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©1991 Orson Scott Card (P)2000 Audio Renaissance
"Thought-provoking, insightful, and powerfully written." (School Library Journal)
"As a storyteller, Card excels in portraying the quiet drama of wars fought not on battlefields but in the hearts and minds of his characters." (Library Journal)
I had to go back and listen to some parts over and over. The combination of philosophy and physics is intense. I am so confused by the mixed message of the ending. Faith is such a focus but in that case it seems to be saying that it is a product of insanity, and that people want to buy into that. I think I may have to try this one again in a few years and see how I feel.
The story was fine. The conversations were a bit long but some were interesting. The fake "Chinese" accent was offensive and incredibly annoying. Will never listen to any books narrated by them.
The story progresses too slowly, with many ideas or exposition repeated by multiple characters. This book is thin on new ideas. The terrible narration of the Chinese characters makes this tiring story frustrating to listen to at times. I got through the book because I am committed to the series, but if this was the first book or a preview of things to come then I would stop.
No. Awful narration.
The poorly imitated Chinese accents are unnecessary and distracting. These passages should be rerecorded without accents!
The first time I attempted to read through it, I was unimpressed with Xenocide . After enjoying Ender's Game and Speaker For the Dead, I thought that, through sheer persistence, I would be able to develop an appreciation for the third book in the series. About halfway through I realized that I just didn't have enough interest to go further.
Two years later, I discovered Audible. Since I could listen while doing housework and such, I decided to give Xenocide another chance. The first thing that I noticed was the extent at which I disliked the voice actors. Xenocide contains characters from several species and ethnicities, and the voice actors attempted to distinguish each with particular ways of speaking. The narration for the Hive Queen, for instance, used drawn out words - "is" would become "izzz," as if she were a a snake from a Disney movie. A few major characters, having Chinese ancestry, had accents that felt forced to me; it's possible that these accents were real, but the names of the voice actors make me doubt it.
The story itself tended to drag, at least for the first half. The latter half of the story was quite good, which is why I gave it three stars overall.
Children of the Mind and Xenocide were originally intended as a single volume, according to Orson Scott Card. The enormous length of combining the two together was the major cause for their separation. When I first decided to write this review, I had planned to write it for Children of the Mind. My option to review Xenocide instead was to keep readers from bothering with the third in the series if the fourth would be a dealbreaker.
I've now read six books by Orson Scott Card: the four books of the main Ender Series, Ender's Shadow, and Pathfinder. I've noticed a trend in his writing style. Some of the most refreshing components of Ender's Game were the logical progressions that Ender conducts when confronting some sort of obstacle. Bean conducts similar logical progressions. So does Rigg (Pathfinder). So does Si Wang-mu. So does Han Qing-Jao. So does Miro. So does Valentine. So does Quara. Far too many characters seem to have slightly refleshed versions of the Ender Wiggin mental pattern. This becomes very obvious during Children of the Mind, where several of these characters get copious back to back screen-time (not Bean or Rigg, clearly). By the end of Children of the Mind, I felt exhausted with Card's reliance on one of the things that made Ender's Game great.
As a final thought, some things about the fourth book felt forced to me. I won't elaborate, to keep from giving spoilers, but I found myself disappointed with a particular trope or two that Children of the Mind gave way to.
I'm not disappointed to have read the whole Ender Series, but I'm disappointed with certain aspects of Card's writing style. And the narration did nothing to improve things. I expect that many listeners will be in agreement if / when they decide to hear this book. I've spoken with several friends and colleagues who read the series in paperback. The general consensus is there.
I bought this right before a long car trip as I had just finished Speaker for the Dead, which I really enjoyed. I thought the story was good, but one of the performers did an incredibly obnoxious Asian accent when reading parts about an Asian woman during the story. Not only did she do the character's voice with the horrid accent, but even when narrating events she used the same terrible, terrible accent. There was an episode of "Modern Family" where the little girl Lily was in a commercial voiced over by two people performing overly exaggerated Asian accents - this was worse.
Yes, I would recommend the rest of the Ender series. It is true, Ender's Game is the most action packed but all things considered I believe Xenocide is my favorite. All the books are needed for good closure and all add up to a great story full of deeper philosophy in addition to captivating action.
In these days most movies and books focus on action and doing. Orson Scott Card takes us in the opposite direction and uses detailed description to make the story alive and present without the element of action. It's not that nothing hapens, it's just that it doesn't run the show. Looking forward to the rest of the ender quintet!
It made Ender a more human person, although he is still inhumanly calm and collected most of the time :-)
Ender and Miro
Sometimes it gave me a laugh, but mostly the ideas on religion and all that happens in it's name was made apparant to me.
Listen to it, or read it.
Less talk and more action between characters!
The enter play between each species.
It was slow reading.
I loved Enders Game, and Speaker for the Dead was alright, but not as great. I should have known that the third book would be a downer.
I know there are other books out there in the Ender universe and I might try again once I have healed from the terrible story that Xenocide was.
There many narrators and it helps to have an Asian accent for the citizens of Path. But ugh, I hated the citizens of Path and nothing could redeem their story.
Disappointment. I hated the tedious social existential psychology. For every 30 minutes I listen to the story creeps along just a tiny bit.
This has put me off Orsen Scott Card and the audiobook now lies 3/4 finished in my library. I try every once and a while to finish it, but I just end up yelling at the narrators. But it's not their fault, they did a good job, it's the story that drives me mad by it's snail paced philosophy.
Eddo of Posted Note
Yes. The voice actors are superior and there is so much to think about in this book that you almost need to listen to it twice to pick up on all of the information.
I wouldn't compare it to another book. The Ender's series is in a class all by itself.
The woman who plays Valentine brings so much emotion to her characters, but all of the actors are so good that I prefer listening to this where often I prefer to read.
I actually took notes in this book. "You cannot deny truth no matter how shabbily it is dressed." "You must understand all the consequences of an idea before you believe it." There is just so many deep points in this book that you have to just pause the book for a moment and let it all sink in.
Love this series so far. It's very moving and forces you to think in new ways and to view the world through fresh eyes.
"Another gripping read!"
This next instalment of Lusitania and Ender's stories had me gripped from the start. I will not spoil the story for anyone, but learning more about Ender, Novinha and the Pequeninos and the new world of Path was fascinating and engaging.
The variety of readers helped with the transition between Lusitania or Path.
A great story, definitely recommended, and well presented.
I loved this story, a fantastic continuation to the engrossing Ender series. Highly recommended. Keeps you engrossed till the end.
I have listened to this book many time. I always say "I'll never listen to it again" because of the ending. But when I listen to the ender books, I always come back to this one. And at the end, tears come from my eyes.
"GREAT - Big ideas"
It's long and sometimes drawn out and dialogue outweighs the action but it's easy to see why; this book contains a lot of big ideas.
It feels like a philosophical dialogue between characters. Often it's hard to know where we are as there is little description, we are often reliant on the previous book "speaker for the dead" to give us insights into the local.
However the dialogue does go somewhere and the ideas explored make for a satisfying read. Narration is broken up between different actors and on the whole this works well only occasionally distracting. I feel this is an ambitious and important science fiction novel and I enjoyed the journey and look forward to reading the second part, "children of the mind".
"descolada for the mind..."
this book is descolada for the mind... like Han faysa's purification you get taken on dance that doesn't really go anywhere but, unlike Han faysa's, it's not a chore!
"Food for thought"
Really injoy the reading story and thought behind this book.. A look into the human condition the flaws the hope we all have as a spices. What can be accomplished if we think outside the box no and again
"Great book, awfull portuguese."
This book is amazing, could not stop listening, and the interpretation is also nice. But as a native Brazilian Portuguese speaker, it was painful to listen to any Portuguese spoken on the book, most was beyond recognition. I had to wait the English translation to understand what they wanted to say. The characters names in Portuguese were also very badly spoken, hard to match with any normal names in Brazil.
"The series just keeps getting better!"
I love the Ender series. The books are very different in story and tone, but they still fit together very well and are always of excellent quality!
The truth of the previous books, revelation, considered and explained at length. To some it might be tiresome and laboured...but to those who have truly 'lived' the intricate weave of what has gone before...This can only be a be a delightful enlightenment,
"A worthy listen"
This is the third in the "Ender" series, coming after Ender's Game and Speaker For The Dead. This outing is a bit slower and a lot wordier than its predecessors, taking the time to discuss various philosophical ideas and to expand on the relationships of the many diverse characters. Orson Scott Card's skill at writing and depth of thought allows him to pull off the philosophical concepts that are woven into the fabric of the storyline convincingly and there is no sense of contrivance to the events that flow out of it. All the characters are excellently developed, and Ender is seen to be more human, faltering in his relationship with his wife (mad as a box of frogs) and suffering from self-doubt and the physical return of some of his childhood ghosts. This book got too long to be published as one and was split to accommodate the finale, Children of the Mind that I am looking forward to greatly. The same team of narrators as in the previous books perform to their usual excellent, crisp standards.
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