Ender in Exile

By Orson Scott Card

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bex sakarias
I think four stars is great, nothing is perfect right? This book is amazing,I would recommend it to those in search of themselves. I only recently started reading the Ender series so I am a bit confused as to what the order of the books it's out there it's any. Regardless I enjoy reading this books. I don't read often but I just can't stop reading the series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
nicol s
I am a huge fan of Orson Scott Card. I love all of his Ender and Bean books. I was excited when I found out that he was releasing a new book in the Ender series.

The disappointing part wasn't so much the story or the writing. I found both to be excellent as usual but what was most disappointing is I had already read almost the whole book. Those of you that are familiar with OSC's Intergalactic Medicine show probably know where I am going with this but for those that don't.

Every quarter OSC releases a short story in the Ender Universe. Which at the time I thought was awesome, since I love the story so much. However because I purchased and read every issue of IGMC I had pretty much read Ender in Exile before it even came out. The whole main plot with the Admiral aboard the star ship was already available on IGMC. So I knew the twist from the very beginning. At first I thought maybe this would be a more fleshed out version of the short story on IGMC and for the most part it was. There was more detail and the story had different characters perspectives that weren't in the short stories but I already knew the main plot points. Not only that but the whole beginning was a short story on IGMS as well. The part where John Paul and Teresa trick Peter and Valentine into keeping Ender in space. The only part that was truly new was the very end when Ender goes to confront Beans kid.

Basically the whole story feels like reading a bunch of well written short stories thrown together.

Shame on Orson Scott Card for taking advantage of his most die hard Ender fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris keup
I read The Ender game, and saw the movie, with my grandson. We both loved the move. Now I am 75% done with this book, and I think it is better than the first. Not sure if there is a third book, but I would sure like to see if the author has more to offer.
Children of the Mind :: Xenocide: Volume Three of the Ender Quintet :: Ender in Exile (The Ender Quintet) :: Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) :: A Gripping Crime Thriller (Lawson Raines, Book 1)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ruth hyatt
I think this is the first mid-quel I've ever read, and it tied some things together nicely from the other Ender novels, while adding in more insight and tangents that added to the robustness of the storyline.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
alkhansaa alhakeem
While Ender's Game was originally a brilliant and well written idea none of the sequels, including this one, live up to the expectations generated by the first book. This is slow and drags on and in fact I did not finish the book. Had I realized Mr. Card's proclivities for supporting NOM and the outrageous comments he has made through the years against the LGBT community, I would never have allowed him access to my money to support those activities and in a way I wish i had never read Ender's Game. It is like finding out that despite being an exceptional artist, this man is simply a prejudiced hatemonger.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rose linke
AN EXTRAORDINARY WORK ABOUT REMARKABLE CHARACTERS. THE STORY LINE IS FASCINATING. THIS IS THE SECOND BOOK THAT WE HAVE READ IN THE ENDER SERIES AND WE WILL HAVE TO FIND OUT WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO READ NEXT.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
margie klein
First off... I love Ender's Game. I've read it 12 times at least. I love the rest of the Quartet. read those, maybe, 5 times each. I...... HATED this book. it has none of the qualities that make the others stand out. too old to be children lost in a confusing manipulating world under attack, but not old enough to be the analytical mind needed for quantum theory in the rest. this is the first let-down and worst offender in the series. if you want your love for Orson Scott Card to remain untainted by failure... don't buy this book. also, don't read Pathfinder unless your 12.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
daniel mongeluzi
If you are a fan of OSC then you have come to expect nothing short of mind indulgence in each of his books. This one is no different. Card expands further our understanding of the Enderverse. It leaves one with nothing less than anticipation for the next installment.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
louise manimtim
Card keeps adding to the Ender series, but has no stories left to tell. This book fills in gaps between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead... but we already know what happened from those books. The actual detailed description of every event is dull, and the characters have no spark here.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
patty sagucio
Either OSC is getting less adept at camouflaging his extreme fundamentalist Christian views on sex, marriage, and reproduction, or his readers are becoming more mature and able to discern this theme.

Here is another book in the Ender sub-series (sequels, coquels, Shadow books...) wherein we have a dearth of real plot, and instead we get cardboard characters who act untrue to their previously-established personalities to spout OSC's morality.

Again, Virlomi [battle school alumna, leading a colony-settlement mission] appears as a not-too-bright non-Christian, who is at least repenting and finding her way. Other non-Christians include Sel, xenobiologist on the new colony - who, as the only Orthodox Jewish male, just happens to be relegated to celibacy. Valentine, Christian and perfect in all ways, is a helpmeet for her younger brother Ender, subjugating all of her personhood as women should rightly do, in spite of plenty of natural talent of her own.

Most oddly, we have Ender at age 13, magically aware - despite having trained only in a socially-awkward boarding school and isolating battle experiences - of how to politically finesse any adult situation that he encounters. And he does this without any of the adults noticing his manipulations! Wow! (Has OSC ever met any actual teenagers who have spent years playing video games?)

The book starts out incredibly dull, with political, smarmy prose that takes way too long to establish the story. Yes, it is sort of funny that the parents (Mr. and Mrs. Wiggin) are fooling the kids who think they are fooling the parents, but that plot device is stretched way too thin.

We meet Alessandra and her mother, Italian women who act like fairy princesses in a way that seems bizarre to normal readers but perhaps is how women are supposed to be in the OSC world. At any rate, Alessandra merits special attention (but God forbid any actual sexual relationship) from Ender, when they go on a colonizing mission to a new planet together.

Realistically, if you took a 13-turning-14-turning-15-yo male, on an extended voyage to a new colony, he would not hesitate to have a romp with a cute, smart teenage girl who has a crush on him. The writing is tortured as OSC tries to work around this obvious situation.

Meanwhile, good old Sel not only turns down his assistant's suggestion that they "mate" to produce some good offspring, but thinks this suggestion merits firing her (!) and has a boring speech about how monogamy is the only possibility in life - and, as a previous reviewer said, they even voted on it!

Again - realistically, on a new colony with too few mating-age-females, obviously there would be some fooling around. That's the only way we got the fittest surviving as long as we have, as a species! [And at least OSC seems to believe in evolutionary biology in this book.]

While we're on mating-age - OSC has the bizarre notion, repeated several times in the book, that teenagehood (15 or so) is the ideal mating age for women. That's entirely consistent with his own Fundamentalist views and hopes that women will marry early and breed immediately and repeatedly. Yes, OSC's opinion is inconsistent with scientific evidence (fertility peaks in the early 20's, when genetic defects are also at their minimum for babies). But unforgivably, OSC's writing is untrue to the *characters* in order to make them spout his one-man-one-woman-reproductive-sex-only-after-marriage ideology.

I forced myself through the book, and was at least rewarded with some interesting loose-end tying about Bean/Petra/Achilles. If it weren't for that, I would really have resented spending the $5 or so on this book.

If OSC wants to write Fundamentalist screeds and publish them, that's his own business. But to write such things and half-heartedly hide them in a poor shadow of his earlier plot work, is cruel to his readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
soshyans varahram
This book is more properly considered part of the Ender's Shadow series, rather than a sequel to Ender's Game. It is stylistically like the Shadow series, features many of the same characters, and ties up loose ends from those books.

Card has found a clever way to do that, while centering the story on Ender and Valentine. Readers of Ender's Game will recall that Ender and Valentine left on the first colony ship because there were some good reasons Ender could not return to Earth. This book picks up just before that voyage begins.

However, that voyage takes decades because of time dilation. So the events of the Ender's Shadow series all unfold during the voyage.

That allows a different slant on those happenings, while also resolving much of what happened to Ender during that period. Ender still has some life issues to face, and this novel shows us how he faces them.

I don't recommend this as anyone's introduction to the world of Ender. Read Ender's Game for sure before this. I'd also recommend at least the first couple of books of the Ender's Shadow series as prerequisites. The more of the series you've read the better you'll lke this, though I don't think you needed to read all the way through that series to enjoy this book. (By the way, it's unnecessary to read Speaker for the Dead and its sequels. They take place later in the timeline and you won't suffer any loss of enjoyment if you have not read them.)

However, if you liked Ender's Game and want to know what happened to Ender as a teen in more detail, this is the story for you. And if you felt there was one major loose end at the end of Shadow of the Giant, you're right and that loose end plays into the story as well.

I was pleased because the sequels to Ender's Game (Speaker for the Dead, etc.) really didn't give me a satisfying view of Ender's character. I concluded at the end of that series that Card really didn't like Ender that much, based on the life he lived in those novels. Perhaps I was mistaken, or perhaps Ender has grown on Card over the years, because the tone of Ender as a character is completely different here than in those books.

There are some minor inconsistencies in this story and the other books and stories in the series. Card details these in the Afterword. The biggest conflict is with the story where the computer character Jane is introduced, which was in the collection First Meetings in Ender's Universe. For me these inconsistencies did not get in the way of the story.

If you have read and liked just about any of the Ender books before, you'll definitely want to get this one to complete some disparate storylines. If you're like me, you'll read it fast. It just came today; I finished it before bedtime and felt motivated to write this review right away.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
janssen
This midquel has some of the strengths of the original Ender Quartet but far more of the weaknesses of the Shadow series. Ender is a much more likeable protagonist than Bean, for one, but I honestly wonder if that might be mostly due to leftover good will from Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide. Because where this book shines is when it feels like a volume in the "Speaker" series, but those moments are too few and come too late in the story for the reader to care as much as they should. This book is... all over the place. The pacing is bad, too many plot threads fizzle out with no fanfare, and it ends up feeling more like a collection of short stories than a coherent narrative.

A big issue I have with the book is that it's too long and too self-indulgent. To be honest, most of the first 150 pages could have been jettisoned completely, and the story could have begun with Ender and Valentine reacting to the court martial and blasting off into space. Instead the reader is subjected to chapter after chapter of the stars of the Shadow series sarcastically sniping at each other, which is something that got old about three books ago. And although this novel ultimately ties up a few loose plot threads from that series, there's only one short scene in those opening chapters necessary to set that resolution up, while the rest seemingly serve no purpose beyond giving the Shadow characters some love one last time.

When Ender and Valentine finally do get into space, a storyline is kicked off where they psychologically joust with a potentially treasonous fleet admiral. Another 150 pages later, this plot line --- the one that's described on the back cover of the book, mind you, and framed as the story's central conflict --- anticlimactically fizzles out when Ender does nothing more than hand the admiral a letter. Not long afterward, a parallel story about a young woman falling in love with Ender comes to a head, and when we flash-forward several years, suddenly she isn't a character anymore and Ender moves on to his next challenge. The reader is left wondering why those two stories even needed to happen, when they have no bearing whatsoever on what comes later. If she hadn't been unceremoniously kicked out of the story at that point, I might have cared a little more, but the various threads that move the story forward are way too disconnected from one another.

That flash-forward brings us to a point where an eleven-year-old kid is following Ender around and is his most trusted confidante, which is something that comes out of nowhere and would have benefited from some setup. Additionally, an earlier chapter saw two settlers discover a cave full of gold-producing bugs, which was treated as a big deal, but now suddenly there's a throwaway line from that kid about them having discovered a second cave of aluminum-producing bugs --- surely that was important too? Why is it being told to us and not shown? That's the thing with this book: Card has 450 pages to play with, but he wastes so many of them on his Gilmore Girls-style dialogue that tons of information ends up being thrown at the reader via awkward exposition and chapter-opening e-mails instead of being introduced organically within the story. Those e-mails are something of which I'm really sick by now, and oh boy, they are loooooong in this book. It's as if Card forgot that he was writing prose and that plot points can and should be introduced in the narrative. The infodumps in the e-mails feel like entries in some sort of Enderverse encyclopedia --- am I crazy, or isn't this supposed to be a novel?

The most tolerable parts of the book are, as I said, the ones that read more like the Speaker series and less like the Shadow series, rife with awe, wonderment, and discovery. Namely, the xenobiologists discovering the gold bug cave and Ender finding the Hive Queen, although the reader is only told about Ender's ability to communicate with the gold bugs instead of being shown it. More time could have been dedicated to that. The climax of the book focusing on Ender coming to terms with the two human murders he committed in the original Ender's Game is a nice touch, too. Those high points are buried in a mountain of low, however, and throughout the novel Card's prose feels wooden, such as in this excerpt:

"Then Akbar saluted. Ender returned the salute and the ensign left and the door closed behind him. Ender went to his bed and sat down on it. Valentine sat on hers, directly across from him. Ender looked at her and started to laugh. She joined in his laughter."

That could have been told in far fewer words, without so many choppy and unnecessary descriptions of everything that was happening.

I won't go so far as to say that this book didn't need to exist... it does ultimately accomplish something, in showing the toll the war took on Ender in a way that the far-future Speaker series could not... but it really could have done so without all the additional fluff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
julie goucher
I just finished this book recently after having read all the other main books in both the Ender series and the Shadow books. It's a solid entry and an entertaining read, though unsurprisingly it doesn't come close to the ridiculously high bar set by Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.

It chronologically takes place in the last few chapters of Ender's Game, but I'd advise reading this book last after you're read all the other ones, including all the Shadow series books with the exception of Shadows in Flight. You'll enjoy the book much more that way. This book doesn't stand well on its own, and if you've only read Ender's Game, the characters and storylines scattered throughout Ender in Exile won't make much sense.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lynn solomon watters
This book is stated to be a direct sequel to the classic “Ender’s Game” which, along with “Ender’s Shadow” and “Speaker for the Dead” should be read first. For fans of Orson Scott Card’s Enderverse, this is a must-read. There are many expository tidbits and loose ends being tied. However, the plot is very thin. The new characters are fairly one-dimensional: a young girl, Alessandra, who becomes infatuated with Ender, and has to deal with an overbearing mother; another adult who underestimates Ender (seriously?) even after he’s saved the human race. Ender is always interesting but his sister, Valentine, is a bit player in this novel.

Very little actually happens in the book; the reader primarily sees what’s going on with Ender and how he transitions from war hero/savior to humane speaker for the dead; mostly, though, Ender just seems to mope. Which is perfect, considering he’s now a teenager. Even the conversation between Ender and the Hive Queen isn’t that detailed. The reader does feel the loneliness that Ender must feel—everything that he knows, save for Valentine—will eventually fade away as he travels from world to world. It makes you want to hug your loved ones tight, and perhaps shed a tear for Ender.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
bebe
I've been reading the Ender books in their natural order, meaning that I started with Ender's Game, then read A War Of Gifts, and now Ender In Exile, before moving on to the later three books in the original four book set. This one is the weakest of the three books I've read so far, being more like a collection of episodes in the life of Andrew Wiggins and the people around him - Ender resumes mail contact with his parents, Graff retires, Ender flies off to a colony world, Valentine goes with him, and all sorts of other nutty adventures/dull bureaucracy. The first 25% of the book can be skipped outright by anyone who's read Ender's Game because it's a near-perfect parallel with the closing parts of that book (nothing new in there that I can remember). There's the introduction of a nutty mother-daughter colonists, with their extremely strange relationship, and the mother's wooing of the power-hungry transport ship captain Quincy Morgan. Their story of escaping Earth poverty is actually quite captivating, but they are soon written out of the plot, never to appear again, once their story arc completes. Another interesting episode describes the exploration of the colony planet Shakespeare, and the discovery of giant worms, alongside the revelation that they can communicate by mental telepathy. Wow!

What's quite irritating is the email messages that preface every chapter - who wants to read bureaucratic missives and niceties, written in with quasi-military officiousness. Zero charm. I was very bored of this book by the time I finished it, which isn't what I expect in the Enderverse. Ironically, Card pens an after-word where he talks about all of the research that went into writing this (now that the Enderverse has become such a sprawling creation), making it sound like this is the grand unification novel to tie everything together. I don't think so, actually...
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
megan
Orson Scott Card is an author like Jules Verne who will be read and lauded a hundred years from now. I really believe that, but I also believe that "Ender's Exile" will be to Card as "Song of the South" is to Disney.

(OK, OK! Don't be a hater!)

This book tapped into the collective unconscious of the Fan-base for the Ender series. Orson Scott Card tries to wrap-up loose ends, over-write previous inconsistencies, and answer popular fan questions that have arisen since "Ender's Game" was published.

It is really a book length version of chapter 14.5 from "Ender's Game."

"Ender in Exile" is wildly inconsistent in writing quality and from a purely "fun to read" perspective.

Spoilers follow.

Like George Lucas "scientific explanation" of the Force in "Star Wars I: Enter the JarJar," the whole Peter and Val conspiracy on Earth and the parents complacent roles in exiling Ender are even less credible when Card attempts to explain and justify them. Some things are better left vague. If you are 100 pounds overweight, don't put on Spandex(tm) and do a sexy photo shoot to show that you are not obese. Eeeeeeeeew!

The whole psychological battle between Ender and the captain of the vessel on the way to Shakespeare's planet is very well done and well worth the read. The story does not add anything to Ender-lore, but it is fun and reads like "Ender's Game" did at its best points.

Card did a great job with the character of Sal (the xenobiologist on Shakespeare planet). Sal is engaging, moral, and just a great secondary character. Again, the Sal character did not advance any plot points or add to Ender-lore, but the parts with Sal in them were fun to read.

The amplifications of Ender's limitless guilt about killing the Buggers makes less and less and less sense the more that Card talks about it through Ender. I've been in combat. I have sleepless nights. I still cannot relate to Ender on this point. The Buggers attacked Earth twice. Attack me once, shame on you misguided Buggers. Attack me twice, and death to you as an evil misanthropic species. Full stop. The more tightly controlled a force is, the more subject to the irrational whims of single entities it is. The hive queens took that tight control to the limit. Even if you felt that somehow the hive queens might just be currently misunderstood, you could never accept the risk of having a radical faction take over the race in the future after being savagely attacked by them twice. Did I mention that the Buggers tried to wipe out humanity twice?

Ender's character is engaging and interesting in this book, but Val must have been mainlining Drano(tm) between books, because her IQ is about 120 points lower than in previous stories. The only time she does anything clever in this book is "off stage" when she cracks Ender's passwords. While Card does a good job of describing some of Ender's hormone driven decision-making, Val comes off as a cardboard foil for Ender and continually says, "Ender, I know you better than you know yourself," and throughout the book she is continuously wrong.

Card tried to wrap up the series by explaining the great mysteries in "Ender in Exile," and, while some parts of the book are interesting and engaging, overall this is not a must read book, and it will likely be a disappointment for the non-fanatical readers of the Ender series.

In service,

Rich
[...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
viola k
I first read Orson Scott Card's most recognized novel, Ender's Game, in my freshman year of high school, and immediately fell in love with it. It's one novel that withstood the test of time when I read it again as an adult, as it was after all meant for an adult audience, despite the young characters. I eagerly read the rest of the series, but only Ender's Shadow came close to recapturing characters I loved so much. I picked this up from my library with the hopes that a younger version of Ender would once again capture my imagination.

With Ender in Exile, we find Andrew (Ender) Wiggin, the boy whose brilliant military strategies saved the world from the alien Buggers, coming to terms with how he has caused the deaths of millions while thinking he was only playing a war game. The entire novel is neither a prequel nor a sequel, but another side by side companion that takes place between chapters 14 and 15 of the original Ender's Game, and throughout the Shadow series. Card even wrote a new version of chapter 15, to be printed in subsequent editions to match this latest novel, which is an amazing addition to the Enderverse.

I loved seeing the evolution of Ender's character before he became the sober Speaker for the Dead in the like-named second novel. In Exile, he's still a teenager, but a brilliant one, full of guilt over all that he's done and a need to understand the enemy he thought he exterminated. But the emotions in the book aren't overdone; rather, they're coupled with a hint of the spirit of the boy he used to be as he innocently conspires to keep his position as governor over an Admiral who would use him as a pawn. I couldn't help but rub my hands with glee at that part, though there are also a few touching moments that remind the reader that despite his maturity, he's still a teenage boy. A more final ending to the Shadow series also plays out here, and though it feels more like a short story added on to the ending instead of part of a full novel. But you won't hear me complaining.

Card has once again mastered the character of young Ender, and this fully fleshed out version of his early travels will definitely be satisfying reading for anyone who was a fan of the original.

Thanks go to M. J. Corley for this amazing review and I hope to be reading more from this reviewer soon. Thanks
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shayna bowe
"Ender in Exile" is the fifth of the Ender Quintet by Orson Scott Card. Fast reverse 3000 years to the end of the first novel "Ender's Game" and you have a logical sequel. In fact, I would recommend that nobody wastes time on the middle three novels of the Quintet.
But back to "Ender in Exile". As I said, it is a good sequel to "Ender's Game" tying up lots of loose ends and characters. The story concerns Ender's attempt to find himself as an adult in a world that considers him both a cold blooded killer and the savior of mankind. The term "bugger" for the aliens is now replaced with the politically correct "formics". Again he is confronted with several bullies which he is able to overcome without lethal methods. Again this author presents two mothers which are totally psychotic that hold sway over their offspring. A suggestion: any chapter containing the character Dorabelle should be skipped over. She does nothing to advance the story line and is totally irritating and disgusting. On the other hand, the relationship between Ender and his sister Valentine is heartwarming and their banter is delightful. You can see how they stayed together for that 3000 years.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nicki salcedo
I have thoroughly enjoyed the Ender series-- and Card's work as a whole-- for almost two decades. And this installment is no different. But I must say that the blurb on the front cover proclaiming "The all new direct sequel to Ender's Game" is somewhat mis-leading. If you are a person who has not read Ender since either that first classic novel or since the release of any of it's four original sequels, you will be lost on the identity of certain characters and events which occurred during the roughly parallel Shadow series about Ender's right-hand Battle School mate, Bean. To get the full flavor of this book, I highly recommend such readers bone-up on that series in it's entirety, first.
Now, some reviewers will tell you that this book is not worth the effort. The first complaint many make is Card's writing style. For one, they complain about the fact that his prose and characters insult peoples intelligence by stating everything directly, rather than implying it in the overall structure of the writing. While writing instructors and scholars will state that this is incorrect and poor form, why does everyone think this is someting new with OSC? He's always done that, even in Ender's Game. He even admits it himself! Suddenly, after being fans of his earlier work, people choose now to complain about it. Frankly, I feel the way Card does it works fine. Lesser authors would not be able to write this way and sell millions of books. But when Card's characters speak this way, it feels natural. In fact, I've noticed most people, when working out problems or discussing issues on their minds, speak very similarly. Most people are not as vague as many, technically correct writers, portray them to be in their day-to-day conversation. Those few that are are usually complained about as being poor communicators. I would rather read a story in which the characters speak in a way that feels realistic, whether it "insults my intelligence" or not. Art must imitate life.
This does not mean, however, that I agree with everything Card does. Sometimes he dwells too long on cutesy, silly banter between characters, which, while many people do this in real life, tends to take too much time away from the actual story-telling. At those points I do get impatient and am tempted to skip ahead. But this flaw, as I percieve it, is minor enough to be forgiven in exchange for a clever, well-thought-out science-fiction story in the vein of Asimov or Clarke, which Ender in Exile, like most of Mr. Card's work, provides to my satisfaction.
As for Mr. Card's preachy-ness and percieved bigotry-- well, first of all, I do not consider not agreeing, in itself, with a lifestyle or action to be necessarily eqivilant to bigotry. A bigot would choose to persecute or exclude from basic human rights, one who is either of a certain race, ethnicity, or persuasion. While Card may feel that a homesexual life-style is not the best course to take(an idea never directly stated in this book), he would never strip, or encourage the stripping, of a homesexual of his human rights. That would be against everything he writes about-- which often centers around the need for human kindness to all walks of life. The same goes for persons who do not follow the course of monagamy. These comments are not dwelled on, and are never made with malicious or unkind intent. The philosophies are not the focal point of the book. The characters and plot are. Comments his characters make on monagamy are very brief, and actually have to do with helping the new-born colonies successfully take root. Complaints about these comments by other reviewers are actually taking that material out of context; the comments make sense to the plot of the story and are not the force-feeding of ideology on an unsuspecting public. So rather than get offended as soon as an author like Card says something the majority disagrees with, remember that the quashing of dissenting opinion is what allowed for the general public to accept the viewpoints of true bigots, such as in Nazi Germany. At least think about what is being said without letting emotion block objectivity, and if you find you still disagree, accept that and move on with being entertained, which is what fiction is really about.
I, for one, liked Ender in Exile. It completes many loose ends in a well-thought-out way and fills in aspects of the Enderverse that I always felt were lacking since Speaker for the Dead, and it does it with Card's usual snappy, smooth-reading prose. A great read!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
allison grindle
Ender's Game is my favorite novel, so read this review with that understanding. Ender's Game is not the best novel ever written, but the one I enjoyed the most because I could relate viscerally to Ender. This book doesn't reach anything close to that standard, but I found myself reading it in one day until 1 a.m., unable to sleep without finishing it. But then again, I'm an Ender lifer.
For starters, don't bother reading this if you haven't read Ender's Game and at least Ender's Shadow and Speaker for the Dead. Those are the three essential books in the Ender's Game pantheon, with the rest tending to get progressively lame. (Children of the Mind ending up in bigtime lame-o territory, sadly. Card talks in the afterward of this book about how he didn't bother to reread his old books, and I can see why! PLEASE, rewrite Xenocide and Children of the MInd! Or pay another writer to redo them.)

Back to the review: For Ender fans, Ender in Exile is a must read -- there are simply too many expository tidbits and loose ends getting tied. But the plotline is very thin. The new characters are garden variety Card staples -- young girl dealing with overbearing mother, adult who underestimates Ender (ENDER!) even after he's saved humanity, yada yada yada. Ender himself is always interesting, and keeps you reading for more. But Valentine is relegated to a bit part after a promising start. Graff makes several appearances as a sort of Father of Humanity Demigod which proves a convenient way for Card to chew through pages and adds some convenient act of god/act of Graff plot twists. But all of the characters seem like chess pieces in a puzzle of the Enderverse rather than having much in the way of depth or resonance. A lot of the book is simply Card remembering to check plot boxes -- "oh, right, I have to have Ender write The Hegemon, find The Hive Queen, yada yada yada." Perhaps the biggest problem is that very little is actually happening in Ender in Exile, although Card invents a couple of hurdles for Ender to deal with to give the book narrative momentum. But mainly we are reading to see what is going on with Ender -- how he transitions from war hero to humane Speaker for the Dead. Mostly he just seems to mope. I was hoping for a more interesting conversation between Ender and The Hive Queen, but Card is very sparing with Ender's internal thoughts, doling them out slowly to keep you wanting more.

Without giving away what actually happens in the book, it left me with a sense of deepening melancholy, and perhaps that is what Card intends? You do get the sense of intense loneliness that Ender must feel, even moreso as everything he knows save Valentine will fade into dust as he hops from world to world on his journey. Makes you want to embrace everyone you know, hard. And shed a tear for Ender.

One other thing - Card keeps fancying that he is improving as a writer with more experience, etc., and says so in his afterward as a reason not to reread his old books. I disagree. Let's face it, he has NOT improved as a writer since 1984. If anything he's gotten lazier and more arrogant in his religious/political viewpoints and stereotyping. Maybe it's time for a new editor, one who will challenge him more?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cathy schuster
Though you should use my comparison to the Lewis book lightly. I reference it because Ender in Exile, like Treader, is a series of small plots opened and closed through a long journey taken by the main characters. I think (based off of the little I read of the afterword) that the intention was to have some story elements be much bigger than they were, but other parts of it got expanded. Basically, 90% of this book is an expansion on the last couple chapters of Ender's Game. But I liked it. I enjoy seeing characters like Ender always come out on top--we get worried but they have it under control the whole time. It's a way of doing a character that I think is under appreciated.

I won't spoil much more than that. If you're a fan of the Ender series in any way, this one shouldn't disappoint.

I will offer one major complaint and one warning, though.

First--don't read this right after Ender's Game. I've made that error, and I regret it. I would advise reading Ender's Shadow, and the books after it that follow Bean, first, as this story rather quickly jumps to 41 years after the end of the Third Formic War, and all of the Shadow storyline is history by then. Lots of the stuff revealed in this book I feel would have effected me better if I knew the Shadow story first--so heed that if you will.

Lastly, my only real complaint is the dialogue (and Dorabella Toscano for the most part, but I'll skip that one). Card tells a lot of the story through two-person, back-and-forth dialogue. It gets frustrating for a number of reasons. For one, it comes across like bad exposition in a movie (think the dinner scenes from the first two "Back to the Future"s--if you don't know what I'm talking about, watch them again). Except this is a book . . . you don't need to have weird and awkward dialogue to fill in blanks. You have narrative. Yet even THAT wouldn't have been so unbearable if the dialogue wasn't written so poorly. Don't get me wrong--the story here is great and I loved the adventure I got to go on while reading it. But Card doesn't seem to write dialogue to his characters at all (if he did or not in Ender's Game I did not notice). Instead every character is full of witty and playful banter with the other person, and they throw it right back at them. They finish each others sentences, they pepper lame little jokes everywhere, they make sarcastic observations about that which they discuss. It's as if Card wanted them to have personality, but didn't notice they all turned out with the SAME personality. Nobody has any uniqueness show THROUGH the way they talk, the differences in the characters is all in the words they choose and the positions they hold. There are a few exceptions, but this issue is so prevalent that I had to really think about it to remember them.

So in the end, a great addition to a fun series. Not flawless, but not worth skipping if you're a fan or interested in it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
moira downey
In publication order, the first two novels in the Enderverse ("Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead") are centuries apart in time, thanks to the wonders of relativistic time-dilation, which takes place when travelling close to the speed of light. Of course, a fertile imagination like Orson Scott Card's cannot allow such a vacuum to survive, so many subsequent books (e.g. the "Giant" subseries) partially fill in the void. However, this is the first book to bridge the gap between EG and SftD narratively. Thus, "Ender in Exile" starts immediately after the end of the great war wherein Ender utterly destroyed the Formics and follows his progress as he chooses to become the wanderer through space-time that he is known for in the later books (SftD, "Xenocide", and "Children of the Mind").

For my money, reading these books in publication order makes more sense than reading them in story order. If the latter, this is the third book (I think - after EG and "Ender's Shadow"). However, because Ender undergoes a time-dilation voyage (actually, two) in this book, the events of the Giant series - the rise of Achillies, Peter becoming Hegemon, the India-China war, etc. all take place, and may leave the chronilogical reader feeling like s/he is missing something (with reason). Most obviously, Virlomi is exiled from Earth for her part in the all-consuming wars of the Hegemon and features prominently, as does a certain subplot (I won't reveal here) concerning Bean and Petra. With such a growing and complex universe, there are some inconsistencies in the writing (the first human extraterrestrial colony goes by several different names in the various books), which Card addresses in the afterword, but none are significant enough to detract from the book's enjoyment.

Ultimately, in tone and substance, I would call this novel a prequel to "Speaker for the Dead" rather than a sequel to "Ender's Game". This is not a criticism, in fact, SftD is actually my favourite book in the series, and "Ender in Exile" sets it up perfectly. Most of the events that we know takes place between EG and SftD, and that are important to the development of the story in the latter, occur in this book: Ender writes "Hive Queen and the Hegemon", finds the pupal hive queen, Valentine writes the history of the Formic Wars (although her wedding is further off in time), etc. And the writing is crisp and fun - there's exploration (of a former Formic colony), there's intrigue (the battle of wits between Ender and the colony ship's captain), there are some neat new characters and some old favourites, there's even some fist-pounding action. I haven't had this much fun reading an Enderverse novel in some time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
randall
I wish I'd payed more attention to the chronological order of the series. After finishing Ender's Shadow, I jumped right to this (because it follows Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow chronologically), but it turns out this book references many events in the rest of the Shadow series, so those books have been "spoiled" for me. I'll still listen to them eventually.

I love listening to Ender stories, but I'm the kind of person who gets into a series, a character, and then just loves to read more about them, quality be damned, so take this with whatever grain of salt you will.

There are a few inconsistencies where Ender in Exile overlaps with the concluding chapters of Ender's Game. OSC references them in the afterword, and his explanations are sensible, but it does distract somewhat from the story when you're going, "wait, is that what happened? I thought..." That said, I like this version of events well enough.

If you go straight from EG to EIE, you will almost certainly be disappointed at the pace of this book. However, if you read the rest of the EG series and then jump back to EIE, the pace won't be anything different. It's obvious to me that, while this book follow chronologically from EG, it was written after the rest of the series, because the style is more consistent with those later books.

In all, this is, as a fill-in, a book you can skip without missing anything, but a book worth picking up if you are just hungry for any more Ender stories you can get your hands on.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
debby teplin
Card revisits his long-running Ender universe, describing Ender's history between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead (Ender, Book 2). The sequencing and plotting are tricky and well done, because intergalactic travel involves time dilation: a flight of a few months to the passengers can be decades to the planet-bound. So all of the events in the entire The Ender's Shadow Series Box Set: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant mostly take place during Ender's first colony flight to the planet Shakespeare (Colony 1,as explained in Card's Afterword to this book). Card navigates all of those existing plot pieces nicely, filling in gaps, setting up rendezvouses between Ender and former members of his jeesh.

But apart from the nifty plotting, the novel is fairly disappointing. Partly that's because there's precious little room for surprises. Partly it's because when books likes Speaker were written, Ender was a lot like we had left him, leaving little room for character development. Card manages a tiny bit of growth, but it feels a little contrived, at least to me.

And Valentine's decision to go with Ender, while superficially described, isn't truly explained, especially in the face of all the bickering that comes later. The very brief scenes with Ender's parents spring a few surprises, but are mostly baffling.

A few loose endings are tied up. The missing baby from Shadow of the Giant turns up, for example.

But mostly, the story feels "cramped" by all of the novels and short stories that have gone before. It's absolutely not the place to start exploration of the Ender books; that remains Ender's Game . And despite being the first book written, it's that first novel remains by far the best. I think Ender's Universe is so thoroughly developed that Card, writing these "sandwich" stories, can only entertain' he can no longer astonish us, as he did in Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead (Ender, Book 2).

Okay for fans of Card and Ender's Universe, but not otherwise recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bridget coyle
Whether you're a sci-fi fan or not, chances are that you have read Ender's Game. It's widely considered to be not just one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, but one of the greatest novels, period. Orson Scott Card had one extremely good idea forty years ago, and has based his entire career upon exploiting it. But you know what, it's all right. Sure, the nine books, and countless short stories, and novellas he's published as sequels to Ender's Game fail to capture the originality, personality, and impact of the original, but they were still good books, and people keep buying them, so more power to him for sticking with what works. Even brilliant authors need to pay the bills.

The original Ender's Game was a short story published in a literary magazine in the mid seventies. Ten years later Orson Scott Card was writing a book called Speaker for the Dead, but it was missing something. He decided that the story would work a lot better if he were to flesh out Ender's Game into a novel and use it as a prologue for Speaker. He was rather dismayed at the time to find that Ender's Game was the far more popular of the two, but has come to accept and embrace the fact now. Ender's Game has three sequels that take place thirty years later, and a sister series called the Shadow series that follow other characters.

The latest book in the Ender series is Ender in Exile, and for the first time since the original book Card has written a direct sequel to Ender's Game. Speaker for the Dead takes place 30 years later so I do not consider this as a direct sequel, and the Shadow series follows another character and Ender himself barely makes an appearance in them at all. Ender in Exile is a direct sequel, beginning before Ender's Game actually ends, introducing new characters and what's going on in the political world that set up for the epilogue of Ender's Game. In fact, the majority of this book takes place between the last two chapters of the first book.

Ender in Exile begins with the war against the Buggers won, and Ender's fate in question. At twelve years old he is the most brilliant military commander that Earth has ever produced, but the alliance of nations that banded together to repel the alien threat has broken apart and the powers that be are contending for his abilities. To return to Earth would be to spend the rest of his life as a slave to whoever ended up as his master.

Ender's own brother suggests that he be banished to a Bugger world as governor for the new human colonists that will soon be leaving Earth, and he accepts that fate as something he truly wishes to do. His beloved sister Valentine opts to accompany him and they spend the next two years together on the ship that carries them to their new home.

Like most of Orson Scott Card's works there is very little external action in this book. Most of the plot is about Ender's inner struggles with what he has done, exterminating an entire race of sentient beings, and with his maneuvering against and manipulations of the admiral of the ship taking him to the colony. That is not to say that this is a boring book. Card is a master of making introverted philosophical deliberation interesting and sometimes even exciting.

As he reaches his colony, defeating the admiral's play for governance, Ender finds a cocooned Bugger queen, and vows to find a suitable world for her, that the race he destroyed might not be left in extinction. This leads into the sequels of thirty years later where he is still searching for the right world, wracked with the guilt of having done something he can never forgive himself for. Leaving the colony and his role of governor behind, he sets off to tie up loose ends from the Shadow series, and then the book ends rather abruptly as though the author ran out of steam.

The good? It is great to have a book that is a direct sequel to Ender's Game, with all the same sorts of psychological and philosophical themes that made the first book so great. It's also great to have a book with Ender as a child again after several books of him being in his later years, practically a different character altogether. When I first read the description of this book on the cover flap I said, "pfft, who cares? Beating a dead horse a little, aren't we?" But I was pleasantly surprised. The story is engaging, the characters are interesting, and it's a continuation of one of my all time favorite books. Card really gets you inside Ender's head, and you can really feel his struggle to find answers to the questions he's grappling with. It is also awesome to see the origins of how Ender earned the nickname Xenocide, and the beginnings of the turning of public opinion against him. It fleshes out the universe that the next three books take place in and makes them feel more realistic.

One thing that Card does very well is his side characters. He has a way of making the bit players in his books seem real, meaningful, and important, even if they play a relatively small part in the story. In real life, everyone is the hero of their own story, and he has recognized this fact, using it to make realistic people with depth and character. It's something that few writers ever do well.

The bad? The ending seems blatantly tacked on as an afterthought to tie up the loose ends left by the Shadow series. The book would have been better had it been left off and published as a short story in Orson Scott Card's literary magazine. I do like the resolution of that storyline, but its place wasn't here. The book already had a climax, and then it continued on just to tie up the loose ends from another book. It seemed very out of place.

Valentine, a huge influence on Ender's motives in pretty much every other book, plays a very little part here, and she basically fades into the background. To have such an influential character become part of the scenery because there's just not much for her to do in this story will probably piss some fans off.

The flap on the inside of the jacket says in very clear, very plain English that Ender makes contact with the computer program that eventually becomes Jane in this book, and that did not even come close to happening. I was interested to see her origins, and I guess we kind of did in the Shadow series a little bit, but I wanted to actually see them meet. The synopsis got me excited, and then it didn't happen. It was like using a gimmick to sell a book and then forgetting to incorporate the gimmick.

The ugly? This book breaks the continuity of the original book. I won't say how as it's somewhat of a spoiler, but it was pretty bad. Card has put an afterward in the book explaining this, and that he will be releasing an updated version of Ender's Game sometime in the near future to correct the problem, but the thing about that is, it's like the special editions of Star Wars. Greedo didn't shoot first and shame on George Lucas for trying to say that he did. The book was perfect to begin with, why change it?

This book covers Ender's life from age twelve to sixteen. In Ender's Game, Ender was a child. He thought like a child. He acted like a child. Though he was doing a very adult job, he stayed true to the fact that he was still a child. In this book, his personality has made a vast change. He is more like himself in the later books that take place thirty years later, rather than the child he was in the previous book days earlier in the timeline. A child does not suddenly start thinking and acting like a forty-year-old man overnight. It's actually kind of creepy, and I constantly had to remind myself that this is Ender the child I'm reading about, not Ender the middle-aged man. It takes a lifetime to become a brooding, tortured, middle-aged man, not a traumatic event and a few days.

Despite a few small and relatively unimportant things, I liked this book quite a bit. I didn't think that I was going to, but I was pleasantly surprised. Though there's not much in the way of action, it is far from boring. At first I thought that it was an unnecessary story that didn't need to be told, something that the author merely turned in for a paycheck, but it pulled me in and wouldn't let me go. I found it to be highly entertaining. Orson Scott Card is a master of bringing the dilemmas within the hearts of his characters into such focus that you can feel and experience them as though they are your own. This was a great book, and if you liked Ender's Game, you will like this one hands down. The two books compliment and complete each other in a way that is amazing for two books that were published twenty-five years apart from each other.

I give this book 5 stars. If not for a few small gripes that really don't take much away from this book at all, it would have been the perfect novel. It was a story that was unnecessary to tell, but it was told so well that you don't care that it's a blatant ploy at capitalizing on the fame of Ender's Game. I applaud Orson Scott Card for being able to breathe new life into a series that hasn't had much for a very long time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maire
This book I can honestly say was right up there with Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. I only wished I might of read it between those but at the same time I think it was also best that I read it in order of publication because I wouldn't of understood the references to the Bean Saga material.
This book really explains alot of stuff which happened right after Ender and Valentine's departure from Eros and his time as governor of Shakespear Colony where he finds the Hive Queen which features so prominently later on Speaker for the Dead. Mr. Card's attention to the details of what happened to the old soldiers of the war on the colony and how they greeted and were greeted by Ender was touching. His exploration of the effects of war on the individual after the wars end was also welcomed by me for sure, I know its effects, and it deeply resonated with me. So much of Ender's life and struggles resonate with me, which is why this series which deals with him specifically is one of my favorites.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katy marie lance
If you are new to the stories of Ender and his Battle School friends, I suggest you read all the rest of the books first. This book was written some 23 years after the first book, 'Ender's Game', and many other books followed. This fills in a time period between two of the early books, 'Ender's Game' and 'Speaker for the Dead', but I think it would only make sense if you had read the other books first. The author says he has corrected a mistake he made in the timeline in 'Ender's Game' and he counted on others who studied his books to help him stay true to the series and not make too many contradictions with the other books. There are some that readers have picked up on, but there were none that caused me any heartache. Actually, I enjoyed it immensely. The book explains how Ender and his sister got on the first ship and out to the new colonies in space and better explains the time issues and aging related to space travel. It would be hard to explain this book to someone unfamiliar with the series (I just tried to do that for my husband and it took twenty minutes). If this is all new to you, I suggest you start with Ender's Game and read the reviews there. Overall, I enjoyed this book, it was fun to enter back into the lives of Ender and Valentine as young people, and I was very impressed at how the author managed to accomplish this feat of creating a sequel inside a whole existing series. Fun!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erin cheyne
The first thing I have to say is that I'm so confused by the reading order of this series. I've seen several different numberings for how to read the books, and I'm afraid I'm not reading them right. In any case, aside from that I'm enjoying the series. This book in particular goes back and tells a bit from Ender's Game only in a different perspective and with a bit more information. We also get to see what happens when Ender goes to the new colony. I liked learning about some new characters in this one as well. I've been listening to the audio books (except for the tales from enderverse book) and I like how there are different voices and accents throughout the reading. My kids, ages 10, 11 and 13 have all been enjoying the books as well.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
tadzio koelb
I think I'd go 2 1/2 stars if I could. It's not a horrible book but not a great one eiher.

This book, while it does have its moments, is most certainly not a unified novel. The only real continuity in the storyline are the email prefaces to each chapter. The rest though is not single story, just a succession of short stories that somehow relate to Ender during the few years following the War. The short story "Investment Counselor" from First Meetings: In the Enderverse could have easily been added to the end of this with minimal revision, and would not have felt out of place. And in fact, the book might have been better for it, as it was in that story that Ender first became an actual "Speaker for the Dead" - which was an important event - as the next time we see him, he'd been doing this for some time.

And after reading,then discussing this book with another Ender fan, I'm reminded that Ender is a character without really many flaws. He was a gifted child and chosen as leader because of that. He doesn't really grow or mature at all through this "novel" - he always seems to know what is going to happen and how to handle things. He almost failed near the end but the readers already know he survives. That prompts the question - how can you really care for such a character? By having the reader get engrossed in the story to the point where such things are forgotten. But by that time, Ender had already glided his way through the book and that episode wasn't really developed nearly well enough to get the reader involved to the extent needed. Thus the book's climax is something of a whimper, not a bang.

Still, Card is a good writer and continues to come up with some good ideas and scenes. In that regard it's still worth reading especially for people reading the Ender and Shadow series. But the way he admits in the note at the end that he basically did not want to dive back in and reread the rest of those 2 series kind of strikes me as unprofessional on his part. It's his universe, it should be his responsibility to dwell in it. I think some of the stories outlined in here could have become full novels in their own right, the way the novel Ender's Game was an expansion of the original award-winning short story, and not the only time OSC has created a novel from expanding a short story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chhama
After finishing Ender's Game, a commenter informed me that the next book in the series, chronologically, was Ender in Exile. Thankfully, I did not read any of the other books in the series, and this one was read within a few months of finishing Ender's Game.

Andrew "Ender" Wiggins has led the Earth's forces to victory over the formics. Now, as his friends leave Battle School for Earth and the soldiers populate the former worlds of the formics, Ender finds himself in an interesting position - he can't go home to Earth. America wants him to lead their armies and other factions want to assassinate him. Further, if he did go back to Earth, what would he do? His experiences in Battle School aren't easily transferable to civilian life. Ender is given a position of Governor of one of the new colonies, and starts a life of travel to the many worlds that are now being inhabited by humans. However, this allows Ender to learn more about the species that he wiped out, which weighs heavily on his mind.

Reading this book shortly after finishing Ender's Game increased the enjoyment. It is a an excellent sequel, as it shows the ramifications of war from several viewpoints; Ender, who is trying to live with what he has done, the soldiers, who are trying to find a "normal" life as settlers, and Ender's superiors, who attempt to live in a time without intergalactic war. I think that Card has done an excellent job of describing the issues facing every warrior, but does not focus only on one character. Most of the major characters from Ender's Game are in this novel, or their lives after Battle School are described. While there are more entries in this series, Card does an excellent job by resolving some major issues from Ender's Game; Ender's relationship with his parents, Peter's rise to power, and Valentine's need to be with Ender. Card's Afterword is a very good explanation of his motivation for this book and also to tell faithful readers of coming changes in his other books. While it may be seen as "revisionist," Card does the reader a huge favor by creating a better flow within the Ender series as well as resolving some of the contradictions between the novels. Overall, a very satisfying novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
j hann eir ksson
Ender In Exile starts out roughly a year or so after the buggers (formics) were defeated and their home world obliterated into mere atoms. After the Bugger Wars, most of the battle school children are able to return home and attempt to re-adapt to a world they have all been away from for so long - everyone except Ender. Ender is offered little in terms of appealing choices after the wars are over. Among the choices include going back to Earth but being a pawn in Peter's political games, staying in isolation at Eros (training facility) for the rest of his life, or taking his sister with him on the human colony ships and traveling at relativistic speeds exploring/settling other worlds for humanity. Not surprisingly, Ender chooses to leave it all behind and take the 3rd option.

Ender In Exile does a nice job of filling in gaps between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead as well as answering the little questions that readers might have such as what happened to Ender between the ages of 12 and 35? Where did he travel? What events lead up to Ender's chance for redemption on Lusitania? While these might not be the most burning questions in the world for those that have read the rest of the series, it was still nice to have them answered and explained in this one. Normally these add-on/supplemental books for previously written series can be a lukewarm deal at best. You run the risk of watering down the series with potentially unnecessary details and sometimes end up just confusing your readers/fan-base. In my opinion, Card does none of these with the writing of Ender in Exile.

I don't know if I can say the same for First Meetings in the Enderverse, but I have read and can speak for this one when I say Card does none of the typically disappointing things listed above. If you enjoyed the Ender's Game series (and have even read the Ender's Shadow series), then you owe it to yourself to pick up this book. I can't quite give it 5 stars since nothing can measure up to the original series, but this one certainly isn't a disappointing read either!

-Travis S.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alger
Orson Scott Card first wrote about the Battle School in a novelette in Analog Science Fiction and Fact Magazine. It was later expanded to "Ender's Game" and then the Xenocide-Children of the Mind series was written as the true sequel to Ender's Game. But after quite some time, Card came back and revisited Ender with the Ender's Shadow series that fill in the time after Battle School and cover the fate of the other battle school graduates, in particular, Petra Arkanian and Bean (Julian Delphiki.)

The Shadow series was absolutely one of the best "mid-quel" series and I enjoyed every book (most of all Ender's Shadow) and I was nervous that Card would have a tough time to fill in the novel before Shadow began. (This book takes place sometime around Chapter 15 of Ender's Game.)

But Card asked for help unabashedly from friends and fans to make sure incongruities, anachronisms and conflicting stories were minimized, and the result is a very good finish to this extraordinary series of science fiction. I confess I did not like Xenocide at first, but once I saw how it fits into the entire scheme, I came to admire the writing and the story as much as the other Ender books.

This story has to do with the struggle to keep Ender from returning to Earth and fills in his first forays as a colonist on the conquered Bugger worlds. The only flaw is that Valentine (the beautiful, intelligent, loving sister) comes out as a sort of shallow, annoying and frankly irritating person who, other than being able to write histories well, has little to recommend herself as a character. Yes, she has an acerbic wit, but it's transmuted into pure bitchiness here. Sad character development, and it is a flaw in the book. Her role, so large in the other books, is necessarily diminished here (this is Ender's story, mostly) but it really is sad to have Valentine tagging along, being a wet blanket and not a lot else.

Card's writing is as usual, however, at its best when he is telling a basic, almost archetypical tale. The story of Alessandra and Dorabella Toscano is absolutely diverting writing. It seems something of a nonsequitur, but as usual, Card has cards up his sleeve and weaves these new characters into the story with skill. They are actually a sideshow, however and ultimately, they disappear, which is rather strange. Sort of a MacGuffin, in a way, but such good writing one has to forgive it. You can clearly see in the action in many of the scenes that Card thinks like a playwright, especially in the very dramatic showdown between Randall Firth and Ender.

I thought I wouldn't like the book but I couldn't put it down for a second. No, I had to read it all in one gulp and it's sad, but there will be no more Ender stories. This is it, a worthy Ender indeed.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
budi primawan
At the end of Ender's Game, Card wrote a chapter to link it to the events in Speaker for the Dead. It covers a long period of time in very few words, and is quite an abrupt end to that novel.

Ender in Exile is an expansion of those events, and is, I think, a better recounting of them. In fact, I enjoyed this book far more than I expected to. I'd read some scathing reviews of it, which said that it's just talk talk talk, that it's boring, that nothing happens. There is a lot of dialogue in this book, and sometimes it does get a little tiresome, but there's much here to appreciate and enjoy.

Card addresses some important events and themes: Ender's emotional recovery immediately after the War, his tenure as governor on the first colony he visited, and his wrestling with guilt over the Xenocide of the Formics. There are also some interesting new plot developments - the details of colonization after the War, and a sub-plot involving a girl with an overbearing mother who takes a shine to Ender.

Less successful is the resolution of a plot thread from the Shadow series. It feels like it was tacked on at the end of the novel, the central conflict it describes doesn't really make much sense, and it requires the reader to have read the four books of that series to really appreciate and understand it. Ender in Exile would have been a stronger novel without it.

I must say, too, that I have mixed feelings about whether the novel as a whole was really necessary. Yes, it is a better link to Speaker than the single chapter that existed before, but what was the story that compelled Card to write it? It's interesting, but not compelling. It adds more detail, but not more substance. I truly think Card believes in this book, and that he's not "churning out" another Ender novel, but I'm not sure why he wrote it.

So, a mixed bag - very well-written and interesting, but a bit talky and adds little to the Ender universe. If you're a reader of this series, I'd say give it a try. It's probably better than you fear, but not quite as good as you hope.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
francesca picone
Of the entire Ender series my favorite has always been Ender's Game, mostly because it centered around Ender as a child and, as such, it seemed less grown up than all of the other Ender Books. The closest I've come to enjoying another "Ender" book was "Ender's Shadow", the first Bean book. Again, because it was largely told from the perspective of children, it seemed more fun to me.

As I've aged and become more aware of our political climate the stories of Peter and Valentine became more meaningful and interesting. But despite that, it was Ender's struggle that always grabbed my attention the most and made me fall in love with Ender's Game.

As a teenager, I was jolted a bit when the sequel to Ender's Game had Ender being a grown up. WOAH!!! I did enjoy the rest of the series but not as much as Ender's Game.

My point is, I was excited to see another Ender book while Ender is still a child. But I found myself disappointed that Ender, though a child, had now grown up more than I had hoped in this book. Not only is he now a war hero, but also an IF Admiral and headed to become the first Governor of a colony on another world.

The tables are turned a lot in this book. In Ender's Game there were a lot of things going on that Ender was unaware of (I really hope that doesn't blow it for anybody who hasn't read Ender's Game), but in this book he seems to be in charge of the information. It is Ender who surprises several people with facts that changes their lives. It is us, as a reader, who are mostly in on it as well. And this took a lot of the fun out of this book.

But all in all, I did enjoy this book. I probably wouldn't enjoy it if I hadn't fallen more in love with political science so let that being a warning for those who also didn't like the stories of Valentine and Peter. What I liked about this book was that it was unique from others in that it didn't have one plot from beginning to end. It didn't build up and then have everything fall into place in the final chapters but a lot of the plot elements are resolved part ways throughout the book. A major one was resolved right in the middle and new ones would develop throughout as well. I really liked that. It also resolved a lot of dropped plot lines from previous books (Ender's Game and the Bean/Shadow Series). I think there could have been a bit more but it was still enjoyable.

While reading this I was trying to find out the best order to read these series if I was just getting into Ender's Game. So here is what I would suggest:

Read Ender's Game... it all revolves around this book.
Read the Shadow Series... it all overlaps or shortly follows Ender's Game. Also, a lot of the plots that are resolved started in that series.
Read this book.
Read the rest of the Ender Series starting with Speaker for the Dead.

There is one major plot line left that I suspect OSC is saving for another book, what ultimately happens to Bean? I really hope that as that gets resolved that Bean and Ender hook up at some point. That would be a reunion I would LOVE to read about.

So, not the best book I've ever read. But it is hard to dislike any book written by OSC as his characters will also grab your heart and make your yearn for more. I want more! And that, to me, is the sign of any good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aj lewis
Ah, another Ender book. I was introduced to the Ender series when I was in high school, and I quickly gobbled up every book in the series as it was introduced. I was sad when the final Shadow book was published; was this the end of Ender?

I am glad to see that Card has written another book in the Ender saga, and one that explains a section of Ender's life that we have not yet seen. It may be difficult to write a prequel; it must be even harder to write a between-quel. This story takes place after the end of Ender's Game, after the end of the Shadow series about Bean, but before the original Ender trilogy of Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind. Ender has defeated the Formics and is not returning to Earth, but rather is being sent to govern a colony on a planet formerly inhabited by the Formics.

I have been savoring this book. It's almost a sad thing to finish such a well-written story. I turn the last page and think, is that it? Surely there's another one. I especially enjoyed the treatment of Ender's parents in this book. After reading Ender's Game, it's easy to assume that the children in the story - specifically Ender and his sister and brother - are far more intelligent than their clueless parents. This book was a good reminder that Ender and his siblings received their intelligence from their parents, and their parents are far from clueless. In fact, Ender's parents are just as intelligent and conniving as their children, and they are able to shape their actions to save Ender from certain destruction on Earth.

If you have read the Ender books, I highly recommend this one. If you haven't read them, start with Ender's Game. You'll thank me later.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lynsey
While this book does bring back some of feel of Ender's Game, and went a long way to undo my disappointment with his other sequels to that book, it did not really grab me as well as I had hoped. By the end of the book, I was drawn back in and was glad I had stuck with it. Card writes well and tells some compelling stories, but he will sometimes take the long way around to telling the story. Sometimes, that scenic route is quite enjoyable, other times you just want him to get on with the story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
darci
It was through the Twitterverse that I found out that Orson Scott Card had written another installment of Ender Wiggin's life in the book Ender In Exile. This is described as "the lost years", the time after Ender left battle school and started to come to grips with exactly what he had done in terms of destroying an entire species. While I liked Exile for what it was, I realize that this would have been best read shortly after finishing (or rereading) Ender's Game. I felt the same way here as I felt after reading many of the follow-up novels in the series... too much time had passed for me to remember the nuances of the original story line, and I didn't get as much out of it as I could have.

Ender's main quest in Exile is to understand the Formic race, and to figure out why they seemingly let him destroy their species in the Formic War. While he can understand that they were bent on the destruction of earth, he feels there was something more there, something they were trying to communicate before they were annihilated. To learn as much as he can, he decides to move to a new colony on a planet once inhabited by formics. It's there that he finds the answers he's looking for, and it also shapes the path that he wants the rest of his life to take.

I like the way that Card adds so much texture to the person that Ender has become. The interplay between him and his sister Valentine is excellent, and probably kept me more interested in the book than I otherwise would have been. This is definitely a welcome addition to the Ender series, and does help to fill out the story. I just wish I had reread Ender's Game before starting this one, as it would have helped with some of the context.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jason lewis
If you've read Ender's Game and the two series that followed, you'll want to pick up a copy of Ender in Exile, which fills in the time between Ender's unwitting destruction of the buggers/formics, and his future travels that begin with Speaker For the Dead. We see the seeds of Ender's future planted here, events set in motion which set a direction for his life in years to come.

Unfortunately, this book suffers from being a transitional, "fill in the gaps" volume, one that was never really necessary in the first place. The result is that far too many pages are taken up with Ender, Valentine, Hyrum and other characters engaged in exposition. They talk, expound, plan and explain. I was over 200 pages into the book before I felt as though something was really happening.

This isn't a bad read -- but only pick it up if you have really enjoyed all the other stories that take place in the Enderverse. (If it's been a long time, you might find yourself struggling to remember some of the details that make up the past and future of the characters you will encounter here.) At times, I warmed to the feeling that I was getting a deeper look into Ender's psyche. Much of the writing is clever and intellectually stimulating. And, the narrative picks up toward the end, finally introducing some badly needed intrigue and a bit of suspense. It just takes far too long to get there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amy matthews
Ender In Exile addresses the largest gap that remained in the Ender Universe. Author Orson Scott Card has been busy writing other novels and comic books, (maybe working on a long-overdue screenplay now that the technology exists to demonstrate the Battle School), but this is the story long-term fans of the series have wanted to hear. New fans should read the original Ender's Game first, but won't be hurt either by following the original sequence or jumping ahead to the next chronological story (this one).

Set in the period immediately following Ender's Game, we follow the thought processes and actions of most of the key characters in the original on Ender's journey away from Earth and out to the Hundred Worlds. Card displayed future scientific advances like wireless communications connectivity for the common folk in the first book, and uses encrypted e-mail exchanges between parties to very effectively lead into each chapter here. Just enough new science and old to make this not just plausible, but highly believable.

As much time has elapsed since Card authored the first text, slight differences exist, but overall the finale is rewarding despite the reader having knowledge and foresight of the timeline. Card states he will address the minor differences by updating the original works in future editions, something practically unheard of these days.

Overall I rate this novel at 4.51 stars out of 5.00, rounded up to 5. I would have liked to have read a chapter that included the conversations between 16 year old Ender and his brother Peter, near death when they finally reunited. Otherwise, a highly enjoyable read and highly recommened for any fan of Ender or Card.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mary ann tosca conte
I bought this book from Dollar Tree and for valid reason because this book is poorly written. There is no plot but more like a journal entry. I read the entire book and could not understand the what story it is telling me. The back and forth between characters and different space time are some of the failures. Here is piece of advice for any writers - keep letter writing format to a minimum. This book has so many email correspondences that they overwhelm the entire book. They became so annoying that I started skipping them. The Enders Game has good story line but this book really kills the prospect of any continuum of Ender.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nancy michalko
This book details more of the life of Ender Wiggin, whose story has played a role in many of Orson Scott Card's novels.

I remember when I started reading about Ender. Back then, I loved Card's books "Ender's Game," "Speaker for the Dead," and "Xenocide." These are some of my favorite science fiction novels. In these books, the characters popped off the page and came alive for me. These books were gripping, intense, and thoughtful, and they made me reconsider my personal philosophy of life.

In contrast, "Ender in Exile" was merely good. It was fun to read, but, in quality, it doesn't come close to those first three books.

If the author, Orson Scott Card, continues to write books involving characters from this universe, I'll continue to read them. "Ender in Exile" was engaging and fun, as were the books in Card's "Shadow" series. But, as I read them, I'll continue to wonder: "Where did the author's old magic go? It was there, and it was great, but now it's gone."

If you haven't read "Ender's Game," and etc., then I don't recommend reading this book. Start with those older books, and work your way forward. If you have read all of those books, and you've enjoyed them, then I do recommend "Ender in Exile" as well. But don't expect anything amazing!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jrock r
Great follow-on from my favorite s.f. author. Reading this book makes me realize that O.S.C. can keep up the Ender saga indefinitely, and basically turn Ender into sci-fi's equivalent of Kwai-Chang Caine.* The Ender presented here is one that is consistent with all the other Enders, and represents Mr. Card's skill at presenting believable characters with realistic, identifiable motivations.

The only thing that left me puzzled was the structure of the book. The first part is Ender in space on the voyage to Shakespeare, arrival at that planet, and his work as governor. The second part, which is about the last sixth of the book, really should have been a stand-alone novella. It's a great read, and does have a logical chronological succession to the first part, but it's not really integrated into the rest of the book.

* As expounded by Samuel L. Jackson in "Pulp Fiction":

JULES: That's what I've been sitting here contemplating. First, I'm gonna deliver this case to Marsellus. Then, basically, I'm gonna walk the earth.

VINCENT: What do you mean, walk the earth?

JULES: You know, like Caine in "KUNG FU." Just walk from town to town, meet people, get in adventures.

VINCENT: How long do you intend to walk the earth?

JULES: Until God puts me where he want me to be.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
danique williams
Orson Scott Card's Ender in Exile details the exploits of Ender Wiggin in the intervening years after the events of Battle School and before the events of Speaker for the Dead. As Ender leaves all he has ever known behind forever (except Valentine...she joins him on his journey) to undertake relativistic voyages to other star systems, Card once again does an exceptional job of peeling back the emotional layers of a child that has experienced more in his short lifetime than most people will in a complete one. The underlying psychological trauma Ender deals with -- killing off an entire sentient species, however unwittingly -- is handled quite adeptly.

The only downside worth mentioning is that, at times, I wished Card had expounded on a few of his storylines. I kept hoping for a bit more detail, especially when it concerned Bean and Petra's missing baby. The thread wound up nicely, but I couldn't help wanting it fleshed out a bit more.

Ender in Exile is highly recommended to anyone who has undertaken Card's prior books in the Ender Universe. Within Card's pre-established framework of a universe where brilliant children were used as the ultimate weapon against a threat to all humanity, this novel does a superb job of enhancing and focusing events that were only peripherally touched upon in the previous Ender works.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ryan askey
I was really happy to have a new book about Ender Wiggin, one of my favorite characters of all time. Although large sections of this book weren't actually about Ender, the book as a whole was very interesting--and not really what I'd anticipated.

Even though we read the basic story of Ender becoming the Speaker for the Dead at the end of Ender's Game, this book filled in all the details, and the details really made the story. There were also some new storylines: some that began on Ender's colony before he arrived, some back on Earth, one that took place during his flight, and one that involved another colony and characters from the Shadow series (I thought this last storyline would need its own book to resolve--and maybe it should have had it).

There were a few times that the pacing felt off, sometimes going too fast, sometimes too slow, and it can be difficult so see beloved characters grow up, but I definitely enjoyed this book. It didn't mean as much to me or touch me the way Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) did, or even as much as Ender's Shadow (Ender, Book 5) did, but it's still an Ender book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
younju lee
While it's not as strong as the earliest books in this series (by date written, not chronology), I can nevertheless recommend Ender in Exile to fans of the series. It fills in a gap in Ender's (and Valentine's) story, and introduces a few interesting minor characters. All the story lines involve the relationship between parents and children in some way, so someone with kids might relate to the book more closely than I did. Still, the story was interesting enough that I read it in a single day.

A number of other reviewers have commented on the inconsistencies between this book and earlier entries in the series. Card explains (in an afterword) that this was a deliberate choice--more of a "correction", really--and that he intends to rewrite the earlier books where possible to rationalize the storyline. I don't get the impression that this is a George Lucas style project that will ruin the series. To be honest, though I've read all but one of the books in the series (and re-read the earliest one or twice), it had been long enough since I'd read them that I hardly noticed the inconsistencies, and they didn't bother me when I did notice. Your mileage may vary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christopher medjber
Ender in Exile is a gift to those who have followed the series. It answers a lot of big questions and gives us a great perspective on who Ender is. After reading how the children of Battle School all go off to change the earth with their brilliance, military strategy, and conflict, we really never got to see the aftermath of the Formic war with Ender.

This book, because of Ender's travels, is more like a series of short stories rather than a massive rise to a dramatic climax as we saw in Ender's Game. Card himself calls this book Chapters 15 and 16. But with the experience he has as a writer over these years and the universe he's created, Card has done well to bring this out now because there was no way for it to have the impact it has without first creating the wrappings which show the enormous impact that Ender had on all of life.

Situations without resolution build up. Dependably, and expectedly, Ender does the unexpected and creates beauty and good out of what ugliness humanity, and other forms of life throw at him.

Touching, painful, riddled with sorrow and joy, knowing all the time, the already documented amazing and extremely complex future and philosophy that is to come, this easy to read and low key novel is a well done, must read, and will-read, for those who have followed Ender to the ends of the universe and back.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
audrey babkirk wellons
After Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Game, he provided us with the Speaker for the Dead series, set thousands of years after the events of Ender's Game. Later, he returned to the events of Ender's Game in a novel viewing the same events from a different perspective in Ender's Shadow, and he followed it with several of its own sequels. Now Card resumes Ender's story around the end of Ender's Game, as Ender travels aboard a colony ship to the stars and begins to establish a human presence in a distant solar system. Along the way Ender's continuing story intersects with and resolves a loose end from the Shadow sequels. Entertaining and providing of some insight into human pride and scheming, and into exactly what happened on that planet (which was mentioned only briefly in Ender's Game, without detail), but not particularly noteworthy as sequels go -- probably about a 3.5ish overall.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wilder
(Spoilers abound: I feel that the only way to review this book--and indeed, this whole series--is to discuss its details, so be warned!)

For me, there has always been a large and conspicuous gap between Ender Wiggin of Ender's Game and Andrew Wiggin, Speaker of the Dead, in the following trilogy that starts with "Speaker for the Dead". By "gap", I don't mean the 3000 years that have passed between the end of the Formic War and events of the trilogy ... I mean the gap in the soul and personality of Ender and Andrew, ostensibly one and the same person. But Andrew is not the same Ender that the reader came to know and love in Ender's Game. And his quest is not the one he is left with in Ender's Game. Oh, yes, he still has the hive queen in tow and eventually finds a home for her. But Card's heart is clearly elsewhere, and he uses Ender and the increasingly hollow characters around him as his mouthpiece for his rather idiosyncratic worldview, which is an odd mash of views regarding religion, biology, culture, politics, and of course an incredible preoccupation with procreation. Ender is a rather uninteresting shell of his former self, and when he meets his bizarre end at the end of the trilogy, no one seems to notice. I would argue that Card uses Ender as brutally--but not as compassionately or effectively--as Graff does to accomplish his objectives!

Ender in Exile is in some ways a re-write of Chapter 15 in Ender's Game. But it's more than that. One reviewer states that it is more a sequel to the Shadow series than Ender's Game, but I'd disagree strongly. That might have been Card's intent originally ... but clearly the influence of Ender's Game is stronger than the loose ends tied up from the Shadow series, and they only come into play tangentially at the end of this book. No, instead, Ender in Exile is the maturation and self-awakening of the bent-and-almost-broken Ender we left at Battle School in Ender's Game. Ender faces a series of external challenges (ranging from scheming admirals, manipulative vixens, and an angry man-child) that seem trivial compared to both his previous trials and tribulations as well as the internal anguish and isolation he is suffering from. Along the way, he says goodbye to nearly everyone who knows and loves him. I found this maturation to be particularly engrossing and poignant, although the introspective nature of most of this book might turn off some.

I've always enjoyed Card's epilogues, because they affirm my sneaking suspicion that he doesn't always "get it" with regard to the Ender's Game series. He fancies himself a philosopher, and thus is eager to rush into the confused existential musings that eventually sank the Speaker of the Dead trilogy. Reading between the lines, I always get the feeling that he wonders why Ender's Game gets all the love and attention, even though it's "only" a precursor to the "deep" trilogy he considers his masterpiece. But what Card doesn't understand is that his strength isn't his heavy-handed *philosophy*, but rather it is the deep and nuanced *psychology* in his works that shines through. With the situations and the conversations in Ender's Game and Ender in Exile, Card allows the reader to think for him or herself about the many deeper philosophic currents that run through these works--on education, power, love, politics, humanity, etc. If Ender's Game was only about a bunch of boys playing war games, it would not be the beloved classic that it is. In Ender, he has created one of the most exceptional and yet universal characters in the history of the genre. By that, I mean we all have a little bit of Ender--and Valentine, and Peter, and yes ... even Achilles--in us. Ender is on his own level, and yet he's someone we all can sympathize and empathize with. Card loses sight of this in the Speaker for the Dead trilogy, as he attempts to pound the reader over the head with his own musings on existence instead of letting the story be the muse for the reader's own existential thoughts.

Thus it is with bittersweet emotions that I say farewell to Ender at the end of Ender in Exile. Card is probably not done with the Enderverse, but now that he has filled the gap between Ender the boy solider and Andrew speaker for the dead, he is running out of opportunities for dealing with Ender himself. Card still has some loose ends he could tie up ... but with regard to Ender himself, I believe the picture is largely complete. I know there are still some 3000 years between the end of Ender in Exile and the start of the Speaker for the Dead series, so there are infinite possibilities for more "midquels" ... but even for Card I'd like to think that it's about time to let Ender rest in peace. He feasibly could have Ender and Bean meet up again, but for what purpose? For me, this book did a perfect job in filling the gap between Ender's Game and the Speaker trilogy ... any more would seem to be overkill. Ender's said his goodbyes, time for us to as well.

For me, Ender's Game will always hold the highest position in my heart in this series. It is here that Ender becomes both the Savior of one race and the Xenocide of another, with all of the trials and tribulations that came both before and after that. Ender's Shadow will always be fond to me as well, for providing a photonegative to Ender's Game. But for me at least, Ender in Exile stands with these two works to complete my own personal "Ender trilogy" that I will always think back to when I think of this series. The pain and triumph of Ender--so strong and yet so fragile--will always remain in my mind and my bookshelf as examples of this genre at its best: stories that captured my heart, my mind, and my imagination. Ender is one of those tortured souls that you would never want to *be*, but you enjoy *being with*. I am just happy I could be Ender's companion on the journey, through thick and thin. I thank you, the fellow reader, for reading this long review, which I hope you will humor as my own fond, personal farewell to Ender Wiggin and his adventures.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
janie lange
I've been a big fan of Orson Scott Card's Ender series since I read it a few years ago. Ender's Game is just brilliant storytelling, and Speaker for the Dead is equally good, perhaps even better themes and story woven through it. So when I saw Ender In Exile on the library shelf, it was a no-brainer to pick it up.

Ender In Exile is not a book you would want to pick up and read as a stand-alone story without having at least read Ender's Game first. EIE takes place somewhere in between two of the final chapters of Ender's Game, telling the story of the teenaged Ender Wiggin. Once he had defeated humanity's mortal enemies and then had his reputation dragged through the mud in court martial, he then travels off to become the governor of a colony on another planet. A good bit of the story is told in the form of emails exchanged between Ender, his parents, his siblings Valentine and Peter, and Ender's former military commander. Ender manipulates situations with seeming effortlessness, always nobly wanting the good and right thing.

EIE will be interesting to you if you've read and enjoyed the other books in the Ender series. If not, I'd probably stay away from it, and would recommend Ender's Game instead as a good introduction to Card's work. I think it's time that OSC come up with a new story and series.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
wj1987
"Ender in Exile" is a "midquel", which is to say, it takes place near the end but before the conclusion of Ender's Game, where much of Card's Shadow series, which I haven't read in full, also takes place.

On the whole, the book seems a bit slow and wandering, and Card admits as much in his epilogue on how he wrote the book. He intended to fly through the beginning parts of the novel and concentrate on the confrontation of Ender and Achilles. As it stands, he concentrated on the former, and the latter -- where sits most of the tying up of loose ends from the other books -- seems like a hasty appendix.

I could have enjoyed the character-driven first part more if it hadn't been mismatched with a plot-driven appendix. On the other hand, the first part moved pretty slowly for me, and I often wished for more plot points to move it along.

In short, this will wrap up some loose ends for fans of the Ender and Shadow series (or spoil the latter if you haven't read those), but it's not on the same level as the first entry in either series.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessa kris rialubin
Card himself notes that although the main story that emerges from the narrative is this two-year journey across to the new colony, the true purpose behind writing the book was to fill in many of the gaps from the other books in the series. Honestly, I found it a little boring, and although Card's ability to intricately weave a web of strategy and psychological battle, there's not enough going on in the meta-narrative to keep my interest. With many of the other books in this series, there are great wars being fought on the outside as well as the battles between characters on the inside. This one is largely lacking the great wars being fought on the outside to keep the tension high. The psychological interplay is interesting, but not enough to keep me turning from page to page as fast as possible.

Also, it's good that Card is filling in some of the gaps, and that will make this an interesting read for lovers of the Ender series and Ender universe, but on their own, the shorter stories aren't that engaging.

-Lindsey Miller, lindseyslibrary
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alika
I am an avid reader of all Orson Scott Card I can get my hands on. He is an incredible writer and I usually enjoy all his stories. However, as excited as I was about this book, I was more thoroughly disappointed in how it turned out. I guess it isn't all bad, but the Ender we all knew and loved and wanted to watch grow in Ender's Game is not the same Ender in "Exile". The flow of words, the conversations, the actions and even the storyline all pale in comparison to the original. Like most books, this can happen. But not with OSC. The remainder of the Ender's saga I absolutely loved and Ender's Shadow as well. But this book? This book made me realize that some authors just can't go back 20 years and recreate their story and have it be successful.
I was so stoked to be getting the rest of Ender's story that wasn't covered through the remainder of his saga, but this was a huge letdown. OSC literally ran through the story. It was very reminiscent of Star Wars Episode III where George Lucas went in the story, "Oh yeah, they have to be born, the mother has to die, the father has be burned to near death, and I only have 30 seconds left in the movie." Ta-da, the worst sequence of events in history.
I sincerely hope that should OSC choose to approach Bean and his trip in space and Petra's life on earth that he does so better than he did here. If you weren't in a rush before to buy this book, don't get in one now. Sadly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
samantha fabris
A great new addition to the Ender series! This closes many of the gaps in the early post-war period of Ender's life.

I will admit however that this story is probably less "stand-alone" than the other Ender books. It's almost certainly more meaningful if you have first read other books from the early part of Ender's history, probably especially Orson Scott Card's excellent Ender Quintet ("Ender's Game", "Speaker for the Dead", "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind").

Still, I think there's lots of room for new stories in the "Enderverse". Here's hoping that Orson Scott Card will write a few more now that he's gotten back into Ender stories!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shweta
This late sequel to Ender's Game reads well if read before Speaker for the Dead, in my opinion. This series is remarkable for its approach to interpersonal relationships and societies, the characters are complex but very recognizable, and the vision for how humanity might advance to the near future is a plausible and a decent alternative to the many dark scenarios available to the sci-go/fantasy fiction fan.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tonya white
Honestly, with the upcoming EG movie coming out, this feels like it was written for adaptation if the first movie did well. Speaker For The Dead takes place 20 years later and wouldn't have worked. Being new to EG, I instantly fell in love with the series and devoured the Shadow series and the other Ender books. I was leery about this one after reading the reviews but decided to go for it. Basically, I liked it-not epic, but enjoyable. It does not fall into the traps of overexplaining theoretical concepts like Xenocide (Boring!). It wraps up plot points from the Shadow series, but is inconsistant with those books` continuity, not just EG`s. I wish Card's afterword was a preface and said: "Look, I changed stuff. Deal with it." It would have been less distracting. It did give Col Graff a nice goodbye- call me a softie! worth it for diehard fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tim sallinger
Orson Scott Card has explained that Ender in Exile, the direct sequel to Ender's Game, occurs primarily between chapters 14 and 15 of the first book. Here in the sequel we get greater detail and insight into what was just covered cursorily about Ender's life after the war in Ender's Game.

It becomes clear that Ender cannot return to live on Earth, or else he will become the subject of a dangerous and violent political tug-of-war to see who can use the returned hero with greatest results. It is decided that he will be shipped, with his sister and others, to live on one of the former alien (formic) planets now being colonized by people from Earth. Much of the book is spent onboard the traveling starship, where we meet some of the new colonists, and watch as Ender tries to come to terms with his conduct during his training and the war. We also meet other people of import already living in the new colonies, and get updates on old familiars like Bean and Graff.

I have to say, starting this book immediately after finishing Ender's Game left me feeling very disoriented. I felt like I had just left a world of tight, shadowy, psychological intrigue and was then blasted into a bright, chatty, open-book one. It left me trying to refocus, like when the lights get flipped on in the middle of a dark night. It took me a few chapters, but after a while I was definitely able to get into a groove.

I don't think it's unusual to have felt disoriented as a reader, and not just because of the 23yr time difference between the writing of the two books. Ender himself - and the world at large - are thrust into a new normal as the war is over and people struggle to redefine themselves and their priorities. Ender is no longer a soldier, but a statesman, and that fact alone requires more conversation and interaction in this story. Until now, the government's main focus was to keep Ender isolated and sharp for his fighting duties, but now he's placed in the midst of a new intergallactic colony and asked to lead. On a more intimate level, he is also reunited with his sister, and we watch as Ender tries to regroup and relearn the concept of family.

Though Ender's story has changed, Card manages to stay true to what is so appealing about Ender as a character. He is still thoughtful and precise, very calculating in his observations and careful in his execution. He makes an effective leader, for the same reasons he made an effective fighter: he takes the time to invest himself and his concern in whomever he is meant to face.

I felt there were a few complications in the story, and at least one of them was addressed in Card's afterword. With some of the new characters introduced in Ender in Exile, I had the feeling that I was already supposed to know who they were. Although Card includes them in the story, most of them aren't allowed to reach any kind of bloom - they're left a little flat. I'm speaking specifically of Virlomi and Arkanian. It made me wonder if Card was using this chance to introduce characters already written into the later Ender's sequels. As he acknowledges in the afterword, this is true. But not having read any of the other sequels, it made me feel like I was out of the loop.

I was also very confused at how Card wrote Ender's parents in this book. For the entire duration of Ender's Game, we are led to believe that Ender's parents are uninvolved and unaware. In fact, while I was reading the book, I questioned aloud, "How can three such incredibly intelligent children come from two totally oblivious parents?" I wonder if others have voiced the same complaint, and that is why Card felt compelled to give us a "just kidding!" in regards to the parents. We're supposed to believe that John Paul and Theresa Wiggin were cognizant of their children's doings (especially Valentine and Peter) but were just playing dumb? I just couldn't buy the total shift in their behavior and representation. (side note: based on what others have said, Card writes more about the parents in later Ender sequels, and since I haven't read those, maybe it's harder for me to see why there's such a drastic change in their presence here.)

Those concerns aside, I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't recommend reading it as a stand-alone - too much of it depends on understanding what Ender lived through in Ender's Game. But this story as a continuation of his coming-of-age and an exploration of the expanding reach of humankind is engaging and very rewarding.

Thanks go to Julie Harabedian at FSB Associates for the free review copy of this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heath aeria
So far I've read Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and now Ender in Exile. I know that's kind of a jacked-up order, but I really wanted to learn more about Ender's life immediately following the Bugger war. I'm currently reading Speaker for the Dead, and I appreciate having a chance to see what happened in those intervening years.

Essentially, most of the book takes place during the timeline of the final chapters of Ender's Game, but it expands on Card's original sparse description of what happened during that time. On the surface, the book serves to fill in some gaps between Ender's Game and Speaker, as well as to wrap up stories from the Shadow series. But the value of the story is much greater than that. It allows you to get to know Ender as he transitions from Military Commander to Colony Governor and finally to Speaker for the Dead. Through all of this, Ender's genius shines as he deftly navigates political power struggles and complex human relationships. He even gets his first taste of romance and the inescapable inner conflicts it presents.

Finally, interwoven with Ender's story is a fascinating sociological glimpse into the beginnings of several new worlds, particularly the Colony of Shakespeare where Ender becomes governor. Card does a fantastic job of illustrating the challenges pioneers to a new planet might face: the inevitable power struggles that would occur 40 light years away from any outside authority, the incredible practical challenges of making an alien world inhabitable to human life, and even the way populating a new world would necessarily impact human relationships. It also allowed Card to explore intriguing questions like what might happen to ethnic cultures and religions when they're shipped across the galaxy. Card created an immense canvass for himself with the original Ender's Game, and it's a delight to experience the stories that follow as they leap off the pages.

As others have said, if you don't want to spoil major events from the Shadow series, you'll want to read those first. I didn't mind myself. As I learned with Ender's Shadow, Card is an expert at crafting an enjoyable story even if the reader already knows how it ends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
behzad
Ender In Exile (2008) is the tenth SF novel in the Ender series, following First Meetings. This work, however, overlaps the first book in the series: Ender's Game. It provides the missing story of Ender immediately after the defeat of the Hive Queens.

In this novel, Andrew (Ender) Wiggins has won the war, but lost the peace. He has gained a reputation for warfare that makes him a menace to America's enemies (and some friends). If he goes back home, someone is sure to try to assassinate him.

Valentine Wiggins is Ender's older sister. She is also Demosthenes, the well-known web pundit. Although she would like him to come home, Valentine sees the dangers to her brother. So Demosthenes demands that Ender be sent home as soon as possible.

Peter Wiggins is the eldest sibling. He is also Locke, another well-known web pundit. At first he wants Ender to come home, but soon realizes the probable effects on his plans. So Locke suggests that Ender be shipped to a colony.

John Paul and Theresa Wiggins are the parents of Peter, Valentine and Andrew. They also want Ender to come home, but see the dangers to him and to the country. They push their older children in the right direction.

Hyrum Groff is the Colonel in charge of Battle School. He has already developed Ender into a superb strategist, but now he is trying to spread the human race among the stars. He sends an email to Ender's parents that starts them thinking about the risks of Ender coming home.

In this story, the Colonization Ministry announces that Ender will be sent as Governor to Colony 1. The voyage to the colony will take forty Terran years, although the onboard period will be only two years. Naturally, the Ministry doesn't tell the colony leaders who the new governor will be.

When Ender learns that Earthside news is not being sent to the colony, he suggests a change in policy. Then the current governor finds out that Ender will be the next governor. The two governors -- current and designated -- discuss colony problems while Ender in enroute.

One of the problems they discuss is the colony name. Colony 1 is only a bureaucratic designation. After considering the issue, they propose the use of "Shakespeare" as the new name.

Ender has an ongoing problem of his own. The ship's captain -- Admiral Quincy Morgan -- is offended at the idea of the teenager becoming governor of the colony. Morgan plans on staying on Shakespeare either as the power behind the throne or as the new governor himself after returning Ender back to Earth.

Ender also has a problem with a female admirer. Alessandra is a year older than Ender and has been convinced by her persuasive mother that Ender is perfect for her. Alessandra will do anything to get her mother to stop talking at her.

Ender also has a deepset need to understand the Hive Queens. He finds that the Hive Queens were aware of human intentions and capabilities. So why did they group themselves together on the home planet?

This tale covers Ender's time on Shakespeare and then on Ganges. Some of this story was previously related in Ender's Game, but with slightly different facts. The author has since revised Ender's Game and some other books in the series to reconcile these differences.

The story shows Ender as a politician. He knows the names and histories of his constituents and tries to keep abreast with their doings. He works to provide their needs rather than their wants. Too bad that real politicians don't do the same. Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Card fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of effective leadership, persistent research, and human relationships.

-Arthur W. Jordin
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebekah carroll
The timeline is set immediately after Ender's Game, and before Speaker for the Dead. Following Ender's defeat of the Formics, he has become a living legend at the age of 12. But because of possible political fallout, Ender cannot go home to his family. Instead, he will travel to a former Formic world with a group colonists and become governor.

It has been several years since I've read the previous installments in this saga, so I found it a bit hard to remember several details from Ender's Game. This made it hard to keep track of certain characters, and understand their personalities and decisions. But the story was never hard to follow and remained an easy read.

Focusing on several key characters, the narrative bounced around their stories as well as many emails sent back and forth from the central characters. Deciphering the recipient and sender of the emails was difficult at times, and I found it frustrating when I had to go back and try to figure out who certain characters were. But that may have been another result in not having read Ender's Game in so long.

For fans of the series, this was an interesting look into the "lost years" between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Thankfully, not just a filler, Ender in Exile is an interesting journey for a remarkable young man. This science fiction tale is not filled with action and adventure, but focuses more on character development and interaction. But the story was never boring; and I found it hard to put down. After finishing it quickly, I found myself wanting to go back and re-read the rest of the novels again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
erica freeman
Scott Orson Card has crafted yet another brilliant novel in the Ender series. As a reader, I was first familiar with the End Game novel as recommended in my kids school, so when Exile arrived, I dove right into it.

As a novel, it occurs between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead and includes some threads from the Shadow books. We come to the novel after Ender (Ender Wiggins) has left battle school and now seeks redemption.

To properly enjoy Exile, it would make sense to be familiar with the rest of the series, as many references help make sense of the general themes. It is not necessary, but it does make the book more satisfying (or is that just a ploy to get readers to buy the other books?).

I was very intrigued with the themes Card manages to weave into the Ender mythology. There are leadership themes, survival themes, morality and iimmorality, the value of life and values of life, and regret. Exile is no light read.

The amazing thing about the series is how it has been accepted by readers of all ages and occupations. Audio novel, comic book, and novel, it has expanded to all of the media. Good fiction has the power to do that.

Thank you for an exceptional book and series. May it never 'end'!

Tim Lasiuta
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maryam shahriari
If you are looking for an awesome science fiction you have hit pay dirt. Ender in Exile is an amazing book about a thirteen to fifteen year-old boy named Andrew "Ender" Wiggin. Ender always knows what others are thinking and is effective at influencing other people's thoughts.
Ender has been exiled on a planet called Eros for a year since the war against the Formics ended. Ender goes onto a colony ship and travels to a colony planet. Dorabella plans to get her daughter to get Ender to love her. This causes a PG-13 victory for Ender. Before Ender arrives at colony planet problems appear. On Shakespeare he then makes the greatest discovery of his life and later meets a terrible foe.
I would highly recommend this book to confident science fiction readers. Through Ender, Card teaches power and negotiation. Card put a letter written by a character to another character at the beginning of each chapter. I felt this was an amazing way of showing the passing of time. I loved Card's descriptive style and his mysterious new characters. Ender in Exile is second in this 5 part series. You should read Ender's Game before reading this book. So if you have ever wanted a good science fiction, find Ender in Exile in a library or book store near you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer moneagle
Since it was written after all of the other books, it's not quite right to say it's book 1.5, even though chronologically (except for the many varied complications of space travel and time dilation) it does fall that way. However, some events are revealed that transpired in the Shadow books, so you will probably want to read those first unless you're a big fan of being spoiled.
Those who love Ender and yearn for more about him will love this additional insight into his character and the revelation of the intervening years between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
pedro
I would have rated this book differently if the previous 8 had not been impeccable...

In the end notes (audio book) Card himself thanks various people for helping him put this book together on very short notice... The book was published to coincide with Christmas 2008.

I'm not even going to get into how poorly this is written compared to the other books. All I can say is that I have read the 8 part series 3 times and never plan to pick up this book again!

I'll just say that Card has a talent for working out conflicts within characters by using dialog, sometimes internal, sometimes with other characters... What is so sad about this book is that he just states these changes in characters instead of arriving at them over time... E.g. in the closing segment (no spoiler) the main antagonist "realizes" his entire world view is wrong, changes his belief system and transforms into a new person... While this kind of magical personality transformation may be acceptable in other novelist's work, Card has too great of a history of psychological realism to support such an idealized caricature of human development.

Read Enders Game... It is better than Harry Potter, better than Dune and the series is epic... This book is destined to be a paper weight.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
eric j gates
***SPOILERS***

This book is focused completely on the colony that Ender is to govern. I have read this book right after reading Ender's Game for the first time. That was a huge mistake. I was expecting so much from the first book, that I was upset with this book. Also, Achilles suddenly appears. You probably learn about him in the Ender's Shadow series. I reccomend to read this after reading Ender's Shadow.

Then, there is the Alderessa issue. She just comes to the series, and apparently has a crush on Ender. I think that the middle of this book is too focused on Alderessa and Ender.

I subtracted three stars because the Ender and Alderessa ship is a little over the top. Also, when Alderessa's mom is controlling what her daughter does with Ender, everything gets... weird.

The beginning makes you have high hopes about the book. The middle sucks, and the end sums things up, though less than nicely. One of thethings I don't like about the end is he "fight" between Ender and Achilles. How is Achilles pummelling Ender relevent to the rest of the book?

So all in all, this book is a two star book. I am hoping that the next book, which I believe is Speaker Of the Dead, will be better than this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
belacqua
In writing a book that must coincide with the cannon of a story in books that have both gone before it AND after it, the writer is faced with huge limitations. Surprise with characterisation is incredibly difficult to achieve- anything astonishing enough in Ender Wiggin revealed in Ender in Exile would immediately bring up questions of, "Why haven't we heard of or seen this in Speaker for the Dead," or another sequel.

That said, with writing within the given confines Card has written this to be more entertaining than at least slightly what was required to read the whole book. One nice thing about the book, and perhaps at the same time a potential major flaw is it's major departure from any commonly recognizable story structure. After reading it I still can't find out how the hero grudgingly accepts the challenge, then is faced with obstacles, then seemingly is on the verge of victory with yet another huge obstacle, and then triumph. What we see here is more along the lines of "To Kill a Mockingbird," where it is more of a story that streams without such standardized plot structures and where the content itself, from sentence to sentence, paragraph to paragraph, is entertaining enough in itself to keep the pages turning until all 453 are done.

A couple gripes, and a couple praises.

Gripe: The characters don't reminisce in the same way as Mr. Card left them in earlier books. I read in an old interview of Mr. Card's where he talked about how people naturally age and change, and that would thus show in the books, but I just don't feel like Ender, and to a lesser extent, Valentine, are the same person as they were. Card does mention in the end of the book that he couldn't be bothered to read up on the previous novels. Had he at least read Ender's game again I believe he would have written Ender a little more in line with what he had before. Ender had only aged about two or three years in this sequel, after all, yet here he feels like he has completely triumphed over all threats of any emotional pain. The almost unbearable stress from battle school is gone and any kind of stress or verbal abuse rolls off of Ender's shoulders in a manner that would make any zen master appear to be the fidgety grandmother of one of the young female characters in the novel.

Valentine, as well, was just plain unlikeable, and almost nothing like herself as before. In Ender's game she was a real sweet heart. Her heart ached endlessly for her baby brother, Andrew, and she longed for his company, desperate for his well being. Their time on the lake was very sweet. In this book, though, she totally NAGS it up the whole time- oh my god! Someone shut her the hell up, please! I damn near flicked the page when she came out barking at her brother, hands assumedly on hips, at a pivital confrontation near the end of the novel. You might expect a woman like her to be waiting for her husband to come home from work, and when the door opens he gets, "You left me here with three **** kids and a refrigerator full of *** **** goverment issued I.F. cheese!" Her nagging would be a little more acceptable if she resembled more of what Card had created her originally, but now I find myself looking at two different characters- one I liked a lot, and one I only just barely like.

Graff, also, is a little timid for my tastes now. What happened to badass, ruthless Graff who busted balls at every opportunity? Put those kids through hell Graff, it's for the fate of the world! Oh, well. Still, Mr. Card- if you expect thousands upon thousands of people to each spend 10 hours reading a novel, perhaps you could spend a mere 5 or so yourself to read through Ender's Game to at least put in your mind the subtle nuances of the characters you've created. Of course, that is your choice. I think it would have been better for the benefit of all, though.

Another gripe: The whole thing about Ender being mass criticized for killing Bonzo and Stilson, to me, is ridiculous. Sure, the media can spin things, and people can be put in a wrong light. But this whole thing about Ender being hated because of two worthless children he went a little overboard on self defense is, to me, completely unbelievable. I think if ALL of this happened in real life, page for page, in our world today, and we were living in the time of Ender in Exile, 999 people out of 1,000 on the streets, when asked, "What do you think of Ender Wiggin, who saved us all from UTTER EXTERMINATION at the expense of his own childhood and seperation from his family,considering he killed those two boys in self defense? Do you think he's a cold blooded killer?" they would say, after a long, schocking pause, "I should slap the **** out of you for even SPEAKING of Ender Wiggin in a light that isn't brimming with connotations of utmost respect and praise. How unworthy of you to even cite such a stupid allegation of the one who saved us ALL at his own expense. Those two children almost hurt him, our savior, and it was ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for them to DIE so that not a FRACTION OF A PERCENT CHANCE REMAINED THAT THEY MIGHT HURT HIM IN THE FUTURE." They may change the wording a tad, but whatever. That the courts were considering prosecuting him- WHAT courts, if not for him?

Final gripe: The book clearly was rushed. If not rushed, then it clearly did not have Mr. Card by the heart as Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow did, and even Speaker for the Dead. Mr. Card tells how he was obsessed with Ender's Shadow while writing it, and it was OVERTLY OBVIOUS. The book was GODLY. This book, from a writing standpoint, seems that Mr. Card has so much experience under his belt that his early rough drafts are already in such decent condition that most of his passages only required one or two rewrites and that was it. Not a lot of passion is evident here- not as much ties together as in previous books, not as much stuff is shocking. That said, it is still a mark above most novels as I'm comparing this only to his own previous books. I know what Mr. Card is capable of (demigod-level brilliance) and this book doesn't deliver on that level.

Praise: Mr. Card can write better than anyone. This book IS entertaining despite the critcism it has recieved for not being as good as its predecessor. The middle of this book is quite engrossing as compared to most other novels, especially a long-term confronation Ender has with another character and its EPIC resolution.

I would recommend the book to Ender fans. I think the quality is good such that those who haven't read the first book would appreciate it since Card is such a good writer, but their entertainment time would much better be leveraged in reading Ender's Game first.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dustin curtis
I loved Ender's Game, found the Ender sequels at least acceptable, and really enjoyed all of the Bean books. However, this book, published in November of last year and set between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead in Ender's chronology, was not as impressive. A lot of it felt pretty forced, as if Card was writing a different story than he would have chosen were he unencumbered by the back story he created for later books. In addition, I like being able to read books chronologically, and the fact that this book straddles all of the Shadow books would make that difficult. Recommended for Ender lovers, but it won't make you love the series if you don't already.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca kehler
"I'm saying that when your child goes off to war, you will never get him back. Not as he was, not the same boy." These words are spoken by John Paul Wiggin, husband of Theresa and father of Andrew. They certainly ring true in speaking of any military conflict and the manner in which it affects those involved on the front and those waiting at home. In this instance, however, the possible changes are more devastating as Andrew, also known as Ender, is only 12 years old.

Having just saved the world, opposing sides are now clashing in an effort to determine what to do with the heroic and genius preteen. One side wants him to come back to Earth and attempt to return to a normal life, while the other side knows that to do so would only bring chaos and danger. To come home would lead to pressures to fulfill a military life and make him the target of opposition assassination attempts. Should he return to Earth, or take up exile on Eros, a training facility of the Hegemony?

Ultimately, Ender chooses neither. Instead, the young man elects to make for the outer colonies. Rather than hibernate on the lengthy voyage, he chooses to remain awake and age over the course of the trip, hoping that he will grow from a confused and immature preteen into an older, wiser and more capable leader at the glorious age of 35. While he and his sister Valentine make their way through space, back home their brother, Peter, methodically undertakes a plan to assume command of the world.

ENDER IN EXILE takes place about a year after the events of ENDER'S GAME and immediately prior to those in SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD. It is an extraordinary gap in time that has left many readers of the series wondering just what happened to Ender in the years he was gone. Orson Scott Card finally delivers those answers, and he does so in fine fashion. Where this work really comes together is that if you are a longtime fan of the series, you will enjoy digging and filling in all those gaps. If you have not read any of the previous Ender books, fear not. Because Ender and company are exiled, with a bit of a connection still to the news from Earth, the story is essentially isolated from the others and thus easily accessible to all newcomers.

While it does not pack the punch of ENDER'S GAME in terms of action or philosophical questions, ENDER IN EXILE is still a sensational adventure that is bound to please those who make the choice to crack its spine.

--- Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
liam kelly
If you like the Ender Series, as I did, you'll probably want to read the book just to know more about what's happened to him.

I like the style of Card's writings. I turned the pages because I wanted to find out what happened next.

That said, the book is only worth a 3 because:

Card skirted around having to actually describe relations between Ender and other people by not having them communicate, or by email if they did. Very little dialogue is there. It seemed like a cop-out to me.

All the women in this book are dumb, evil, flaky, or dependent. Valentine follows Ender around and offers no real input. Men are responsible for discoveries or anything great.

I felt that there was an unintentional slight to a non-American culture. I'm not sure how much Card knows when he goes into talking about diverse people, but he never seems to do a nice job of it, to me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leslie wright
Gold Star Award Winner!

Where did Ender disappear to after he saved planet Earth from the formics? What happened to Peter and his bid for world domination, to Valentine in Peter's shadow, and to the human race and its government between ENDER'S GAME and SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD?

Finally, Orson Scott Card provides the missing story in the ENDER series that readers have been waiting for! Card writes with his characteristic straightforward style that, though simple, belies the hidden ethical dilemmas presented to the characters every step of the way. And through it all, the story is as gripping as ENDER'S GAME and will keep you up all night until you reach the book's AWESOME conclusion.

Having saved the world from a race of super intelligent and ruthless fighting formics, Ender is exiled to the far reaches of space under the pretension of governing and developing a new colony for humans on a new planet. As always, the government plays an underhanded game in sending him off and all his doings, as Earth and its countries are still at war and unsettled after Ender and the other children of his Battle School won the war. Seen as "Earth's most deadly weapon," Ender soon guesses he will never return to Earth, his family, or any semblance of the life he once knew.

Instead, he begins to research his new obsession, the formic race he destroyed. The new colony he is going to is built on an old formic planet, so Ender goes willingly into hyperspace, aging only two years while everyone on Earth ages forty years. Valentine escapes the plans of Peter on Earth to join Ender in space and secretly, Ender is relieved to have someone he can trust. While Ender indulges in every spec of information on the formics and on the people of his new colony, Valentine waits patiently for Ender to confide his new plans to her while also beginning a series of historical novels on Ender, Battle School, and the Earth wars.

Upon landing on the new colony planet, Ender is hailed as a hero and a welcome source of leadership. He is also confronted with the best discovery he could have asked for - a species of creatures is found deep in a cave, hybrids between formics and a native creature. This is the closest Ender or anyone else has come to studying the actual formics themselves! Through his mental and telepathic communications with these creatures, Ender learns more than he could hope for about the planet and the formics history.

One day, Ender and a native person named Abra go off to explore the planet to find a location for a new colony. On this adventure, Ender discovers the answer to the question he has silently asked himself since he found out the game he played was really a war - "Why did you [the hive queens] let me kill you?"

The truth is more exciting than I can spoil for anyone who has breathlessly awaited this novel.

As always, Orson Scott Card intertwines the story of emerging governments, political struggle, and personal and moral dilemmas as the story of Ender unfolds. Kudos to him for not only continuing a series for over twenty books, but for doing so with inventiveness, brilliant writing, and a compelling story.

Reviewed by: Erikka Adams, aka "The Bookbinder"
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lorna
First let me say I didn't actually read this book - I listened to the unabridged audio recording, and it was really a fine distraction during rush hour for a couple weeks.

75% of the action in Ender in Exile is either letter-writing or intense contemplation, and 75% of Orson Scott Card's prose is either dialogue or one of his character's stream of consciousness. The result is a lot of boring people shuffling around in a vague, colorless world.

When I was young I identified with Ender, loved him, and even in "Ender's Shadow" when Card described how Ender's touch could fill one up with light, I believed it and I could feel it through the pages.

But halfway through Ender in Exile, I realized that I was actually annoyed almost every time a character with the last name Wiggin spoke. I kept waiting for Ender to DO something besides brood, and for Valentine to DO something other than whine.

Face it fans, these characters have already been laid to rest. All Card is offering us here is a puppet show in which these thin characters use their intellectual gifts to arrive at Card's own conservative views on marriage, race, and genetics.

This novel reminds me of the car commercial where they resurrect Steve McQueen to sell you a Ford.

The only real joy I took from Ender in Exile, was in learning the specific fates of some of the other characters from the Ender and Bean novels.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
genny
I enjoyed the book overall. I'm always hungry for more from the Ender universe. I only had two real beefs:

First, too many of the characters were flat. I had a hard time emphathizing with Valentine, for instance, which was not an issue in other novels. She didn't act right, say the things needed to make her "real". She was just a prop for Ender in this book.

Likewise, Arkanian Delphiki (Achilles) was unbelievable as a character. He was a supposed genius who acted like a simpleton or dupe every time he appeared. Also Admiral Morgan, though I suppose he was supposed to be a bit of an empty uniform any way.

Second, and this probably is the cause of #1, Card tried to cram too much into one novel. The dust jacket actually makes it appear that the primary storyline is what happens on Shakespeare and Ganges. (Frankly whoever wrote the dust jacket synopsis should be sacked as it blatantly incorrect.) In reality, about half the book takes place before he ever reaches a colony world, and his visit to Ganges and the "showdown" with a "brilliant young colonist who is out to destroy him" takes up only 2 chapters.

The Ganges storyline, frankly, felt contrived and tacked on. It could have been a novel unto itself if he'd built in some depth to the planet's culture and characters.

Card should have chopped some of the subplots out (especially the Ganges storyline) completely and focused on the trip and Shakespeare, using the time to develop the characters more fully and focus more on building a real Valentine that we could relate to.

Overall, a good and satisfying Ender/Bean book. It did a good job of tying up many loose ends (perhaps tried to tie up too many?) and helped us to see the transition beginning from Ender Wiggin to Speaker for the Dead.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lmahoney04
Why so many crazy/bad mothers in this book? Sorta maybe the author's got a thing against manipulative mamas? (Is it the Adam and Eve thing, given that the author has been portrayed as quite "religious"?) Certainly there have been manipulative men portrayed in the 5 Ender books I've read so far (and a couple of them more than once), but none have been quite so crazy. Dorabella Toscano and her mother (Alessandra's grandmother) both manipulative and kinda crazy. That's two. Then there's Randall Firth's birth mother - completely insane. That's three. Just struck me as heavy-handed and odd. What do you think?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mohammd
Though I can't say I agree with Card's views on gay marriage, I haven't let that affect my view of his work. I've read nearly all the Ender books (and half of the Bean ones), and I found this to be a fun read. It mostly takes place on a ship (I love stuff that takes place in singular locations), and we get to meet a few interesting characters. I enjoyed this more than "Speaker of the Dead," a book I barely got through. It doesn't add much to the series, but it's worth a read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
panthea
I read "Ender's Game" ages ago, so when I saw this at the library, I thought, "Why, not? Let's read it."
If you're a hard-core Ender fan then this will be a fun book for you. It fills in story-line gaps from the last couple of chapters of Ender's Game to the other Ender books. It gives interesting background on why the people and things turned out as they did.
On the other hand, if you really liked Ender's Game and are expecting another story like it, you'll be disappointed. There are a couple of gems (like the bug that eats rock and refines gold), but most of the book is rather boring.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
myrna des
What sets Ender in Exile apart from the the rest of the series is this: it is less than the sum of its parts.

A handful of its chapters had already appeared in short story form on Card's online sci-fi zine, Intergalactic Medicine Show. These stories were interesting and self-contained in their own right. But within the context of a novel, they strike me as being Card's Tom Bombadil: incidentally enriching to the established universe, but irrelevant to the narrative at hand.

The narrative at hand is Ender's post-war recovery, discovering the egg and writing the Hive Queen (the book), the changing relationship between Ender and the rest of his family, and (perhaps most of all, thanks to the dangling cliffhanger) dealing with the last of Bean's scattered children. If you've read the previous books, I don't think it will be any terrible spoiler to call this child by the name he calls himself, Achilles.

Each of these compelling plot threads are given at least an adequate, and sometimes a very compelling resolution--but only when I force myself to consider them as further self-contained short stories. Within the context of the novel, each is breezed through with such haste that I was on the second to last page of the book before I realized, "Oh, that was the dramatic climax, wasn't it."

Ender in Exile is published as a novel, but it's really a collection of episodic short stories that constitute a novel only in appearance. By sandwiching them together with hasty transitions, they are all diminished, competing for attention, never really integrating. Each part, if it had stood alone, would have done better. Summed together, they are all lessened.

In my ideal world, Card would have released a collection of short stories, perhaps a novella, dealing with things like the Alessandra/Dorianna/Morgan plotline and the gold bugs. Or--perhaps better still--leave them as-is on Intergalactic Medicine Show, affirming that Card's contribution to the zine actually has some worth and isn't just a venue for double-publishing the same work.

In my ideal, Ender's recovery, dealing with the last Hive Queen, dealing with his family, and dealing with Achilles would have spanned an entire novel at least as long as Exile instead of a few scattered chapters. The situation on Virlomi's colony world and the development of Achilles deserved far, far more than the two or three chapters they got. In those two or three chapters, Card telegraphed an emotional punch of a plotline. But I knew I would have cared far more about if I had really *known* young Achilles, if Ender's post-war troubles had been consistently expessed as an ongoing plot thread that *demanded* resolution. The emotional punch Card telegraphed was barely a tap on the shoulder. It still made me wince, but only because I was led to expect more.

Card said this is his best Ender book yet. I couldn't disagree more. Yet, it's not a bad book. It's still Ender, and it's still Card, which means it's still compelling enough fiction for me to keep reading all the way through to the last page within only a few days of purchasing it. That's more than I can say for the vast majority of books I buy.

The highlight of the book for me was Ender's touching reunion with Valentine. So well done. Though I wouldn't know until later that that early chapter would be the emotional climax of the book for me, it is not diminished. I only wish I could say Ender's collision with young Achilles delivered even a fraction of the catharsis it deserved.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
episode
As the cover blurb says this is a direct sequel to "Ender's Game." "Ender in Exile" covers Andrew Wiggin's life from the time he realizes that he cannot return to Earth after defeating the buggers until the time he leaves his second colony world.

This is not a bad book, but I can't imagine anyone who had not read most of the other Ender novels enjoying "Ender in Exile." There is not much in the way of a compelling plot and it seems more like four short stories linked together. "Exile" is not particularly satisfying , but it does fill in some gaps and will be of interest to most Ender fans.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
binky
i'm just going to make this as short and simple as possible. if you are ender fan and have read each of the books with a level of enthusiasm, i recommend you read this addition just for the sake of reading it alone. if you are a casual reader of the series, just skip it or wait until the book is available on paperback.

to be rather blunt, the novel contains little in the way of significant plot. if you can live with a novel loaded with characterization, this book is for you. if you look for a synergy of method between concepts of fiction, this book is just simply not worth it. whereas the plot is explained fairly early no attempt to address it is made until the last two chapters and is also resolved in that period.

it was good to see loose ends tied up and it was also refreshing to actually understand ender's love for the formics (buggers) and his difficulty in understanding them. i would normally rate this two and a half stars but don't have that option.

mr card, we still have about ten subjective years between exile and speaker (more if the short stories are taken in effect, especially financial advisor. it would have had to occur after the event on ganges being as he received a message from graff in transit.), maybe we can get some adventures of his speaking, including that of the speaking of the founder of the children of the mind of christ.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mariana
The addition of another charector and her experiences with a maniupulative Mother was somewhat surprising. I liked that the story delves back into the mind of Ender before he was completely grown up and basically boring. He's basically struggling with maturity in this story while being borne with yet another set of extraordinary responsibilitys. Not a whole lot of action in this one but a good story with some neat turn of events. He filled in a lot of the gaps that I didn't even realize existed in the first series. I liked it and am glad I invested the time to read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matev
I read this just after reading Ender's Game. I tried one other Card book but it wasn't a direct sequel and I think the forward indicates Ender in Exile wa written significantly after Ender's Game. Same writing style. Really enjoyed the dialog. It would be nice if Valentine got a life of her own as Ender can obviously take care of himself and is not incapacitated by the last events of Ender's Game.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah jenkins
A number of reviewers complained about various aspects of the story, and as I read some of the complaints, I can look back and see why they had problems. As for me, I never noticed them as I was listening to the audio version. I listened to it on the way to school and back, and was so engrossed that I had more than one "driveway moment" when I sat for 10 minutes not wanting to turn it off.

My advice, just read it to be entertained and to have the period after the war fleshed out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
timothy romano
Finally, the sequel I wanted. Card's ability to write multiple points of view and deep, believable human motivations exceeds that of most writers regardless of genre.

He is flawed. He is not perfect. But as with Richard Wagner, we cannot ignore or dismiss his talents because we do not like everything he thinks, and Card's talents are amazing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
diana prasatya
This is one of many OSC Ender's books I've read. I was impressed with his ability to focus both on monumental greater-than-life intergalactic events and one-on-one personal relationship issues. The subtext of this novel was that our parents (more specifically, our mothers) set us our life course and if our eyes are open, we can separate from that influence and go our own ways. I'm not such a OSC fanatic that I "needed" this book to fill in gaps, but I enjoyed reading it, and liked seeing the growth of the characters. Man, the OSC dude works hard on writing!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenn wade
i bought my first "ender" in a second-hand bookstore and that began
my oddysey. what a great series! i started reading scifi in the
1950's when i 10 yrs old and it has been a lifetime interest. somehow i missed Orson Scott Card. this is a tightly written novel
of a boy, a group of gifted children and a civilization in trouble.
this sounds corny and overblown but with Mr.Card you become a brother,a group member and part of this world in every way. I am now in the process of acquiring the rest of his books. Start with
"ender's game". it will be well worth yours effort. your imagination will love it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
thanh lam
Card has done it again, but this time the storys darker with hidden affillattions I wonder if Card was inspired by Shakespeare in this obe. Though I do like reading the e-mails of: Graff, Ender, Peter, Valentine, and Ender's parents.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andrew fechner
This book lies directly between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. It also wraps up some of the story from the Shadow books. I think that anyone new to the Ender saga would be well advised to read the books in published order and save this for later, even though it fits in earlier from a chronological point of view.

The book is very cerebral and much of the emotional impact relies upon familiarity with the works already out there. Sometimes really getting a feel for what is going on requires knowing events from Ender's Game and the other books.

Card is a good author and writes well. The characters are strong and it is an extremely interesting story dealing with many themes already brought up in the Ender books. It is one more opportunity to dig deeply into ideas about leadership, morality, survival, regrets, forgiveness, the sanctity of life, etc.

I think the people who are going to enjoy this book the most are those hardcore fans who will be happy just to have more. The good news for them is that this is a solid effort, not just something cranked out for more profit. They will be able to enjoy spending some more time in the world they have come to love.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
erica charlton
The whole way through, it feels like the author is just going back to the well. Ender and Valentine spend almost the entire novel in transit aboard a ship, ruminating while Valentine prepares to write less-important histories than the ones Ender will eventually write to change the world, interacting with a few throwaway characters, and sniping at each other. Valentine's likeability erodes as the novel wears on and Ender becomes irritatingly aloof.

Additionally, the interactions between Ender and Valentine occasionally don't feel right: the aim was apparently to make Valentine into a maternal figure, but there are moments when she seems less like a friend or mother and more like a jealous lover.

The heavy-handed conservative moralism that you occasionally see in his religious books (and which is appropriate there) also creeps into this book, too. The result is that some of the sense of wonder and perspective that characterize his best books is diminished, and the reader senses more of the attitude that shows up in Mr. Card's opinion columns. No one disputes that he is entitled to insert himself into his books, but in my experience reading them, it detracts from my engagement with the story.

Mr. Card once announced that if he could write another book that sold as well as Ender's Game, that is all he would write, and this book bears that out. Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Ender's Shadow were among some of the best books I've ever read: smart, engrossing page-turners that lit up my imagination. This book (and the same goes for all but the first entries in the Shadow series) is not in their league and is not really worth the read unless you are an "Ender otaku" (like I am). These unnecessary sequels dilute the quality of the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vahid esfahani
After reading Ender's Game, I opted to read all the Shadow series and "First Meetings" before reading this book. I am quite satisfied with the result. I wouldn't have had a clue who so many of the characters were. I feel ready to take on Speaker of the Dead and the rest of the Ender books now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate ingram
After Ender's rather disappointing cameo in 'A War on Gifts', it's nice to have a new addition to the Enderverse that fits well in the canon.

This time around, Card definitely captures the feel of the original quartet, with all the psychoanalysis, character interaction, and plot development - only this times he also ties some loose ends from both the Ender and Bean Quartet. As a further fan service, it was also nice to see how things evolved since you knew where they were going. Plus, there were always some things about little Ender I've always wondered about, and Card touched upon them here.

This book, however does have its flaws. I was disappointed with how many of the stories were pulled from the Card's 'Intergalactic Medicine Show' (though I do acknowledge their necessity) to the point that I could simply skip over chapters of the story. Furthermore, as the plot doesn't really drive forward since Card does at times seem preoccupied with tying those loose ends. And in the end, I was surprised with how little time (and content) he covered, given how there's still plenty of space before Book II really takes off. And all of this for a hardcover book makes the price tag a bit questionable.

Card lauds the book as one of his finest works. He also mentions that it's a standalone novel that doesn't really need the original to function. As an Ender fan I can't quite put it above some of the other Ender books, but I'll admit that he did craft a brilliant midquel (when considering what he started with and where he had to end up). But you really do need to read 'Ender's Game' first (and shame on you if you haven't already!). And reading the other 7 books really does help.

If you're a fan of the Enderverse, then reading this is a given. If you're not sure, go give 'Ender's Game' a read, and after it inevitably wins you over, consider reading this. It is a pleasant read and good for what it is (a midquel).

But I stand by my words in saying I question its price tag. If it comes out in paperback at half the price, then it'd definitely be worth it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
yusuf
A "midquel" to the Ender's Game series, taking up events that occurred within the first novel. The original idea in Ender's Game was very compelling, and the sequels, prequels, and this "midquel" are entertaining, building on that original idea.

This one focuses on Ender's coming to grips with what he has done -- his guilt, maybe, and regret, maybe, for his actions in Battle School and the War.

It's fun, not deep, even though it deals with serious issues.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sofya
This book is aimed at existing Ender fans who want more details on the aftermath of the Bugger War. The novel really has four distinct and almost separate parts to it. This is not specifically a problem, but does mean that it is not bound together by a single, overarching story. A familiarity with the Ender universe is really quite necessary for this book.

Card's stories are character driven and this book is no exception. In each incarnation of the Ender series, Card takes the extra effort to further develop his characters. Rather then rehashing what he has written before, Card has his characters look at past situations in a different light in order to reveal new truths. Along the way he makes observations about the future, politics, religion, the nature of man and human relationships that are unique and interesting.

On the downside, the stories Card tells can seem too premeditated. Card is the puppet master and you feel at times that he is pulling a little too hard on the strings. The dialogue as in many of Card's novels is often forced and unnatural. Characters often speak in the same voice. (Card's voice?) When the characters argue you get the idea that Card likes clever repartee and often 'out clevers' himself. The situations are sometimes a little too contrived--for example the production of Shakespeare play by future colonists during their space voyage to their colony named 'Shakespeare'.

However, when Card gets into his characters' heads and talks about their motivations, their unique histories, their philosophies, and their ideals he usually hits a home run. This is what keeps the book moving and interesting. The plot of the various stories are but window dressing for the well developed characters. In the end, the plot is really secondary. Card is able to put a new spin on old material and come out with something fresh and different. This kept up my interest--I couldn't put this one down.

This is what makes Card a brilliant writer. I am convinced that if he had chosen to write straight fiction he would have achieved a more broad based acclaim as an author. Those of us who are fans of science fiction, however, are blessed that he has chosen to pen in this genre. That being said, this is not Card's strongest effort in the Ender saga. It is, however, a quick and easy read and I am still looking forward to the next book in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
angela gillis
At the age of twelve, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin saved all of humanity by winning a game. However, it never was just a game. Ender won a war by destroying all the "buggers". In the process, many died and young Ender must deal with the knowledge off all that has happened because of that. But often Ender's hind-sight keeps repeating the same question: Why? Why did the buggers and their Hive Queens, knowing Ender was coming to destroy them, remain where they were and allow themselves to be killed?

Had Ender gone back to Earth he would have been used as a weapon for his country or assassinated so he could never be used as such. Therefore, Ender becomes the nominal governor of a colony. The idea was for humans to colonize all the buggers' former worlds so that humanity's fate would not be tied to one planet. Valentine, Ender's sister, chooses to go with him. It is a forty year voyage by Earth's time. For those on the ship only two years will have passed due to the relativistic effects of near-lightspeed travel. Ender's primary hope is that he may find an answer to his question, "Why?"

**** The author, Orson Scott Card, lets readers see what happens after the war is won. The first section of the story shows why Ender has to leave and why Valentine goes too. The next section is the space travel with its share of troubles. Then comes the colony section, where Ender will find the answer to his nagging question in the form of "something" the buggers left behind. That item will give Ender the purpose his life seems to so desperately need. I make Ender's life sound so simple; however, it is anything but. Characters enjoyed during the original book (Ender's Game) make brief appearances and I, as the reader, am happy to see what becomes of them. The new characters are well developed and realistic. Nothing and no one came across to me as fake, though some parts of this story do seem a bit rushed to me.

Orson Scott Card is not only a masterful Science Fiction author. He is also talented at manipulating the minds of people and forcing them to do the one thing they seldom stop to do - THINK! ****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dana m abu laban
I was pleasantly surprised to find this on the bookshelf, and I am continually surprised by Orson Scott Card. He seems to have a solid grasp on human nature and bends it to his will in all his characters. I am glad that Card decided to go back and write about the teenaged Ender. I am also pleased that he tied this to his parallax Shadow series. While this is not as thought-heavy as the other novels, revisiting Ender's world is always a treat.

[...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nsubuga lule
This isn't a classic like Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1). But it's a decent space opera about colonization in the mold of Starman Jones, or Midshipman's Hope (Seafort saga). I liked this book even though I didn't particularly care for Ender's Shadow (Ender, Book 5) or Speaker for the Dead (Ender, Book 2) and the later sequels. So if you wanted more Ender after Ender's Game, but couldn't get into the other sequels/parallel stories, there may still be hope for you in this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marwa wafeeq
While a decent read, the book seemed mostly filler material and background on what Ender was doing during the events of the Shadow Puppets series. As it turns out, he was not doing a whole ton. There is one semi sort of revelation towards the end, but again, it was not something that was know known from prior books. But mostly Ender is playing a rather pathetic colonist ship captain with delusions of grandeur like a fish on a line. Two fairly lightly written female characters round out the conflict plot line which more or less resolves itself by just fizzling out like a wet fuse. Ender's sister Valentine pops up throughout the storyline, but is relegated to the role of passive observer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alyson horn
Orson Scott Card is a the best story teller out there. I have only actually read one of his books, but I have listened to all of the rest. When he said in an afterword at the end of the 25th aniversary edition to Ender's Game, that he felt his books should be listened to, will I never looked back.
In Ender in Excile, there is so much political intrigue and Card is and expert at all things in sci-fi political. I just love how the Ender series is not so far off in the future and that so many of the ideas are relevent for today.
I can't wait for the next Ender installment, I am just not sure where or when that story would take place.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
justin kiggins
Because Ender's Game remains one of my favorite books of all time, I am the sucker that feels the need to keep reading these silly books from the mediocre Shadow Series to what I felt were the aweful short stand alone stories like First Meetings and that terrible gift giving story. So I read this with low expectations and was not totally annoyed with it so I gave it 4 stars. It is a fast read, was mildly entertaining, but it really doesn't add anything to the characters nor the overall story. I guess if you are like me and addicted to Ender's Game you will read anything that takes place in the Enderverse so why read the reviews? If you enjoyed Ender's Game but are not obsessed with it I would skip this book and certainly would not pay for it. If you want to know how Ender ends up read Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind and leave it alone at that.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kristie morris
I LOVED Ender's Game and looked forward to this one. However, it started out very slow and never seemed to pick up after a long boring stretch so I put it down for about a year. Eventually I decided to give it another try. I made it a little past where I left off the first time but then stopped. It remained boring. I decided that there are too many good books out there for me to read than to try to plow through this one. If you liked Ender's Game read it again instead of this one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
oliver sheppard
I personally found it to be an enjoyable read. There is a definite nobility of spirit Card portrays within Ender as well as his sister, and this novel humanizes him at least as well as any of the other stories within the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
wyndee
A welcome departure from the insanity and unbelievability of "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind," and a thankful return to the time and writing style of the Ender Wiggin from "Ender's Game." If you're a huge fan of the Enderverse, as I am, then you should read it. If you like sci-fi, then you might like it.

See more at [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lauralee
Ender has such an array of plans, and is very clever at delivery. While some ends are tied up in this book, others are quietly revealed, and lead the audience deeper into the stars a d many light years from the 3rd Formic War. Enjoy!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mandy willig
I've read every book in the Ender series and liked almost all of them. This one I did not. Yes it did tie off some loose ends like with Bean's kid. But it was VERY inconsistent with the other books. I counted about twenty differences with this book and Ender's Game/Shadow(mostly annoying differences that could easily have been fixed). The romance between Ender and Alessandra was so out of character for Ender. The characters are all really iritating. And once he gets to Shakespeare it's just one thing after another that doesn't line up with Ender's Game. I did find the gold bugs interesting but that's about all.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
vanessaamaris
I was hoping for a lot more from this book. Just never seemed to go anywhere. Yes, we get more background information about some of the characters that we've come to know and love, but there just never seems to be a cohesive storyline that runs throughout the chapters. It seems more like a collection of short stories than anything else. Also, it's my opinion that it's very difficult to write a book where there are big differences in time between the chapters. When 5 years have elapsed between one chapter and the next one, it tends to get very disjointed. Also, since OSC is taking the effects of relativity into account, time becomes even more relative.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lily ha
I am one of the biggest Orson Scott Card fans out there, but I have to admit that this is not his best. If you are a huge Ender fan like me, I think you will definately enjoy seeing Ender in action again (like meeting a long lost friend) but definately not Card's best as far as plot and storyline. It still has some classic Card as far as strong characterization, but definitely not as good as the other four books about Ender.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jenna friel
This book should be avoided. It's bad enough to make me embarassed to have liked the original series in the first place, or to have read anything by the author at all. I wish I hadn't picked it up, as I used to be a big fan of Orson Scott Card's work and I don't know if I can go back to reading any of it now.

The book begins with a thinly veiled attempt to silence critics of Ender's Game's morality who made parallels to Hitler, etc. (e.g. John Kessel and Elaine Radford) and actually makes such a bad case for it that it made me change my mind on the subject to agree with the critics, despite having been a life long fan of Ender's Game (I read the book over a hundred times in my youth, once every few weeks, from junior high on until early college). When Ender steps outside of the plot to defend himself, the reader begins to realize just how ridiculous it would be in moral or legal terms to sanction killing another child as self defense.

Within the first hundred of pages there are countless errors of consistency. For example, Ender does not know the true identity of Demosthenes, despite Valentine telling him about it at the lake in Ender's Game. Ender talks to Mazer and is eventually allowed to view Graff's court martial proceedings, even though in Ender's Game he accomplishes this by invoking his right of rank.

I could go on and on here, but there is hardly any point. People familiar with the other parts of the new series will realize there have been issues of consistency that Mr. Card has tried to address by demonstrating that certain things were really deceptions (i.e. Mazer as a pilot) but the number of inconsistencies he does not recognize and makes no effort to reconcile are even more numerous -- the examples I used are only some of the first which are readily apparent.

This reads like really bad fan fiction. I have trouble at this point believing the author to be of sound mind and spirit. Perhaps Mr. Card used a ghost writer for the original series? The amount of inconsistencies and the failures of style are simply too numerous for something fishy not to be going on.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
debraly
I'll admit when I first heard about Ender in Exile, I asked myself, why is Card going back? Why is he writing a story that is in between the others? read it and find out! It's a really good story, and develops Ender and Valentine, and their relationship very well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thomas taylor
I think this book was awesome. It also explains a lot of things that happened between the first book, Enders Game, and the second book, Speaker for the dead. This book, I think shows you the kind of person Ender is better than the first book. You should definetly read it?
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
wingzz
My wife got me this book for Christmas. And while I was reading it she kept asking how it was. I kept describing it as "It's OK". After finishing it, that's still how I feel. It was OK. Nothing I'd recommend to anybody else.

One thing I did like was that Ender was "Ender" - the magically gifted kid who understands people and overcomes obstacles with his incredible ingenuity. Much better than in Xenocide and Children of the Mind when Ender is a stupid useless person who eventually disintegrates into a ball of dust (sorry for the spoiler, but you won't want to read them anyway.) It was fun to read about what Ender was thinking and how he overcame the difficult situations.

What I didn't like is that the story wasn't really a story. There was no buildup, no climax, no conclusion. It was more just a bunch of random short stories about "things that happened between the first book and the second book". It was just a mishmash of different people - a little bit of semi-interesting planet exploration (gold bugs), a little bit of the colonists (fairy people), a little bit of Ender's Shadow (Achilles), a little bit of Peter, a little bit of Graff. But it wasn't really interesting how it was all tied together. I was almost dreading each new chapter, because I knew I'd have a bunch of new people and a new plotline that I'd have to dive into that didn't really have much to do with the previous chapter.

I love Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, and I mildly enjoyed the Ender's Shadow series. So I'm glad I read this book. But it's not something I'll probably ever reread. I would suggest checking it out of the library instead of spending money to add to your home book collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michele davis
Ender is one of my all time favorite characters so it was great to have him back again. I enjoyed this book a great deal. He is such a winner and such a great person and his relationships with other people are always complex and interesting. I was happy with how he turned out as he grew up.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
enrica
Orson Scott Card's first four Ender books have a revered place on my SF bookshelf. However, whatever he had going for him at the time he wrote them has seemed to have faded completely through the Bean series and now there is very little left of Card's mastery. What's replaced it is an irritating and overwhelming preachiness--Card makes every opportunity to clumsily try to ram his LDS-inspired 'morality' down everyone's throat. You'll see not-at-all subtle slams on homosexuality and a lot of calls for man-woman monogamy. Of course you should only have sex to reproduce too.

It's a pity, because the story itself isn't bad. But a novel isn't a soapbox for its author to preach his views to a captive audience. Stick with the first four novels, before the LDS church lobotomized him and turned him into Mormon Zombie Card.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david cuadrado gomez
I liked where Card took the story after the bugger war. Answers some questions about how Ender could deal with life after the war and more importantly how society might deal with him. The detail and narrative explores deeper issues. A good read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matt remick
Not as good as EG or SFTD (5 stars each IMO), but a very good mid-quel to the Ender Series. Sometimes I want to think badly of OSC for cashing in on his success of the Ender universe (by writing mroe and more and more), but in the end I have to admire him for creating such a compelling cast of characters and thank himn for bringing us more stories to enjoy with them. So please, more, more, more...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matt wilson
Ender is acknowledged as the victorious warrior against the notorious buggers threatening Earth in Orson Scott Card's momentous first novel, Ender's Game. Ender in Exile is the sequel to that first novel, revealing Ender's life-long quest to free himself of guilt in the death of Stilson, Bonzo and all the formics in the universe. But Ender clarifies this issue by stating he's not to blame for their deaths but he is responsible. Intent is not the issue but consequences are.

While Ender is attempting to reconcile his outer reputation as a savior of the earth with his killer, instinctual responses and consequences, the reader discovers the evolution of so many who touched his life and he theirs in some way during that questionable, short time span.

Colonies are being formed on all the former formic worlds and it is through the ansible email communications that we learn how Peter, Ender's brother, evolves into the Hegemon, a world leader who can wreak peace or devastating war on earth. What will he honor, knowing his own destructive, evil nature?

Hyrum Graff could retire as the engineer of the ultimately victory Ender won; instead, he has bigger plans as Minister of the Colonies now in the process of being rebuilt and shaped by humans traveling in and out of stasis to their destinies as the creators of a different world than strife-ridden Earth. Who is smarter about that process, the court-martialed, shamed Graff or Ender and what is the destiny of those affected by these plans?

Ender's sister, Val, is the single-minded relative and person who has Ender's best interests in mind and agrees to sacrifice her relationships with Peter and her parents to be a guiding force to heal Ender of the crushing burden he carries for past actions and as the first Governor of the planet, Shakespeare. How will Val reconcile her sacrifice and Ender's resistance to her advice? Are they really opponents or is there more behind their genius plans and conversations?

What about other members of Ender's "jeesh" or battle squads, those with him and those banished before and after the final war with the Hive Queen? While he might be worshipped by many of the world, what of Bean's descendant, Achilles, who carries a twisted story of the past and is determined to wreak punishment on the one who hold's the world's highest regard? This and so much more fills Ender in Exile with a story that covers the gap between the end of the war and the Speaker for the Dead story in Orson Scott Card's brilliant science fiction series.

A brief afterworld expresses not only thanks to the countless individuals who supported and assisted Card in this huge endeavor but also offers a singular message to those to whom this story is really directed, a significant, needed and moving tribute indeed.

Ender in Exile can be read as a stand-alone novel, with enough repetition for a new reader to understand what preceded this novel. It's also an excellent prequel to Speaker for the Dead which took a huge leap beyond the past bugger war. That Orson Scott Card manages to fill this gap and at the same time create a new story within a grand series speaks of his superb skills as a writer with enough imagination and creativity to shape stories within stories, changing, maturing character perspectives and worlds interweaving present, past and future science fiction to thrill both faithful and newly found readers of every persuasion.

Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on November 16, 2008
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
gustavo rafael
I enjoyed this immensely. It does make me wish for a simpler time when the current politically charged climate didn't find its way into every damn part of culture. Mr. Card you are one of my all time favorite authors and your novels have shaped who I am. It is not just that I disagree with you on many social issues, I do not remember them taking such prominence in your earlier writing.

Read this anyway. Any time with Ender and Valentine is well worth it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer geller
This is a good option for anyone looking to reconnect with their favorite OSC characters. This was far from a masterpiece but it lets you see a new side of Ender as he begins his transformation into the Speaker for the Dead. If you can't get enough of the Ender series, this book is worth the read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jenny challagundla
I agree with others, this is a fun book for those who are enjoying the Ender saga. Definitely one to be read in published order, rather than chronological as there are many references to characters and events from other books and this one spans so many years.

Many have focused on the message of marriage, childbearing, reason for living, etc..., but I just focused on the plot and story and enjoyed the book for what it is. It was much better than several of the short stories that feel like they are just churned out for profit.

Card made a lot of effort to be consistent across his many Ender books and I think this adds to the entire story and finalizes some of the character storylines from previous books. I'm energized to re-read Ender's Game again as it continues to be the best book in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alya
If you are reading the Ender series for the first time I would recommend skipping chapter 15 in Ender`s Game and then reading Exile second instead of fifth. This will assist with any confusion in the sequencing of this series. Great read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
linda boyd
Highly recommended. Read it immediately after Ender's Game. Orson Scott Card has said that this book takes place between chapters 14 and 15 of Ender's Game. Filled in a lot of blanks, but not just to convey information, it was a fine story in it's own right.

Great book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
clifford
I enjoyed this book mostly because I like the character of Ender so much. It is not the best written of the series, but if you have read all of it then read this one. As others have said, this book fits best at the end of the Shadow series rather than right after Ender's Game. And it ties some loose ends up, although not always in a satisfying manner. Some points just felt to fast, some relationships emphasized and then moved away from too quickly. But on the whole, I enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
monique gerken
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are my two favorite books of the Ender series. However, with Ender in Exile (which should fill in the time in-between) Card let his personal politics get in the way of otherwise good writing. You are unlikely to get through a chapter without having one of the kids quote a bible passage, surmise that they do indeed have souls, or affirm the existence of a god. At least twice he also has the kids reinforce the merits of heterosexual monogamy. If you want a bit of Ender while getting whacked in the face with a cross, you'll probably really enjoy this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ashley anderson
Right after Ender's Game I was really excited to go and read Speaker for the Dead right after, but I was kind of disappointed to find that it came so long after Ender's Game and had very little explanation of what happens right after Ender's Game. Since then I've read that speaker was supposed to be it's own novel without Ender, but when writing the Ender's Game novel Card realized that it would work well with Ender, so he kind of just threw him in there and put a last chapter in Ender's game to lead up to Speaker.
Anyways, I feel like this fills in the blanks really well and makes an easier transition into Speaker for the Dead, and it's almost like a parallel novel like Ender's Shadow, except instead of just shadowing one book, Ender in Exile lightly shadows the entire Shadow series.
Now I can't wait for Shadow's in Flight!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stacey mclaughlin
This book is very entertaining with a story line that kept me totally engaged and trying to figure out what was coming next and how Ender the main character will solve the challenges coming at him. Great writing.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mark greene
There is one narrator on this audiobook that is simply terrible. She constantly sounds snide and on the verge of anger, and rarely appropriately. It is worse than distracting. I loathe the passages she reads.

The other narrators are fine, though not outstanding. I am enjoying the story, but had I known the quality of the narration, I would have foregone the audiobook format this time.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
karenp
I couldn't finish it. It was like watching paint dry. Enders Game was arresting, innovative, fresh, thought provoking, everything a great book is supposed to be. Card has run out of ideas. I would be inclined to give him a mulligan over this one, but his books since EG have all gone downhill, and his age is showing up in the ideology more and more present in each novel.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sari tomson
At this point I must consider Ender's Game a fluke - it so supersedes any of Card's other work that I'm stunned they come from the same voice. This book is no different, poorly written and (from what little I know of the previous novels) - amazingly inconsistent. What writer admits that he's forgotten the plots of his own novels? Jesus. For me, I think Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are quite good, but the rest (especially the "Bean" books) are almost unreadable. The simple authorial voice you get from Ender's Game, which in that novels seems spare and factual, becomes puerile and unspecific as the books progress. That having been said, Ender's Game will remain unsullied in my view, as his one fine piece of work. Many people will never have even that success.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
omnia
Huge fan of OSC and the series (esp. the "Speaker" sequence) and was excited about this book. I enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't as filling as most of his other books. At times it felt like a "who's who in the Enderverse" with references thrown in to many different story lines, which felt somewhat disjointed at times. The potential climactic ending...wasn't.

However, it has it's hidden gems and interesting people. As always, great insight into the complexities of human relationships. Worth the read, but not one of the better books within the Enderverse.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ilene prusher
I could not believe this book.

SPOILER ALERT (although this book is so bad you shouldn't care about spoilers).

The huge plot arc about Ender vs the captain of the colony ship was drawn out ridiculously long. Scarcely ANY effort or print space was given to tying up the most important part of the plot and the entire reason people were looking forward to this book: the loose end of Bean's stolen child.

First off, there is no way that the antonite/leguminote portrayed in this book can hope to match up to what was portrayed in all of the other books and shadows in flight. Bean's son acts like an idiot and makes constant mistakes, not to mention he is also an emotional wreck. There is no way the influence of the moron-mother has any effect logically since Bean did well from being an infant on the streets by himself and his children on the ship in the next book also do incredibly well without hardly any of his help.

This book is embarrassing. I cannot imagine how most fans of the Ender franchise will feel when they read it. Like Shadows In Flight it is painfully short for such an expensive price.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matthew ebert
OSC is one of my favorite authors because his stories are meaningful, uplifting, interesting, and concise (I dislike too much description). I enjoyed Ender in Exile immensely; it is a very satisfying story and I love how this book ties up some loose ends from other books. This book should be read after reading Ender's Game and the four Shadow books but before reading the rest of the Ender saga.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
unbridled books
I began reading Ender in Exile and quickly realized I needed to finished the Shadow series first (I still haven't read Shadow of the Giant). Ender seems different to me in this novel...more sarcastic maybe? Even Valentine seemed wittier. I do like how throughout the shadow series and this book, we learn more about Ender's parents. I loved First Meetings and I was happy to see their characters developed. I never was satisfied with the huge gap between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. I felt ripped off, like we missed out on teenage Ender. I am thrilled that OSC has filled at least some of that gap.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
evan levy
I've loved every book that follows Ender! I really enjoy Orson Scott Card's writing style. I can see every scene vividly in my head like I was watching a movie even though he's not a heavily descriptive writer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
widiasti atmadja
Very much enjoyed the book and really appreciated that it filled in some of the major holes from the original Ender's story. The story line flowed.. nicely with the others in this series. Well written..
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
linda bowman
I love the Enderverse, I really do. I love the characters, situation, everything.

This is the book I waited I don't know how many years for.

And what it ends up is a disappointing soap opera that feels like OSC is milking the enderverse for every penny. There is so little by way of additional story that it would have been better for a 'bonus chapter' to be added to Ender's game with the meat of this story in it. That's how bad it is.

Enderverse books used to be a 'must buy'...unfortunately this is the last nail in the coffin of their status.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
marwa ayad
This book is a sequel to Ender's Game, covering the time between Ender's Game and The Investment Counsellor. But it is also a sequel to Shadow of the Giant. This book revives the old love for The Ender Series and The Ender's Shadow Series. Card, once again, successfully shows the character of Ender that he originally created.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brett ortler
This was a great novel, it was cool to get a feeling for the characters before the astronomic leap to 'speaker for the dead'. (chronologically of course). I was excited to hear that card was releasing another Ender book, and that it would be a sequal to Ender's Game! It didn't disappoint. Ender in Exile was another great addition to the Ender story and definitely made me happy knowing the details of Ender's governorship and how he and valentine decided to start their journey. Very cool little book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
natalie taylor
The third Formic War ended thanks to Andrew "Ender" Wiggins who believed he was playing a computer simulation game at Battle School instead of actually killing the Queens who gathered on a single planet. With their deaths, their soldiers, workers, and pupae died; Ender was responsible for the genocide of a race. He also killed two bullies in self defense, but the leaders of earth's nations do not want him residing in the United States because he could become a weapon that could destroy their own country. His brother Peter wants to be the ruler of a one world government, but his sister Valentine decides to accompany her younger brother to prove her sense of freedom.

The Formic Worlds are colonized by Earthlings since they remain in a pristine state. Ender decides to go to Planet Shakespeare where he hopes to learn why the Queens gathered in one place so that they could be killed. He is to be the governor as a hero to those who remained and the new colonists. The Commander of the ship taking him to Shakespeare wants to be the power behind Ender's government or to find a way to exile him back to earth. Ender, a thirteen years old boy with a brilliant mind prevents the coup before it begins by creating a better standard of living for the people. Ender, in his spare time, digs up Formic artifacts seeking clues to the Queens gathering.

Ender is intelligent and compassionate yet in many ways he is also tortured because of his wisdom and passion. His parents will not communicate with him and he rejects Battle School as he has to emotionally deal with real deaths he indirectly caused and not simulated gaming deaths. Less action than previous tales in the Ender saga, ENDER IN EXILE is much more cerebral as Orson Scott Card takes his fans deep into the heart and soul of a young boy forced to grow up too fast.

Harriet Klausner
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe o hallaron
Orsen Scott Card is one of the greatest writers of sf to grace our simple humanity. He is only overshadowed by Heinlin and Asimov because of details and numbers. This book is a great filler in the Ender series. I recommend purchasing all and at your leisure reasons them but read it before 'Speaker for the dead' . Edit: his philosophy is extremely profound!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessica bitting
Answered many questions, but lacked the excitement of the Ender's Game book. More politics and less action. I read book Sci-Fy to get the poitics out of my head. Maybe other readers would enjoy more than I did.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anshuman
The Ender Series has been my favorite for years. I love all of the book, from Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, plus all of the shadow books are just great as well. This is a great book from Card that helps explain some of the missing years in Enders life. LOVE IT :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
azaera amza
Card brings Ender back like no time has past since his last book chronicling Ender's life. You immediately re-connect with Ender, his sister, and Col. Graff. Many loose ends between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are answered, which always was a bit of a problem. Excellent done, touches all the right notes emotionally and intellectually. Absolutely enjoyed it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura belle
A well written book with great characterization and insight that is hard to put down (I often ponder the nature of addition while reading his books). That being said, if you are new to the series, I wouldn't start here.

I have read every Orson Scott Card book written and will continue to do so. He is my favorite Fiction author and I have one more reason to feel that way.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rachel kaiser
I love the original Ender's Game series, but I feel like the Bean Series and this book are sort of like all of the special effects George Lucas put in the original Star Wars movies: you don't really need them to enjoy the story. In fact the bog and water the story down.
The Ender series was powerful, Card kept his lecturing about marriage and family to a minimum and as a result it was a stronger better story.
With this book nearly every page features OSC possessing characters to rant and rave about monogamy, marriage, babies and family.
This is an important topic, but in a sci fi story, you want to be entertained, you want to be introduced to a fascinating alien world with an alien civilization, not nagged and lectured by every character! That sort of thing makes a person want to do the OPPOSITE of what the author is supporting.
Most of the female characters seem to be the same shrill nagging variety. This book in my biased view was better left unwritten because the last chapter of Ender's Game was enough to set the stage. It was well done, tight, enthralling and just fine.
These extra details and characters were really not needed at all.
It's like the book equivalent of direct to Disney DVD movies. Perhaps OSC needs to take a leaf from the book of Pixar and Miyazaki.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
bjorn
I really wanted to like this book. Really. I couldn't do it. Let me start at the beginning. Ender's Game is my favorite book. I have read the book and the sequels numerous times. The other books in the series create a universe wherein all of the stories take place. Call me a purist, but once the rules of the universe are setup, you don't go back and change them. I know that it is Card's prerogative, but Ender has grown from the story and far too many readers feel a kinship to have the author now change things. First off, Ender refers to the "Buggers" as the Formix through out the whole book. This is not from the Ender series. It is Bean who refers to the Formix by their formal name. Ender never did it and Card never did it in any of the Ender's series. I don't think I ever heard the term Formix until the Ender's Shadow book.
Card changes details from Ender's Game. He changes the way Ender and Valentine meet, who pilots the ship...just to name a few. These details bother me some, but the real insult is in Card's narrative at the end (of the audiobook) where he basically says: I was wrong before, I got the details right now, so get over it.
Wait a minute!?! Ender's game is a classic, you created the universe, but then you unleashed it on your readers...it is ours now too. You don't change the details when it messes with your ability to sell more books. You have to work within the confines in this previously created world.
Last complaint, the story just doesn't live up to any Card books. It is slow and the whole confrontation at the ends feels like an after thought. I kept waiting for the plot to begin just to find out that Ender had a really boring trip to the first colony.
Its not all bad, the new details about the MD device, faster than light speed travel and the events surrounding the first human introduction to it are nice. These details would have been better suited for an "Enderverse compendium" or something like that.
Like i said, I wanted to like this book. In the end, I get the impression that this book was conceived with the royalties more in mind than the filling out of one of the greatest literary characters in recent memory. I think that in time, when the Ender series is listed, this book will be left off.
So, if you are a fan of Ender, you will read this book anyway. Heck, I would have even if I had read my own review. Just don't say I didn't tell you...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
darkpool
I have read all the Ender and Bean books, and was excited to read "Ender in Exile". While the book is slow and not particularly exciting, there are engaging moments and it was a marginally satisfying read on these grounds.

On the other hand, while reading this book I became bothered and alarmed at the shape it was taking. We are told early on, for example, that women are their most fertile when they are 15 year old girls. This is not true (it's the early 20's), so I wondered why this statement would be in the book. I guessed that it might be a rationalization for the behavior of someone the author holds in esteem. I looked some things up and became more convinced.

The biological determinism mentioned by other reviewers is quite disturbing. The author states that people don't really change after their birth, and not too-subtly makes the point that children inherit their most deep-seated personality traits from their parents, whether or not they ever meet them, and this is a reason why any reasonable person would have children. It goes without saying that this is irresponsible pseudo-science. What is a child of rape to think reading this book? In fact the climax of the book is nothing but a strong statement of biological determinism, and quite a disappointment.

As other reviewers have noted, the book is essentially a screed on marriage and childbearing. In the worldview of this book, celibacy is never the right choice. Card states that in order to be a true member of the human race, one must have children. In this line of thinking Card is willfully ignorant of the many people throughout history who have happily benefited from choosing a celibate lifestyle - such as Jesus for example, who advocated celibacy. In the book's afterword, Card refers to one of his children as "the last one to leave home." That is all we are told about her; her name and her place in his collection of children. Nothing about her as an individual; those details are secondary.

A character who chooses celibacy to further his higher goals suffers in the end as a result. And the only character who is pointedly denied the right to have children despite wanting to is the only male Jewish character in the book (why Jewish?), which brings me to my next point.

The book's treatment of Hindus borders on bigoted. We are told that Indians ("Indian" is used interchangeably with "Hindu" in this book) are both stubborn and, when it comes to manual labor, lazy. A Hindu character says "Thank God" and another character mentally mocks this with "which one?" This statement is ludicrous, both because of the blithe ignorance of the author regarding Hindu theology (the statement makes perfect sense in the Hindu context), and because the author's Mormonism itself includes belief in multiple gods (but worship of only one).

The author makes it clear that raising livestock for slaughter and eating animals in general is as natural as can be. For one example, a particularly important scientific expedition can only be carried out if eating meat is included in the planning. After establishing this "fact", Card has a character say "being Hindu, I eat an exclusively vegetarian diet." Hinduism does not mandate vegetarianism and most Hindus are not vegetarian. Card is attacking a straw-man here.

In short I completely agree with previous reviewers Roy Perez and Akemi. The book is a disappointment and should be kept away from impressionable children and teenagers. We can expect another book down the road in which Ender finally does have the (perfect) family without which his life would, of course, be meaningless. "Ender in Exile", however, will be the last Card book I buy.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
reem salem
It's times like this when I wonder if fellow reviewes are being serious- this book is pretty awful, and from a very objective standpoint. The argument against, to me, mostly boils down to Card writing in too much of his own beliefs and trampling any chance of a story ever happening in the process.

First off, the problems with exposition. In many places in the book, Card just spells out what he wants to get at rather than writing his ideas into a story. One character will turn to another, and just say in explicit terms exactly how they feel about any given situation, rather than Card bothering to actually write any of that into a story. Ender and his siblings, his father, Graff, and others all just turn to other characters and spell out the plot point-by-point. Card even breaks any attempt at a solid narrative just for characterizations, sometimes styling what is ostensibly the silent narrator's prose to be like that of the character so it seems to come from their voice and not his. He does this early on with the character Alessandra, for example. From the non-quoted text, "There was no chance that an unstable, irresponsible- no, pardon me, I mean "feckless and fey" person like Mother...". This would at best be an unwarranted shift between first- and third-person if it happened in a vacuum, but it leads into the second point...

Card's self-insertion. His obsession with the Portuguese language is less strong than it was in the latter part of the Ender series, which is very refreshing, but it pops up again here and there. Bits of Portuguese even started popping up toward the end of the parallel-running Bean saga. If you didn't know, Card spent time as a missionary in Brazil, and takes plenty of opportunity to write Brazil and the Portuguese language into this series. Even with this toned town, there's still too much of Card happening here. One example is a scene when two scientists casually state that monogamy is clearly the best way to raise children, and that this has been proven countless times. This is immediately backed up by the goodness of democracy- not only is monogamy scientific, but it was voted on. Why, monogomy must be right if it's both scientific and democratic! For those who don't know, Card has been a major mind on the front to "protect the sanctity of marriage" (ie: by denying gay marriage), and has written at length about the topic in a number of mediums, using very similar arguments, and the entire debate about monogamy is a sham to talk about the sanctity of marriage.

So in the end, you're left with the classic case of a sequel that's only worth the random errata it adds to the series. And even this is riddled problems. At some point, Card forgot critical points of what he wrote about the series, was perhaps too bothered to go back and read the books, and had to openly ask fans to fill him in. In his own words, from the Afterword, "I can't trust my memory about details in Ender's Game and the Shadow books". This has prompted some outraged fans to wonder if Card had a ghost writer help him with the original books, though I'd say that's taking it a bit too far. Card has been gracious enough to say that he's resolved these plot holes by rewriting Ender's Game, for an edition to be re-released at some point in the future. I wish I had this power over my own life. You might call this the "George Lucas" approach.

If you're new to the series, you should be starting with Ender's Game anyway, and personally I'd skip Ender in Exile entirely and just read the Bean ("Ender's Shadow") series to get the rest of the story. There's another book due in that line, "Shadows in Flight", that might hopefully provide a better resolution to the overall arc. If you've come this far into the series, reading the entire Ender saga and perhaps Bean's as well, you're probably going to read this book regardless of reviews. I only ask that you consider checking it out from a library, as it's an only passable read that you'll have to go through to dig out the answers you've always wanted regarding this chapter of Ender's life, and you might be glad to return it when you've gotten your fill, considering you'll have to repurchase Ender's game at some point to round things out if you continue on that path.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
swarat
A disappointing, socially unimaginative flattening of a character and a world I once loved very much. This novel was rife with ideologically and spiritually conservative addresses to the reader that seemed to diverge from the far ranging and broad discourses of the other books, at least the way I read them so many years ago. I felt alienated by the Wiggins of this novel, theirs and the narrator's presumptions about people's personalities and biological determinism, the absence in this world of any challenges to what seem like universally unquestioned ideas about family, gender, sexuality, social order, ethnicity and race--it's like ages of progressive thought on Earth were erased in order to create a universe where stereotypes turn out to be God's funny way of using DNA.

What the narrator of this novel would have you interpret as the human individual's inability to escape her or his own genetic make-up is truly, to my eyes, an author's inability to let his characters be anything but allegories for an outmoded, oppressive conservatism at a time when authors should be offering something much, much better than an intergalactic expansion of the middle-class Anglo-Christian exceptionalism that has done so much to hurt the world.

There's my elitist, queer-nerd, politically irked two cents. A dedicated reader of the Alvin, Homecoming and Ender series, as well as many stand-alone works, it pains me a little to say this will be my last Card novel for sure.
Please Rate Ender in Exile
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