Speaker for the Dead #BookReview

Posted September 14, 2016 by Kayla in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Speaker for the Dead #BookReviewSpeaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Series: Ender's Quintet #2
Also in this series: Ender's Game
Published by Macmillan on November 30th 2009
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 304
Format: Kindle
Source: Gift (Not From Author)
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In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: The Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War.

Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

Speaker for the Dead, the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Ender Quintet, is the winner of the 1986 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1987 Hugo Award for Best Novel.

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Review

This story has some spoilers from Ender’s Game. Spoilers from book two have been hidden.

If you read Ender’s Game, don’t expect this to be anything like that. This story reads like a new story. You don’t need to read Ender’s Game to understand and enjoy this book. Having read the first book in the series, I did understand why Ender was doing this and why he only used his real name, “Andrew”. So in a sense, the author assumes that you have read book one. But, trust me, it’s not necessary.

In fact, a huge part of the story isn’t from Ender’s point of view at all. This is also a change from book one where Ender was the main POV and Valentine’s was thrown in here and there to fill in what was happening outside of Ender’s world, which was cut off from “the World”. View Spoiler »

This book takes place about 3,000 years after the Xenocide [this is like a genocide, only of an alien race] of the Buggers. “The” Ender is believed to be dead, of course, View Spoiler » On a colony planet named Lusitania, there lives a new alien race. After the mistakes the humans made they decide to keep their distance with these new aliens. However, they can’t just keep a distance, curiosity kills the cat and they decide that they still “need” to know about them. They just won’t let them know about humans. But, these aliens are smarter than they are given credit for, and this proves that humans just don’t learn from past mistakes.

 Now that the “world” has expanded and years have passed, it seems that they have forgotten what it was truly like when the buggers were attacking earth. While in Ender’s time it was believed that the buggers were truly enemy, these are the days after Ender became the “Speaker for the Dead” and wrote ‘The Hive Queen’ and ‘The Hegemon’. In this day, everyone believes that the Xenocide of the Buggers was a result of the inability to communicate to one another. They believe that if things had been different, humans and buggers could have co-existed.

I think this story is more about testing the boundaries of human acceptance. Can humans accept that aliens do exist and accept them for who they are? And then it goes further on to question whether it is possible to interact with an alien race and learn about them but not interfere in their evolution, extinction or decisions. It’s a very thought provoking story and in some ways it is actually very unsettling to come to terms with some of the answers that are proposed as the story progresses.

The book does eventually end on a cliff-hanger so if you enjoyed this book you will definitely need to read book 3 to get the full story.

Final Thoughts

This was a great read. You still get the great storytelling you expect after reading book one, even though the storyline is different. Like Ender’s Game, it let’s you question things like “does the end justify the means?” I usually enjoy these types of stories and I look forward to reading book 3.

The Verdict

5 Stars

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