised serious questions about training children for military combat, and whether genocide can ever be justified, even in self-defense of humanity. Synopsis Speaker for the Dead revolves around a dysfunctional family of xenobiologists and xenologers, and features an adult Ender Wiggin (now know as Andrew Wiggin, Speaker for the Dead) who is only in his mid-30s thanks to the time relativity effects of interstellar flight. On Lusitania, a new alien species has been discovered, the pequeninos (or piggies, as they are commonly known), the only other alien race to be encountered since the buggers were exterminated by Ender Wiggin, the Xenocide. So now the Hundred Worlds and Starways Congress are much more cautious about alien contact, and restrict all contact with the piggies to just the handful of xenobiologists and xenologers. The story involves the emotional trials of the Ribeira family, which has been struck with a series of tragedies tied to interactions with the piggies, as well as contact with a deadly plague called the Descolada which scrambles DNA in unexpected and fatal ways. Despite her parents finding a way to prevent the Descolada from harming humans, the main character Novinha loses her parents to the plague. Although she takes on their mission to study the biology of the piggies, along with a father/son pair of xenologers (Pipo and Libo), tragedy strikes both of them fatally as they are killed by the piggies after discovering information related to the Descolada. Novinha, who considers Pipo a father figure and Libo as her lover, is emotionally devastated and retreats further from the community of Lusitania. She later decides to marry Marcao Ribeira, who turns out to be an abusive drunk, and although they have six children together, their family life is toxic and everyone’s emotional lives are a mess. It is the death of Marcao, along with the earlier deaths of Pipo and Libo, that triggers the main events of the story. Andrew Wiggin answers a call for a Speaker for the Dead sent initially by Novinha (to speak the death of Pipo), but later requests are also made by her eldest son Miro (to speak the death of Libo) and her eldest daughter Ela (to speak the death of Marcao) after Andrew has already begun his journey. When he arrives, it becomes clear that Novinha regrets her request (which cannot be cancelled), and that the family is in disarray due to the abuse of Novinha by her husband Ribeiro, and her refusal to reveal what information about the Descolada lead to the deaths of Pipo and Libo. It takes only a week of sleuthing and infiltration of the family by the incredibly perceptive Speaker for the Dead to unearth layer after layer of secrets and emotional pain buried in the Ribeiro family, and despite the resistance of various family members, he finally undertakes to reveal the true story behind Pipo, Libo, Novinha, and Marcao, and this cathartic Speaking before the Lusitania community provides one of the key moments of the book. There is also a subplot about Starways Congress finding out about illegal contact with the piggies and attempting to shut down the colony (which it views as being in rebellion) and its ansible communications network, along with an artificial intelligence named Jane that has formed a connection with Ender Wiggin over the 3,000 years since the genocide. However, I found this subplot quite underdeveloped and not really critical to the plot. Most likely it was added to lay the groundwork for the following two sequels, Xenocide and Children of the Mind, which are widely regarded as inferior to the first two books. Finally, the Hive Queen also features as part of the redemption of Andrew Wiggin, as he seeks to find a new home for her race to atone for his unwitting act of Xenocide 3,000 years earlier. Conclusion Apparently Orson Scott Card had always wanted to write Speaker for the Dead, and wrote Ender’s Game partly to set the stage for this story. Unfortunately, it is very clear that the book is mainly an opportunity for him to espouse his various views about morality, guilt, lies, and redemption via revealing of the truth, no matter how painful. I don’t have any problems with OSC’s ideas about redemption via truth, that lies can only destroy family relationships, and that guilt must eventually be let go if people are to ever move on with their lives. However, I would say a good 75% of the 415 pages of Speaker for the Dead are weighed down with endless, well-meaning descriptions of the pain and suffering of the characters, and it got to be extremely annoying after a while. I think if OSC had simply allowed the story to speak for itself, he wouldn't have to spell out exactly how emotional and cathartic the Speaking was. I also didn't like the fact that the Speaker seemed so all-knowing and infallible for much of the book. Finally, I thought it was such a waste that just 25% of the story was devoted to the fascinating alien biology and alien thought-processes of the piggies. The book would have been better served by a 50/50 breakdown, or even the reverse. This is where Ender’s Game succeeded and Speaker for the Dead failed, because the former story was driven by the action of the plot with occasional thoughts on the moral implications of the story, whereas Speaker for the Dead is almost entirely a discussion of those ideas, with the storyline taking a backseat (and several storylines are barely explored at all, so why bother?). So the irony is that while OSC is probably much more enamored of Speaker for the Dead, I think Ender’s Game has had a greater impact on readers, especially younger ones. And while I can’t say I didn’t like Speaker for the Dead, I really wish it could be rewritten with less exposition and more plot-driven narrative. It would be a much better book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Davie

    Made me question what I thought I liked about Ender's Game. Like a Dan Brown book, it manipulates you into reading onwards in order to find out what the hell was going on in the first chapters -- even as you suspect more and more strongly that it's not going to be worth it in the end. Hokey space soap opera.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    I read this one in a rush thirty-some years ago so I'd have it finished before our book club met to discuss it, and now have revisited it via audio. I'm glad I did; I didn't appreciate nearly enough that first time around. It's a sequel to Ender's Game, but I'd say upon reflection that Ender's Game serves more as an introduction to this, the main feature. It continues from that story, but adds so much more in exploration of religion and responsibility in relationships and depth of culture that i I read this one in a rush thirty-some years ago so I'd have it finished before our book club met to discuss it, and now have revisited it via audio. I'm glad I did; I didn't appreciate nearly enough that first time around. It's a sequel to Ender's Game, but I'd say upon reflection that Ender's Game serves more as an introduction to this, the main feature. It continues from that story, but adds so much more in exploration of religion and responsibility in relationships and depth of culture that it seems a whole new universe is being introduced. Card deserves more recognition as a master of the genre than he's ever received.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019

    I never expected Ender's Game to be so damn engrossing when I finally got around it last January. I certainly wasn't expecting I would even read anything written by Orson Scott Card ever, considering his homophobic stance which had personally offended me. However, I wasn't quick to dismiss his literary contributions to the science fiction genre, so I put aside my negative bias and bought the Ender Quartet series. And I'm glad I gave myself the chance to do that because I can honestly say that tw I never expected Ender's Game to be so damn engrossing when I finally got around it last January. I certainly wasn't expecting I would even read anything written by Orson Scott Card ever, considering his homophobic stance which had personally offended me. However, I wasn't quick to dismiss his literary contributions to the science fiction genre, so I put aside my negative bias and bought the Ender Quartet series. And I'm glad I gave myself the chance to do that because I can honestly say that two books later into the series, what Card accomplished in both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead has made me into a massive fan. Unlike its predecessor, Speaker for the Dead is more humane in scope, focusing on the empowering choice of peace and tolerance whilst Ender's Game dealt with war and annihilation of a species that threatened our own. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is no longer the sole and primary focus of the story though his importance is still pronounced; but in a different sense from his destroyer days. Set three thousand years later after the bugger wars, Ender is no longer that prodigy child who won the war for humanity's survival; he's a man in his thirties who traveled the stars for so long that he never had a chance to feel at home. Together with his sister Valentine, Ender had seen humanity spread across the galaxies, and he had moved with them but as a Speaker; one who tells the truth about a person's life upon death. He is in fact the very first Speaker since space travel has slowed down his ageing process, and he wanted to once and for all discard Ender by speaking on behalf of the dead to impact their histories on the living. This is the perfect form of penance for Ender, and the only people aware of his identity are his sister and the sentient artificial intelligence Jane who sought him out herself and hoped one day that he could help human beings accept her kind. Though Ender still plays a huge role in Speaker for the Dead, the story is focused on a human settlement called Lusitania which is a largely Catholic community that lives alongside a newly discovered species called "piggies". Ender was called to speak for someone's death in that place, a summoning by a suffering young girl named Novinha. But before Ender ever gets there, Novinha (who was now an adult) cancels the summoning, especially after she figures out a significant revelation about the piggies, and wants desperately to protect it to avoid bloodshed among the people she loves the most. Puzzlingly enough, Novinha's other two children have also called for a speaker, and this is when Ender knew that something troubling is brewing in the stifling confines of Novinha's family; that there is a corrosive wound that has made it essentially hard for both her and her children to move forward with their lives. The book's plot goes twofold. On one hand, the anthropological examination of the piggies' culture and practices is zoomed in, enabling readers to understand this species in the human context but even that is already limited. With Ender's arrival, he served as an ambassador between humans and piggies, offering agreeable alternatives for co-existence between these two species. On the other hand, Ender's presence was also a powerful instrument that shattered the shackles that surrounded Novinha and her children. By speaking on behalf of their dead father, Ender exposed the painful truth and the healing process thus began. He had also unwittingly woven himself into the family's fabric, and perhaps in doing so he finally had a home to belong to after being a vagabond for so long. Speaker for the Dead is an astounding follow-up that is drastically different from Ender's Game in tone, setting and execution, and yet in most ways it was also able to surpass its predecessor. It's a daring commentary on science and religion, challenging the limitations of both fields. It also served as a heartfelt testament about the freeing capacity of truth and compassion. It's a searing examination of what makes families grow together and communities prosper as one. The characters are memorable and sympathetic even when they do and say things that are more harmful that they thought (I'm of course referring to Novinha and her insistence to conceal the truth which cost her the love and trust of her own children). And as much as I enjoyed Ender as a child in the first book, I was pleased to see him in this new role as Speaker, and that he is making amends from his past transgressions and in my eyes he has truly become a mender of worlds. RECOMMENDED: 8/10 * A well-developed and earnest parable about forgiveness and acceptance set in a futuristic backdrop of moral ambiguities and social discord.

  22. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    'Speaker for the Dead' is a grown ups' book, a literary science fiction that has a lot of Big Questions, and by the end Ender answers the best he can by his understanding of what's needed. Perhaps this novel, book two in the Ender series, may not satisfy those who want a comic book hero. Ender is the kind of hero that has more living man as part of his character than a storybook person. He wants to be a husband, father, and someone who is building a home, not a military genius, not an adventurer 'Speaker for the Dead' is a grown ups' book, a literary science fiction that has a lot of Big Questions, and by the end Ender answers the best he can by his understanding of what's needed. Perhaps this novel, book two in the Ender series, may not satisfy those who want a comic book hero. Ender is the kind of hero that has more living man as part of his character than a storybook person. He wants to be a husband, father, and someone who is building a home, not a military genius, not an adventurer, explorer or even a businessman. The title and job he takes on, Speaker for the Dead, is a penance for his perceived sin of genocide (Ender's Game) which almost crushes his ability to survive. Being Speaker for the Dead is how he maintains self-respect, and at the same time, he hopes to evolve the human intellect past its instinct to murder the different. He preaches walking in the Other's shoes as the way to understand, but in a holistic way of seeing. If aliens have sentience, then they can maybe see how the Other may have the same aspirations all living intelligences must have. The Buggers (an alien race discovered in space), by this definition, were not only ahead of humans scientifically but also morally(view spoiler)[, but Ender destroyed them in the previous book before understanding could be shared between races. (hide spoiler)] Jane (a wonderful character) is a proof flesh isn't necessary for an evolved intelligence. She is a powerful metaphor for what is possible and a god icon at the same time. Lack of flesh leads her initially to being heartless, as all superior gods are(view spoiler)[, however Jane' mature evolution begins when she falls in love with a man. (hide spoiler)] Biblical references much! Maybe Ender is Jesus, and maybe his brother Peter and sister Valentine could be representing...Biblical disciples? Guessing is part of the joy of reading. Some of my musings: the alien planet, which this book is about - maybe a metaphoric Garden of Eden? The Piggies (a new, recently discovered, alien race) are a symbol for who we humans are today, and they have a literal Tree of Life? Or not - you decide... People have been arguing for decades about what is Literature and what is simple entertainment. I think Literature has become too solipsistic and it needs to admit new genres like Speakers of the Dead. This is a beautiful read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    W.C.

    Card is wrong when he tells his readers that Speaker is a better book than Ender's Game. He says young readers don't like it as well because it doesn't feature kids. I don't like it as well as Ender's game because while Ender's game is a psychological epic, with all the heartfelt intensity of a writer's first real story, Speaker reads to me like just another science fiction novel. Some aliens, a superintelligent virus; snooooozer. Well depicted snoozer, but still. Ender spends his whole life in Card is wrong when he tells his readers that Speaker is a better book than Ender's Game. He says young readers don't like it as well because it doesn't feature kids. I don't like it as well as Ender's game because while Ender's game is a psychological epic, with all the heartfelt intensity of a writer's first real story, Speaker reads to me like just another science fiction novel. Some aliens, a superintelligent virus; snooooozer. Well depicted snoozer, but still. Ender spends his whole life in isolation, and comes out of it a wimp, not a hero. Makes me wish Mazer Rackham had kicked his ass a little harder in the first book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Leighton

    What's a hero to do once he's accomplished his heroic deed? Ender doesn't quite know--and unfortunately, Card doesn't quite seem to know either. Ender decays into something of a pathetic and self-pitying figure who wanders about uttering platitudes and aphorisms. It's Card at his preachiest, and thus at his worst.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trish

    This book picks up 3000 planetary years after the first one. I say planetary because when you hop along on space ships like Ender has, it’s been only 22 years. Yup, Ender is 35 but humanity has spread over 100 planets and 3000 years, making his deeds legend. Some herald him for being humanity’s savior but even more despise him for killing off a species. And he’s still looking for what to do with the queen egg he has been given at the end of the previous book to atone for his involvement in the xen This book picks up 3000 planetary years after the first one. I say planetary because when you hop along on space ships like Ender has, it’s been only 22 years. Yup, Ender is 35 but humanity has spread over 100 planets and 3000 years, making his deeds legend. Some herald him for being humanity’s savior but even more despise him for killing off a species. And he’s still looking for what to do with the queen egg he has been given at the end of the previous book to atone for his involvement in the xenocide. Due to how most people regard him, Ender no longer exists. Instead, there is Andrew Wiggin or The Speaker for the Dead (there are a whole guild of Speakers now and they are regarded as a form of priest). We begin by living on a colony world where another alien species has been discovered some time ago so the planet gets cordoned off. The one settlement, which had already been there when the aliens were found, is allowed to stay in place but no other settlements may be erected. Plus, only one scientist is allowed to study the aliens (well, him and his apprentice). But one day things go horribly wrong, there is death amongst the humans and people get frightened once more. As in the first book, here too, the author has some insightful comments about human society. Such as the fact that rejected males like to call females stupid and weak out of their frustration over being rejected. Or that people cry for peace and attack the military for example, second-guessing decisions they cannot even understand most of the time, but as soon as their own safety is at risk, these same „pacifists“ cry for blood. However, the author also gets things wrong once again. Because Portuguese is supposedly just like Spanish. Uh-huh. About as much as German is the same as Russian. Anyway, what probably annoys me so much is how the author tries to give one the impression of being an everyday guy while also trying to lift himself up over others. As pretentious and pompous as his characters who think they know everything there is to know about an alien species just through empathy and who are constantly wrecked with guilt but only carry the weight of the world on their shoulders so they can make themselves more important in their display of what they are willing to do for redemption. I get that Ender regrets his part in the xenocide and it commends his character. However, he was a tool and a tool only. A necessary one, but still just a tool. Not to mention the xeno-biologist who wants to deny herself love and a marriage to save her beloved ((view spoiler)[not to mention that she had her lover’s children - and SIX of them! - but claimed they were from another guy, one she did marry (hide spoiler)] ) because „her discovery“ (it wasn’t, she had just amassed information which the xeno-biologist subsequently looked at) got a man killed and supposedly she didn’t want the same to happen to her beloved. Self-important much?! The xeno-biologist who was the first casualty was a scientist, a human with his own brain and his own decisions and he had studied the alien race before the afore-mentioned drama queen was old enough to know left from right. His curiosity and need for discovery (not to mention going alone after knowing what the aliens were capable of) got him killed. Just like when the dead man's son comes to her, she thinks he came for her - it never occurs to her that HE wants/needs comfort. It’s not all about you, you know. Which leads me to the characterizations. Valentine was, of course, the maternal kind staying on the planet she now called home because she had married and gotten pregnant and that is what (pregnant) women do. Always only good for philosophizing (even though having only theoretical knowledge). While Ender goes exploring without hesitation and saves several species instead of just one (the author had to make him even more fantastic in this sequel, of course). Then we have Novinha, the (view spoiler)[birthing machine - and the fact that her oldest son is in a relationship with his half-sister (hide spoiler)] which is problematic in and of itself but the author doesn’t stop there. Oh no. In the end, Novinha also (view spoiler)[marries Ender (hide spoiler)] - I guess "misery loves company" is true after all. Moreover, it really bugs me how this author lets his characters preach tolerance and love for all to us readers when in reality he is this uber-religious homophobic person saying „wonderful“ things like this: "Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced, but to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society" which he then clarified by saying that „the goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not shake the confidence of the community in polity's ability to provide rules for safe, dependable marriage and family relationships.“ And there is much more where this came from and it’s never getting any better. I resent people who try to preach to me while being vile themselves. It shows on the page, too. Like the audacity to presume you know a person or even species simply by reading about them. The whole concept of the Speakers rubbed me the wrong way. Yes, what Ender wrote in his publication at the end of the last book was indeed what the last queen was telling him, but how would humanity know this to be accurate?! Moreover, I had less of a problem with Ender becoming a Speaker than with all the other Speakers that followed his example. How humanity thinks and feels about fellow humans and what you can learn from papers and stuff on the dead is not necessarily how they actually were, no matter how much empathy you have. To me it all reads like pseudo-intellectual, self-aggrandizing nonsense, bloated to the point of bursting. But as long as we keep clapping ourselves on the shoulders … *rolls eyes* I don’t mind authors trying something new, going in a completely unheard-of direction. I read Asimov’s Foundation and a lot of his stuff was „out there“ as well. But Asimov had style (albeit almost no female characters to begin with) and his creation was vast and impressive. Or a different example: Kim Stanley Robinson. The bookgods know I was soooo annoyed with all his characters and wanted to scream and give up on his Mars Trilogy but the guy had done his research, he knew his science and the scope of the world he created was astounding. Not so here even though we have 100 colony worlds and Jane (no, not the funny guy from Firefly). Anyway, add to that that the story was dragging (nothing like Battle School to hold my interest) and that the writing style was still nothing special and you might understand why this is not for me. And yes, I did round up my rating.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    5 Star all-time favorite best book. I have no idea why this second reading of Speaker for the Dead was so moving. My previous rating of 3 Stars is now incomprehensible to me. I am not a very emotional person and I have seldom been moved to laughter, tears, heartache or sheer joy while reading but this book did all that. I was mesmerized by the story of Ender, the colonists of Lusitania, the pequininos, Jane, Novinha and the Hive Queen. So very different from Ender's Game and, yet, so perfect a s 5 Star all-time favorite best book. I have no idea why this second reading of Speaker for the Dead was so moving. My previous rating of 3 Stars is now incomprehensible to me. I am not a very emotional person and I have seldom been moved to laughter, tears, heartache or sheer joy while reading but this book did all that. I was mesmerized by the story of Ender, the colonists of Lusitania, the pequininos, Jane, Novinha and the Hive Queen. So very different from Ender's Game and, yet, so perfect a sequel. There are hundreds, if not thousands of reviews on the book. I can add little except note that you will find: Laughter Grief Delight Anger Joy Sorrow Desire Rejection Serenity Rage Elation Desolation Treat yourself to Ender’s Game and follow up with this one. What a little treasure.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laure

    A very good science-fiction book. I could not put it down for a while! I wanted to know of course what the 'Little Ones' 's secret was, but there is more than that in the book. There is an attempt to give a spiritual dimension to the story. However, the conflict resolution feels a bit too pat for me. The Utopian reality that the characters all embrace at the end of the book seems forced. A good ending is not always what is needed. I would have liked to see a more nuanced reality emerging from th A very good science-fiction book. I could not put it down for a while! I wanted to know of course what the 'Little Ones' 's secret was, but there is more than that in the book. There is an attempt to give a spiritual dimension to the story. However, the conflict resolution feels a bit too pat for me. The Utopian reality that the characters all embrace at the end of the book seems forced. A good ending is not always what is needed. I would have liked to see a more nuanced reality emerging from this alien world.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joey

    I mean, its interesting how he sets up his plots with time : Characters use light speed to bump around, and while for people on planets time ages 50 years, the people on the ship don't age more then a couple of days. THIS I like. But I'm sick of his subtle racism; I'm a bit sick of how Card pretends to be able to view people like an open book - his characters can PREDICT exactly how other characters will act, due to their personality type etc. And we'll see if the plot has a pay-off, Its just a bi I mean, its interesting how he sets up his plots with time : Characters use light speed to bump around, and while for people on planets time ages 50 years, the people on the ship don't age more then a couple of days. THIS I like. But I'm sick of his subtle racism; I'm a bit sick of how Card pretends to be able to view people like an open book - his characters can PREDICT exactly how other characters will act, due to their personality type etc. And we'll see if the plot has a pay-off, Its just a bit mediocre. PS: And I'm sick of his vapid discussions on "religion" - where he constantly brings up "calvinism," "catholicism," "mormonism," and his own goofy agnostic space thing : its a bit preachy at times. And his use of Portuguese to help individualize his focus planet in here : something called Luscitania : is more funny then interesting. PPS: Oh and one more thing. The names he picks for 'entire alien species' - seem like straight out of a 10 year olds pokemon imagination: "buggers" - this name is used for 1000s of years SERIOUSLY to describe an insect like species that is intelligent etc: and "piggies" for another talking species on Luscitania. Fucking ridiculous. Amen.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    THE FEELS, MAN. This book has all the feels. There were tears. I don’t know what to do with myself right now tbh. Bittersweet to the max. I love this book, I love it so much, I love it even more (maybe) than I love my precious Ender’s Game which has a cozy home on my favourites shelf. It put me through the emotional wringer more than anything I’ve read in the past year. It is just so… complete. That’s the best word I have to describe these books. Complete characters- characters so complete and w THE FEELS, MAN. This book has all the feels. There were tears. I don’t know what to do with myself right now tbh. Bittersweet to the max. I love this book, I love it so much, I love it even more (maybe) than I love my precious Ender’s Game which has a cozy home on my favourites shelf. It put me through the emotional wringer more than anything I’ve read in the past year. It is just so… complete. That’s the best word I have to describe these books. Complete characters- characters so complete and whole that you feel awkward calling them characters not people (fucking Ender. And Valentine...! (view spoiler)[I was unreasonably happy by their impending reunion at the end, and by the fact that they would once again be more or less the same age and Ender would get to know his nieces and nephews and have a real family together again and with Novinha and Ela and... oh, there was just too much. And then the whole thing with Jane, and things not being the same again between her and Ender- my heart is broken. (hide spoiler)] ). Complete worlds- worlds so detailed and casually referenced and slowly fed to you, world-building on the level of Tolkien or Cordwainer Smith. It’s just. All. So. Fucking. Complete. Happy part over. Here we come to the part of the review Orson Scott Card terms “the homosexual agenda.” Because I can’t review a Card book without talking about his uberfamous homophobia. As a bisexual, it’s hard to forget that the person who wrote the book currently in my hands, head, and heart thinks I’m an abomination. In fact, Ender’s Game & Speaker are both so sensitively, wisely, and compassionately written, rich with empathy, that I struggle to understand how someone so homophobic could have written them. It’s just so incongruous. In spite of what bell hooks says, I firmly believe authors and their works are too intimately connected to look at in isolation, and I can’t read Card’s writing without being hyperaware of his homophobia. And he just sounds so incredibly moronic when he talks about gays that it’s hard to believe he actually wrote something as brilliant as Speaker. It’s like you say the prefix “homo” and his mind is wiped of all rational thought. Like, in the past he's compared the legalization of gay marriage to courts deciding that “blind” and “sighted” people are “the same” and therefore blind people should be able to drive cars too. Orson, honey. Blind people can’t drive cars because it’s dangerous. Because they could kill someone. If I marry a girl, will you die? Let’s try it. I’m curious. It’s all the more annoying because, while we’re discussing minorities, I really love how Card writes female characters. It’s a common stereotype- and it’s *true*- that male science fiction writers (aka 99% of science fiction writers) treat female characters like props or attractive wallpaper or sex vessels. They’re often clumsy and unrealistic. Not here. No, I couldn’t ask for better female characters. Card has female characters in positions of authority. He has them be savagely witty, or out-reasoning their male peers in class, or being brilliant scientists and philosophers. And he doesn’t make a big deal out of those things- it’s just natural. In short, he treats women like human beings. This is annoying because I think highly of Card for this. Orson Scott Card’s books changed a whole generation of people who grew up with them. Like Ender, he “wrote a bestseller that spawned a humanistic religion” in some ways. His character is the ultimate empath, the only one who can truly understand why others do what they do, who can find compassion for anyone, even those who are so different from himself- even other species who have murdered his fellow humans. And he doesn’t try to change them. That’s why he becomes a speaker for the dead- because that influence gives him so much responsibility. How can Card not see the irony here, that he wrote a character capable of such empathy, capable of seeing things through others’ eyes, when he himself is so clearly unwilling or unable to do the same? I don’t know what I think about the answers to those questions. I struggle with the fact that I love this book. But I do- I can’t deny it. I wish, so much, that one of my favourite authors were different, and I feel uncomfortable loving this book so much, but there it is. So it is with a heavy, reluctant, guilty heart that I give this book five stars. It’s that good, that I can’t justify any other rating even though I want to.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Arielle

    One of my favorite books in a long time! Ender’s Game was an enjoyable sci-fi read, but Speaker for the Dead was a much more interesting book with complex characters and relationships. Yes, it’s still sci-fi, but it’s about so much more: family, love, guilt, empathy, forgiveness, responsibility, religious freedom, politics, understanding other cultures. I read some reviews that criticized the book for being allegorical, but this is one of the main reasons why I liked it. Highly recommend!

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