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Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) Paperback – August 24, 2002


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Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) + Xenocide (The Ender Quintet) + Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet)
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Product Details

  • Series: The Ender Quintet (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (August 24, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780765304742
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765304742
  • ASIN: 0765304740
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (468 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.

THE ENDER UNIVERSE

Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.

The following Ender's Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Game, Ender In Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind.

Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.

The following Ender's Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight.

The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.

Earth Unaware, Earth Afire.

Ender Novellas

A War of Gifts, First Meetings.

The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.

Amazon.com Review

Children of the Mind, fourth in the Ender series, is the conclusion of the story begun in the third book, Xenocide. The author unravels Ender's life and reweaves the threads into unexpected new patterns, including an apparent reincarnation of his threatening older brother, Peter, not to mention another "sister" Valentine. Multiple storylines entwine, as the threat of the Lusitania-bound fleet looms ever nearer. The self-aware computer, Jane, who has always been more than she seemed, faces death at human hands even as she approaches godhood. At the same time, the characters hurry to investigate the origins of the descolada virus before they lose their ability to travel instantaneously between the stars. There is plenty of action and romance to season the text's analyses of Japanese culture and the flux and ebb of civilizations. But does the author really mean to imply that Ender's wife literally bores him to death? --Brooks Peck --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 153 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on August 23, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having read and loved the first three books in the Ender series, there was no way I was going to miss this entry. Like so many others, though, I am of split mind about the finale (and how appropriate, given the schizophrenic existence of its lead characters Ender-Peter and Val-Jane). While "Children of the Mind" does contain Card's trademark wit and while the last 100 pages kick into high gear, the final installment, on its own, is as unsatisfying as it is pleasing.
One of the major problems is Card's ill-considered decision to publish "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind" as two books rather than one cohesive unit; the fourth entry seems more an epilogue to the series--a 350-page denouement--than the climax it should have been. Card admits he originally planned the two books as one work, and this admission resonates like an apology. Well over a third of "Children of the Mind" summarizes what happened in previous volumes, and another third is riddled with endless conversations on political and metaphysical topics, many of which the characters already debated at length in "Xenocide." Only in the last 100 pages does Card finally abandon the themes that were presented more thoroughly (and competently) in the earlier books and turn his attention to resolving the many loose ends. In sum, Card would have been much wiser to have written a unified 600-page book rather than 900 needlessly repetitive pages.
The second problem is that Card's philosophical ruminations often steer awfully close to quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo. The entire section set on Pacifica, a planet governed by Samoans, feels particularly incongruous. (Peter and Wang-mu wonder aloud--twice--what they are doing on this particular world, a question that is never really fully addressed.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Danielle L. Petty on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
About halfway through "Children of the Mind" I realized that I hated it. With a passion. Anything that evokes so much passion can't be worthless. That's why I'm giving it 3 stars. If you loved the first three books as much as I did, you may similarly feel a strong emotion when you read this one. It's not exactly boring. I just felt like I was in another universe trying to understand what in the world Card was doing.

Why do I hate it so much? Because the characters are all varying degrees of unsympathetic, and all of the major action surrounds Card's weird new mysticism, rather than the intense ethical dilemmas of the previous books. This book is like the opposite of the other books and I couldn't understand why. No one is rational, no one is wise, no one has any empathy at all. The spirit of Ender Wiggin doesn't exist in this book.

No, Ender isn't really present in this book. Card would like you to believe that he is, in the form of Peter and Valentine, Ender's "children of the mind", but I found those characters frustrating and unbelievable and not at all like any side of Ender. Interestingly, they could be viable characters on their own, but Card insists on treating them as if they are not real people and we should not care what happens to them (especially Young Valentine who is subjected to extreme emotional torture but we're not supposed to care about her feelings, she's just an "empty vessel").

No strong characters rise up to replace the absence of Ender. Card tries, with Miro (who becomes loathsome in my opinion)and Peter (all the fun sociopathy drained out of him). With the exception of Wang-Mu, all of the female characters come off looking really bad. You'll wonder why Ender married Novinha, as awful, self-centered and destructive as she is.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By znatic on November 4, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I highly recommend NOT reading this book, which managed to diminish the magic of Ender's Game for me. Stop at Xenocide, which was pretty good, and skip straight to Ender's Shadow, which is VERY good. This book is exceedingly disjointed, makes way too much of the Valentine/Peter dichotomy, and is boring, boring, boring. Where I couldn't put the other Ender books down, I had to really struggle to finish this one. And then wished I hadn't.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Pitman on November 15, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I never thought I would say this about a book in this series, but I hate this book. I was absolutely disappointed with the way Card chose to resolve his story. I'll give him license since he may do what he will with his story, but I feel so bitter about this ending to such a magnificent saga that I can't recommend this to anybody that isn't dying of curiousity at the end of "Xenocide".

And to those who believe you fit in this category, I'm sorry for the feelings you will like possess upon completion. I honestly feel the same unrest now as I did when I finished "Xenocide". I hope everyday that Card will come to his senses and revise his plot here to be more logical, less rushed, more conclusive (which some may argue with), and more fulfilling to a character of such quality as Ender Wiggin.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Talk about pretentious -- in the afterword to Children of the Mind, Orson Scott Card compares himself to Nobel Prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe. And that really illustrates the problems not only with this latest novel, but the problem of the Ender series, in general.
Card is so taken with moral and character dilemmas that he gives short shrift to the actual plot of the story. It might be acceptable if Card had the craft and skill of good "mainstream" author, but he is so heavy-handed that his attempts at literary depth are embarassing.
Ender's Game was a great novel because Card did a magnificent job of compression; the result was a taut, gripping and moving story. Speaker For The Dead was a very good novel because the main plot involving the mystery of piggy culture and biology was strong enough to carry the reader past the bland soap opera of the Portugese biologist's family.
But the third novel, Xenocide, completely collapsed under its weight, and C! hildren of the Mind -- after starting with what is admittedly a touching scene with Ender and his wife in the monastery -- dissolves into a mess. Any interesting plot flow that might have moved the book forward stops dead every time -- and there are many of them -- Mr. Card yields to his didactic side and inserts a boring, almost expository, conversation about the meaning of reality.
Mr. Card also continues another unfortunate trend that began in Speaker For the Dead, as he again speculates on how different ethnic cultures might handle space colonization.
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