February 5, 2009

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

This is the second book in the Ender's series after Ender's Game, which I read and loved on the recommendation of a fellow Book Nooker. Speaker for the Dead follows Ender's tale after he and his sister travel from planet to planet, visiting the various human colonies, looking for a home for the Hive Queen.

Almost 3000 years after they have annihilated the buggers (Ender is still alive because space travel only feels like a few days for you while it actually take you dozens of years), humans have finally come across another alien species, the "piggies." They have vowed to act differently, and treat them like tribes under observation by anthropologists, not to be taught human ways for fear of contamination. The colonists on the piggies' planet first fall victim to disease, but after the cure is found, two colonists are mysteriously killed by the piggies, though they were on friendly terms with them.

This all proves too much for Ender to stay away, so he goes to "speak the death" of these men and one other person, a wife-beating drunk who's family is in shambles.

This book, though in the same world as Ender's Game, is much different. Card's great storytelling skills are still present, but they're on different ground. It's still a good read, I just didn't like it in the way that I liked Ender's Game. It didn't keep me from picking up the 3rd book in the series, though. If you have read Ender's Game, you may want to check this one out. And if you haven't read Ender's Game? Well, put it on your must-read list!


  1. Isn't it such a different book? What's weird is that OSC wrote Ender's Game just to be the set up for Speaker for the Dead, which was the story he really intended to write. And then most people love Ender's Game so much more :)

    You might enjoy Ender's Shadow. It's a retelling of much of Ender's Game, but from Bean's POV. I was NOT excited about this book, and thought it sounded like a boring idea. I was very pleasantly surprised.

    Book 3 of the Ender's series (Xenocide) is pretty good, as is Book 4 (Children of the Mind). The rest are okay, but not great (the most recent, Ender in Exile, was pretty disappointing in fact).

    I have to stop myself. I'm so in love with scifi in general, and OSC in specific, that I could go on and on... :) Anyway, glad you gave this one a go!

  2. i love this series, as well as the "Shadow" series, and you should definately read Ender's Shadow. So good!!

  3. I much preferred "Speaker for the Dead" over "Ender's Game," actually. I didn't really love "Game" until the last chapter (which is, of course, also called "Speaker for the Dead").

    The depth of the story and the range of characters was brilliant, and the scope of the plot so much richer.

  4. I think I liked Ender's Game better because of the children. Stories about children always interest me because I love them so much.


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