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"Less brash than Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead may be a much better book. Don't miss it!—Analog
"Told with compassion and keen insight, this powerful sequel to Ender's Game is highly recommended."—Library Journal
Excerpted from Speaker for the Dead by Card, Orson Scott Copyright © 1994 by Card, Orson Scott. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted 11/02/10: This book was written as the second book in a series but Orson Scott Card. Card tried to write it in a way that you could read it without any background knowledge. I have not read the first one yet and I would agree that you can read this book by itself; however there were some points in the book where a little background knowledge would have been nice. Orson Scott Card is an excellent writer. I loved how the main character, Ender Wiggin, seemed to know everything about other peoples past without really knowing anything at all. The tone in this book was excellent. The main character is portrayed as a brilliant and understanding person. However, some of my favorite characters in the story were the piggies, an alien species discovered on a planet that was going to be settled for human use, who got their nickname piggies from their pig like faces. Card dives so deeply into the feeling and emotions of each and every character that it is very easy to relate to each one. Another thing I like about this book was how life like the struggle was shown between the humans and piggies to understand and learn from each other. I didn't like the point in the book where the piggies innocently and ignorantly murdered two of the humans studying them. It was frustrating reading that part because the actions of the piggies were not explained until a lot farther into the book. I often enjoy science fiction books that take place in the future. In this book Card writes about the future in a believable fashion. I think the overall lesson that can be learned from this book is lying and hiding the truth will just hurt a lot worse in the long run. This is shown though both the humans and the piggies. One of the main human characters hides the truth from her family and does everything in her power to keep it hidden. When Ender comes he dives deep into her past and finds out the truth, it is hurtful to everyone especially her and her family. It takes some time, but life moves on much easier after everyone knows the truth. I really liked how Ender used his high position as Speaker For The Dead and his ultra smart computer friend to get information and respect from un-willing people, and it is amazing what he does with the information. The ending of this book doesn't really seem like an ending. The book seems to end with one chapter left. The last chapter seems to be dedicated to the groundwork for the next book. It has a cliff hanger ending for this reason which I didn't really like. I like books to come to a clear conclusion at the end but where this book is not the last book in the series Card still has a chance to wrap things up and I look forward to the place where he does. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.
25 out of 27 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2012
When you read how Orson Scott Card came to write Speaker for the Dead, it's all but specifically stated that the entire book was conceived without the character of Ender existing within its text. It comes as no surprise that when he plucks his biggest character from his biggest hit and inserts him into a storyline thousands of years in the future, it's a slightly uncomfortable fit. At 3000 years old, Ender is all grow'd up and is now plodding forward in a new story that bears little connection to his previous existence in Enders Game. He now finds himself wrapped up in a bio-evolutionary mystery plot, with a rag tag bunch of natives and his trusty omnipotent sidekick cracking wise from the ether of the universe. Will Ender somehow unravel the mystery of the Piggies? Will Ender fall in love? Will Orson Scott Card introduce a predictable ticking time bomb and then leave a rack of open questions so that the next book is more of a "part 2" then a squeal? I'll save you the trouble, the answer is yes.
15 out of 24 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 29, 2011
Orson Scott Card's Speaker for the Dead is quite a different story from Ender's Game, but it's a great one. The setting is new, the characters are mostly all new and Ender is 3,000 years older (sort of). Unlike the first book, my favorite parts of this book have almost nothing to do with Ender. Rather, I'm all about the aliens in this one.
Much of this story takes place before Ender even arrives, which gives the reader a great chance to acclimate to the new surroundings. We are now on the planet Lusitania and we're even further in the future. There are so many new and wonderful human characters in this book and each has their own separate identity; I both loved and hated most of them. (I think I also picked up a bit of Portuguese from reading this book!)
The alien characters, aka the "Piggies" are extremely complex and mysterious while at the same time very lovable. Never could I have imagined reading a book in which I care so much about the aliens (maybe more than the people!). Perhaps the best thing about this book is that no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't figure out the twist at the end so it was a real and unpredictable surprise ending which I love.
I really loved this book - it's one of those books you wish didn't have to end. If you've read Ender's Game and loved it, I think you''ll love this one, too.
[Side note: I have read the next two in the series, but my advice is that if you want to remember the good times, stop after Speaker for the Dead and that way you can always think of Ender fondly.]
8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2012
Posted January 25, 2013
Posted July 1, 2012
Posted August 13, 2000
A great sequel to <i>Ender's Game</i>. This book combines interesting new characters with a timeless old one - a wonderful combination of a new race of aliens and their strange customs, a new planet city, and Ender .. even Jane adds quite a bit to the story. The piggies' ways are strangely disturbing, though the explanation of it at the end is awesomely creative. A must-read.
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 28, 2012
Love the way OSC threads human drama with plausible science fiction. I will spend the next year reading every book Orson Scott Card has written. I've done about 10 so have a long way to go, fortunately.
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 16, 2012
Posted June 23, 2012
I loved the way the author continued the story. I still love all the characters. I liked the way he gave Ender a chance to redeem himself for past sins. Definitely not one of those books where you pick up the second one and hate it.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 3, 2012
Posted May 15, 2010
It's hard for me to get over the fact that "un" turns into "m" in a lot of places and the first letter of a lot of words is just completely left off in parts of the eBook.
3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2001
I did not like this book as much as 'Game' or 'Shadow.' Ender was NOT as hard as he was in any of the other books, which totally seemed wrong due to the intense development given to him previously. Where was my little unethical, hard-faced leader, uncaring about rules and regulations to meet his goal? Instead I get a softie. I was dissapointed to say the least. Best part of this book was the end, and Jane. She is the reason for the stars. Enough said.
3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 9, 2013
Posted May 3, 2013
Posted August 5, 2012
This is awsome
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2012
Posted May 31, 2010
I have read this book in paperback, one word: excellent! But when I tried to read it on my iPad the format was not compatible. I spent the money but got no love. It took going to a brick & mortar and the better part of an hour with the good people at the store to get a lady at 'Service' to give me a refund (through snail mail). I am not really happy with the new offering from B&N on a first impression. Lot's of not understanding the issues, run-arounds and general "What do you expect with a new product!". Well I expect that it will work and that Service will give service.
BTW: The people at the brick and mortar were great! (as usual)
2 out of 9 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2008
Thousands of years before this book takes place lived Andrew ¿Ender¿ Wiggin. He was a genius and destined for the military at a young age. He was enlisted in Battle School and became the top student. Before he turned fourteen, Ender was the commander of a fleet of starships against an alien race, the Buggers. He killed most of them, except for one hive queen that he found and kept to place on another world. Thousands of years later, he found that place. It is a little world far out of our solar system named Lusitania. So, he goes there to find a home to make the race he once destroyed live again. While in his years of searching, he became a speaker for the dead and told the truths about many important figures. On Lusitania, he finds some resistance. The only colony on Lusitania is Milagre (a Portuguese settlement) that is surrounded by a fence so they don¿t contaminate a new alien race, the poqueninos (or piggies). Will he find a way out of Milagre to find a place where the hive queen can thrive? In Speaker for the Dead, I liked the twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat and made me take the book in a new light every page. I also liked the plot of the book. At first, it seems there are a bunch of random details that aren¿t very important, but later in the book Orson Scott Card pulls those details together to create the plot. There is one thing I didn¿t like about this novel. The vocabulary Card used was very mature and the book was sometimes hard to understand. This book is part of the Ender¿s Series wrote by Orson Scott Card. It is the second book, and you have to read the first book, Ender¿s Game, to understand this book. Speaker for the Dead does not remind me of any television shows, movies, or other books. Any boy or girl from about age fifteen and up whom likes science- fiction would enjoy this book. Also, if you have read and liked any other Orson Scott Card book, then you will love this book. That is what I think of Speaker for the Dead.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2014
I’ve said this in other reviews, but I’ll say it again: Writing a middle book in a series is tough—especially when it follows a book as successful and well-loved as “Ender’s Game” is. Stick too close in theme and scope to the original and you’ll be called unimaginative. Go too far afield and you’ll have people doubt you’re the author. Hard to win.
So with that said, I give Mr. Card credit for crafting a completely original and nearly freestanding story here. Though Ender is central to this book, and his background certainly plays into the plot, one could envision how the protagonist, the Speaker for the Dead, could really be a completely character altogether. This Ender is an adult version of the child, and as such bears only passing resemblance (as do we all) to our younger selves.
Regardless of all that, though, I think “Speaker for the Dead” is a really excellent piece of work. The effects of relativity on space travelers, the introduction of the AI entity “Jane,” the ecology and inhabitants of Lusitania—human and alien alike—all well-crafted and interesting. It took me a long time to read this book, due to my schedule, but every time I picked it up I found it intriguing and entertaining.
The only criticisms I can think of is that, like earlier Card books, there isn’t a whole lot of description here, leaving nearly everything open to your imagination. (Which is a stylistic nitpick, really) Also, the final reason for the scientists to have died, the resolution of the driving mystery, seemed a bit too easy. I appreciate the underlying sacrificial and redemptive narrative of this book, though.
Well worth the read, even if you’ve never read the first book. I recommend it.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.