I've been into epic fantasy, sci-fi and everything in between since I first read The Lord of the Rings. I also love detective novels.
I felt as though this was a book I should have read years ago and regretted that I did not.
Like many others who have reviewed this book, I also enjoyed Enders Game but took up Speaker for the Dead with no preconceived ideas. The first part of this novel is rightly spent setting up the rest and, since the story that follows is based on the characters experiences and the emotions that arise because of them, they form the important foundation for the rest of the novel. In other words it contextualises it.
If you want another Enders Game, then it is not the same. It is richer, deeper and slower to build. It requires a reader with empathy, a little patience and an open mind.
I will not nitpick the science but it was written a while ago and our collective understanding and expectations have changed in the interim. I do believe, however, that eventually technological development will plateau as we discover all the technology that will serve us and it will remain somewhat similar until something changes to cause the next great cycle of advancement.
It touched me and it made me think which is all I can ask of any book.
For those who read this BECAUSE they enjoyed "Ender's Game": Beware, "Speaker for the Dead" is nothing like it. I loved Ender's Game. It was a suspenseful, delightful, innovative journey with the hero as he brilliantly solved the challenges he faced. Author Card kept the surprises coming as he let you in on the inner workings of the mind of a genius child.
There is none of that in Speaker for the Dead, which is melodramatic without being suspenseful or insightful. Instead, minutia is presented where plot and storyline is what is needed. I never would have made it to the end of the story if I had not read Ender's Game first. On the basis of Ender's Game, I kept reading (listening) hoping that Card would at some point deliver the goods. It never happens.
I listened to Enders Game and really loved it. Orson Scott Card is a fabulous writer. So when it came time to download a new book, I got Speaker for the Dead. And again I loved the book.
The author manages to create a completely new society and social structure of another species on a far away world. The interaction between the humans and this other species makes you question your own assumptions about people of other cultures. How much of our current world tension is a result of true incompatibility and how much is due to just misunderstanding the other culture?
So the book has that whole deep "hmmm" thing going on and it's just entertaining. It's got enough mystery to keep you guessing about how situations will turn out. A sentient computer "program" named Jane adds another element of interest.
As with Enders Game, this audiobook used multiple narrators. They all did an excellent job with the exception of a way overly dramatic female. I found I couldn't wait 'til we moved on to another narrator. Sorry lady. Turn down the acting knob a little. Even with Little Miss Drama, this book is well worth listening to.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
According to Orson Scott Card "Ender's Game" is actually the introduction to the much deeper story you will find in "Speaker for the Dead." I am not sure if I agree with this statement. However, I do find the idea of someone speaking the truth about a dead person on or after his funeral very appealing, maybe because I am myself a minister of religion and has buried a lot of people. The basic premise of Card's story is that the truth brings in some or other way healing.
In "Speaker for the Dead" you will meet Ender thousands of years after his great victory over the "Buggers" on his way to the only planet with a different intelligent life form instead of humans in the universe. After the "Piggies" killed one of the members of the human community that has settled on the planet, a call is made by a bitter woman to come and speak the dead person's death. Andrew Wiggins as a Speaker for the Dead responds to the call leaving his sister behind for the first time.
What will the butcher of the "Buggers" find? Meet Ender far off in the future - a changed man - in a new role. The book comes highly recommended. I completely understand why it has won the Nebula award on its hey day.
Like usual David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki does an excellent job with the narration.
This is the follow up story to Ender's Game, though if you were expecting anything remotely like EG you won't find it - try Ender's Shadow instead (also an excellent book). Speaker for the Dead is a very solid and interesting story in its own terms, and it raises fascinating questions such as the value of a life, community responsibility for the behaviour of its members, protection vs self-determination and many others. I found it gripping when I read it in hardcopy many years ago, and the audio version was worth a listen. The multiple narrators works quite well, for if one voice grates a little (and one of them did) you know they will soon be replaced by another. My only criticism, if it is one, is that I was not convinced by the speed of the plot line: the Speaker for the Dead found out everything he needed to know and developed deep relationships with humans and aliens within a few weeks. Otherwise a very good read.
the female narrator didn't have to intone every word. Ruins it for me. Makes the characters sound pretentious.
Card is a great writer.
This takes place after Ender's Game and begins a sort of different type of story. Ender's Game is more action based, and the rest of the series has more geo-political and sociological themed. I'd recommend giving this a listen, but if you find it a little too thoughtful for you, you may want to skip directly to the Shadow series - those follow Bean, and are written more similarly to EG.
I actually liked this a bit more than Ender's Game (which I thought was also great). The story has matured along with Ender's Character. However, this book will be disappointing if you are not prepared to consider it the first of a trilogy. The two following books are excellent as well.
This book follows perfectly the first book, 'Ender's Game.' The same cast from Fantastic Audio is back to do another great job.
'Speaker..' doesn't have the action that 'Ender's Game' did, but instead focuses more on the political and psychological side of trying to start again on a new planet, and making first contact with an alien species. Orson Scott Card excels again at creating the most interesting characters possible and taking you deep into their psyche. If you liked Ender's Game, you will like where this story takes you.
This book was very enjoyable. But, if you're looking for the same kind of excitement that you found in Enders Game, you might be dissapointed. It's ironic that the author only wrote Enders Game to set the stage for Speaker for the Dead. As my 14-year old daughter said, "becasue he [the author] tried too hard to be serious and send a moral message, the story suffered." I enjoyed this more than my daughters did. (But even so, they listened non-stop.)