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Customer Review

318 of 329 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game? No. Impressive? Definitely., April 25, 2000
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (The Ender Quintet) (Mass Market Paperback)
I went through various stages of opinion while reading this book... First was, "Hey- why is this nothing like Ender's Game? Drats!" Then, "What is with all this Portuguese stuff, and religious garbage?" and "Why is Ender some kind of space-detective?" And so I began trudging through this book with a lack of enthusiasm. Then slowly but steadily, this story pulls you in. You don't mind the lack of Game's glorious action. This is a very mature piece.
I doubt that anyone will be able to read Ender's Game and stop there. You want more. Speaker for the Dead is where you have to go. I find it extremely hard to consider this a sequel, because never have I seen an author switch his style this drastically within one series. Card forces you to accept all of his changes, but those who adapt to this book are highly rewarded! I found myself involved with Card's characters quite alarmingly, and touched by his themes on so many levels.
One thing that really impressed me- Card takes our first intelligent contact with aliens and compares it with 16th century European explorers encountering the natives of South America. It shows the barriers of language, technology, religion, and misunderstandings -as well as mankind's need to control or dominate any new race it meets. This book is like a history lesson that teaches us not to make the same mistakes when we reach this point of our future. Very interesting.
There is no doubt I will be continuing this series.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2011 7:09:11 AM PST
Thanks so much for this review, the first paragraph was what I needed to hear.... I read a couple pages and thought what you thought so hopped on here to read reviews. I'm now engrossed. Thanks!!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 7, 2011 9:36:39 AM PST
Dan Dean says:
Hey- Thanks for the feedback! That made it all worth it!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2011 11:48:52 AM PST
pema says:
I too am having a really hard time getting past the first 20 pages or so, with the same response as you - from the hey this is nothing like ender's game, where's ender? to, what's with all the portugese and religious stuff? But I guess I'll trudge along instead of abandoning it altogether yet, and hope it becomes engrossing. Thanks for the review!

Posted on Jun 2, 2012 7:14:56 AM PDT
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are quite different. I recommend reading Ender in Exile before Speaker for the Dead because Card puts many of the transitions and character development between the two books in Ender in Exile. However, I think Speaker for the Dead is able to stands alone. (You could read it without having read Ender in Exile.) We learn so much more about the character of Ender beyond his battle skills. Truth, Love and Empathy are themes which run through the story. It does not have the fights and battles of Enders Game but it does deal with life and death decisions. Highly recommended.

Posted on Jun 9, 2012 8:42:36 PM PDT
Kelli says:
I also recommend reading Ender in Exile before Speaker for the Dead. It isn't necessary, but it is a better transition, and is technically the correct sequence (if you read Ender's Game first, followed by Ender in Exile, and then read Speaker for the Dead). I thought all three were very different in terms of plot and storyline, but all three were excellent reads and well written.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2013 5:38:37 PM PDT
chris ormsby says:
I agree with both your reviews. it was tough to get started with, but it will definitely be worth it once you get a ways into it. the new species they mention on the book cover is really interesting, and the religious stuff is just a part of the story. it's not preachy or anything. you hear about lots of other human settlements in ender's universe. it is more philosophical, definitely not a Young Adult book -- if Ender's Game could even be considered so.

Posted on Nov 1, 2013 10:43:44 PM PDT
I find it worth noting that Speaker For The Dead was originally to be a stand alone novel. However, when Card's publisher made an offer for an Ender "trilogy," Card reworked this then yet-to-be published story to be an Ender story. This is why the two novels are so glaringly different in tone and content. Unfortunately, beginning with Xenocide (book 3), the Ender Wiggin series gets so self-absorbed in its quest for philosophical greatness that it implodes and, ultimately in Children of the Mind, ends in an utter train wreck. I'm pretty sure that is why Card ended up rebooting as it were with the parallel "Shadow" series as opposed to continuing direct sequels. Anybody who hasn't read past Speaker should spare themselves the disappointment and pretend that books 3 and 4 don't exist.

Posted on Sep 18, 2015 2:56:53 PM PDT
I got the book with both this and Game. Otherwise, I might well have stopped after all the irrelevant crap at the beginning of the story. The genetic stuff is interesting if hard to swallow, but otherwise a good book.
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