I gave a rave review to Ender's Game. I eagerly bought this audiobook as well, expecting a continuation of the well-written and engrossing story. I have removed it from my mp3 player and will not be giving it another chance. 'Boring' is the most applicable word I can use in regards to this book. I couldn't get my mind to focus on what the narrators were saying, because the actual story itself was just so uninteresting, with drawn out dialogs and dull situations.
Part of the reason this story failed for me is because the characters that I cared about from the first story aren't in it (and if they were, I couldn't bear to trudge that far into the narrative to find them). Also, the narrators themselves don't help. They are monotonous and dry. One lady, the one who did the sister in the first book, is almost unbearable. I lived through her intonations in the first book and came to associate her voice with the sister. It's unsettling to hear her voice now associated with another character, read in the same unpleasant monotone.
It almost pains me to give a bad review to the author who so thrilled me with Ender's Game. But I just couldn't finish this book. Overall, it was just disappointing.
The male narrator is ok, but the female narrator is highly annoying. If I hadn't enjoyed Ender's Game so much I would have returned this book. The story is slow starting, and it was not until at least 40% of the way through that I was really hooked by it. I'm very glad I finished it and did enjoy the ending.
Orson Scott Card, now infamous as a Mormon zealot and anti-marriage equality bigot, seems to be simply borrowing the Ender "branding" for this novel, which has little or nothing to do with Ender's Game. Incredibly slow-paced and filled with preposterous stuff about religious missionaries running colonies on alien worlds, it manages to pull out a bit in the last quarter with admittedly interesting relevations about the "piggies." I've read plenty of far more interesting science-fiction, including from Mr. Card himself.
The narration strategy is absolutely crazy, with something like seven or eight different talents chiming in at various points. For the most part they're all quite good, but I completely fail to see the point of having so many people involved in the work, especially if you're not going to assign them to specific characters. So three stars for the performances, but only one star for the production of the audio.
Read this book many years ago and the listen was just as good. This is a classic SF book and has not lost anything over time.
Good narration, but a bit too soothing of a primary voice for a long commute. Still - well done on the narration, overall. The story was good, but not full of nearly as much action as its predecessor ("Ender's Game"). As a sequel - not bad, but also not consistent with the pace/story of "Ender's Game". Intriguing plot - but at a VERY slow pace. Glad I listened to it, but it didn't draw me in, much. The plot concepts were solid (and intriguing), but you had to be listening for depth. Probably not a great "casual" listen. I had to replay several scenes when I failed to catch the subtleties of some plot points.
I liked much of this book, but at times it seemed to bog down. I understand that this was the original story line around Ender, but Ender's Game was way better.
Orson Scott Card is firmly one of the 10 greatest Sci-FI authors that has ever lived and everyone of the Ender series books are just masterpieces worth being read and in this case listened too repeatedly.
If you are looking for a great audio books to listen too this should be in your top 15 for Sci-Fi. If you have never had the pleasure of experiencing Ender's universe you have my sympathies for your loss and jealously as you get to experience it unfold for the first time. ENJOY!!!!
Please, don't get this book if you are looking for the further adventures of Ender Wiggins and his buddies. It was never intended to be that kind of a book. It is a compelling, fascinating exploration into the concepts of human contact with other (very different) forms of sentient life. The aliens are alien! This book is the beginning of Orson Scott Card's finest work to date. You will need to get Xenocide and Children of the Mind to complete the story. I recommend all three.
This is an exceptionally good recording with wonderful performances. The use of several voices keeps the fact that the author is switching perspectives very clear. It is not an audio play. It's better.
Overall a great reading of an engrossing novel. The production features multiple readers. Different voices take a little while to get used to, but are ultimately a great aid to the novel's many viewpoints.
The one exception is the woman who reads from Novenia's viewpoint; her overly-dramatic, breathless, bodice-ripping delivery -- where every emotion is magnified to characiture and every minor plot developemt is. delivered. with. excrutiating. solemnity. and. weight. is more of a jaw-clenching distraction than an accurate reflection of the text.
Don't let her delivery turn you off, however. Fortunately there several other readers, both male and female, who more than make up for this annoyance.
I found "Ender's Game" via Audible.com and treasured it. Ender was a sympathetic, intelligent, and touching character set within the parameters of major world events. I could relate to Ender as we've all felt a little like Ender in our own lives. Lonely, sad, brilliant, afraid, self important, etc. So...
I could not wait to listen to "Speaker for the Dead." Boy was I disappointed...for the first hour or so. For me, this series is all about Ender Wiggin, and depends greatly on his narrative. So when he appeared, I was once again entrenched, but without him the book stumbles. The listening experience reminded me of a film in which one actor completely steals every scene leaving every other frame naked and empty without him or her.
Perhaps it was my attachment to Ender (and his very well acted narrator) from "Ender's Game" that preconditioned me, but I cared far less about the fates of the other characters in "Speaker" than I did about the fate of Ender. I know this is Olson Scott Card's definitive book in the "Ender" series, but it did not carry the same impact as the first.
All that said, I do recommend "Speaker for the Dead" as a listening experience. The issues Card raises are thought provoking even if the religion vs. science debate is at once overly dramatized and simplified. I look forward to "Xenocide" whenever Audible.com offers the title. Hurry up Audible!!
BTW: With all do respect to Nicholas from Jersey, Arthur C. Clarke for one was a very learned sci-fi writer. Indeed, he is a truly brilliant mind. All satellites in orbit today owe him a debt of gratitude, as do we all.