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'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.
As much as I enjoyed Ender's Game, I loved this book more. I liked the action of Ender's Game, but it was the inner conflicts and thoughts of his character that I really enjoyed. (Card made me really care about Ender and what happened to him.) It is just this kind of intimacy that I think is the core of this book. It has such emotional intensity with a transcendant spirituality,that made me want to "inhale" this book. I found myself just sitting in my car long after I had reached my destination just to complete another chapter. This book grabbed me and flung me on the roller coaster of its message, and I didn't want to ever get off.
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.)
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.