September 05, 2011

Review - "Speaker for the Dead" by Orson Scott Card

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

This is book number two in "The Ender's Game" series. It follows Ender Wiggin, a young genius who used his military prowess to all but exterminate the "buggers," the first alien race mankind had ever encountered. Wiggin then transformed himself into the "Speaker for the Dead," who claimed it had been a mistake to destroy the alien civilization. 

Many years later, when a new breed of intelligent life forms called the "piggies" is discovered, Wiggin takes the opportunity to atone for his earlier actions. This long, rich and ambitious novel views the interplay between the races from the differing perspectives of the colonists, ethnologists, biologists, clergy, politicians, a computer artificial intelligence, the lone surviving bugger and the piggies themselves. 

Added to this rich novel we also have the romance between Ender and a young woman who calls for a Speaker because of her father. This young woman is the main reason that Ender decides to settle down for good on the planet Lusitania and join the other inhabitants in studying the "piggies" to avoid their extinction.

"...But when it comes to human beings, the only type of cause that matters is final cause, the purpose. What a person had in mind. Once you understand what people really want, you can't hate them anymore. You can fear them, but you can't hate them, because you can always find the same desires in your own heart." 

My evaluation

This novel is completely different from "Enders Game", but in my opinion more complete and - in lack of a better word - mature. Card's understanding of human relations makes the reader empathize and even sympathize with the characters in the book. You cannot avoid being entangled in the lives and the fights these people are subjected to. There is a good reason this novel too got both the Hugo and the Nebula award...

It would be very sad if the readers and the lovers (which I know come by the thousands) of "Ender's Game" ignore "Speaker for the Dead" and the two following books in the series only because Card has another focus in these books. Because this one is as difficult to put down. It is a truly fantastic story with trustworthy and very richly developed characters who questions our excistence. Like in "Ender's Game" it explores alienation and misunderstandings, but it is a richer - and also slower - book. As far as I am concerned it's also even better!

My rating

of 5

Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 609 KB
Print Length: 416 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0812550757
Publisher: Tor Books (November 30, 2009)
Sold by: 
Amazon Digital Services
Language: English

 Blog-Pic: Abstract found by the fjord


1 comment:

  1. Oooh, Ender's Game! Great review-hope to see more like this! I came here through your message on
    Book Blogs :)



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