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258 of 280 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ender and Valentine are back, and Card cleverly ties up loose ends
This book is more properly considered part of the Ender's Shadow series, rather than a sequel to Ender's Game. It is stylistically like the Shadow series, features many of the same characters, and ties up loose ends from those books.

Card has found a clever way to do that, while centering the story on Ender and Valentine. Readers of Ender's Game will recall...
Published on November 12, 2008 by Billy Hollis

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, but thin, thin, thin plotline
Ender's Game is my favorite novel, so read this review with that understanding. Ender's Game is not the best novel ever written, but the one I enjoyed the most because I could relate viscerally to Ender. This book doesn't reach anything close to that standard, but I found myself reading it in one day until 1 a.m., unable to sleep without finishing it. But then again, I'm...
Published on December 31, 2009 by Steven Dennis


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258 of 280 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ender and Valentine are back, and Card cleverly ties up loose ends, November 12, 2008
By 
Billy Hollis (Nashville, TN United States) - See all my reviews
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This book is more properly considered part of the Ender's Shadow series, rather than a sequel to Ender's Game. It is stylistically like the Shadow series, features many of the same characters, and ties up loose ends from those books.

Card has found a clever way to do that, while centering the story on Ender and Valentine. Readers of Ender's Game will recall that Ender and Valentine left on the first colony ship because there were some good reasons Ender could not return to Earth. This book picks up just before that voyage begins.

However, that voyage takes decades because of time dilation. So the events of the Ender's Shadow series all unfold during the voyage.

That allows a different slant on those happenings, while also resolving much of what happened to Ender during that period. Ender still has some life issues to face, and this novel shows us how he faces them.

I don't recommend this as anyone's introduction to the world of Ender. Read Ender's Game for sure before this. I'd also recommend at least the first couple of books of the Ender's Shadow series as prerequisites. The more of the series you've read the better you'll lke this, though I don't think you needed to read all the way through that series to enjoy this book. (By the way, it's unnecessary to read Speaker for the Dead and its sequels. They take place later in the timeline and you won't suffer any loss of enjoyment if you have not read them.)

However, if you liked Ender's Game and want to know what happened to Ender as a teen in more detail, this is the story for you. And if you felt there was one major loose end at the end of Shadow of the Giant, you're right and that loose end plays into the story as well.

I was pleased because the sequels to Ender's Game (Speaker for the Dead, etc.) really didn't give me a satisfying view of Ender's character. I concluded at the end of that series that Card really didn't like Ender that much, based on the life he lived in those novels. Perhaps I was mistaken, or perhaps Ender has grown on Card over the years, because the tone of Ender as a character is completely different here than in those books.

There are some minor inconsistencies in this story and the other books and stories in the series. Card details these in the Afterword. The biggest conflict is with the story where the computer character Jane is introduced, which was in the collection First Meetings in Ender's Universe. For me these inconsistencies did not get in the way of the story.

If you have read and liked just about any of the Ender books before, you'll definitely want to get this one to complete some disparate storylines. If you're like me, you'll read it fast. It just came today; I finished it before bedtime and felt motivated to write this review right away.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, but thin, thin, thin plotline, December 31, 2009
By 
Ender's Game is my favorite novel, so read this review with that understanding. Ender's Game is not the best novel ever written, but the one I enjoyed the most because I could relate viscerally to Ender. This book doesn't reach anything close to that standard, but I found myself reading it in one day until 1 a.m., unable to sleep without finishing it. But then again, I'm an Ender lifer.
For starters, don't bother reading this if you haven't read Ender's Game and at least Ender's Shadow and Speaker for the Dead. Those are the three essential books in the Ender's Game pantheon, with the rest tending to get progressively lame. (Children of the Mind ending up in bigtime lame-o territory, sadly. Card talks in the afterward of this book about how he didn't bother to reread his old books, and I can see why! PLEASE, rewrite Xenocide and Children of the MInd! Or pay another writer to redo them.)

Back to the review: For Ender fans, Ender in Exile is a must read -- there are simply too many expository tidbits and loose ends getting tied. But the plotline is very thin. The new characters are garden variety Card staples -- young girl dealing with overbearing mother, adult who underestimates Ender (ENDER!) even after he's saved humanity, yada yada yada. Ender himself is always interesting, and keeps you reading for more. But Valentine is relegated to a bit part after a promising start. Graff makes several appearances as a sort of Father of Humanity Demigod which proves a convenient way for Card to chew through pages and adds some convenient act of god/act of Graff plot twists. But all of the characters seem like chess pieces in a puzzle of the Enderverse rather than having much in the way of depth or resonance. A lot of the book is simply Card remembering to check plot boxes -- "oh, right, I have to have Ender write The Hegemon, find The Hive Queen, yada yada yada." Perhaps the biggest problem is that very little is actually happening in Ender in Exile, although Card invents a couple of hurdles for Ender to deal with to give the book narrative momentum. But mainly we are reading to see what is going on with Ender -- how he transitions from war hero to humane Speaker for the Dead. Mostly he just seems to mope. I was hoping for a more interesting conversation between Ender and The Hive Queen, but Card is very sparing with Ender's internal thoughts, doling them out slowly to keep you wanting more.

Without giving away what actually happens in the book, it left me with a sense of deepening melancholy, and perhaps that is what Card intends? You do get the sense of intense loneliness that Ender must feel, even moreso as everything he knows save Valentine will fade into dust as he hops from world to world on his journey. Makes you want to embrace everyone you know, hard. And shed a tear for Ender.

One other thing - Card keeps fancying that he is improving as a writer with more experience, etc., and says so in his afterward as a reason not to reread his old books. I disagree. Let's face it, he has NOT improved as a writer since 1984. If anything he's gotten lazier and more arrogant in his religious/political viewpoints and stereotyping. Maybe it's time for a new editor, one who will challenge him more?
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it more than I did, December 1, 2008
By 
Huge fan of OSC and the series (esp. the "Speaker" sequence) and was excited about this book. I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't as filling as most of his other books. At times it felt like a "who's who in the Enderverse" with references thrown in to many different story lines, which felt somewhat disjointed at times. The potential climactic ending...wasn't.

However, it has it's hidden gems and interesting people. As always, great insight into the complexities of human relationships. Worth the read, but not one of the better books within the Enderverse.
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147 of 170 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A contrived effort that will be the forgotten title in the ender series, February 16, 2009
By 
lanik fears (Winston-Salem, NC) - See all my reviews
I really wanted to like this book. Really. I couldn't do it. Let me start at the beginning. Ender's Game is my favorite book. I have read the book and the sequels numerous times. The other books in the series create a universe wherein all of the stories take place. Call me a purist, but once the rules of the universe are setup, you don't go back and change them. I know that it is Card's prerogative, but Ender has grown from the story and far too many readers feel a kinship to have the author now change things. First off, Ender refers to the "Buggers" as the Formix through out the whole book. This is not from the Ender series. It is Bean who refers to the Formix by their formal name. Ender never did it and Card never did it in any of the Ender's series. I don't think I ever heard the term Formix until the Ender's Shadow book.
Card changes details from Ender's Game. He changes the way Ender and Valentine meet, who pilots the ship...just to name a few. These details bother me some, but the real insult is in Card's narrative at the end (of the audiobook) where he basically says: I was wrong before, I got the details right now, so get over it.
Wait a minute!?! Ender's game is a classic, you created the universe, but then you unleashed it on your readers...it is ours now too. You don't change the details when it messes with your ability to sell more books. You have to work within the confines in this previously created world.
Last complaint, the story just doesn't live up to any Card books. It is slow and the whole confrontation at the ends feels like an after thought. I kept waiting for the plot to begin just to find out that Ender had a really boring trip to the first colony.
Its not all bad, the new details about the MD device, faster than light speed travel and the events surrounding the first human introduction to it are nice. These details would have been better suited for an "Enderverse compendium" or something like that.
Like i said, I wanted to like this book. In the end, I get the impression that this book was conceived with the royalties more in mind than the filling out of one of the greatest literary characters in recent memory. I think that in time, when the Ender series is listed, this book will be left off.
So, if you are a fan of Ender, you will read this book anyway. Heck, I would have even if I had read my own review. Just don't say I didn't tell you...
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103 of 126 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terribly written, barely worth it., April 14, 2009
It's times like this when I wonder if fellow reviewes are being serious- this book is pretty awful, and from a very objective standpoint. The argument against, to me, mostly boils down to Card writing in too much of his own beliefs and trampling any chance of a story ever happening in the process.

First off, the problems with exposition. In many places in the book, Card just spells out what he wants to get at rather than writing his ideas into a story. One character will turn to another, and just say in explicit terms exactly how they feel about any given situation, rather than Card bothering to actually write any of that into a story. Ender and his siblings, his father, Graff, and others all just turn to other characters and spell out the plot point-by-point. Card even breaks any attempt at a solid narrative just for characterizations, sometimes styling what is ostensibly the silent narrator's prose to be like that of the character so it seems to come from their voice and not his. He does this early on with the character Alessandra, for example. From the non-quoted text, "There was no chance that an unstable, irresponsible- no, pardon me, I mean "feckless and fey" person like Mother...". This would at best be an unwarranted shift between first- and third-person if it happened in a vacuum, but it leads into the second point...

Card's self-insertion. His obsession with the Portuguese language is less strong than it was in the latter part of the Ender series, which is very refreshing, but it pops up again here and there. Bits of Portuguese even started popping up toward the end of the parallel-running Bean saga. If you didn't know, Card spent time as a missionary in Brazil, and takes plenty of opportunity to write Brazil and the Portuguese language into this series. Even with this toned town, there's still too much of Card happening here. One example is a scene when two scientists casually state that monogamy is clearly the best way to raise children, and that this has been proven countless times. This is immediately backed up by the goodness of democracy- not only is monogamy scientific, but it was voted on. Why, monogomy must be right if it's both scientific and democratic! For those who don't know, Card has been a major mind on the front to "protect the sanctity of marriage" (ie: by denying gay marriage), and has written at length about the topic in a number of mediums, using very similar arguments, and the entire debate about monogamy is a sham to talk about the sanctity of marriage.

So in the end, you're left with the classic case of a sequel that's only worth the random errata it adds to the series. And even this is riddled problems. At some point, Card forgot critical points of what he wrote about the series, was perhaps too bothered to go back and read the books, and had to openly ask fans to fill him in. In his own words, from the Afterword, "I can't trust my memory about details in Ender's Game and the Shadow books". This has prompted some outraged fans to wonder if Card had a ghost writer help him with the original books, though I'd say that's taking it a bit too far. Card has been gracious enough to say that he's resolved these plot holes by rewriting Ender's Game, for an edition to be re-released at some point in the future. I wish I had this power over my own life. You might call this the "George Lucas" approach.

If you're new to the series, you should be starting with Ender's Game anyway, and personally I'd skip Ender in Exile entirely and just read the Bean ("Ender's Shadow") series to get the rest of the story. There's another book due in that line, "Shadows in Flight", that might hopefully provide a better resolution to the overall arc. If you've come this far into the series, reading the entire Ender saga and perhaps Bean's as well, you're probably going to read this book regardless of reviews. I only ask that you consider checking it out from a library, as it's an only passable read that you'll have to go through to dig out the answers you've always wanted regarding this chapter of Ender's life, and you might be glad to return it when you've gotten your fill, considering you'll have to repurchase Ender's game at some point to round things out if you continue on that path.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Novelette Stretched to 380 Pages, Sold for Christmas, November 7, 2009
I would have rated this book differently if the previous 8 had not been impeccable...

In the end notes (audio book) Card himself thanks various people for helping him put this book together on very short notice... The book was published to coincide with Christmas 2008.

I'm not even going to get into how poorly this is written compared to the other books. All I can say is that I have read the 8 part series 3 times and never plan to pick up this book again!

I'll just say that Card has a talent for working out conflicts within characters by using dialog, sometimes internal, sometimes with other characters... What is so sad about this book is that he just states these changes in characters instead of arriving at them over time... E.g. in the closing segment (no spoiler) the main antagonist "realizes" his entire world view is wrong, changes his belief system and transforms into a new person... While this kind of magical personality transformation may be acceptable in other novelist's work, Card has too great of a history of psychological realism to support such an idealized caricature of human development.

Read Enders Game... It is better than Harry Potter, better than Dune and the series is epic... This book is destined to be a paper weight.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book - Great for Ender Fans, November 11, 2008
This book lies directly between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. It also wraps up some of the story from the Shadow books. I think that anyone new to the Ender saga would be well advised to read the books in published order and save this for later, even though it fits in earlier from a chronological point of view.

The book is very cerebral and much of the emotional impact relies upon familiarity with the works already out there. Sometimes really getting a feel for what is going on requires knowing events from Ender's Game and the other books.

Card is a good author and writes well. The characters are strong and it is an extremely interesting story dealing with many themes already brought up in the Ender books. It is one more opportunity to dig deeply into ideas about leadership, morality, survival, regrets, forgiveness, the sanctity of life, etc.

I think the people who are going to enjoy this book the most are those hardcore fans who will be happy just to have more. The good news for them is that this is a solid effort, not just something cranked out for more profit. They will be able to enjoy spending some more time in the world they have come to love.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessary, uninspired sequel, June 6, 2009
The whole way through, it feels like the author is just going back to the well. Ender and Valentine spend almost the entire novel in transit aboard a ship, ruminating while Valentine prepares to write less-important histories than the ones Ender will eventually write to change the world, interacting with a few throwaway characters, and sniping at each other. Valentine's likeability erodes as the novel wears on and Ender becomes irritatingly aloof.

Additionally, the interactions between Ender and Valentine occasionally don't feel right: the aim was apparently to make Valentine into a maternal figure, but there are moments when she seems less like a friend or mother and more like a jealous lover.

The heavy-handed conservative moralism that you occasionally see in his religious books (and which is appropriate there) also creeps into this book, too. The result is that some of the sense of wonder and perspective that characterize his best books is diminished, and the reader senses more of the attitude that shows up in Mr. Card's opinion columns. No one disputes that he is entitled to insert himself into his books, but in my experience reading them, it detracts from my engagement with the story.

Mr. Card once announced that if he could write another book that sold as well as Ender's Game, that is all he would write, and this book bears that out. Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Ender's Shadow were among some of the best books I've ever read: smart, engrossing page-turners that lit up my imagination. This book (and the same goes for all but the first entries in the Shadow series) is not in their league and is not really worth the read unless you are an "Ender otaku" (like I am). These unnecessary sequels dilute the quality of the series.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly thought out cash cow with glaring inconsistencies -- avoid at all costs., May 31, 2009
This book should be avoided. It's bad enough to make me embarassed to have liked the original series in the first place, or to have read anything by the author at all. I wish I hadn't picked it up, as I used to be a big fan of Orson Scott Card's work and I don't know if I can go back to reading any of it now.

The book begins with a thinly veiled attempt to silence critics of Ender's Game's morality who made parallels to Hitler, etc. (e.g. John Kessel and Elaine Radford) and actually makes such a bad case for it that it made me change my mind on the subject to agree with the critics, despite having been a life long fan of Ender's Game (I read the book over a hundred times in my youth, once every few weeks, from junior high on until early college). When Ender steps outside of the plot to defend himself, the reader begins to realize just how ridiculous it would be in moral or legal terms to sanction killing another child as self defense.

Within the first hundred of pages there are countless errors of consistency. For example, Ender does not know the true identity of Demosthenes, despite Valentine telling him about it at the lake in Ender's Game. Ender talks to Mazer and is eventually allowed to view Graff's court martial proceedings, even though in Ender's Game he accomplishes this by invoking his right of rank.

I could go on and on here, but there is hardly any point. People familiar with the other parts of the new series will realize there have been issues of consistency that Mr. Card has tried to address by demonstrating that certain things were really deceptions (i.e. Mazer as a pilot) but the number of inconsistencies he does not recognize and makes no effort to reconcile are even more numerous -- the examples I used are only some of the first which are readily apparent.

This reads like really bad fan fiction. I have trouble at this point believing the author to be of sound mind and spirit. Perhaps Mr. Card used a ghost writer for the original series? The amount of inconsistencies and the failures of style are simply too numerous for something fishy not to be going on.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fond farewell to Ender Wiggin, December 18, 2008
(Spoilers abound: I feel that the only way to review this book--and indeed, this whole series--is to discuss its details, so be warned!)

For me, there has always been a large and conspicuous gap between Ender Wiggin of Ender's Game and Andrew Wiggin, Speaker of the Dead, in the following trilogy that starts with "Speaker for the Dead". By "gap", I don't mean the 3000 years that have passed between the end of the Formic War and events of the trilogy ... I mean the gap in the soul and personality of Ender and Andrew, ostensibly one and the same person. But Andrew is not the same Ender that the reader came to know and love in Ender's Game. And his quest is not the one he is left with in Ender's Game. Oh, yes, he still has the hive queen in tow and eventually finds a home for her. But Card's heart is clearly elsewhere, and he uses Ender and the increasingly hollow characters around him as his mouthpiece for his rather idiosyncratic worldview, which is an odd mash of views regarding religion, biology, culture, politics, and of course an incredible preoccupation with procreation. Ender is a rather uninteresting shell of his former self, and when he meets his bizarre end at the end of the trilogy, no one seems to notice. I would argue that Card uses Ender as brutally--but not as compassionately or effectively--as Graff does to accomplish his objectives!

Ender in Exile is in some ways a re-write of Chapter 15 in Ender's Game. But it's more than that. One reviewer states that it is more a sequel to the Shadow series than Ender's Game, but I'd disagree strongly. That might have been Card's intent originally ... but clearly the influence of Ender's Game is stronger than the loose ends tied up from the Shadow series, and they only come into play tangentially at the end of this book. No, instead, Ender in Exile is the maturation and self-awakening of the bent-and-almost-broken Ender we left at Battle School in Ender's Game. Ender faces a series of external challenges (ranging from scheming admirals, manipulative vixens, and an angry man-child) that seem trivial compared to both his previous trials and tribulations as well as the internal anguish and isolation he is suffering from. Along the way, he says goodbye to nearly everyone who knows and loves him. I found this maturation to be particularly engrossing and poignant, although the introspective nature of most of this book might turn off some.

I've always enjoyed Card's epilogues, because they affirm my sneaking suspicion that he doesn't always "get it" with regard to the Ender's Game series. He fancies himself a philosopher, and thus is eager to rush into the confused existential musings that eventually sank the Speaker of the Dead trilogy. Reading between the lines, I always get the feeling that he wonders why Ender's Game gets all the love and attention, even though it's "only" a precursor to the "deep" trilogy he considers his masterpiece. But what Card doesn't understand is that his strength isn't his heavy-handed *philosophy*, but rather it is the deep and nuanced *psychology* in his works that shines through. With the situations and the conversations in Ender's Game and Ender in Exile, Card allows the reader to think for him or herself about the many deeper philosophic currents that run through these works--on education, power, love, politics, humanity, etc. If Ender's Game was only about a bunch of boys playing war games, it would not be the beloved classic that it is. In Ender, he has created one of the most exceptional and yet universal characters in the history of the genre. By that, I mean we all have a little bit of Ender--and Valentine, and Peter, and yes ... even Achilles--in us. Ender is on his own level, and yet he's someone we all can sympathize and empathize with. Card loses sight of this in the Speaker for the Dead trilogy, as he attempts to pound the reader over the head with his own musings on existence instead of letting the story be the muse for the reader's own existential thoughts.

Thus it is with bittersweet emotions that I say farewell to Ender at the end of Ender in Exile. Card is probably not done with the Enderverse, but now that he has filled the gap between Ender the boy solider and Andrew speaker for the dead, he is running out of opportunities for dealing with Ender himself. Card still has some loose ends he could tie up ... but with regard to Ender himself, I believe the picture is largely complete. I know there are still some 3000 years between the end of Ender in Exile and the start of the Speaker for the Dead series, so there are infinite possibilities for more "midquels" ... but even for Card I'd like to think that it's about time to let Ender rest in peace. He feasibly could have Ender and Bean meet up again, but for what purpose? For me, this book did a perfect job in filling the gap between Ender's Game and the Speaker trilogy ... any more would seem to be overkill. Ender's said his goodbyes, time for us to as well.

For me, Ender's Game will always hold the highest position in my heart in this series. It is here that Ender becomes both the Savior of one race and the Xenocide of another, with all of the trials and tribulations that came both before and after that. Ender's Shadow will always be fond to me as well, for providing a photonegative to Ender's Game. But for me at least, Ender in Exile stands with these two works to complete my own personal "Ender trilogy" that I will always think back to when I think of this series. The pain and triumph of Ender--so strong and yet so fragile--will always remain in my mind and my bookshelf as examples of this genre at its best: stories that captured my heart, my mind, and my imagination. Ender is one of those tortured souls that you would never want to *be*, but you enjoy *being with*. I am just happy I could be Ender's companion on the journey, through thick and thin. I thank you, the fellow reader, for reading this long review, which I hope you will humor as my own fond, personal farewell to Ender Wiggin and his adventures.
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Ender in Exile (The Ender Quintet Book 5)
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