The story progresses too slowly, with many ideas or exposition repeated by multiple characters. This book is thin on new ideas. The terrible narration of the Chinese characters makes this tiring story frustrating to listen to at times. I got through the book because I am committed to the series, but if this was the first book or a preview of things to come then I would stop.
No. Awful narration.
The poorly imitated Chinese accents are unnecessary and distracting. These passages should be rerecorded without accents!
The first time I attempted to read through it, I was unimpressed with Xenocide . After enjoying Ender's Game and Speaker For the Dead, I thought that, through sheer persistence, I would be able to develop an appreciation for the third book in the series. About halfway through I realized that I just didn't have enough interest to go further.
Two years later, I discovered Audible. Since I could listen while doing housework and such, I decided to give Xenocide another chance. The first thing that I noticed was the extent at which I disliked the voice actors. Xenocide contains characters from several species and ethnicities, and the voice actors attempted to distinguish each with particular ways of speaking. The narration for the Hive Queen, for instance, used drawn out words - "is" would become "izzz," as if she were a a snake from a Disney movie. A few major characters, having Chinese ancestry, had accents that felt forced to me; it's possible that these accents were real, but the names of the voice actors make me doubt it.
The story itself tended to drag, at least for the first half. The latter half of the story was quite good, which is why I gave it three stars overall.
Children of the Mind and Xenocide were originally intended as a single volume, according to Orson Scott Card. The enormous length of combining the two together was the major cause for their separation. When I first decided to write this review, I had planned to write it for Children of the Mind. My option to review Xenocide instead was to keep readers from bothering with the third in the series if the fourth would be a dealbreaker.
I've now read six books by Orson Scott Card: the four books of the main Ender Series, Ender's Shadow, and Pathfinder. I've noticed a trend in his writing style. Some of the most refreshing components of Ender's Game were the logical progressions that Ender conducts when confronting some sort of obstacle. Bean conducts similar logical progressions. So does Rigg (Pathfinder). So does Si Wang-mu. So does Han Qing-Jao. So does Miro. So does Valentine. So does Quara. Far too many characters seem to have slightly refleshed versions of the Ender Wiggin mental pattern. This becomes very obvious during Children of the Mind, where several of these characters get copious back to back screen-time (not Bean or Rigg, clearly). By the end of Children of the Mind, I felt exhausted with Card's reliance on one of the things that made Ender's Game great.
As a final thought, some things about the fourth book felt forced to me. I won't elaborate, to keep from giving spoilers, but I found myself disappointed with a particular trope or two that Children of the Mind gave way to.
I'm not disappointed to have read the whole Ender Series, but I'm disappointed with certain aspects of Card's writing style. And the narration did nothing to improve things. I expect that many listeners will be in agreement if / when they decide to hear this book. I've spoken with several friends and colleagues who read the series in paperback. The general consensus is there.
I bought this right before a long car trip as I had just finished Speaker for the Dead, which I really enjoyed. I thought the story was good, but one of the performers did an incredibly obnoxious Asian accent when reading parts about an Asian woman during the story. Not only did she do the character's voice with the horrid accent, but even when narrating events she used the same terrible, terrible accent. There was an episode of "Modern Family" where the little girl Lily was in a commercial voiced over by two people performing overly exaggerated Asian accents - this was worse.
Yes, I would recommend the rest of the Ender series. It is true, Ender's Game is the most action packed but all things considered I believe Xenocide is my favorite. All the books are needed for good closure and all add up to a great story full of deeper philosophy in addition to captivating action.
In these days most movies and books focus on action and doing. Orson Scott Card takes us in the opposite direction and uses detailed description to make the story alive and present without the element of action. It's not that nothing hapens, it's just that it doesn't run the show. Looking forward to the rest of the ender quintet!
It made Ender a more human person, although he is still inhumanly calm and collected most of the time :-)
Ender and Miro
Sometimes it gave me a laugh, but mostly the ideas on religion and all that happens in it's name was made apparant to me.
Listen to it, or read it.
Less talk and more action between characters!
The enter play between each species.
It was slow reading.
I loved Enders Game, and Speaker for the Dead was alright, but not as great. I should have known that the third book would be a downer.
I know there are other books out there in the Ender universe and I might try again once I have healed from the terrible story that Xenocide was.
There many narrators and it helps to have an Asian accent for the citizens of Path. But ugh, I hated the citizens of Path and nothing could redeem their story.
Disappointment. I hated the tedious social existential psychology. For every 30 minutes I listen to the story creeps along just a tiny bit.
This has put me off Orsen Scott Card and the audiobook now lies 3/4 finished in my library. I try every once and a while to finish it, but I just end up yelling at the narrators. But it's not their fault, they did a good job, it's the story that drives me mad by it's snail paced philosophy.
Eddo of Posted Note
Yes. The voice actors are superior and there is so much to think about in this book that you almost need to listen to it twice to pick up on all of the information.
I wouldn't compare it to another book. The Ender's series is in a class all by itself.
The woman who plays Valentine brings so much emotion to her characters, but all of the actors are so good that I prefer listening to this where often I prefer to read.
I actually took notes in this book. "You cannot deny truth no matter how shabbily it is dressed." "You must understand all the consequences of an idea before you believe it." There is just so many deep points in this book that you have to just pause the book for a moment and let it all sink in.
Love this series so far. It's very moving and forces you to think in new ways and to view the world through fresh eyes.
After coming from "Speaker for the Dead", I was expecting a lot for this book. It disappointed me. There is little character development happening, instead it is replaced with ongoing family arguments. While some of that is necessary to drive the narrative, it goes on and on and on. Along with the overblown quarreling, you get a lot of overly descriptive conversations on meta-physical psuedo sci-fi gibberish. Again, a little bit helps drive the narrative, but it was excessive.
The only thing I liked was the idea of Jane, particularly because I am studying artificial intelligence. What I liked the least was that everyone was annoying and consistently made stupid decisions that created further problems, so all of the drama seemed very contrived. Even the really big problem with the fleet (continuing from Speaker for the Dead) was caused by the "brilliant" Jane and yet there is no discussion about that! This is in stark contrast with Ender's Game where most decisions where understandable so the problems seemed like they could actually happen.The "philosophical questions" are numerous but so overt that the characters actually tell each other they are about to discuss the philosophical importance of some subject. There is no subtlety and not much room for the reader to get drawn in.
I think I'm done with this story. I'm considering the Shadow series, but I don't think I can tolerate more of Peter though. Not sure if it's the voice or the writing, but listening to Peter is too over-the-top obnoxious for me.
No way. As the narrator says in the afterword, this story is too "talky"...there are almost no actual events to put on a screen. And the only events are either annoying or silly. I'd be as much fun as watching people wash their hands until they bled.
As the headline says, I've never read a book I didn't like in my entire life. I don't have very high expectations for books or movies, they are just something to pass the time for me.However, I really had to push myself to finish this book and thus write my first review on audible. My wife is reading the Kindle version and she gave up less than halfway, though she has higher expectations than I do. Her complaint was "too much needless talking", and I agree that it felt like a drawn out spanish soap opera, where almost everyone is annoying and endlessly whining, thus always creating new petty problems to solve. Then at the end, like the last episode of a spanish soap opera, everything gets quickly and conveniently resolved.Except for the problem from Speaker for the Dead that actually caused me to read this book...there has been no progress made on that problem. Now I don't care, it might be better to destroy that annoying planet.