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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ender in Exile

Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card
Reason for Reading: Sci Fi Experience
Rating: 2/5

I have so far read two of OSC's most famous books, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. This not quite prequel, not quite sequel seeks to fill in the missing years between when Ender defeated the formics, saving the world, and when he discovered the Formic Queen on a distant colony world.

There are other loose ends being tied up in this book, from books in the Ender series I haven't even read yet, and it doesn't really offer much new to the series. To add a bit of tension, there is a ship's captain who thinks he is going to take Ender's job as governer when they arrive at the colony world, but of course Ender is much cleverer and quickly outwits him upon arrival to the colony.

There are some new characters, but none of them became as substantial or memorable as characters from the two previous Ender novels I've read. And then to make this story flow properly, it contradicts several details from Ender's Game, because of course when Card wrote Ender's Game 20 years ago, he wasn't planning to write this type of sequel.

I was most disappointed by the fact that Ender's brother, Peter was not given more ink in this novel, considering the fact he goes on to take over the planet in Ender's absence. Now that might have made things a little more interesting.

In the Afterword, Card admits to having to rely on fansites and companion guides to his Ender series to write this novel, because, "there was no way I had the time or the inclination to reread all those books. It would just depress me to notice all the things in all those books that now, being a better or at least more experienced writer, I would like to change."

And so, the result feels stale, like a few follow up stories that would have read better as short stories or even entries into an official Ender encylopedia.

Should I read it? Maybe if you are a diehard fan. If not, don't bother.

4 comments:

Chris said...

I agree that this is by far the weakest of the Ender novels. If you want more of Peter's story, read the shadow series...it pretty much focuses on Peter as the main character. His entire rule as hegemon takes place in those books and it's quickly summed up in this novel...didn't like that.

Trish said...

Oh no!! I have this one on the shelf and was hoping to read it soon. I'm sorry this one didn't do it for you.

Nymeth said...

Sorry to hear this was such a disappointment!

Carrie Harris said...

Yeah, I'm sad too. Although I did love Ender's Shadow, which covers the same time period as Ender's Game, but from Bean's point of view.