Children of the Mind is the fourth and final volume in the original Ender Saga by Orson Scott Card, winner of the Hugo and Nebula award.
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©1996 Orson Scott Card (P)2004 Audio Renaissance
"This is a worthy ending to what might be styled a saga of the ethical evolution of humanity, a concept seldom attempted before and never realized with the success Card achieves here." (Booklist)
"Card's prose is powerful." (Publishers Weekly)
This is the most boring of the series written on
Ender Wiggens. I couldn't find the plot nor the purpose for this portion in the series. It does have some value, but not much. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone unless they enjoy debates on theories.
I found that listening to this book was very difficult to endure. If I started reading this, I doubt I would have finished. Xenocide was not very good, but this final chapter is even worse.
All the building blocks of a good novel: character development, plot twists, likeable protagonists, connected storylines all went by the wayside. Instead, this novel was a 12 hour tale of ... nothing happening. A love story with no love, a plot based on character relationships that made no sense (you wonder.. how did these characters even fall in love?), and an ending that held no surprises.
There is absolutely NO action in this novel and the theories on life and the universe postulated by the author are just plain weird even for science fiction. By the way, this barely passes for science fiction because it plays like 3 very long soap-opera-like discussions that never seem to end.
Anyway, Speaker for the dead was a good novel, but after that.. forget it.. the character development (or lack of) is what really got to me. These characters are NOT likeable, and I did not care one iota about them.
First off, this is a review of the "Speaker for the Dead" three-book series, which includes "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind".
If you're considering this book, then you probably thought "Ender's Game was cool!" Ender's Game tricks you into thinking this book and its series is cool. Assuming you ignore this review, I will now tell your future...
As you finish listening to Speaker for the Dead you will think, "Well, okay. Maybe it will get better." Then, as you finish Xenocide you think, "Okay, it's not going to get better, but I might as well finish the series and see what happens." As you're listening to the long, drawn out, redundant, and contradicting dialogues and monologues of Children of the Mind, your own mind will wander and you will think "I wonder what will be the next book I listen to."
When you get to the end of the last book, when the ending is far less than spectacular, you'll sit and reflect. You'll think and reflect for a few hours about what you took out of the Speaker for the Dead series and you will finally come to your ultimate conclusion........"Well, at least Ender's Game was cool!"
After a steady decline in quality from the masterpiece that is Ender's Game, to Speaker for the Dead, to Xenocide, Children of the Mind brings the level back up a bit after hitting rock bottom with Xenocide.
While the story is a little better, it still has the same problems. It is far too long, the characters, other than Ender, are extremely annoying and poorly developed, and the female readers of this audio book are the same.
I'll simply reprint my quote regarding the female readers in Xenocide:
The female readers are atrocious. The same whiney melodramatic voice reads Val, which is only just tolerable as it was in the first two, but now you have the most annoying voice in the history of readings with the "Hive Queen Voice". I would have rather listened to a thousand fingernails run across a chalkboard than listen to one more word from this readers mouth... unbelievable that they didn't change this after hearing the horrible performance in post production.
If you want to know how the ender series ends look on the web and save your money. I couldn't get through this book. This book and Xenocide should have been one book. The IS the most boring book of the series and just rambles on and on and on and on and on and on and....well, you get the point.
Without a doubt, when comparing this "sequel" against Ender's Game (which can't be helped, as it is an obvious continuation) one cannot help but become disenchanted...it is tedious and has convinced me to go no further in the saga. Orson Scott Card needs to move on and stop playing his "Ender" victory for all it's worth because it has truly become old and begins to cheapen his potential for additional brilliant works of fiction.
Perhaps it is because Ender's Game is so superb that I am disappointed.I have listened to all the Ender stories, and enjoyed them to some degree, but none can rival the original. I could not put down Ender's game, but had difficulty finishing Children . The pace is slow with too little action, and the narration, especially "The Hive Queen" voice is very irritating. Don't waste your book credit on this
This is a story masterfully written, and recorded. I have read books that I could not put down but never have I come across an audio book that I've struggled to stop listening to! Very well done.
What started out as a new series for me a couple of months ago has now become one of my all time favorites. A true treasure in the world of litterature.
I liked Enders Game, I loved Speaker for the Dead, I enjoyed Xenocide and Children of the Mind was an epic end to an epic journey. Well worth a read!
The reading was amazing as it always has been in this series, I would say it got better even.
That said, the story was alright, I liked what they were doing and some of the philosophical points that were brought up.
However it was presented as one annoyingly written argument after another that just sort of grates on you the whole story making you not want to listen.
Usually I finish big audio series like this in a week or two, this book alone took me a couple months since I never wanted to actually get back to it. I finished it since I hate leaving things partially done before I move on to the next but oh man was it painful.
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