I picked this book because I had very much enjoyed Ender's Game and "Speaker" is the continuation of the story. However, it is also completely different in speed and style. While "Ender's Game" is mostly science fiction of the technical kind (spaceships, battles, etc.) and moves along well most of the time, "Speaker" is a tedious, slow-as-molasses study of religion, family relationships, childhood neuroses, and endlessly repeated sermons on tolerance. The passages in Portuguese, on the Catholic teachings, and others are tedious and boring.
You may end up liking "Speaker", but it won't be for the same reasons you may like "Ender's Game". Be forewarned.
I've long wanted to know more about the crusades and this book delivers. From the WHY to the HOW and WHO, it's all explained here. From the famous crusades to the Middle East to the more obscure ones into central Europe, why men of all ages and social ranks joined, etc. Fascinating! (Didn't give 5 stars for story because some of the latter chapters tend to run long, but maybe I just wasn't as much into the topics.)
An amazing book, full of great information and both hopeful and scary news. Some of the descriptions of gardens and such are a bit long, but that's to expect with Jane Goodall's enthusiasm and love for the plants and animals of this world. Strongly recommended for anyone who cares about our planet--especially the plants.
The premise is good, but I need to know more than offered here when I'm in a restaurant. Maddeningly, a small collection of words and phrases (such as "cold water" or "American beer") are repeated over and over again. I know repetition is key to learning, but this was mind-numbing. I got through half of the book--and that was a masochistic achievement. Sorry, but looking elsewhere for something that offers a broader vocabulary. Oh, and the "travel" part? "Airport" and "bus" are mentioned, I think, but little else. How about "turn left" or "straight through three traffic lights"? No, not there.
Let me first say that I gave this story a full SIX HOURS before I gave up. The narration is very good, so I would not hesitate to listen to the readers again. However, the story drags on with endless descriptions of country politics as well as corporate politics which I found extremely boring. It adds very little to the plot and nothing to the interest. The technology in this so-called SciFi novel is firmly planted in the 1980's: micro-fiches! briefcases full of papers! noisy boat engines! etc. etc., the genetic human models notwithstanding (Alphas? Betas? "Brave New World" called and wants its creations back).Sorry, but this story is just not what I expected, wanted, or was willing to spend even more time on. I gave it far more time than I should have, hoping it would actually get better. It did not.
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