Ender's Game is one of the best sci-fi books written.
However, I'm mainly writing this review to make others
aware that there are actually..Show More » 6 books (so far) in the
Speaker for the Dead
Children of the Mind
Shadow of the Hegemon
The last two books don't actually feature Ender at all -
they're about the character of Bean and the story of
what happened on Earth after Ender's Game.
All 6 books are fantastic. I've bought them all on
audiobook, but for some reason I can only seem to
find 4 of these titles using Audible's search engine
(and "Shadow of the Hegemon" seems to have been
renamed for some reason?).
If you've read or listened to Ender's Game in the past, this is a new and interesting way to listen. If you've never read/listened to Ender's Game, I..Show More » suggest you buy the 20th Anniversary unabridged edition. The problem I have with this version is so much of the character building is cut. Characters like "Hot Soup" have a line here or there, but if you haven't listened to the unabridged book you have no idea who this person is or why they matter in the slightest.
The biggest problem I have is, you just don't get the personal connection to Ender in this version that you get in the unabridged audiobook. Without that personal connection, you simply care less about what's happening and why. The plot moves so quickly you have no time to appreciate what Ender's going through and the effect it's having on him. You don't understand the torment he's going through like you should. Without that, this is simply a good listen instead of great listen.
The voice acting is top notch. Stefen Rudnicki does an amazing job, as always. Kirby Heyborne does a really good job as Ender. He reminds me of a soft spoken Johnny Yong Bosch, if you're familiar with his work. I haven't been able to find a cast list for the book, but I've recognized a couple of pretty famous voices, including Martin Sheen, which is pretty cool. Some actors are better than others, but nobody does a poor job.
Overall, I enjoyed this very much. If you've read/listened to Ender's Game before I definitely suggest picking this up and giving it a try. If you haven't, read or listen to the unabridged book first. You'll likely get hooked and continue listening to the other books in this universe like I did. There aren't many Sci-Fi universes as interesting and expertly crafted as this one out there. Do yourself a favor and get into it, and years down the road when you're in the mood to listen again, pick this up and give it a try. You'll likely be glad you did, and be glad you read/listened to the unabridged book first.
This is my favorite science fiction series. The characters are easy to identify with, and you will find yourself sucked into this imaginary universe, ..Show More »nicknamed the Enderverse by fans.
Recommended order of reading (in my opinion): Ender?s Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Reading the books in this order will keep you interested and keep the story moving more naturally.
If after reading all of these wonderful books you are still itching for an Enderverse fix then read First Meetings. The list above is sorted by the Enderverse timeline. Meaning that the flow of events in the stories are uninterrupted. If you were to read the books in the order they were published, you would bounce back and forth in between time and few of the plot twists in future books would be revealed before you wanted them to be known. First Meetings, however contains short stories that occur both before and in between the list above within the Enderverse.
Xenocide is perhaps the most overtly philosophical of the Ender Wiggin series so far. But the philosophy in the book serves a purpose to move the sto..Show More »ry forward and develop characters more.
In addition to making you think, it also makes you feel. Xenocide is told with the same passion as Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, and it is filled with just as much emotion and understanding. Yet it is also very much its own new and wonderful story, and not at all just a revisit to the same old themes of the first two books.
Note, however, that, as the author himself mentions in a short commentary at the end, this book is actually the first of a two part series (the next book is "Children of the Mind"). The ending of this book ties up some threads of the story, but not all of them. If you think of it as a stand-alone book, you may be disappointed. But if you think of it as the first in a two-part novel, then you'll likely be dying to get your hands on the next part of the story when you finish.
OK look, this book AND Xenocide must be read/listened to together; they are essentially one book. So if you cannot make it through Xenocide then ther..Show More »e is no real reason why you should continue on through Children of The Mind, even though C.o.T.M. IS a better book. It would be stretching the truth if someone said these two were solely about Ender. Yes, Ender is in them and he plays a very pivotal role but it's also about his family. (A Very VERY dysfunctional family) There are some VERY useless characters these two books, in fact the whole Chinese thing in Xenocide could be axed completely.
The whole point of these two books is for Card to relate and discuss philosophy. Why are we here, who are we, etc. IF YOU'RE NOT PREPARED OR MATURE ENOUGH TO HANDLE THIS MUCH DEEP THOUGHT IN PHILOSOPHY THEN THESE ARE NOT THE BOOKS FOR YOU. If you're just reading these books to finish the Ender story you WILL be disappointed in the story but you will be satisfied in knowing what becomes of Ender. I listened to these books to finish the story and found myself wondering why useless characters were arguing over silly subjects; A LOT! Until you take a step back and accept the philosophical discussions that take place you will have a hard time continuing through the books.
Realize this, Card wrote Xenocide in '91 and Children of the Mind in '96 and states in his audio version of Children that there will be another book that will tie in to the Shadow series and wrap this up. Expect a wait.
As for the Audio presentations for both Xeno and Children, the voice actors were EXCELLENT. The only problem I had was the randomness of musical interludes in Xeno and the randomness of who was reading in Children. Although I very much appreciated the spacing out of sections read, even though they weren't tied to chapters. It felt like they read enough for someone driving to and from work.
I loved the ending and Children was a very redeeming book compared to Xenocide.
Fans of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead will definitely want to hear First Meetings: Four Stories from the Enderverse..Show More »>. As I have stated with most of my short story reviews, audio books and short stories are made for each other and for fans of Ender, these four short stories construct a beautiful bridge between Ender's past before Ender's Game and between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.
The original novelette format of Ender's Game is the third story in this four part collection and it is a great story, even in this pared down format. It just proves that Ender's Game is a terrific story that re-engages listeners everytime they play it. The remaining three stories are the best part of this collection though and my favorite is Teacher's Pest.
Teacher's Pest is the story of the meeting and very brief courtship of John Paul Wiggin and Theresa Brown. The very intriguing couple who become the parents of Peter, Valentine, and Andrew Wiggin.
The Polish Boy introduces us to the "non-compliant" Wieczorek family and the brilliant John Paul, whose genius will alter the course of the future, for both his family and the entire Enderverse. John Paul Wieczorek of course becomes John Paul Wiggin in Teacher's Pest.
This is a great collection of stories that is spectacularly narrated, as usual, by the Fantastic Audio crew. My only criticism of the audio production is the bumper music used at the beginning and ending of each story. I do believe my ears started bleeding at some point and the bumpers overlap the narration too far so that it is very hard to hear for several seconds at the beginning and ending of these stories.
Again, I can't recommend any group of short stories enough but these are terrific, especially for Ender fans. Enjoy!
It is an ok short story, to much of a religious overtone. Doesn't really add anything to the enderverse. First Meetings only adds a bit this ads no..Show More »thing to the overall story of ender. just a side note more then anything, waste of a credit.
First off, I pretty much read anything by OSC from books, essays, etc. The Ender & Shadow Series have always been my favorites.
"Ender..Show More » in Exile" covers from the ending of the formic wars, all through the Shadows Series books (to date) and comes to a completion prior to "Speaker for the Dead". While the book has many underlying themes such as "How Ender deals with the knowledge that he killed the formics" the book feels more like collection of short stories than one cohesive narrative. Many of OSC books are written this way (Folk of the Fringe) and are made all the better for it. This is not neccesarily a bad thing. Though it can leave you wanting more if you expected one specific storyline.
The book expounds on many of the details left at the end of Ender's Game. Details as to how the actual decision to send him away from earth comes about and his actions after arriving at Shakespear Colony. It even completes some storylines from the Shadow Series. On these merits alone, anyone who is a fan of Ender or Shadow Series should read this book.
In my humble opinion, here is my one issue with the book. At the end of Ender's Game details are not given and a lot of information is left for the reader to imagine on their own. In my case it was how ender and valentine once again cultivate a brother and sister relationship. I'm sure it will be different for each reader, but "Ender in Exile" gives those details so the way you expected things to happen may be challenged by this book. I wouldn't call this a shortcoming but does call for a change of perspective at times.
All in all, I enjoyed this and would recommend it to all Ender fans. I would suggest that you read throught the Shadow Series before starting this book.
Note: There are some chronological problems between this book and the other books in the series. OSC discusses and resovles this in the Author's Note.