Orson Scott Card's Xenocide
is a space opera with verve. In this continuation of Ender Wiggin's story, the Starways Congress has sent a fleet to immolate the rebellious planet of Lusitania, home to the alien race of pequeninos
, and home to Ender Wiggin and his family. Concealed on Lusitania is the only remaining Hive Queen, who holds a secret that may save or destroy humanity throughout the galaxy. Familiar characters from the previous novels continue to grapple with religious conflicts and family squabbles while inventing faster-than-light travel and miraculous virus treatments. Throw into the mix an entire planet of mad geniuses and a self-aware computer who wants to be a martyr, and it's hard to guess who will topple the first domino. Due to the densely woven and melodramatic nature of the story, newcomers to Ender's tale will want to start reading this series with the first books, Ender's Game
and Speaker for the Dead
. --Brooks Peck
From Publishers Weekly
As the penultimate story in the series that began with the impeccable Ender's Game
, this volume is essential for fans but neither the book nor audio rise to the level of the first two volumes. The planet Lusitania is home to a small Portuguese colony, a newly discovered sentient race called the Pequininos, the last surviving Hive Queen of the Buggers, and Descolada
, a virus that will destroy the human race if it gets off-planet. Because of the virus, a starship fleet is dispatched to destroy Lusitania. On the distant Chinese world of Path, a young pious girl influences history by uncovering secrets kept well-buried for millennia and in the process sealing the fate of both Lusitania and Path. The sanctimonious tone used by the girl's reader has great depth and fits the character so perfectly that she creates a fully dimensional, aggravating character. The pacing is as uneven as the cast's ability to maintain their Chinese and Portuguese accents. The music is randomly placed throughout and loses its effectiveness. A great deal of talent went into this production and while the good parts dominate, this is still a weaker effort in the series. Available as a TOR paperback. (Mar.)
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