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?).
This is an interesting change from the typical way a story is told, with a narrator describing what is going on and also performing the character dial..Show More »ogue.
In this version, it is entirely dialogue. There is no narration whatsoever. To support this, the story has been adapted slightly so that events that were described in the book from a narrator's point of view are written in as dialogue when possible, or described after the fact in a conversation.
Surprisingly, this doesn't negatively affect the impact of the scenes where these things are happening. I found the dialogue-based version of events to be even more evocative. There is a lot more dialogue with Col. Graff and his fellow battle school administrators, and they do much more exploration of Ender's motives, thoughts, and actions.
As someone who has previously read Ender's Game as a novel, I get the sense that this version of the story might be harder to follow for someone who is experiencing it for the first time. However, I find the cast performance adds more than it takes away. It is easier to feel empathy for Ender and the other characters in this version.
Overall, I found that as a prior reader of the novel, this was a completely new way to enjoy the story, and definitely worth the listen.
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.
I agree that this isn't one of the strongest of the Ender series. Card has written that the final installment of his original series got too long and ..Show More »so was split into two books - Xenocide and Children of the Mind. So, the story arc isn't completed in Xenocide.
What it really comes down to, though, is that these are my comfort books. I can pick up any of the Ender books (or Shadow books) and just start reading and immediately get caught up again.
But, and this is a HUGE but, I find the narration on this and Children of the Mind so horrible at times that I get pulled out of the story. I was just listening last night and had to have my husband listen to my iPod to hear how horrible it was.
I am amazed that only a few other reviewers had problems with the "Chinese" accents of the narrators. I think they are so inauthentic that they just seem comical and degrading. It seems like the narration direction would have preferred to have the Chinese characters speaking pidgin English. Since Card didn't write the dialogue that way, the best they can do is use the "accents." Another reviewer liked the accents in that they helped distinguish different characters and sections of the book. I guess I can appreciate that, but the narration never tried to fake a Portuguese accent (unless the characters were actually speaking Portuguese).
I also found the pequenino and hive queen voices to be distracting, but not as jarring and offensive as the Chinese characters. I guess I was willing to give creative license to those characters.
I'm so disappointed, because the narration has taken these books out of my rotation.
Other listeners should be aware that this same production team does the Shadow books and can get some of the same fake accents going with Han Tzu and Virlomi. Just a warning.
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.
Great stuff for fans, but definitely not a place to start with Ender (well, the original novella is a great place to start, but that's just a third of..Show More » this download). Without knowing some details from the books, the resonance of these first meetings would probably be greatly diminished. Without an understanding of the larger structure, some listeners would likely not appreciate the full story.
I'm including an open plea to all audiobook producers: Please please please, if you must include music that overlaps the narration, LISTEN TO IT BEFORE FINALIZING THE PRODUCT! Often, this is a minor annoyance. In this book, it absolutely ruins the end of the Ender's Game novella. You can't hear half of what's being said. So a meaningful quiet moment is completely spoiled. I've never read a review where someone likes these musical overlays: I'm begging you to stop using them. It created a sad, sour experience at the end of an otherwise enjoyable listen.
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.