Customer Reviews


312 Reviews
5 star:
 (208)
4 star:
 (53)
3 star:
 (20)
2 star:
 (20)
1 star:
 (11)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


5.0 out of 5 stars Humanity isn't judged by biology alone
Some argue that this book was superior in all ways to Ender's Game. I agree that the story was wonderful, detailed, mysterious, and well-researched, and overall I'd say it was a very powerful novel. Stylistically, this one's superior.

I still enjoyed reading Ender's Game more, though.

Don't get me wrong. Speaker for the Dead is a wonderful novel, and...
Published on Dec 31 2010 by Ria (Bibliotropic)

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars The average reader's review guide....report......thing
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...
Published on March 8 2004 by J. R. Buck


‹ Previous | 1 2 332 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, but very different sequel to ENDER'S GAME, Jan. 17 2004
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
This sequel to "Ender's Game" is an entirely different kind of novel, although it follows directly from the conclusion of the first book. Ender Wiggin is now thirty-five, while three thousand years have passed in the universe during his light-speed sojourns. (Card very poignantly explorers the emotional consequences of space travel that keeps the journeyer young while everyone he knows ages decades. See Haledman's "The Forever War" for a similar exploration of this idea.) The action occurs on the Portuguese colony planet Lusitania, where the humans struggle to understand the native race, the 'piggies,' without interfering with them. Ender arrives to investigate the deaths of two xenologists at the piggies' hands.
The real concern of the book is a human confrontation with a completely alien society and ecosystem, which leads to a reevaluation of the assumptions of how we treat that which is different from us. In this way, the book has much in common with Le Guin's "The Left Hand of Darkness," but has less of the book's subtlety. Nonetheless, Card makes the story effective through his focus on the family conflicts tied up in the Lusitania crisis, and his message against biological imperialism and genocide in the name of safety is a potent one today. A deserving, award-winning novel. If you read "Ender's Game," prepare to be surprised all over again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Psychobabble of the Dead, Jan. 8 2004
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
I really enjoyed Ender's Game, so when I picked up speaker of the dead, I expected it to be something along the same vein. Well, you can imagine my disappointment, when, instead of a military-themed story set in space, we get a 'murder mystery' and a 'Christ-like' Ender Wiggin out to redeem everyone whether they like it or not. Ech.
The plot centers around the mysterious Piggies, and their strange habit of murdering people in a really gruesome manner. (I can't imagine how any true anthropologist could find this mystery all that surprising). Ender is called to witness the death of one of the science team, and finds himself embroiled in an almost ridiculously complicated melodrama involving a scientist, her deceased abusive hubbie and her bastard children.
While I did enjoy Speaker of the dead, the psychobabble, self-loathing (on most most noticeably Ender and Noviniah), got tiresome. I also disliked that Ender Wiggin's transformed (in between books) into the Doctor Laura of the star waves. This was seriously annoying. Wiggin, the master of 'tough love' decides what's best for everyone, whether they like it or not.
Erk. What if Ender is wrong? But of course he NEVER is.
A good book, despite the flaws, I've mentioned. However, I personally could have done without the psychobabble and soapboxing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Slow start but well worth the read, Jan. 3 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
It is these kinds of books that really discourage me from becoming a writer, because I could never write something like Speaker for the Dead and make it as good. Sure, it was a little hard for me to get into at first, with the language pronunciation page and talking about an alien race to which I had no connections to and therefore thought it boring (at first I thought Pipo was an alien), but after reading it all I have to say it was brilliant. The dialouge was what impressed me the most. With a character like Ender, I would imagine that writing his lines would be insanely difficult, because everything out of his mouth has to be genius. Sometimes I wondered, though, if what he is saying at a certain point in the book was the smartest thing to say, but I couldn't think of anything better. It was always interesting hearing what he had to say.
Another thing I wondered and am wondering is if people are as readable and as simple as in this book, where Pipo and Ender are able to look at Novinha and see how she feels (Pipo in the beginning, anyway). What she feels is not simple (there are many events and complications behind it), but it was simple ENOUGH that Ender could understand it all and make an accurate prediction about what she will do even though he had known her only a short period of time (though he DOES have a knack for that kind of thing). Maybe Card is an expert about how people behave and maybe he isn't, but I'M certainly not an expert. I can't tell if it's accurate or not; it makes sense but seems too easy. I hope this makes sense as it's hard to explain.
Still, this deserves nothing less than five stars. It was hard to have to wait a while to find out why the piggies killed who they did, but worth it. The plot is creative and complex. Card does a good job of portraying three kinds of alien species in the piggies, the buggers, and Jane. It was different than Ender's Game, but just as worth reading, in my opinion.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An amazing story with a few flaws..., Dec 14 2003
By 
Katie (Seattle, WA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
For those familiar with Ender's Game, this is a must-read, though it is most certainly not the same high-action level. A quieter, even more subtle read than EG, with some plots choices I didn't favor. As a Speaker for the Dead, Ender is no longer known as "the" Ender, but as his true name, Andrew Wiggin. A new alien species has been discovered on another planet. The "piggies" are most likley intellegent, but due to government laws and clashing cultures, there is an enormous misunderstanding. Ender comes out to Lusitania to speak at the death of one of the researchers, but when he does, he uncovers much more than he could have anticipated...A slower story, with almost all new characters in a new world, this will definatly change your perspective. I would have appriciated some of the old gang back, and a more familiar world. I didn't feel the emotional attachment to these characters that I did in Ender's Game/Shadow, but it was still a well written book, and definatly worth the time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better than the Remarkable Ender's Game, July 8 2003
By 
Thomas Fisher (Portland, ME United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
Speaker for the Dead is a very different book than Ender's Game, and I believe it is even better. It continues the story, albeit 3,000 years later, of one of the great all-time literary characters, Ender Wiggin. He is now a Speaker for the Dead, a position that entails learning about the life of the dead person he has been called to speak for, and revealing their life to others as truthfully as if they could see the persons thoughts. The speaking, akin to a funeral oration, doesn't only focus on positive actions, but also on the desires and wishes that may have never come to fruition. Inherent in the position of Speaker is the belief that you don't have to gloss over what is ugly and abhorent in order to see the beauty in a person. In fact it is necessary. Speaker for the Dead also deals with the communication problems between humans and an alien race, but in doing this Card makes an incredibly eloquent statement about communication with anything or anyone that is "alien" to us. If I had to recommend one Science Fiction book for any young adult or teenager to read, it would be Ender's Game. For adults it would be Speaker for the Dead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Dramatically different, equally compelling., April 30 2003
By 
Patrick L. Randall (Silver Spring, MD) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
In the aftermath of the Bugger War, humanity's hero, Ender Wiggin, bore the burden of Earth's shame at committing the xenocide of an alien race. Unable to return to Earth, Ender left with beloved sister, Valentine, for one of the new colony worlds (made available by the extinction of the Buggers). It was there that he realized that he had an almost supernatural connection and understanding of the Buggers. Despite his role in the destruction of their species, they entrusted him with the sole remaining larval queen of the species and gave him the responsibility of restarting the race when the time was right. Ender's new enlightenment led him to write a famous treatise on this species called "Speaker of the Dead for the Hive Queen". In it, he told the true story about the Buggers in such a frank and honest manner that it created a sensation on Earth. Suddenly, humans could empathize with their former enemies and understand the fallacy of having destroyed them. Ender's work created a demand for him to be a 'speaker for the dead' of many more people. The sensation caused by Ender's writings created an entire movement of literary thought and a near army of 'Speakers for the Dead'. As Ender was too restless to stay in one place very long, he traveled to many different worlds and, as a result of time distortions due to space travel, actually was still relatively young some 3000 years after his 'Speaker' movement began. It was now an accepted part of human culture and frequently called upon when people died. It helped all gain and understanding and, perhaps (but not necessarily), give closure. Ender and Valentine finally found a world to settle on for the rest of their lives and seemed content, until one day, a desperate call for a 'speaker' came from a distraught child on the nearby colony world of Lusitania. So begins the amazing story that powers "Speaker for the Dead"

Ender travels to Lusitania first to respond to the pleas of a young girl whose life was torn asunder by the heroic deaths of her parents. Her parents were able to find a treatment for a vicious contagion that threatened to kill all human life on Lusitania, but were unfortunately unable to save themselves. In the 30-year window of Ender's space travel (which was merely a few weeks to him), this little girl has grown up and started a family, but it's a family that is mired in tremendous strife as the burdens of the past still weigh upon the children of the present. All this happens among the ongoing interaction with a semi-intelligent species of indigenous life called 'piggies'. Understanding them, while still being restrained by archaic colonial policy, leads to much discord among the colony members.

"Speaker for the Dead" is Orson Scott Card's sequel the famous and award-winning "Ender's Game". Those who are expecting the just a rehash of some science-fiction scenarios first played out in "Ender's Game" will be sorely disappointed. However, for those who loved "Ender's Game" and were able to see deep enough into the story to understand the truly important elements, "Speaker for the Dead" will be an amazing read. One must understand that the science-fiction elements to Card's books are just the skin to the entire body of his stories. Card's literary power comes from his understanding of human relationships and dynamics and writing in such a way that the reader empathizes (and even sympathizes) with the characters in the books. One cannot help by to feel a powerful emotional investment into the lives and struggles of these people. Whereas "Ender's Game" intertwined the human relationships amid the backdrop of Battle School and the Bugger War, "Speaker for the Dead" is almost completely and totally about the human element. Such a dramatic change in focus is no less compelling. Clearly, critics felt this way about the sequel, because "Speaker for the Dead" garnered the same Hugo and Nebula Awards that "Ender's Game" did.

It would be unfortunate if fans of "Ender's Game" (and they are legion) were to overlook "Speaker for the Dead" and its sequels simply because of the change in focus. Lovers of "Ender's Game" will find that "Speaker..." is equally impossible to put down. The human drama is so real that the reader feels like they are a part of the story. No greater compliment can be granted to such a novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE this book., April 23 2003
By 
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
When I first picked up "Speaker For The Dead" I was a little confused at the fact that it does not start off at all where "Enders Game" left off.. The first 3 chapters deal with a completely new set of charaters and at first I was kinda mad at this, but the characters quickly grew on me. Once I got to the 4th chapter I am introduced to Ender, but this time he is an old man. I wont give anything away here and thats all I will tell you about the plot of the story.
This book is far more complex then Enders Game was and there are all sorts of issues are mentioned... Without giving out the plot Speaker For The Dead is a book about morals vs. greed. There are a few scientists in this book which are main charaters.. This story goes far more in depth about the Buggers and the whole Ender univerese. Ender and a few other charaters are in this story, but they have aged and are not kids at all. This story has a more adult tone to it.
I was suprised and amazed at the many twists Card through at the reader during the story and how they fit together.. Nothing seemed like it was just added to the book to fill space or because the author had this idea in his head.. It all fits and anything which seems unclear by the end (not much) is addressed in the next book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Big change from Ender's Game..., March 18 2003
By 
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
All right, so you've read Ender's Game. You loved it, you loved everything about it. You want more. You rush to the bookstore to find Speaker for the Dead. One small problem: Speaker for the Dead is nothing like Ender's Game.
Ender's Game was a story about a boy and his growth and struggle through the tough times at Battle School, and the war he fights without knowing it's real.
Speaker is set about 3,000 years later. Ender's about 30, this made possible by some quirk of interstellar travel. As a Speaker for the Dead, he comes to Lusitania to speak the death of several people, members of the family intimately connected with the pequininos, the indigenous aliens dubbed the Portuguese equivalent of "piggies". Together with Jane, the sentient computer, the sleeping Hive Queen, and the help of his sister Valentine several light-years away, Andrew (as he now calls himself) must puzzle his way through the deaths and the whys of Novinha's tempestuous family.
It's a good book, but it's a lot different from Ender's Game. Fans of that genre may not like Speaker as much. A good alternative is to read Ender's Shadow, the parallel novel about Bean, set at roughly the same time as Ender's Game. Either way, you get an excellent book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, but fantastic nonetheless, March 9 2003
By 
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
Okay, so everyone who has read Ender's Game expects this sequel to include the same action, same tension, same overall feel of that book. The thing is, you'll have to spend more time with this book, accept that nothing really remains from the original book, then love this one for what it is.
Ender's found a way to stay in hyperspace and time passes...3000 years, to be exact. In that time, a lot has changed, except Ender. He is not a hero anymore, he is Ender the Xenocide, the killer of the buggers, and everything humans do not want to be. Or so they think.
He is also the Speaker for the Dead, someone who tells the story of a dead person's real life. This book is deep, covers a lot about humanity, and it really goes forward on a pace that is quite addictive once you get into it.
If you've read Ender's Game, this is a must-have. Even if you haven't, this book opens doors to the human condition many writers stay away from. I think, if you can cast aside expectations, you will love this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Who Cares?, Feb. 22 2003
By 
G. Lavela "gmaimai" (GA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Speaker for the Dead (Mass Market Paperback)
I was reading though the reviews and couldn't help but notice that so many people were giving this book 5 stars. I also noticed that the only people who seemed to have some sense in figuring out the obvious flaws in this book were the ones giving it lower ratings.
I, like others was completely enamored by Enders Game and rushed out to get the sequel, only to find that it was 3,000 years later with over 90% of the main characters completely different from the first book. Not only that, but the Ender Wiggin that we knew was completely different. In the first book I found myself admiring Ender for his invincible genius and insight. There's not a spark of that brillance in this book. Instead, it focuses on the empathetic side of his personality, which made me feel like OSC cut me off from a side of Ender which I came to know and respect. In a sense, Ender is a complete stranger that you have to get to know all over again. This is a serious error on OSC's part. Unless the character is a villian , the author should never transform the hero so much that loses the qualities that made the character what he is in the first place. Also, there were other characters in EG that I also liked , so to place the book so far in a future in which none of the previous characters are even alive is a bit depressing. I found that I was incapable of sypathizing with the new characters like I did with the old ones. While reading this book I found myself saying over and over again, (hence the title of my review)"Who Cares?" Sure, I can feel sorry for Battle school kids who were made to grow up way before their time, but how can OSC really expect anyone to care about pequinos or buggers? I mean, come on! This is on a planet that is God knows how many light years away and in a future so distant that I can feel absolutely nothing. OSC attempts to give these aliens a somewhat human persona but I find that it just didn't cut it. Call me cold-hearted, but I feel that the author took the whole "Ender must redeem himself act" a bit too far. Even after reading the reasons for his supposed guilt, one still feels that it really wasn't his fault. So.... what was the point of this novel? The only entertaining factor was the mystery of the pequinos but other than that, the plot was quite lacking. Many aspects like, "oh my goodness, she's my sister!" and "she had six kids with her lover!" I felt were soap opera material. Overall, this book was much too emotional for my liking. It just wasn't what I was looking for in a sequel.
I know that OSC actually made this book before EG and that EG only served to fill in a gap that was made in SFTD. But honestly, after reading EG and finding out that it was the better of the two, I feel that OSC should have trashed this book and wrote a different sequel that readers can relate to. I sympathize with the people who thought that this novel was too slow- moving and understand their dissapointment. Maybe some many people can deal with the changes that this book has brought about in the Ender series, but I am obviously not one of them. For readers who agree and feel that they were sadly cheated when reading SFTD, read The shadow series. Those books are much more like EG and redeem this poorly written novel.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 332 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Speaker for the Dead
Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card (Mass Market Paperback - Aug. 15 1994)
CDN$ 9.99 CDN$ 8.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews