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Publisher's Summary

The planet Lusitania is home to three sentient species: a large colony of humans; the Pequeninos; and the Hive Queen, who was brought there by Ender Wiggin. Once again, the enemy (the Starways Congress) has gathered a fleet and is threatening to destroy Lusitania. Ender's oldest friend, Jane, an evolved computer intelligence, is trying to save the three sentient species of Lusitania, but the Starways Congress is destroying the computer world she lives in.

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.

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.
©1996 Orson Scott Card (P)2004 Audio Renaissance

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

2 Clear Schools of thought.

Reading the reviews, I found two prevailing views. "Bravo" and "Boo!". Little in between. The "Bravo"'s enjoyed a thoughtful and insightful tale telling. The "Boo"'s missed the action found in the first novel of this series Ender's Game.

Read what the auther says . . .
. . ."I have never found it surprising that the existing sequels -- Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind -- never appealed as strongly to those younger readers. The obvious reason is that Ender's Game is centered around a child, while the sequels are about adults; perhaps more importantly, Ender's Game is, at least on the surface, a heroic, adventurous novel, while the sequels are a completely different kind of fiction, slower paced, more contemplative and idea-centered, and dealing with themes of less immediate import to younger readers." . . .

He further went on to separate the two tales. Saying that Ender's Game stands on it's own. The following 3 books are their own tale.

Bottom line: They are all great books, but if you seek action stop at Ender's Game. Good thought provoking writing continues in the other books in the series, but much less action oriented.

62 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jim
  • San Antonio, TX, USA
  • 04-10-07

Hmm

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 there 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.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

More good stuff

I continue to enjoy these books and their narrators. The story has changed so much from the original Ender's Game, but I enjoyed this one as much -- for very different reasons.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Phil
  • The Colony, TX, USA
  • 01-12-05

A Refreshing Point of View

Children of The Mind is the best in the 4 part series. It put a fresh twist on reality that is both fasinating and enjoyable. You have to read the first three for this one to make any sence. I am disappointed that he asn't come out with another book in this series. It leaves you wanting more. The story should go on!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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A Masterwork for Card

I have read some of the reviews here so far and I have to assume that they are mostly written by children. Card is one of the premier fiction authors of our age. In a genre such as science fiction, it is not common to find an author who can articulate the human experience while developing unique, interesting speculations on science and philosophy. In all of Card's works, he breathes life into the characters and creates palpable tension throughout the story. The acid test is this: do you care about the characters and find what they are doing relevant? There is no doubt that Card can pull this off with aplomb and style.

30 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Corey
  • San Francisco, CA, USA
  • 10-04-04

Terrible, doesn't do the series justice

Flee while you can! Don't waste your money on this book. The reading is fine, but the book itself is TERRIBLE! I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card's, and I've read just about every Ender book in the series, but this is just awful - I couldn't make it through the book, try as I might. In my opinion, after the second half of Xenocide the story just went downhill.

The dialogue is just impossible to bear - it's like being stuck in a car with people who bicker ALL THE TIME and just won't let up. And it's not even interesting bickering, it's just a lot of mindless soap-opera-esque banter that just makes you want to drive off the edge of the highway to provide sweat relief to yourself, your stereo, and anyone else nearby who might have had the misfortune of overhearing your audiobook.

Ok here's my advice: if you felt like the later portion of Xenocide was really great (i.e. that extra-special form of travel and the "creation" of certain individuals from a key character), then ignore my opinion. However, if you thought "OK that was a little lame, but _surely_ the next book will make it all better." then heed my warning! Save yourself! It's not too late!

Cheers!

44 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Yosef
  • Cleveland Heights, OH, USA
  • 08-12-04

Awesome!

This is a fitting conclusion to one of the best series in the history of the written word. The way Card develops his characters is second to none. You will feel the anger and the hate and the love and all the other emotions that each character feels. And to top it off it is a tremendous story line too!

20 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Bethany
  • Arlington, VA, USA
  • 09-14-04

The Worst Ender Book By Far

Ugh. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead were two of my favorite books because each presented a new "aha!" concept. Speaker for the Dead was especially interesting to me with the concepts of the third life and the philotic connections. In those books, Card made his point in a subtle way that I enjoyed greatly.

Sitting through Children of the Mind was like going to a bad college lecture in which the ponderous professor *tells* you his lesson instead of bringing it to life through an example.

The story here was slow, and it went nowhere. The characters were endlessly lecturing themselves and each other. And Card seemed to spend half of ths book reprising the concepts in the previous ones.

All in all, a great disappointment.

20 of 28 people found this review helpful

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Meaningful philosophy wrapped in a good story

I'd like to begin by addressing some of the poor reviews that I have seen for Xenocide. The writer's of these are too willing to throw out the good philosophies found in this book, because they choose to be nitpicky about how Card and the narrators deliver it.

Good for you, you know that those Chinese accents are overwrought and the Taoist culture on Path, perhaps, isn't realistic. Really though, who cares? Nobody is impressed by your false indignity and snootiness. The Chinese aspect is just a device to transmit the philosophy and there is nothing wrong with that. Card uses these various cultures (Brazilian, Chinese, American) to give the reader a beginning step in the journey of discovering more of those cultures. None of these exaggerations are used maliciously or cause harm.

Ender's Game was very good, but the point of this series was for the reader to grow as Ender grew. If you only liked Ender's game, then your taste is about only as developed as a child. It is too bad that there is no more laser guns, space football, and Mazer Rackums in the later books to satisfy your immature tastes. Stop writing bad reviews for good books. This kind of book and its accompanying series is good enough to inspire people for the better. Don't scare them away because of your narrow-mindedness.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Freeman
  • SAN DIEGO, CA, United States
  • 04-09-13

Children & Xenocide were great books

If you could sum up Children of the Mind in three words, what would they be?

in-ter-esting! loved it!

Who was your favorite character and why?

you gotta like jane. sorta nice, sorta selfish, so on top of things...

Any additional comments?

i'm thankful i didn't hear any homophobic stuff. the book sounds like it was written by an enlightened individual, not someone shallow enough to think being gay is a sin. still hard to believe such a great series came from someone like that!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • Peter
  • 06-19-09

A fitting ending...

Although the concluding book in the series, this was primarily a sequel to the storylines in Xenocide, with both books initially being conceived as one larger book until the story became too long. As such, it was an excellent conclusion which left me wanting to know more of the various characters and their exploits.

As a conclusion to the Ender series as a whole, again, it tied up all the loose ends nicely and made the four books of the series, a wonderful listening experience. I cannot recommend the series highly enough for the depth of characters, the interesting multiple storylines, the wonderful concepts and ideas that OSC introduces and the exemplary reading by a consistently high-performance narration team. Thank you OSC and all involved in producing these audiobooks.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-13-17

children of the mind

Sort of ok I couldnt take another lDescolada planet guilt fest . I do miss Ender though he was the ultimate hero / villain and without him I would lose interest. Sorry Oscar but hey ive sunk a few dollars to get to this decision. Ender and Bean and Peter and Valentine I'll miss them

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  • Ismail
  • 07-31-17

loved it

loved it from beginning to end. I'd hear more about the workers individuality, it sounded interesting.

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  • T
  • 07-09-17

Disappointing end to the saga.. But still great

Disappointing end to the saga.. But still great.. Think speaker for the dead is my favorite.

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  • Meghesh Nandi
  • 12-29-16

An amazing end to an amazing a trilogy... !!

Brilliant story... A somewhat happy ending... Opens ur eyes to a new philosophy... And the best past is that there are no loose ends..

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  • Patricia
  • 05-21-16

Many deep thoughts provoked by this book.

I loved this book, it was as though I was delving into hidden depths within myself as I listened.
It made me question myself and it at times was like a mirror reflecting behaviour and crystalized beliefs that were then shattered and out of this I feel like I have gained some insight joined some dots and felt very invested in the lives of the characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-13-15

Topping

I know it is the least popular of these books but I like it so tough.

So say we all

  • Overall
  • Gustav
  • 08-19-12

Ender, the series that just keep getting better!

I have been a rapt enthusiast about this science fiction series since book one. The books are all very different with different ideas and problems, but the writing is always top notch, so with this book.

This is the most philosophical of the books, and it takes the characters far beyond what we would think possible in the real world, but somehow, I never thought that it took liberties that the author couldn't back up.

  • Overall
  • Ori
  • 10-25-09

Children of the Mind

every time OSC adds his comments to an audiobook, he insists thet the best way to experience his books is by listening to them as audiobooks. I read all of The ender series as audiobooks and it was amazing! after awhile the audiobook changes form a book being read to u into a play unfolding in front of you, the actors are not playing ther lines, they are revealing amazing ideas and concepts, and you are literaly being swept away. Thank you OSC for that !

  • Overall
  • Neil
  • 12-23-12

A poor ending for the series

Enders game is quite rightly one of the best books of all time. Several books on and the hero is all grown up and everything that made the original so great is gone. I wish the series ended with that book and I wouldn't have felt compelled to see what happened to the lead. What a shame.

Narration is split between several narrators each reading different sections. I found this particularly jarring as each character had several voices.

Unless like me you've read the previous books and just have to read on, then id advise you to avoid this mess.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alex Fleming
  • 08-21-16

Disappointed.

Any additional comments?

I really, really loved Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead - Speaker for the Dead was so good it got me back into "reading" fiction. I was hoping that after Xenocide (and the complaints about it being full of long, unnecessary discussions on philosophy, and feeling like you're being fed Orson Scott Card's world views) there might be some changes to how the book was presented. Unfortunately, it still seems to have these unnecessary discussions (which, again, feel like you're being fed the author's personal opinions all the time), the 'kinda' racist fake Asian accents, and the stereotyping of different races and religions is also increased (big, fat and loud Samoans, honorable Japanese etc). <br/><br/>I didn't enjoy the last two books, even though I was really hoping to. Characters were made even more annoying, and the plot-line was also hard to follow and seemed a bit... mystical. I don't regret listening to them, but I'm disappointed in them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • 06-27-17

It just keeps getting better

Orson Scott Card, Please please write the next book. I'm dying to continue this journey

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  • LC
  • 01-06-17

A good wrap up of Ender's Story

Thoroughly enjoyed the entire series of Ender's story, yet I eagerly anticipate the revelations of the next book! Great performance and overall production!

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  • pshlykov
  • 07-10-16

Mixed feeling about the story but still recommend

Would you consider the audio edition of Children of the Mind to be better than the print version?

n/a

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

n/a

What does Gabrielle de Cuir and John Rubinstein bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

n/a

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

n/a

Any additional comments?

Well, the story has even more schizophrenic lines/thoughts than Xenocide. Sometimes I wanted to fast forward those conversations between Miro and Val because they really did not make sense to me. But who am I to judge, in the end this is me not getting the author's ideas. Still, the story makes sense overall and is thrilling, making you want to keep following it. There's another thing troubling me -- the narration. Since the narrating team had a few men and women wouldn't it make more sense to read in a woman's voice for a woman character and in a man's voice for a man character? I didn't get it at all why while having as team they were splitting the story in a weird way.

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  • Robert
  • 02-23-16

the end of the enderverse :(

loved the entire series. this one wasn't up to par and felt like it rushed to the conclusion of the series but I guess everything needs to end at one point or another.

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  • B$
  • 06-25-14

Taken in Halves

Any additional comments?

Initially, I started Children of the Mind directly after finishing Xenocide. Whilst the narrative flow makes sense, the heavy narrative style became tiring. I stopped listening halfway through CotM; as there is much in-depth philosophical musing about the nature of philotes and aiúa's; 'who is who'; how the characters should classify their relationships; soul vs. memory, and genetic codes. <br/><br/>Don't get me wrong- I enjoyed this aspect of the CotM, I love knowing as much as I can about the lore of a universe, but it was a lot of speculation and information, and even though it's told from the view of the characters, they almost faded into the background; facilitating the musings rather than driving the plot. <br/><br/>However, a few months later I have finished CotM and I am enchanted by the Enderverse all over again. The performance by Gabrielle de Cuir and John Rubinstein was stellar (though there was an odd, phonetic pronunciation of the Samoan word: Papāalagi), it was grand to have the same voices throughout the Ender Series. The characters re-engaged and although I missed the usual, central involvement of Andrew, his withdrawal allowed some of the other characters to develop in interesting ways. Andrew was still a central aspect of all of their lives; his actions, morality and legacy were evident to the end. <br/><br/>The final thing that I want to say about Children of the Mind is that even though I needed to split it in two; when I finished the second half I felt somehow more whole.