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Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) Paperback – August 24, 2002
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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.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Like many others, I had been sucked in by Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. I can't believe that this book is even written by the same author. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Amazon Customer
It was an okay book but not as good as the first books.I was kinda disappointed though because I expected it to be better but thats mePublished 18 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book can definitely be compared to the rest of the books in the Enders game series. It gives a good sense of conclusion and has all the traits of a wonderful science-fiction... Read morePublished 24 days ago by Sonya L. Moore
As usual, all books in the Ender series are excellent but I'm finding this one a little harder to read than the rest.Published 1 month ago by Sherryl R. Short
Feels more like a philosophy book than a scifi book. Well worth the read.Published 1 month ago by Nick Patterson
Very sensitive author resulting in most clever characters and situations. A must read for politicians and public leaders. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Víctor Hugo Velázquez Fierro
Xenocide was the beginning of the downward stretch for the ender series. I felt like I needed to finish the saga but it was definitely by sheer will and determination, not... Read morePublished 2 months ago
a terrific series of books from a great and knowledgeable author .Published 2 months ago by William Lindel