- Series: The Ender Quintet (Book 4)
- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Tor Science Fiction (June 15, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812522397
- ISBN-13: 978-0812522396
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 593 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) Mass Market Paperback – June 15, 1997
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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.
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
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I have to say, I was very surprised by the plot twists in Xenocide and Children, and this book gives the resolution that Xenocide withheld. It is not as dense in terms of philosophy as Xenocide was, but it gives a good response to those questions that were raised and fretted over in it.
There are a few typos as there are in Xenocide, but they are not very troublesome. The characters of this book atone, and grow from the flaws that we see in the previous book, and the ending has a great climax like we see in Ender and Speaker. It's masterfully written, as are all of the books in the series and for all the same reasons, and despite its flaws, it's a truly great book.
As a whole, you cannot really judge Children without the previous books - whereas Speaker or Ender could be read without having read any of the other books, you can't really enjoy Xenocide or Children without the previous two books, and you certainly can't appreciate either Xenocide or Children to the full intended effect without getting to the end of this particular book. I am sure if you truly loved the characters of Speaker, then you will come to full satisfaction by the end of this book. Just consider Xenocide and Children as one very large novel, and I think you'll find you love them both on an even greater level.
There's so much mysticism that there really isn't much of a story. Think of a very complicated issue. For instance, "what is my soul". Then take some acid. Then argue with yourself about said issue. That's all this book is.
By the way, where did Ender go? As far as I'm concerned he isn't in this book. Nor is Valentine. And the new characters of Peter and young Valentine are just obnoxious. As is Jane. I just don't understand this book at all. But go read the others! They're fantastic! You can read Ender's Shadow without reading Children of the Mind first. You can read it right after Ender's Game.
"Children of the Mind" is a much different book from the others in the series but equals them in keeping the reader's interest. One matter continues to trouble me in all the books. I still have some difficulty understanding why Ender continued to be vilified for having destroyed the buggers' world. The explanation given appears to be a bit thin. After all, he did save the human race. So, why should he continue to be so maligned? Perhaps, I should go back and read "Ender's Game."
The mutiny by Admiral Lands and his decision to launch the M.D. Device against Lusitania was not handled as well as it could have been. I have difficulty in imagining an X.O. allowing his commander to flagrantly disobey orders and kill millions without putting up a physical struggle. As presented, the X.O. quietly put his hands on his head and allowed Lands to put a docility patch on his neck. It would have been more credible if Lands had knocked the X.O. unconscious or at least held him under gun point.
As a retired Army colonel, I appreciate the scenarios and leadership challenges that Orson Card presents. Tours of duty in Vietnam and India, visits to Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, and teaching world religions while a high school history teacher following my Army career was of great benefit to assist my understanding of the various philosophies Card presents in his series.
In "Children of the Mind," Card brings the Ender Quintet to a graceful, satisfying conclusion with closure. Readers of all ages and genre will enjoy "Children of the Mind."