Customer Review

22 of 25 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 review is from: Ender in Exile (The Ender Quintet) (Hardcover)
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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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 24, 2009 6:12:00 PM PDT
Agreed. This series has really been nothing but a cash cow even since Xenocide... In fact, Speaker For the Dead was originally intended as a stand alone novel. It was only after his agent had secured a deal for a "trilogy" that Card went back and adapted his short story Ender's Game into a lead-in and made up the crappy Xenocide to finish the cycle. Card continues to tarnish the images of two of science fictions most celebrated recent works... not to mention his own image as a credible writer.

Posted on Jul 10, 2009 12:26:43 PM PDT
Your comment about agreeing with the critics after hearing Card's defense struck a nerve. I've read Ender's Game many times, and always found the moral dilemmas and their resolution (for lack of a better word) persuasive, in the face of critics I am generally in agreement with and in the face of my own disgust at the ethical direction Card's thinking has taken since he "changed." But after reading the justifications and explanations in this novel, I think myself "thinking again." The Andrew Wiggins of Ender's Game was not a budding fascist. This "new" version of Ender may protect Card's recommend, but it's much diminished.

Card is welcome to his interpretation of the original book, and he has the luxury of being able to re-write it to validate that interpretation. But the book is, like a child, a self of its own, and no amount of beating will shape it into "Little Me."
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