on March 8, 2004
Ok I dont read a huge amount of books so for anyone that just casually reads like me then maybe my review will be more relevent to you. Ok im a pretty huge fantasy setting kind of guy Lord of the rings,Terry Pratchett, that sort of thing. But im actually a closet trekker from the 80's and a huge star wars fan so science fiction is an interest of mine but not so much in the book format. When i read Ender's Game i was totally converted into it and Orson Scott Card was a new god to me. Enders game is truly one of if not the best stories i have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Because you dont read it you experience it. I read the book in three days and for a person who takes maybe a good month and reads a little here and there its an amazing thing. So i finished it and read Ender's Shadow which takes place at the same time as Enders game. And is also a book to be experienced. Then I read Speaker for the dead. It confused me because it was almost written by a different person. It takes place almost 20 years after the very end of Enders game. Ender is almost forty and only a few times in the book actullay makes reference too the one before it. It doesent give as much info on what has happened since either. We are not told what has happened to anybody else he has met with the exception of Valentine who is only in the story for a couple of chapters. Card rambles about the catholic religion and the language of Portugal for long spaces of paper. Now for the good stuff because there is alot. Ender is still cool. Hes cool and in control of most situations like in Enders game. The new aliens are so bizarre in how they reproduce and their very morals. They truly are alien aliens. Unlike in movies where its just a few pieces of rubber on their face. This book makes you think about morals and how we treat others who are different as well. The mystery will most likely make you want too flip straight too the end too find out about it. But this isnt a sequel too Enders Game so dont let it fool you. This book is the beginings of hard science fiction and religion. It is not the pick up whenever for some light reading. Its more accurate too say that Enders Game is the prologue and this is the begining of the real fact's story. The End of this book finally gets exciting as the mysteries of the story finally come bobbinh too the surface. But for most readers its alot too ask too wait that long for the story too progress. I am going too read the next one if for no other reason than too see what happens. But by no means is this book very similar too Enders Game. It is not an adventure in the traditional sense.
on March 5, 2004
Speaker for the Dead is the second book Ihave read by Orson Scott Card, and I have to say I don't care much for his style. How he starts every chapter with something relevant, but from a different point of view is cool. But on the whole, he has much writing the bores me. The first novel was really good. This novel also had a really good plot. There were points where I could not put the book down. But then there were times I was wondering why I was reading. Then again, I am not the interested in science fiction novels, and look more for excitement. There were interesting topics that simply lacked excitement.
What happens. Ender has survived many years by space travel. He leaves his sister Valentine to go to a new planet where they have discovered a new race of beings with intelligence similar to humans. He wants to keep the human race from destroying the pequennos and he wants to help a young girl whose role model was murdered by the piggies. He arrives twenty two years after the murder took place to discover another murder had taken place and that the people of Lusitania were breaking the rules. Rebellion or submission to the Starways council are the peoples choices. Ender is the Speaker for the Dead.
An okay novel, but one I will probably never read again.
on July 9, 2000
Like most people, after reading Ender's game, I rushed to get the next book of this series. Unfortunately this book does not do it's predecessor justice. I guess Orson Scott Card took a page out of the Dune series. He wrote a great initial book, and with that, trapped his readers into reading his philisophical writings.
While the first book was outstanding with plenty of action, humanity and supsense, this second book concentrated on family, religion, and philosophy. There were times when this book dragged on and on with annoying side stories about a certain religous sect or a family squable.
The book does start out well, and tries to present many questions after the discovery of a new intelligent species: the piggies. But before any of the questions could be answered, Card bulldozes the reader with family and religous stories and philosopies that the reader will probably never care about, thus separating the reader from the main story line for many pages.
This book could have been condensed considerably, but Card probably wanted to stretch this series out to a few more books. Financially, who could have blamed him?
Also note that this is not a typical sequel in that it's not a direct continuation. The action occurs three thousand years later, and with a few additions and alterations, it could have stood alone and not have been related to Ender's Game at all.
This book does end nicely, and through the fluff there is an intelligent, well thought out plot. However, don't expect to flip through this book as quickly and as excitingly as Ender's Game.
on February 16, 2000
Perhaps right now you are tempted to press that "not helpful" button at the bottom of my review. Perhaps you are tempted to press it twice. Perhaps you will also be tempted to read what I have to say. Speaker is a good book, but it fails in many areas. First of all, if you hoped for this book to pick up where the Game left off, or at least feature comparable characters, you wil be bitterly disappointed. The original Ender, the boy genius, one who single-handedly destroyed an entire race, is gone. He is replied with a Speaker for the Dead, one who tells the truth about the lives of the deceased, hopping from world to world at relativistic speeds, whittling away at millennia without aging. Although now he doesn't use the name Ender as the entier universe hates the one who destroyed the only other race ever known to man. A new world is discovered, and with it - the piggies, a mysterious primitive race. A settlement is set up, and a non-interference policy is passed, but lives once again are lost, and the world is too mysterious to comprehend - or so it seems. Only eight species in the entier world, and a devious plague virus. Sounds deep? It is. But Card fails to center on what he does best - characterization. Characters are limited to a few heart-tugging scenes of broken hearts and shattered dreams. Sure, the mystery of the aliens is great, but I guessed the answer midway through the book, and soon realized that the mystery was the only thing powering the story - once that was gone the book lost all value. Likewise, there aren't enough relationships with the first book besides a few reminescences into the past, so you could at least relate to the characters as they were in the original, but that isn't there either.
This book is good but does not live up to the expectations, and neither is this Card at its best. Read this book once - there is no prize for re-reading it like there was in the Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow.
on March 3, 1999
Though well-written, this book is just a little too preachy and long-winded for my taste. I think it may been better as a short story. Though I really love a lot of Card's work, methinks I have detected a pattern, or at least a recurring moral theme, that seems to run through virtually every book or series he writes. This theme involves the issue of genocide. It appears in Treason, where Mueller contemplates the extinction of the Andersons, in the Alvin Maker series, where the extinction of the Prophet's followers raises the same issues, in Ender's Game, where the extinction of the bugs is the issue, and in Speaker for the Dead, with the contemplated genocide of the piggies and descolada. By Speaker for the Dead, I got tired of revisiting this same issue and it unfortunately continues in the next books in the series. Not recommended.
on May 19, 1999
After reading Ender's Game, I was left waanting to know what happened with Ender and the baby hive queen. So I read Speaker for The Dead. I thought that this book was good but was too long and kind of a let down after Ender's Game. The book had no action and had weird names that made it hard to read. The only cool thing about this book was the piggies, Jane, and Ender. Time travel was a good idea and the only way that this book is possible, but the fact that it would take 50 years outside the space ship made time travel a little pointless. Even though I didn't think this book was very good i still recommend it to anyone who has read Ender's Game and is left wanting more. Now, I'm going to start reading Xenocide to find out how it ends, and hopefully it will be better than Speaker for the Dead.
on April 30, 2001
I am currently reading Speaker For The Dead by Orson Scot Card. I am disapointed in the way the book is reading. I was hoping that the book Speaker For The Dead would pick up right were Ender's game left off. But instead the book starts off talking about new characters and personally it is very hard and is not reading very fast. after a few chapters into the book Ender finally comes into the book but does not have the charisma he had in Ender's Game. In Ender's Game Ender was a very tough and brave young man. By the end of Ender's Game Ender was a war hero and had a very good military mind. now Ender seems like he has become a woosie.
on December 31, 2002
Card notes in a lengthy forward that this was the real story he wanted to tell, but wrote Ender's Game to set all the details first. I really enjoyed Ender's Game for what it was, albeit somewhat sad. This book is not like that. Some of the characters have remained, but the context is all different. Ender has lived another several thousand years at this point by traveling through space which slows down his actual aging. The concern is about researchers in a small Catholic colony-planet and their research on the native creatures. There are few meaningful events spurring on the reader which makes it drag along like a dying buffalo at times.
on August 1, 2001
Coming on the heels of Ender's Game, this book is a little bit of a let down. The story is interesting, but no where near as intense as Ender's Game. Lot's of politics and philosophy here... Kinda' makes you stop and think about your own values and the values of our society.
If I had not already read Ender's Game and I had just picked this one up, I probably would not have finished it. My respect for Card is so great that I finished it up even though I was not very interested.
If you have already read Ender's Game, this one will be ok. If not, steer away. Card has better books that you can read.
on January 21, 2000
Ender Wiggin, now a middle aged Speaker for the Dead, which is a professional eulogizer, I guess you could say, and this novel focuses on his time on a devoutly catholic world where a few humans live to study a race of aliens commonly referred to as 'piggies'. Somewhat interesting characters, coupled with highly interesting aliens and Ender's background make for a highly entertaining novel, but never reaches the depth and complexity Card achieved in Ender's Game.