Children of the Mind

By Orson Scott Card

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather laslie
I don't think anyone who has read the series up to this book would really not want to finish the story with this book, it delivers a wonderful, thoughtful, and complex story as you are accustomed to hear from Orson Scott Card. A must get!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer conerly
Another excellent story by Orson Scott Card. It concludes the Ender Quartet, but unveils some rather interesting concepts about what makes us all tick. You'll have to read it to get what I mean. :-)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
justin dickerson
Just like Xenocide before it, Children of the Mind is difficult to separate from the previous books in the Ender’s Game series. In fact, Xenocide and Children of the Mind are considered by Orson Scott Card to merely be two parts of the same book, separated at a point in the plot that makes sense. Even further to the point, I would consider Children of the Mind the last “part” of a story that stretches across four books. While it was easy to take Ender’s Game by itself, every additional piece of the story needs the previous parts for it to have the full impact of what Card was trying to accomplish.

What’s most interesting about this series is how each book has a different focus, almost putting them in distinct genres. Ender’s Game was militaristic sci-fi, while Speaker of the Dead was more along the lines of a mystery. And while Xenocide was the philosophical heart of the series, Children of the Mind was almost a romance in comparison. I appreciated the loose strings and sub-plots being tied up by the end of Children of the Mind, especially when it came to defining the relationships between the characters I had come to know over the last few books.

Even though the basic plot of these last three books was a simple “avoid destruction” motif, the complexity of the whole scenario did require the amount of text dedicated to it. Each element of these stories came into play in some fashion to create a satisfying ending. I’m still in awe of the technological foresight and brilliant solutions to fundamental physics limitations that Card was able to develop in these four books. I rarely have found a series that has been so consistently good across all parts of its story, and I believe the saga of Ender Wiggin is now my new favorite.

A satisfying ending to an incredible series of books, I give Children of the Mind 5.0 stars out of 5.
Xenocide: Volume Three of the Ender Quintet :: Ender in Exile (The Ender Quintet) :: Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) :: Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) - Speaker for the Dead :: Ender in Exile
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jennifer day
Against all odds Lusitania has done the impossible. They’ve cured the Descolada and begun colonizing other worlds, ensuring the survival of both pequininos and hive queens. But the fleet is still drawing near, and Jane is powerless to stop them. For Congress has become aware of her, and is already preparing to shut down the network that houses Jane’s mind. To survive Jane must turn to an old friend, and take what he most holds dear.

Following on the heels of the previous book, Children of the Mind opens on an outsider’s perspective; nesting the obligatory review within the character’s efforts to understand the unknown that is Peter. This echoes the ongoing conflict of the entire series, the struggle within each character to understand “the other” and accept them as “one of us”.

A few quick references to the ongoing threat help inject fresh tension, but characters remain the focus of the series, using rich relationships to explore various philosophical issues. And yet something is missing. Innovative ideas have always been a hallmark of the series, but now they’re relegated to the sidelines, replaced with new relationships that race towards either tragedy or romance, setting the stage for the oldest of endings. A satisfying end to a strong series that began at the height of storytelling, and fought valiantly to stay aloft.

+Strong Characters
+Strong Pacing
*Strong but familiar ideas
*Interesting Settings
-Predictable Plot

3/5
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jedd
I didn't expect it would end this way, but it was cool. Some serious suspense and a lot more locations and intrigue than in the others, which were mostly on Lusitania.

I loved the story and would recommend it to fans of science fiction. Definitely should read first three, including Ender's Game, first. It is not a standalone.

I borrowed this from the library.

----

If you're curious why this is the conclusion of the story, but book 4 of 5, the reason is that the final book, Ender in Exile actually is set chronologically between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but it was written last. I haven't read it yet, but I'm hoping to find it at the library.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jameson
I love this series! On a stressful family vacation, where I preferred not to do everything with my family so as not to yell at them, I chose to read this serious back at our rental. I couldn't get enough! I read the entire series on most of that vacation.

I love Sci-Fi, so if you love sci-fi, you'll like this set. Very interesting, well-developed, and well-written.

The series as a whole is about a little boy who is taken away from his family on Earth for "training"/militia. He, right away, the reader can see, is unique and special. The military leaders see it to, and closely monitor him. The little kids in school are jealous of him because he goes up and up through the ranks, at the youngest age. Kids plot to hurt him, but he's smart and thinks one step ahead of all of them.

I don't want to give away the WHOLE series of books, but like I said, it's a very enjoyable series. It deals with the main character's struggles as the chosen leader of the military, literally training to save the world. It is full of plot twists, as he DOES end up saving the world, but he is fooled into thinking he is playing a video game! He thought he beat the game, not murdered thousands of an alien species all at once.

This guilt of then finding out he murdered an alien species for real drives the rest of the series. He seeks to understand alien species in a compassionate way. He also is able to time travel in the books, and in that way, he sort of "lives forever".

He does have a sister who he loves very much, who he does reunite with later in the series. Much later in the series, he also has a woman he falls deeply in love with.

FANTASTIC books. I was sad that there weren't more after the last one.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sheri fyfe
<i>Ender's Game</i> is excellent. <i>Xenocide</i> is OK. Children of the Mind is boring. Particularly the endless conversations that take place discussing the same things over and over. I've noticed that writers who are just phoning it in tend to write a lot of conversation that attempts to be philosophical, but is really superficial and predictable. In this one even the planets are one-dimensional -- Outback was settled by Australians, of course. Pacifica settled by Pacific islanders, Path by the Chinese and so on. Lusitania settled by the Portugese. What a lack of imagination. The only really imaginative idea is the planet the descolada come from, and of course the author leaves that a complete mystery. He didn't bother to think it through and solve the most interesting mystery of the story.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
carlyn
After listening to Speaker for the Dead, I couldn’t wait to start Children of the Mind. I loaded it onto my Kindle, hit play and got rolling. The book is satisfying. I have to make sure I put that on the record, but it drops you in after a rather large event, and there is a ton of philosophy education in the beginning that I felt took the momentum of the book away. I feel that Speaker is far and away the best in the series, but that doesn’t mean Children isn’t worth reading (or in this case listening to).

There are some wonderfully intimate and dramatic moments here. There are some very rewarding climaxes and a few plot twists that I think readers will enjoy. I understand (though I’m unfamiliar with the series) there are some other books that fill in some of the gaps, so perhaps readers who take the time to look into the other books in the series, there will be less of a jolt going from Speaker directly to Children.

The characters are a strong point for Card. The way he uses interaction to show readers who these people are is something I think helps Card stand out. The dialogue is, as always, snappy and clever.

I don’t make a habit of summarizing the plot, and I won’t here. I felt it was slow in the beginning, then picked up the pace and enjoyment as it drew closer to the climax (which was worth the price of the book all by itself).

Children leaves at least one question in my mind that I desperately want answered, but it leaves the readers in a good place when it’s all said and done. Though there are other books in the universe, I find myself most curious to see what happens after Children. Children gives readers a contemplative, emotional resolution to the Ender’s Quartet.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
gary jackson
Two stars might be a little unfair, but I'm going to stand by it given the nosedive this series has taken since its apex in Speaker for the Dead.

For the entire first half of this book, all I wanted the people to do was just shut up and do something. It was ALL talking. It was like the new Star Wars trilogy, where every scene in Coruscant is just endless couch sitting and jabbering. Given the near-four-star rating of this book, clearly some folks enjoy the meandering, plodding nature of Orson Scott Card's story, but not me.

And *spoiler alert* it ain't over. Shadows Alive, the [G-d help me] 14th book in the Enderverse series, is a forthcoming sequel to this disappointing volume.

About two-thirds of the way through the book, things start actually happening, and it's really entertaining all of a sudden. Then at about five-sixths, it stops again.

So, one-sixth of this book is great, and five-sixths are dreadful. Maybe two stars was kind.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rofayda khaled
I first tried Ender's Game and liked it. I really got hooked with Speaker for the Dead. Xenocide presented some interesting philosophical issues.

And then there's Children for the Mind.

Children for the Mind is a direct sequel to Xenocide. Unfortunately, it takes some of the weaker parts of Xenocide and runs with them. This book focuses on the newly created Val and Peter Wiggin. Even in Xenocide, Ender's creation of his siblings out of thin air while traveling faster than light always seemed a bit farfetched. Card veers far away from anything resembling scientific plausibility.

In resurrecting the pair, I think Card was trying to explore religious issues surrounding the soul, but his handling of the theme was unusually clumsy. The characters are actually described as reliant upon Ender's willpower, at risk of dying if he gets bored. Val and Peter think they're really just facets of Ender - except when they're not. I think some of the philosophical issues could have been better explored through the more conventional sci-fi technique of cloning.

The dialogue and characterization in Children for the Mind are at times a chore to read, sometimes even atrocious. The way Wangmu and Peter impress to elderly philosophers with rhetorical nonsense made my eyes roll. These two kids go looking for "the center of power" in the human government. The new Val is even whinier than the original and much of what she says doesn't even make sense.

I do like Card's characterization of the elder Ender. He comes across as a real person, perhaps a more sympathetic and believable character than Ender's ever been. His constant fatigue with life comes across powerfully. But he's an exception rather than the rule in this book. And the fact that most of his scenes are opposite his grating wife, Novinha, who has fled to a convent, doesn't help.

Overall, 2.5 stars. Feel free to stop reading the series at Xenocide.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
therese
Card is a great writer and this book is a well written finale to his Ender series. And, being a good writer, he prepares the reader for future books about a new hero, a close relative to Ender. But, I 'll let you read the book to figure out who that is.

I rated it 4 stars because, artistically, Card really is our best living sci-fi writer. Yet, I came away with mixed feelings. My mixed feelings are due to the influences of his religion which come out in various Ways in all his books. As I said, he is a great writer, too good to only present one side of any argument. Hence, to his credit, he always, fairly, accurately, presents all sides of a debate before revealing the one he most closely agrees with.

It is not uncommon for there to be characters who are God figures in his books. As in the holy books of the religions of the real world, these Gods invariably have elements of both savior and tempter in them --- both Jesus the messiah and Satan the tempter. Jason Worthing of the Worthing Saga and Jane-Ender [male and female aspects of the God head, he being so close to she that she speaks to him in the ear with words no one else can hear, as when the bible speaks of Moses being the special friend of God who alone could speak to God face to face].

If you do not know, Card is a Mormon --- a practicing, true believing Mormon. That bothers me. It bothers me that such a master of fiction can not, immediately, recognize the apparent, and poorly written at that, fictions of the holy book of his chosen religion. I mean, really? Jesus comes back a second time, to America this time instead of the holy land? As sort of a native American but as you can see from the illustrations the Mormons put in their book they think of these native Americans the same way that the whites in Hollywood thought of indians for so many years [white actors in red face paint]?

Groan.

Religion is good at that. Rendering otherwise bright, sensitive, caring, people into mind dead computers who only think in one way, the way they were programmed, when it comes to matters of faith.

Example. As is the usual case once you get past what church people profess and dig into what they really do believe, Card believes in the necessity of war. And, by war, I mean physical violence, not the spiritual warfare that the apostle Paul wrote about. Hence, Card's God-figures tend to be white, of course, but also warriors. In Ender's case, he is a warrior who comes close to committing genocide on an entire planet. But, as is always rationalized by real life Christians, God ordained this 'just' war because that is how the Christians brought the gospel to the poor, devil-worshiping savages who, in the case of Ender's targets, are, literally, pigs.

Grok?

Another example. In this book, Card deftly draws all sorts of parallels between the impending deployment of a WMD in the book and the real life deployment of nukes by America in the last war. But, let us be real, Christians think it was God's will that they nuke all those Japanese civilians to save the world from Hitler. You can respond by pointing out that, hey, we nuked Japan, not Germany. But, they just don't get it.

So, in this book, Card takes poetic license and makes the empire responsible for dropping the WMD on the unwashed heathens to be Japan. Get it? Do you see the redirection being deftly played? The Admiral who ordered the WMD to be dropped was, like in real life, a white guy with an American name, not a Japanese dude. But, as in real life, the Christian blames even that on the Japanese who, they argue, made us do it even though we really didn't want to.

A variation of the old Devil made me do it excuse which is the foundation of Christian dogma.

Grok?

So, I gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 stars because, at the end of the day, God has birthed some of us into this world with the gift of being able to spin a good yarn. And, being one of those few who the Master has given such an invaluable talent, I grok that it is our duty to use that talent to argue for peace, peace, peace ... not Just War.

As the brilliant Robert Heinlein did in his masterpiece "Stranger in a Strange Land."

Grok?
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
logan b
With a 1 Star rating perhaps I'm being too harsh on a book that was published 17 years ago. Perhaps Card has matured as a writer and now smoothly entwines character development and plot development. Probably I'll never find out since I almost went into cardiac arrest from the seemingly endless pro and con internal dialog of the characters and between the characters.

Obviously, I may not be the sharpest tack on the wall since I required over 200 pages of reading for me to switch to skim mode on the dialog. Fortunately when I did switch my reading went much faster and my time worrying about a cardiac arrest decreased significantly.

Unfortunately, when I switched and focused on plot development my hopes were dashed again. The plot seemed to be a shallow afterthought to the repetitive psychological hopes and fears of the characters. Yet again, it may be that I'm not astute enough to follow the poignant subtleties of Card's Psychological Prowess.

Now, though, I remember that Card wrote COTM 17 years ago. Perhaps he's changed. So I find his bibliography. In it I see that major recognition of his works (Hugo, Nebula, etc.) dwindled to virtually nothing in the 1990s.

Have I found in Card yet another author who spread his wings to brilliance, then fell back to earth when the wings burned from some sort of egoic flame?

Or could it be, that I've just lost the ability to know a good story when I read it? Some things are forever mysteries. Like the motivation of Card when he wrote this life threatening novel. Well, I won't risk cardiac arrest again via Card's prose.

Of course your mileage may vary.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
poj216
SPOILERS AHEAD

This ends Ender's game for me, having read all of the Ender and Shadow books and the end could not come soon enough. OSC's ruminations on war, religion, reincarnation, culture, and God would be a better fit for a scholarly treatment in church, not the end of a series that supposedly brings closure to one of the most endearing and enduring science fiction characters of the 20th century.

Where is Ender in this book? Not present. He's split in two, you see, so that Card can explore the ideas of soul matching and continue a plot machination that is really a thinly veiled attempt at explaining Everything. Most distressingly, the main characters in this novel (and indeed, Xenocide, the preceding novel) are unlikeable, unreadable, and unbelievable. Why would Ender settle into this world with these people? Why would he marry into this family? Why isn't he out among the worlds? Why is emotion always described as "a tear running down a cheek" from admirals to peasants? Why does anyone who spends more than 3 days with each other fall in love? Why did I bother finishing this?

I will admit I became aware of the book through the movie, which I liked. I also liked Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. Ender in Exile at least had Ender in it. These last books were trying to get through. Some might enjoy it, I certainly did not.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sara almutairi
Children of the Mind is the fourth and final audiobook of Orson Scott Card's Ender Wiggin series. Actually, Card did write some more books from this universe, but this audiobook marks the end of the story line that began with Ender's Game.

Orson Scott Card kept us hanging throughout the series, wondering if the Pequeninos, the Buggers, and the spontaneous new life-form calling itself Jane, would survive, but he wrapped it all up very neatly in Children of the Mind. Card has some valuable things to say in this audiobook about not being too quick to judge things and situations that we do not fully understand.

Hooray! In my audiobook reviews for the first three installments of Orson Scott Card's Ender Wiggin series, I criticized the publisher for not mentioning the names of the narrators in the recording. Children of the Mind was done by a different publisher, Audio Renaissance, and all of the narrators were named. They are: Gabrielle De Cuir, John Rubinstein, David Birney, Scott Brick, Amanda Karr, and Stefan Rudnicki. As in the first three audiobooks of the series, the narrators did a good job. I especially like Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki, although Rudnicki's involvement was minimal this time.

Orson Scott Card's Ender Wiggin series is a must for science fiction fans. I found Children of the Mind to be my second favorite audiobook of the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
alec dutcher
The Lusitania Fleet will arrive soon, and when it launches the Little Doctor two species will die. Or so the leaders who ordered Lusitania's destruction believe; but Jane, the sentient entity living within the galaxy's great computer system, has been busy moving members of all three of Lusitania's resident species to other planets where they can establish colonies. For one of the Human scientists whose ancestors colonized Lusitania has found a way to neutralize the virus that every living thing on that planet carries - a virus that until this discovery made it impossibly dangerous for anyone from Lusitania to travel anywhere else, for certainty of spreading the dreadful infection.

So whatever happens to Lusitania now, the "piggies" who are its natives and the alien "buggers" brought there by Ender Wiggin will survive on other planets. So will many of the Human colonists, but there are still plenty of people from all three species who cannot get away before the Fleet arrives. Jane's time to transfer starships instantaneously is running out even faster than is Lusitania's existence, because those controlling the galaxy's vast network of computers and world-linking ansibles think Jane is a computer virus. A particularly virulent one, that has to be eliminated by shutting the network down and then reconnecting it with powerful sniffer programs in place to prevent reinfection. They don't know that shutting down the network will, instead of killing a computer virus, kill a sentient being.

The two beings created by the mind of Ender Wiggin during Jane's first attempt at transferring people and ships from place to place, young versions of Ender's now elderly sister Valentine his long dead brother Peter, are acting as additional bodies for Ender far more than as independent beings; and their continued existence places an intolerable drain on Ender himself, who is certainly no longer young. Disconnected from Jane by his own choice, Ender has followed his estranged wife Novinha into a Lusitania monastery. Soon he lies dying there. Meanwhile, Ender's stepson Miro and two of his stepdaughters - scientists all - work with young Val to try to find the world where Lusitania's strange virus originated; and Peter travels from one world to another in a quest to get the Lusitania Fleet stopped.

Confused yet? Oddly enough, author Card manages to keep all of these plot threads in order and moving forward at a decent pace. He also manages to engage the reader's interest (well, mine, anyway!) in each character, and then maintains that interest throughout this final installment in Ender Wiggin's four-book story. You really do need to have read the other books first in order to appreciate this one. But if you have done that, it makes a satisfying conclusion; and Card's afterword is also intriguing.

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 science fiction EPPIE winner "Regs"
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
savita
I just finished Children of the Mind, the last of the 4-part series on Ender et al. The first book, Ender's Game, is really self contained, requiring no further reading. The next three books are a series, basically covering a colony on the planet Lusitania 3000 years in the future from when Ender's Game concluded. Ender and his sister have been star hopping, traveling so close to the speed of light when relocating that they essentially haven't aged much during that time. They now feel it's time to settle down and take root.

I have mixed feelings on this book and the others. I will just summarize below.

The good:

Card has created a very interesting world! The story revolves around the planet of Lusitania and the (ultra) Catholic colony of Milagre. The planet was already populated by the pequeninos and their "sacred trees", pequeninos who have proved their worthiness to be sacrificed and reborn as a tree for breeding pequeninos, before the humans arrived. Ender adds the last remaining Hive Queen to the mix. Jane, a good-hearted computer program that sprang to life over the instantaneous ansible network, is there to help whenever needed.

I also loved the other worlds in the story, like "Path", a Chinese colony world, and "Divine Wind", based on Japan. (These specialized worlds remind me of satellite radio stations ...) All the characters and philosophical teachings on Path were easy to digest, but with a strange lack of technology (which I mention later). It isn't explicitly stated, but it seems that some try returning to the simpler life, which seems much like the Amish.

Ender's brother, Peter, is blunt, arrogant and ambitious, but in a good way.

Metaphysics: there's plenty of it here. Card seems a little obsessed with the subject, essentially using the story as a vehicle to discuss some interesting ideas he's undoubtedly formulated over the years. Most of it is interesting... whether you will like it in the doses he feeds us is to be determined. I also found many of his philological and psychological observations and statements, voiced via the books' characters, fun. Hats off to Card's observation and analysis skills :)

The ending has decent, though not complete, closure, Some may not like the way it ends, but I found it refreshing for whatever reason.

The bad:

Well, my biggest complaint is that all three books - Speaker, Xenocide and Children - are really longwinded. He could easily have his characters get their point across with far fewer words. I know editing is one of the hardest things for an author to do, but 10-20% of these books (easy) could go without anyone noticing. More than likely he edited a lot out already, but there's still way too much repetition. A writer needs to have friends (or publishers) who will tell them the truth here.

As noted, many of the characters are interesting; Sadly, many are extremely boring and whinny, really testing the reader's patience. Ender's entire adopted family for instance, which sort of reminded me of the crazy drunk family down the street but with PhDs, whined and argued the entire three books... Of course, Card could have intended these characters to be just that (it probably takes just as much literary talent to create annoying characters as pleasing ones. But since I'm not a writer, I really wouldn't know). Ender's sister is also quite yawning.

The books 'jump the shark' in many spots, esp when it comes to space travel. I won't spoil it, but things get a little unbelievable even for a sci-fi story. Networks that exist in the mind using instantaneous thought transmissions and so on .. it's all in there, a smorgasbord of wild ideas (!)

Concerning future technology, you can really see how Card tries to sidestep the entire 'What will they be able to do in the future?' question. He willfully avoids reference to future vehicles, dwellings, medical advancements, and so on, glossing over any details.

But in the process, this interferes with the story. For instance, Ender's angry young adapted son Miro is seriously injured trying to climb an electrified fence. He suffers sever spinal and nerve damage, making it difficult for him to walk and talk normally (he supposedly brain damaged too, but I saw no evidence in the story). Are we really supposed to believe that some 3000 years in the future, humanity has made no medical advancements to cure nerve damage?? This is but one small example of Card copping out on this area, but maybe he felt he wanted to tell a story and not spend time guessing of future gadgets (you're bound to be mostly wrong anyway, I would think).

Card did seem fascinated - even obsessed - with people (especially women) 'telling off' someone. (Imagine that you're stuck in an RV with a really annoying angry partner, nagging the entire time.) I must have read this 10-15 times in the three books.. basically the same sequence; attack, catch air, attack, catch some more air, and destroy. Since writers often use real world experiences in their work, I can only pity the author :)

The bottom line:

Card's world of Lusitania and many characters are fun, and I feel like a spent a few years of my life on the planet, in a modest house watching the pequeninos and Hive Queen workers moving about. A simple life, indeed. The books were frustrating at times, taking a lot of patience to read them (I skimmed a little here and there, especially when a character decided to tell another one off ..yet again). If you have the time, take up the challenge. I'm glad I did, though they may not be for everyone.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
winda
About a quarter of the way through the book, I started mentally ticking whenever a character would "burst into tears" or start "weeping" at someone's unnecessary emotional badgering or their sudden epiphany about the pointlessness of it all, and it became an almost unreadable soggy mess, sappier than tumblr at its worse.

This wouldn't warrant such a horrible rating if it were just for that fact. But really that outlines the bigger problem, that too many times the emotional reaction from the characters was forced on us in inner tirades and monologues that SATURATE this novel, not tastefully pepper as in the previous installments. The best books evoke from the reader that "Oh..." moment, or a gasp, without characters musing ad nauseum about the meaning of it all. As if in Inception, they "went deeper" about 5 times more, Card introduces too many shallow, fake characters not even to fill a plot hole; they themselves dig the plot holes and then half-heartedly fill them all by themselves (the business family, the military officials? pointless). Every female character in this book is a bitch. No tension or suspense. Everything happens perfectly, there wasn't a single disappointment for any of the characters of the book, imagining these wildly implausible deus ex machina solutions, which all perfectly work.

Nothing really happens plot-wise in this book. I read it dutifully having finished the first three in the series, expecting an incredible finale, but it really was a disappointment. Read Xenocide and stop while you're ahead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aakanksha hajela
I'm not going to apologize for liking a flawed series that is this good. Ender's Game is indisputably the King piece of the series, with Speaker for the Dead an excellent followup. Xenocide and Children of the Mind should have been one book, but that is only one of the couldas, shoulda, wouldas, about these two books. I don't care. There are a lot of cool speculative fiction ideas and a lot of grown-up philosophy ideas in all the books that are brain tickling, if not exploding occasionally. It's also more soap opera than space opera, so sue me if I happen to like it for all the Emo. It's a nice mix of types of science fiction, and maybe that's why people get a bit huggy and huffy all over the map on this one. Hard science types might hate the Emo, fantasy science fiction types might hate it because of the very light touch of fantasy, space opera types might hate the philosophy, and Dune lovers might dislike it for the lack of density, and it doesn't fit in the new sub genres like detective noir crossovers at all. Everyone suffers in a young adult emotional way in this series. Truly evil-loving characters don't exist in this universe. This is a series that is charming, fun, exciting and interesting in the whole, not in the parts. As a non-Christian-but-raised-as-a-Protestant, it was fun picking out all of the religious metaphors and Biblical references. Children of the Mind obviously picked up the Trinity that is God metaphor. I didn't mind it, it was amusing. I'll gladly read more by this author despite any writing quality issues since the entertainment value is high and the intellectual stimulation is mind-boggling always. There is a reason this author is on ALL the To-Read Recommendation lists, love him or hate him.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jessica arias
"Children of the Mind" by Orson Scott Card is the fourth of the Ender Quintet. It minimally advances the "Ender" saga. Ender is able to clone from his mind (probably the reason for the title) young adult versions of his long dead brother, Peter, and his still living sister, Valentine. Jane, the computer entity, and the planet Lusitania are saved from the evil Congress. The rest of the novel is spent with the non-too likable cast in a mutual admiration society of who loves the other the most. One expects more love from a nest of scorpions. Meanwhile Ender dies from lack of love because his psychotic wife leaves him to live in a convent to assuage her guilt. I must admit that I was hoping the planet and all its inhabitants would be vaporized, but I know there is one more novel to go. Not being a quitter, I will endure.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
dayanara
Before reading this, I already knew what to expect having already ingested the previous three books in this series - Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide, so I'm not sure what exactly about this book was a disappointment. Card finally gives us a kind of end to Ender's 3000 year life and many plot points that arguably should have already taken place in Xenocide. Unlike the ending to the Harry Potter series, we are not left feeling a sense of sadness and loss at losing a character we have already followed for a thousand pages. Instead, we get another failed attempt at a philosophical science fiction novel. The dialogue is almost endless, one of my major criticisms of the last two books, but here, the religious and spiritual debates reach a crescendo, for me, it was almost too much and almost forced me to stop reading the book. But alas, having loved Ender's story, maybe only in the beginning to be honest with you, I had to see how everything played out.

I cannot decide whether Card's note at the end of the book, where he tries explain what it is he was and is trying to do and where he discusses the work of Oe and Endo (both authors I adore), was a good idea or a bad one. For those having read the previous two volumes and presumably this one since you see the note at the end, you already figured that he had an intense interest both in Asian culture and writing and in creating some kind of moral pedagogy in his work. Unfortunately, his finished project does not stand up as well to other writers who have successfully done it--Endo, Oe, C.S. Lewis to name a few--because the philosophy and religion and other spiritual aspects of the novel are so in-your-face and all-consuming that the plot and the storylines disappear.

Anyways, at least I can say that I'm done with this book series...

Interesting Quotes:

"Life is a suicide mission."

"Do the dead tips of fingernails feel bad when you pare them away?"

"It's all fictions anyway. We do what we do and then we make up reasons for it afterward, but they're never the true reasons, the truth is always just out of reach."
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ellenbrooke
"She worked her toes into the sand, feeling the tiny delicious pain of the friction of tiny chips of silicon against the tender flesh between her toes. That's life. It hurts, it's dirty, and it feels very, very good."

"Children of the Mind", by Orson Scott Card, is a science-fiction novel that takes place in Lusitania during the year 5040.

The planet Lusitania is home to three sentient species: the Pequeninos; a large colony of humans; and the Hive Queen, brought there by Ender. But once again the human race has grown fearful; the Stairways Congress has gathered a fleet to destroy Lusitania. Jane, the evolved computer intelligence, can save the three sentient races of Lusitania. The Stairways Congress is shutting down the Net, world by world. Soon Jane will not be able to move the ships. Ender's children must save her if they are to save themselves.

The theme of this book is the life and death of civilization. "If the purpose of life was just to continue into the future, then none of it would have meaning, because it would be all anticipation and preparation. There's the happiness we've already had. The happiness of each moment. The end of our lives, even if there's no forward continuation, no progeny at all, the end of our lives doesn't erase the beginning."

The important charactors in this book are Peter and Wang Mu who grow closer together as the book progresses, Jane who takes control of a human body and experiences human feelings for the first time, Ender, who loses interest in himself and literally crumbles into dust and then re-appears in Peter's body, and Malu, who develops a crush on "Young Valentine" and then has to say that she is worthless so that she will give up her body so that Jane can live in the body.

As for what I think of this book, I actually think this was the weakest in the series. I have read "Ender's Game", "Ender's Shadow", and "The Speaker of the Dead" and I think this is has the weakest plot. Probably more then half the book is drama rather then science fiction. An example of a spar conversation is "So that's power to you", said Quara. "A chance to push other people around and act like the queen". "You really can't do it can you?" said Jane. "Can't what?", said Quara. "Can't bow down and kiss your feet?" "Can't shut up to save you own life." Pgs. 270-271. This goes on for about five pages.

I recommend that everyone should read Ender's Game before reading this book.

If you are a fan of the Ender's series, you have to read this book!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lyazzat
Children of the Mind picks up where Xenocide concludes. The author has stated that the two novels were initially thought of as a single volume, but that it grew too large and was split to allow both stories their full potential. I think that it might have been better to have kept these in a single volume and attempted to streamline the stories.

As is, Children of the Mind seems to jump around a lot. We follow many sets of characters on their various goals, such as Peter and Wang-mu's struggle to convince the philosophers of two worlds, who inadvertently sway the starfleet congress, that destroying the world of Lusitania would be wrong, or Miro and New-Val's struggle to find new worlds for the various races to inhabit and then to find the ultimate threat who initially unleashed the virus. We also follow Jane and Ender, although separately as they leave their current existences behind and move on to the next phases of their respective lives.

Somewhere in the various story-lines something was missing. The book flowed relatively well, but at the same time seemed a little disappointing. I think that it was perhaps the direction that the story took in Xenocide that set this volume up for failure. We did not have the action sequences or need for raw action present in Ender's Game, nor did we have the introduction and inspection of the new species as well as the well grounded moral dilemmas that accompanied them in Speaker for the Dead. Instead, the last two books seemed to be moving ahead not of their own volition, but instead almost just as a force set in motion by the previous novels. From what I have heard, the Shadow Series is better than these last two... Here's hoping that that is true, as the first two novels were very good..
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
qt steelo
This book had many similarities to and differences from the first three in the Ender’s Saga. It’s very different from Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead in that it’s more philosophical, even though it’s much more a direct continuation of the primary story that left off at the end of Speaker for the Dead. While also different from Xenocide, there are a greater number of similarities with this book than with the first two. I mentioned in my review of Xenocide that social commentary takes a more significant role; in this book it takes a primary role. Children of the Mind is much more philosophical than the books that precede it but Orson Scott Card does a fine job of wrapping up the overall story of Ender Wiggin and those who surround him.

As Mr. Card continues and concludes the story of Ender, he takes the events of the previous three thousand years of history and uses them to pose the very difficult questions we often try to avoid: what is life, what does it mean to be human, what makes us individuals and is the value of an individual life when weighed against a greater population or even the entire species, and what is gender? His characters wrestle with the difference in value (if any) between life and sentient life. He also does a fantastic job of posing very significant and real moral questions on a societal level, and works through them (often without providing “the” answer): when should war occur; at what point does the price of employing a weapon of mass destruction outweigh the cost; etc.

My only constructive criticism or observation is about the title. I’m not sure what other name I’d give the book, but I didn’t feel the story was much about the order called The Children of the Mind. While they play a critical role in the story, the order itself is only a secondary actor. It seems the only real tie to the order is that the more heady and philosophical nature of this book suggests we’re all actually children of the mind in one way or another. Mr. Card challenges us to think about ourselves, humanity, and the world we live in.

I definitely enjoyed Children of the Mind. I recommend it to readers who enjoyed Xenocide, especially if you want to know how the story of Ender Wiggin concludes. My only “caution” to the reader is to remember the much more philosophical direction this book takes. Once again, enjoy!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
windie
I finally read the conclusion of the Ender Quartet several years after finishing Xenocide. This was about 15 years ago. Children of the Mind was so forgettable that I couldn't tell you much of what happened. The Lusitania Fleet harboring the M.D. Device finally arrived to carry out their intended destruction, but I can't recall what happened next. Or before. Or why it mattered. Lemme check...(checks Wikipedia)... Weird. What an unnecessary story. I can't say I understand it even now.

If someone recommends that you read the Ender books, just read the first two and stop after that.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
paul clinton
It would be fair to say that this review of "Children of the Mind" encompasses the final portion of its predecessor, "Xenocide", as well. "Children of the Mind" is the final episode in the 4-book Ender's 'Quartet' that began with "Ender's Game" (though, it's not he final book in the Ender's series. There a additional books to tell more about this universe from alternate points of view). For the most part this four part 'magnum opus' by author Orson Scott Card is a fabulous science-fiction/personal drama saga. The legendary book "Ender's Game" more than lived up to the hype and was a winner of the two most prestigious science-fiction writing awards: Hugo and Nebula Awards. It's sequel, "Speaker for the Dead", was a dramatically different, but equally affecting continuation of the story of Ender Wiggin. It, too, won the Hugo and Nebula Awards. The third story in this cycle, "Xenocide", was closer in tone to "Speaker..." and dealt the consequences of the actions taken in "Speaker...". For most of the book "Xenocide" was as compelling as "Speaker..." and seemed to be driving towards an exhilarating conclusion. Unfortunately, Card took a dramatically unexpected turn in attempting to resolve the issues. On the very surface, it seemed like a fascinating premise. But, as Card delved more deeply into the explanations of this solution, the concept got murkier and more convoluted. The concept of going `out' of the physical universe and being `pulled back in' at any location with no time loss seemed to be metaphysical and existential in its fleshed-out form.

This problem plagues "Children of the Mind" because its whole story is based upon the concluding events in "Xenocide". Card's attempt find some deep and great meaning to everything sacrifices the very elements that made "Ender's Game", "Speaker for the Dead", and most of "Xenocide" such fine literature: it does deal with the depth of the characterization that powered the other stories. So expertly crafted in the earlier novels, the characters in "Children of the Mind" seem nothing more than two-dimensional caricatures of their earlier renderings.

That being said, the reason "Children of the Mind" still merits a positive review is because it does wrap up the `Ender's Quartet' in a satisfying manner and doesn't resort to any cheap gimmicks to bring about the resolutions. It's an above average novel that just seems very disappointing when compared to its predecessors.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
asta p
I loved "Ender's game" and "Speaker for the Dead" but "Xenocide" was a disappointment. And was reluctant to continue but glad I did because I liked this book is much better than "Xenocide". I do not consider myself to be a science fiction fan but due to the brilliance of Orson Scott Card as a writer and story teller, I got sucked into the story and characters. Card creates characters with such depth and his understanding of the human mind makes the stories worth reading. Strange but interesting plots that somehow makes sense. Ender is probably my all time favorite "hero". What's there not to like about him? So those who have grown to love Ender in the last three books will be disappointed that he makes only a cameo appearance in this book. He was not physically present much in the book but certainly his presence and influence could not be missed throughout the book. And he definitely lived through Peter and Val. Glad for a "happy" ending at last. Yes, closure.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caroline wilson
This is really a tremendous book. Though it can be seen as simply a continuation of Xenocide, picking up right where that novel let off, the tone is actually quite different. It's as deep philosophically, but it's punchier at the same time - I found myself reading this much faster than the preceding novel. Additionally, I found the conclusion very satisfying, especially since Card took this story to the very limits of credibility. The very delicately balanced plot could easily have fallen apart, but Card does keep it together long enough to bring everything home, resolving each of the characters' plot lines.

As the back of the book says, this story concerns itself with the ethical evolution of humanity. That's a hefty challenge to take on, but Card does a commendable job not only to bring up some fascinating and difficult questions but to try answering them as well. I do think Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are better novels overall, but Xenocide and Children of the Mind come very close to that level and are worthy components of the Ender Quartet. This is top-notch science fiction, tackling questions and issues in a futuristic universe, exploring what it means to be human, or not human, and doing it with great emotional involvement. I highly recommend this.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
edouard
I just finished this book and I read it not too long after reading 'Xenocide'. I really should review 'Xenocide' but I wanted to get this out while it was still fresh since 'Children of the Mind' was so awful. A full review of 'Xenocide', though, isn't really necessary since both books are terrible and suffer from the same flaws.

The big problem with this book is that Card violates the 'Show, Don't Tell' rule of writing. This book consists almost exclusively of long dialogue between characters and very long monologues and/or character ruminations. Even though a lot is happening in the book - colonies of buggers, pequeninos, and Lusitanians are moving off-world; the Starways Congress Fleet is traveling to Lusitania to destroy it; Peter and [the hyper-annoying] Wang-Mu are conducting Card's ridiculous idea of shuttle diplomacy - Card only ever has characters talk about it, rather than have the reader along for the ride. Card even takes the excitement out of space flight for Pete's sake.

Then there is Card's half-baked morality/philosophy baked into the crust of this turd pie. For example, Peter's 'mission' is to sway political opinion against the fleet's use of the Molecular Disruptor (M.D., or the Little Doctor, first seen in 'Ender's Game'). They do this by going to exactly two planets - neo-Japan and, I'm not making this up, neo-Samoa! They have exactly two meetings (one on each planet) with two philosopher/academic types. These meetings consist of some pseudo-philosophical claptrap that is supposed to pass for weighty jousting of ideas of serious moment and then, presto! change-o! political opinion in the Congress of ONE HUNDRED WORLDS is changed and an order goes out telling the fleet not to use the Little Doctor!

Then there is the pointless conflict and endless hand wringing over where Jane's soul (or aiua) will go. It's obvious that Jane will end up in the Young Val that returns from the initial faster-than-light space flight at the end of 'Xenocide'. But that doesn't stop Card from allowing his characters (such as they are) from arguing and bickering endlessly about it. As if that's not bad enough, the conflict is repeated (albeit on a blessedly smaller scale) with the question of where Ender's soul will go when he dies. (If you haven't figured out that it's Peter, hit yourself in the head with a hammer.)

Which brings me to yet another annoying thing about this book - the endless bickering between the characters. It's not enough that the book is endless dialogue. It's a lot of endless bickering, sniping and malicious psychoanalysis between the characters. First of all, very, very few people (and when I say 'very, very few' I mean none) has the acumen that Card's characters have. No-one really knows what anyone else is really thinking or why they do what they do. This makes it all the more unforgivable for Card to saddle the book with loads of shrill attacks between Jane and Ender, Jane and Miro, Young Val and Miro, Peter and Wang-Mu, Ender and Novinha, Quara and everyone! It reminded me of why I stopped reading Card's Homecoming series, which suffered from the same shortcoming.

Also, Card doesn't pass up the opportunity to re-hash all his earlier sermo - I mean, arguments from the previous three books about how it is wrong for one species - in this case, humans - to exterminate another - in this case, the buggers (notwithstanding the fact that the buggers were attacking humankind). Except that he doesn't even make an argument; it's simply an assertion. He doesn't explain why it was wrong of Ender to destroy the buggers' home world. He just declares that it is (and saddles poor Ender with the guilt). It was unconvincing the first several times Card made it and unnecessary in this volume.

I think this book suffers from the Forced Franchise Syndrome. That's my own term for when a filmmaker, or in this case author, takes a perfectly good standalone property ('Ender's Game' in this case) and tries to string it out to create a series when it's not supported by the material. My two favorite examples of this are the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Matrix movies.

I rarely give up on a book once I have started it. I thought long and hard about it with this one. In the end, the reason I didn't was because the book was relatively short and it only took me a little over three days to get through it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
charissa
So Ender saga came to an end. Mr Card, as its character Novinha, let him go peacefully, allowing him disintegrate because his life was no longer worth to live. Not a bad conclusion to a fascinating saga that was worth reading. We all know that finishing a book is much more difficult than beginning one, and that a saga it is no more than a way of delaying the final solution to a good story. Fortunately, Ender's universe is not ending with him. Mr Card has sown enough seeds for the story to continue, although next book if there is any (I deeply hope so) will not be a fifth book in a series but the first one of something new but familiar. And now a few bits of criticism. I prepared myself to enjoy this long delayed fourth instalment re-reading the third one, and to my surprise and if my Spanish translated copy did not fool me, I discovered than their merging was not as seamless as I expected. The I-do-not-know-who-I-am Peter of the fourth book has nothing to do with the arrogant, self confident character of the third one. We left Novinha inviting a reluctant Ender to join her in the Filhos do Mente, but find the opposite situation in the new book. Trips to the Outside seemed to need Ender or one of its replicas physically onboard, but Lusitania evacuation proceeds along the fourth book without this requisite. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this one as the previous ones for storytelling is the art Mr Card masters. I give a high qualification to the hours spent with one of Mr Card's books in my hands. Finally, I consider the afterword expendable and it makes me worry about the fact that Mr Card is somehow regretting writing fiction books.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
renta tamba
Strictly speaking, this book is really Xenocide, Part II. Xenocide ended fairly arbitrarily, and this book begins where Xenocide takes off.
Having said that, this book slipped terribly in storyline, and I had a difficult time staying interested. It continues the themes of finding the origins of the descolada virus and if it's possible to communicate with it, saving Jane's life, and intercepting the fleet.
Ender is barely a character in this story, and without trying to give too much away, he is more or less dispensed of halfway through the book. Again, credibility is stretched to the max as Peter and a young Valentine Wiggin are essentially reincarnated out of Ender's memories, and they are large players in this story. You also have ugly characters spending all their time yelling at each other (exemplified by Quara and Miro, as well as the others in that dysfunctional family).
I do not mind that this story is not action based; Speaker for the Dead is very philosophical, and is a strong story. Additionally, I read lots of other philosophical works. What I object to is the outright preaching, and a story that is so bizarre it doesn't even make an attempt to be realistic, rather it's a tool for OSC to subject us to his various beliefs.
Ender's Game and SFTD are both amazing books. However, the series goes down hill from there. I would recommend stopping at that point; buy Xenocide and Children only if you can find them used or at a library. There's too many other good books out there to read to waste your time on this diatribe.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
andrew bertaina
Tried to read this novel in the late 1990s but couldn't finish it. I'm going through the whole Ender series again on Kindle, hence this belated review. I did buy this book and tried to read it, even after Xenocide had been a disappointment, but couldn't relate to the characters, or the narration, in any sensible way. Felt disenfranchised as a reader, unable to relate to the author's point of view in any way. He seemed to be going down a tangent I couldn't follow so I gave up less than half way through it.

Now on Kindle, I was tempted to give Xenocide and COTM another try, but decided there are better things to spend my time reading, such as the Shadow series. This book is perhaps interesting to a hardcore Card fan but really doesn't do anything to further the Ender saga.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jfowler
The fourth and final installment of the Ender saga continues where Xenocide left off. Lusitania is in imminent danger of destruction by the Lusitania Fleet, dispatched by Starways Congress 20 years earlier. The inhabitants of Lusitania, humans, piggies, and buggers alike, are busily boarding spacecraft and leaving to colonize other, far-off worlds in a last ditch effort to save their respective species.

Meanwhile, Ender, through his offspring, Peter and Val, created in Ender's trip "outside" at the end of Xenocide, traverse The Hundred Worlds as they try to influence the thinking of Starways Congress to withdraw the Fleet and prevent a Second Xenocide. All the while, Ender himself lies weak and ill back on Lusitania in the company of his wife and sister. Unable to sustain itself as three entities, Ender's soul searches for a single manifestation. But which one?

Jane as well, having been discovered and considered a "virulent program", confronts the concept of "death" in human terms after "living" for 3000 years. She too must find a manifestation if she is to continue.

A brash, young Fleet commander makes for a suspenseful ending.

This book is an ABSOLUTE read for those that have completed the first three. If, however, you are just discovering Ender, the beloved boy-general, be certain to start with Ender's Game and read all four in chronological order. You won't be disappointed
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sanae
It seems almost like two different people wrote Ender's Game and Children of the Mind. Ender's Game was brilliant ... Children of the Mind was just dull, melodramatic, and overextended. Ender himself all but disappeared in this last book, even before literally crumbling to dust 2/3 of the way through the book. I couldn't really buy into all of this one-Ender/three-bodies business, and the love interests of all the main characters seemed awfully forced. The "looming" Lusitania Fleet seemed like an afterthought as the characters launched into long winded philosophies on aiua and dealing with the three Enders. It's almost like Card tried to make a large scale, Dune-type epic out of this series but changed course with this last book. The idea of aiua connecting us all together was interesting (very reminiscent of neo-Confucian ideas about the structure of the universe), but it just wasn't enough to carry the book.
I think Card's biggest mistake with the whole series was aging Ender so quickly and reducing his role to meaningless cameo appearances. The tragic young Ender of Ender's Game--the Ender that won our hearts and imaginations--and the middle-aged Ender of the later books were like complete strangers. Maybe if the books had developed around Ender's growth as a person and Card had allowed Ender himself a more active role the conclusion would've been more satisfying. But sadly, by the end of the book, I just couldn't bring myself to care anymore. Ender was dead, the characters were all dull and the wild plotlines just seemed to spiral out of control. I believe that development of characters and the depth of a book's environment/setting is absolutely crucial and the difference between great science fiction and average material. Children of the Mind really is not that bad of a book. But coming from Card, knowing he can do better ... it was a disappointment.
The good news is that after this book, the Ender's series returns back to its roots, back to the time when Ender was in Battle School. While the next books in the series might not be as "deep" as this one, they are much more emotionally engaging. Regardless of how you felt about how the Speaker-Xenocide-Children trilogy ended up, if you liked Ender's Game (hey, who didn't?) continue on in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jacque jacobe
Like virtually everything that is written by Orson Scott Card, "Children of the Mind" is a masterpiece and a 'tour de force' and a couple of other superlatives as well. However, the complex philosophical ramblings involving aiuas and philotic twining and things of that ilk cause the book to lose some of the beauty and humanity that is so wonderful about the bulk of Card's works. As a result, there are no characters introduced developed that are nearly so enthralling and beloved as Ender himself, Valentine, Human, Han Fei-Tzu, and Si Wang-mu were in the previous novels. Some new characters are introduced - Grace Drinker and Malu for example - but the only one who approaches the pantheon of Card's beloved characters is Aimaina Hikari. Also, some of the characterizations are a bit of a stretch. The Peter Wiggin who greets Si Wang-mu as she enters his ship at the start of this book is not the same bitterly nasty Peter Wiggin that invited her onto the ship at the end of "Xenocide." True, he does start it off by saying that he's not himself - meaning that he's really Ender - but the vulnerability he shows here is nothing like that seen in the previous book. And the nastiness and sarcasm he exhibits here is also nowhere as biting as it was previously. The other character of whom I have problems is Quara. She was pretty wacked out in "Xenocide," but in this book she has become a caricature of herself. One of Card's skills is that he is able to develop his stories without having characters who are evil-intentioned or blindly anti-social. Instead, the antagonists make their decisions for perfectly rational and well-intended reasons, even if their decisions ultimately turn out to be poor ones. Look at Card's treatment of Admiral Bobby Lands' moral dilemna in this book for an example. Quara, however, doesn't have this quality. Her behaviour is just stupid and ultimately unbelievable, even given the explanations that are offered for it. Regardless, saying that this book does not quite equal the beauty or humanity of Card's other works does not mean that it does not remain a very good book. This is definitely a must read for anyone who is familiar with the Ender saga, unless you are one of those readers who are looking for an action-paced novel without much in terms of greater depth, in which case you should stop with "Ender's Game" and move on to "Ender's Shadow."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
adia
Before I started reading "Children of the Mind", I would almost never read. I read boring books when I did read, often classics like Charles Dickens that made me incredibly bored. I was in the middle of "The Caine Mutiny" but I had left it in the school building, so I started reading "Children of the Mind", a book that had been gathering dust on my bookshelf for almost a year. I was hooked. I abandoned the Caine and read the book with god speed. I am now an avid reader and I read Orson Scott Card frequently. You would like Orson Scott Card just as much. I know.
Orson Scott Card's book "Children of the Mind" is a masterpeice. When I finished this book, I was very disapointed. I was done with the Ender Series and I didn't have another one of Orson Scott Card's books to read. I loved the book so much, I immediately went to the library and got Lovelock, another one of his books.
His ideas that he put in this book, like the computer lifeform Jane, or Peter and Valentine, is unparalleled by any other book by another author. I would highly suggest reading this book and the rest of the Ender saga, including Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide. I loved all of the books of his that I have read, and it is my belief that anyone who reads this book, will instantly be a follower of Cardography.This book is worth every cent of the price and more.
If you saw the movie that came out a little while ago called "Picture Perfect" you would remember the mustard company. they said that if the target consumer would try Gildstiens mustard, they would buy more, because it was good mustard but not many people knew about them. It is the same story with Orson Scott Card. His writing can top any of the writers that you know about.
It is my belief that Orson Scott Card is the next George Orwell. He is an excellent author who works hard and deserves every penny of the money he earns
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
baairis
I reviewed this book back in 1997, and a lot has happened since then, I think you'll agree. I've enjoyed re-reading and reviewing Card's books through the prism of 9-11, since it provides an interesting perspective. I like Card for his generally positive view of humanity, but 9-11 forced me to reconsider whether he was being positive or Pollyannish. Let's take a fresh look at CotM in that spirit.
One of the interesting features of CotM is the exploration of the philosophy of "Necessarianism," a belief structure positing that one should resist attacking an enemy up to a certain point, then make a devestating response. Interesting parallels to today, as the U.S. ramps up to blow Saddam to smithereens. But note that the Necessarians were *wrong* in CotM. They were willing to commit xenocide (twice or three times over) without allowing full contemplation of the alternatives. By extension, Card may argue that the U.S. is wrong today.
I've also criticized Card for turning cultures into cartoons, and pointed out in another review that his "Somoa" in this book is particularly stereotyped and egregious. Does he do this for convenience? Lack of research? Or to not write a 1000-page book? Probably this last one. I trust Card to do right by the subjects he writes about. But it's annoying nontheless. Are we turning cultures into cartoons post 9-11? Maybe.
Notice the dialecticalism (I assume that's a word) throughout the book? It contrasts to post 9-11 American attitudes, exemplified by Bush, that are what the French would call "Manichean." Manicheanism (again, is that a word?) is incompatible with a dialectic form of argument, since the latter necessarily includes a synthesis. In CotM, the characters use dialectic argument to work their way through tough moral issues; could Bush be missing something by thinking in strictly black-and-white, good-vs-evil terms?
Finally, I noted in my earlier review that Card's review of literature in his postscript was extremely interesting and informative. Card essentially argues that if a culture is self-referential, it has an established level of maturity and purpose. Using this standard in a broader context, post 9-11 I have witnessed a maturation of American culture unlike anything I would have imagined. The fact that other countries' peoples or elites think poorly of our "war on terror" is considered inconsequential to just about everyone except the New York Times editorial board -- and even they are coming around. I wonder how Card would write his postrscript now? Maybe we'll find out in a later book.
One other thing. I can sympathize with the people who felt that Card went off the reservation with this book. Its tone, if not its structure, is very different even from "Xenocide." I personally don't like Card's tendency to turn people into supemen in order to resolve plot conflicts. But the book is highly entertaining, logically consistent and thought-provoking. Very much worth the read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gary mcdowell
I finished this one about ten minutes ago. It was the best book I have ever read, by far. After I read Speaker for the Dead, that was my favorite, Xenocide dissapointed me a little, not as bad as I thought it was gonna be(based on what some of my friends told me) but still dissapointing. Children of the Mind is the best book in this Quartet, but it is also good that it is the last.
Having just finished this book, I still have the feeling it gave me on me. I was deeply touched by Valentine's memories as Ender as just a baby...smiling and laughing just at the simplest things. If only life could be so simple.
It deeply saddens me to think that Ender is gone. His Aiua lived on, but his same thoughts, same experiences, same body, same _person_ are all gone. It's fiction, but once you read it, it becomes real to you. I was very surprised to see that the reviews here on the store were actually quite low. After finishing, I came here expecting to read praises upon praises for this wonderful book, but alas, the response was lukewarm. Not only that, but this book did not make the bestseller list...probably because many abandoned this series after Card wrote the dissapointing Xenocide.
In a way, I almost wish I had stopped with Ender's Game. I'm almost mad at myself for not. But once you read Speaker the whole thing draws you in, and won't let go. While Ender's game provided finality, Speaker and Xenocide did not, and forced you to keep reading. It's a weird feeling really, and one I cannot explain very well. Probably because I wouldn't have this sorrow for Ender right now, and that he had to die. But in the end it was inevitable. Anyway, read this book.
It's just such a shame Card had to follow it up with a ridiculous and completely irrelevant afterword.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
yianni
When I first saw this book in the stores, I was excited at the prospect of another "Ender" book to read. From the beginning of my science fiction interests, Card has always been my absolute favorite.

When I started reading this, however, I found that Card had used the creation of "Young Peter and Valentine" to an end that most of us could not have imagined. At the end of Xenocide, I was left almost flailing at the sudden ending. It seemed like it was unnecessary and a bog to the story. It turned out that Card had something in mind for the two "Children" of Ender's mind. This fourth book focuses on the entire group, all of which are controlled by Ender's aura. This leads to some interesting plot developments.

Needless to say, Card's conclusion to the Ender saga is really not a conclusion in the true sense of the word. Most would expect that all questions would be tied up and finally there would be no loose ends when you turn the last page. But instead, we get just that - loose ends. This series could go on and focus on Ender's family or even Peter and Valentine for that mattter. But instead, it is truly where the series was meant to end - at the death of Ender Wiggin (sorry for the spoiler). Card's story is not an ending, however. It is more like a transition. No longer would Ender Wiggin as the readers know him be able to influence the characters of the series.

All in all, this was an excellent book, probably as good if not better than the original "Ender's Game". The reader is forced to connect things that are happening in this book to the rest of the series. Overall, it is a good read and is recommended to both Card fans and Science Fiction fans in general.

Brian Shapella - [email protected]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
charlie white
Os Filhos da mente (Childern of the mind) by Orson Scott Card. I Think that this book is one of the best works of Orson yet. With the tale tale signs of a movie in the making Orson strikes a master blow with this book. This story is a beatiful finsh to the Andrew Wiggins sage, and a even more entry into the sage of the new Peter Wiggins. Orson brings of back to the life of Andrew Wiggins or (Ender) With the Descolada virus put to a stop a new chalange shadows over the planet of Lusitania. The Fleet that starways congress sent almost thirty years ago is just a few days away for destorying everyone and thing on Lusitania, or thats what starway congress thinks. With the new faster than light travel supplied by the new raman Jane who's life is about to be put to and end before that fleet even arives to Lustitania, and with her the faster than light travel that everyone is depending on to escape the death and destuction of the fleet. Also Miro and the new Val are hunting down the new race of beings that made the descolada , and stop them form sending the virus. death at every corner , but where is the great Ender wiggins to save the human race once more. Dieing of coures. This story reads itself it you let it a true page turner
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
pranav
Talk about pretentious -- in the afterword to Children of the Mind, Orson Scott Card compares himself to Nobel Prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe. And that really illustrates the problems not only with this latest novel, but the problem of the Ender series, in general.
Card is so taken with moral and character dilemmas that he gives short shrift to the actual plot of the story. It might be acceptable if Card had the craft and skill of good "mainstream" author, but he is so heavy-handed that his attempts at literary depth are embarassing.
Ender's Game was a great novel because Card did a magnificent job of compression; the result was a taut, gripping and moving story. Speaker For The Dead was a very good novel because the main plot involving the mystery of piggy culture and biology was strong enough to carry the reader past the bland soap opera of the Portugese biologist's family.
But the third novel, Xenocide, completely collapsed under its weight, and C! hildren of the Mind -- after starting with what is admittedly a touching scene with Ender and his wife in the monastery -- dissolves into a mess. Any interesting plot flow that might have moved the book forward stops dead every time -- and there are many of them -- Mr. Card yields to his didactic side and inserts a boring, almost expository, conversation about the meaning of reality.
Mr. Card also continues another unfortunate trend that began in Speaker For the Dead, as he again speculates on how different ethnic cultures might handle space colonization. No doubt the author is exploring his own well-intentioned curiosity about other people, but his literary clumsiness again betrays him and the results are parodies, such as Japanese wisemen spouting Lotus wisdom and Pacific Islanders who have the wherewithal for space travel but still row on bamboo craft to speak to primitive prophets. It's as annoying as the Catholic Portugese stereotypes that populated Speaker and as insul! ting as Xenocide's Chinese Geniuses-Who-Speak-Like-Confuciu! s.
Children of the Mind tries to give us a cliffhanger ending with an interesting mystery to be explored, but although the sci-fi concept itself does have its intrigue, I just can't take any more of these characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy mcferrin
After reading Xenocide , I was eager to read Children of the Mind. Children of the Mind was a lot better than I thought it would be after reading Xenocide and having been disappointed with Card straying from his roots that made Ender's Game and Speaker of the Dead such good books in the series. What makes Children of the Mind great is not only does it make up for Card pouring his heart's philosophies out in Xenocide, but Children of the Mind does what the last book in a series should do; which is close it out in a proper fashion. The plot, the story, and the amount of philosophy are all just right in Children of the Mind. Readers who are coming off Xenocide will be pleasantly surprised to find the Children of the Mind is nothing like its philosophical other half in Xenocide. In particular, the strengths of Children of the Mind include believable characters such as Grace Drinker, Malu, and Wang-Mu. I've enjoyed the Ender Quartet immensely as I've searched the summer for cures to boredom. With the Ender's Quartet I not only found a way to pass the time but found out some things about the world around me and how Card teaches the reader as well as writing a particularly good storyline.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ashley arend
Though one might argue that Card has put as much or more work into explaining the nature of his fictitious universe in this novel as any other, in terms of actual writing it feels as though he phoned this one in. The book lacks heart, meaningful character development and believability. The brilliant characters that the story centers around make consistently illogical decisions, interact in melodramatic fits of superficial dramatic tension, and overall fail to come across as either authentic geniuses or authentic human begins, let alone both. This unfortunate shortcoming holds true for Ender (all three of him) all the way down. What's more, Card seems to be incapable of sticking with a character to the end, abandoning Ender Wiggin in Children of the Mind in a way analogous to the treatment of Julian "Bean" Delphiki in Shadow of the Giant: getting rid of him in order to make way for characters he personally finds more interesting (interestingly, one happens to be the same character he pushed Bean aside for). Above all of these difficulties, however, the book's greatest weakness is the plot's utter reliance on a central deus ex machina, essentially giving the main protagonists unlimited power and simultaneously solving all of the problems that they don't create for themselves out of their own mean-spiritedness. The plot for the development of this magical solution to all of life's woes (which actually takes place in Xenocide) plays out like a cheap saturday morning cartoon: the main characters simply use 'science' to make things happen, and they happen. This is especially disappointing coming from an author like Card, who in the past has always demonstrated a rigid devotion to making his science fiction as realistic and fundamentally feasible as possible. If you read Speaker for the Dead, stop there and consider yourself fortunate. If you read Xenocide and felt that the story was doing anything other than getting better and better with each silly development, skip this book. And if you are the type of person who absolutely has to have a conclusion at all costs, take an afternoon to write a few pages of fan fiction and have done; I guarantee that it will leave you far more satisfied than the disappointing conclusion that Card has crafted for you.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
meredith swimmer
Card shows again that he has a unique talent for developing complex problems with answers that only cause other problems...a situation more like real life than most novels. However, he shows this strength of his is almost a weakness here, as he seeks to find a final resolution to the Ender series.
This one feels a little too metaphysical. This idea about the aiuas has taken over a good series. Most of the first half of the novel is Val and Peter struggling with being half-people; struggling to find their identity, if they have one. Then it all becomes lovesick mush; is this a romance novel? Ender loves Novinha, Wang-mu loves Peter but will she be enough? Miro loves Val and Jane, but doesn't know if he can love them as one person. Yeesh.
The final resolution is okay, but not quite satisfying, and though Xenocide was plenty long, this idea doesn't feel like it justified a whole book. Card feels like he's filling space a lot of the time. And trying to figure out how to end a series of strong books. It's a tough challenge; he almost rises to it.
His afterword -- an essay about the function of literature within culture -- is worth reading and thinking about.
And I have to say it again -- who came up with these book covers? They have nothing to do with the book and look terrible. What is that thing?
A sample passage:
"But the point is to go on, isn't it? To connect with the future?"
"That's one part, yes," said Olhado. "But part of the purpose of it is now, is the moment. And part of it is the web of connections. Links from soul to soul. If the purpose of life was just to continue into the future, then none of it would have meaning, because it would be all anticipation and preparation. There's fruition, Grego. There's the happiness we've already had. The happiness of each moment. The end of our lives, even if there's no forward continuation, no progeny at all, the end of our lives doesn't erase the beginning."
If you would like to argue about this book with me, e-mail me at [email protected]
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shihab azhar
i love love LOVED book one. it was exciting, it was deep, i laughed, i cried. book 2 was kind of surprising, but i found it very profound and thought provoking. made me look at life differently, and somehow made me more precise in my communications. i foresee myself reading books 1 and 2 again and again throughout my life. book 3 started getting tedious, but i was still very curious about the characters and how everything would work out. book 4, i just didn't care. it was a struggle to keep returning to the book and trudge along. eventually i just gave up. at around page 215 or so, i put the book down and just read the summary on wikipedia. it was so unnecessary and pointless. but i still love the author and will keep on reading the rest of his books. this book was just awful. i'm glad i didn't waste any more time on this one. but i can't wait to start bean's story now!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tristen
First of all, if you never read the first three books then
you can forget about reading this one. You need to know the plot of at least "Xenocide" to understand "Children of the Mind." Therefore you must have read "Speaker for the Dead" to understand "Xenocide". You don't have to read "Ender's Game" to understand "Speaker for the Dead" but it would sure help and it is the best book in the series by far, and the best I have ever read.
Assuming that you have read the other three then you would definitely want to read the last one. You don't have to rush out to the stores and buy the 25.00 hardcover, though, because it wasn't as astonishingly brilliant as "Ender's Game" but it is still a good read.
The books seems to flow well until you notice that it doesn't really go anywhere. It gives you a conclusion but the problem with the ending is that it is rather limp.
Unless this book is going to be followed by another one the ending is weak.
Even with these weaknesses the quality writing of Orson Scott Card shines through to present an enjoyable, but not completely on par with the other Ender's Series books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeffrey greggs
"Children of the Mind," the long-awaited final installment of Card's wonderful Ender Series, is the best of the lot. I was never much of an SF fan before reading "Ender's Game" two years ago, and now Card has ruined me: I can't read any other SF novels without thinking how shallow they are compared to these four.
COTM finishes the series better than anyone could have hoped. My greatest fear, going into this book, was that Card would finish off his character in a fiery battle with the Lusitania Fleet, as many other so-called SF writers would have. However, Ender dies in a perfectly natural way at the completion of his mission (to restore the buggers). I felt that the deepest, most moving character was the ansible-being, Jane. She moved me with her deep compassion for Ender and his new family.
To those who have panned this book in their reviews: What were you thinking?! Everyone should read this book. Of course it's not a stand-alone novel, that was never Card's intention! Perhaps those used to "normal" (read:awful and shallow) SF might not like this book; they should read some real literature then come back to COTM. They will find that only Card's work stands up to that of such great modern authors as Doyle, O'Brian, and Gibbons.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jenna
While this book didn't quite live up to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, it surpassed Xenocide and I quite enjoyed it. It continues about where Xenocide left off, with Ender's mind/force thing or whatever now controlling second incarnations of his beloved older sister, Valentine, and Peter, his long dead older brother as well as himself. While Ender tries to join his wife in the convent place she fled to, Peter travels with a young chinese servent girl, Wang Mu, and they try to manipulate the Star Ways Congress into calling off the fleet sent to destroy Lusitania. In the meantime, Miro and "Young Val" work to try to save Jane, the dying computer intelligence that is the only thing that allows intelligent species faster than light travel. Anyway, the plot is incredibly complicated, so I won't even try to explain it all, but rest assured that this series is worth reading. The one thing that really annoyed me about this book in particular was something that several other reviewers have commented on as well. Not only does Ender's choice to remain with his wife no matter what "bore him to death" but it is also implied that all relationships are like that! I find that offensive! Anyway, before I get off on a rant I'll just say that this is a great series, if you ignore a lot of implied sexism, which I certainly hope bothers some of you as much as it does me. Happy reading!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
vidalia
I have read all four books of the Ender series in rapid-fire succession. Let me qualify that -- I have completed the first three books in the series and I am almost finished with "Children of the Mind". But because life is short and I have other things to read, I am not going to finish it. In "Children of the Mind", Card loses control of his subject matter. There are too many subplots, too many weird happenings, and too little restraint in Card's imagination for the story to be either coherent or reasonable. Even Fantasy writing must adhere to the disciplines of the craft. "Ender's Game" was a disciplined effort marked by a lean prose style. "Speaker for the Dead" became denser in its presentation, but Card displayed generosity of spirit and compassion for wounded individuals and families. He touches upon some sensitive subjects (adultery, alcoholism, spousal abuse, and deception) that scar real families in real life. His treatment of religion is balanced and interesting and he resists the knee-jerk reaction of many contemporary writers to bash the Catholic Church. "Speaker for the Dead" is the high-point in the series. Things start to unravel a bit in "Xenocide" as Card attempts to weave multiple subplots (the 'piggies', the deadly descolada virus, the 'buggers', "Jane", and the 'Godspoken' of the planet Path}. Still, there are some real insights into the human heart here that are compelling and Card's compassion for individuals is still central to the book. In "Children of the Mind" things get chaotic and, ultimately, very, very boring. Ender literally 'births' children of the mind who are his real bother and sister as they were in their youth. He does this while traveling in the 'Outside'. But are they really his brother and sister or are they really him? Meanwhile 'Jane' the sentient, omniscient being is really Ender too -- sort of. And the fate of piggies, the buggers, the descolada virus, the Planet Luistania, indeed the entire universe is in the balance. But we have a Polynesian holy man, a Chinese philosopher, and thinking trees who used to animals all working on the problem. Card has a real challenge to tie this all together. I appreciate his compassion, but he just went one book too far.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tree
I am a complete fan of Orson Scott Card, and have read dozens of books written by him. Nevertheless, COTM is not the "perfect" ending to the Ender Series. Although I have to admit, I was awed by some of the concepts of the book, I didn't necessarily like the sense of "stoping before the ending." It leaves you wondering what is going to happen with the Descoladores planet, and Peter's new life.
Although this is a set-back, I do also have to comment on the good parts of the book. The "super-string theory" that is represented in a different, but similar, way by "philotes" in this book. The belief of sub-atomic particles that are what all life is made of. The only difference is that philotes are in a sense a being themselves.
The theory of an "outside" existing is also another theory that is described when one reads into the existence of co-existing dimensions that sometimes overlap on one another (claiming to be a reason for the appearance of ghosts). I believe that Card states many very facinating theories in a very different prespective, but a very realistic point of view.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sandra park callaghan
... I love whole "Ender's saga" books at all. This one it was for me really suprise. I got information that O.S.C. put his one copy to AOL and let the users comment it. And he finally change some parts(as he state at the end of the book). There are definetely some sci-fi aspects, but I think it is diametraly different than any previous books from this Ender's saga.
The "eastern/asian" mentality, faith, illness, social behavior and so on really got me. OSC really did his work well. The quotations before every chapter, precise translation from Chinese/Japanesse/Korean languages. I really love it.
Anyone who is familiar with mentail sickness will be suprised how preciselly OSC describes the conclusion and confusion from this type of sickness.
I read this master piece two times and everytime I found something new. This is possible caused by my age, because it rapidly grows so me preferencies changes and that's why I love this book much more than on first read.

All other books from Ender's saga are pretty similar as the 1st one(ender's game) so I wrote only this review, because the others does not need it at all.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jbarba275
This was probably the most disappointing and tedious book I have ever read. The only reason I finished it was because I am a fan of the series and I have never put a book down halfway through. Card repeats himself to the point that it feels like he is beating you over the head with a hammer with his "philosophical" ramblings. I would estimate that 80% of this book is dialogue about characters' feelings that reads like one person's inner monologue. It is mind numbing and I seriously became agitated at points because I knew I should just cut my losses and quit reading. If you are a fan of the series and just have to know what happens next I would just do yourself a favor and read some cliff notes or read a summary on wikipedia. So little happens that it is unlikely you would miss much. You would at least save yourself the misery of reading this drivel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe miller
I finished reading this book today, and i knew i had to write a review for it somewhere. It has to be my favorite book(or at least one of them). This is an exciting and complicated book at all standards. Contrary to the beleif of many people, it is not that strange. It continues the same storyline as Xenocide, as it was supposed to be actually in it. The main storyline of Children of the Mind are the attemps at the prevention of the Lusitania fleet from destroying Lusitania by the citizens of Lusitania. Many things have happened since Xenocide: Faster than light, and in fact, instantaneous travel has finally been invented. Ender has transported his aiua into several other people, forcing him to have to control the bodies of him, young Valentine, adn Peter. And Jane is about to be sht down. As Ender and his family try to save Jane and the citizens of Lusitania, Si Wang mu and Peter are looking into manipulating the Starways Congress. Another exciting discovery is also made: the makers of the descolada virus. I highly suggest this book for any age level.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sanil mahia
I listen to sci-fi books while I work. I have read/listened to every other Ender's Game book that came before this one, and have enjoyed them all for the most part. Children of the Mind was not very compelling and I did not really care about the plight of the characters. Nevertheless, I finished it for the sake of closure, which was enough for me to be satisfied. I have become very familiar with the characters in the Ender's Game series, and I enjoy reading/listening to their new adventures. This book satisfied my desire to read sci-fi and not much more than that. I have moved on and hardly remember many of the details of this book.

Fans of Enders game apply, if at all.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
eram uddin
Card is one of my favorite authors. The only reason he's not my declared favorite is just because I haven't read everything by him yet. The Ender series stands as my favorite serious sci-fi series; I hold that Card serves up the perfect formula of adventure, levity, technical science, technically skilled writing, and just plain fun. The second half of the Ender series is noticeably more self-indulgent than the first. It seems stuck in that twilight zone where it might have been better if it were shorter, but everything seems to be vital to the storyline!
While not as gripping as the previous installments, I found the continued development of Ender and his doppelgangers satisfying, but I would have liked more about Novinha (though I can always refer back to Speaker) and some of the others. Card's ideas are still fresh and engaging; I thought the ending was well-done (after all, how DO you end such a stellar series? The pressure was immense and he came through), and furthermore, Card had the intelligence to know when to quit - to know when the story is over and not try to drag it out forever just to make more money. My hat's off to him - this was a great series, the ending is exemplary; not too long, not too short. And now it's on to Ender's Shadow.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jeannie hartley
A super condensed summary of the previous three books (spoilers):

Ender's Game: Ender goes to battle school and destroys the buggers through a computer simulation - nutshell. Story centers intently on Ender, whereas the latter storylines do not.

Speaker for the Dead (SFTD): Ender writes The Hegemon and The Hive Queen and goes around the universe "speaking" for those who have died over the course of 3000 relative years (light speed travel). The Descolada virus is introduced as well as the Pequeninos. The Hive Queen is given a home. Ender finds Novinha, his later wife who lives on the Lusitania colony. All hell breaks loose with the Starways Congress and the Lusitanian fleet thinking the Descolada is going to destroy humanity. Jane is introduced. Tons of things happen in Speaker for the Dead. This was my favorite and IMHO the best overall book by far.

Xenocide: Thirty years have passed as the Lusitanian fleet approaches (this occurs over the course of 2.5 books!). Jane is able to create instantaneous travel and go "Outside." Ender's soul gets split into three people (very difficult to explain). Ender remains, but two new people are created Outside, with Ender's will and memory of them as their own - Peter Wiggin at 20 years old and a young version of Valentine Wiggin at 13 years old. The Descolada virus is replaced by a non-lethal version.

Children of the Mind:
This book starts off quite literally a few minutes after Xenocide ended. The Lusitanian fleet is still coming, which was known about since about halfway through SFTD. It's been some 800 pages since this was first mentioned and they still don't have a solution. Young Peter and Si-Wang Mu (from Path) go and try to infiltrate those who most influence the Starways Congress. That is essentially the main storyline. Yes, they're still trying to keep Jane from dying by transporting her "aiua" or soul into either Peter or Young Val. But, the absurd thing is the time dilation that keeps occurring with the writing. In Ender's Game, Card would occasionally have a year or two pass in the course of a paragraph which was fine because nothing was happening worth mentioning. However, the last 100 pages of Xenocide and at least the first half of Children of the Mind encompass what is likely less than two weeks. What's bothersome is everything is just being rehashed and rehashed.At almost 200 pages in it seemed like quite literally nothing happened other than Ender going into his coma.

It's clear that Card's writing had run out of gas because all of the major or interesting events took place at the end of the third book. My proposal would be to split Xenocide into two books as opposed to calling Children of the Mind a fourth book. It really isn't. Not to mention Xenocide is almost 600 pages, so it would have been easy. The beginnings of the chapters are excerpts from Han Qing Jao's: God Whispers as opposed to the usual very pertinent conversations which were separate from Ender and his entourage. If you don't remember, Wang Mu was Qing Jao's secret maid until Qing Jao lost her mind right after Path was freed from the OCD. It's almost depressing reading this because you get the sense that he just was tacking this one on and it could have easily been compressed into about 50 - 100 pages. The actual prose is more romantic than before, but the complexity of the storyline regresses because the big problem (saving all the sentient species) has already been resolved. This was mentioned multiple times in the book. Now, the only real task is to prevent Lusitania from being blown up by the M.D. device.

When I got to the end of the book, there was a sense that Card himself might have realized that he didn't' split the books correctly. The Fleet was essentially the background event (it was a 30 year trip in real-time) that was supposed to be the climactic finish but it was just this short one chapter disappointment. Would I recommend this book? Yes, but only because you feel the need to find out what happens. As a standalone, it would be quite impossible to understand by itself and you'd be missing almost nothing by just reading the cliff notes. A considerable amount of vernacular is produced in the Card universe, not to mention the history between the characters. Were I to rate the books in descending order of quality and readability:

Speaker for the Dead
Ender's Game
Xenocide
Children of the Mind
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
criss516
This is by far the weakest of the Ender series. It could easily be cut in half with the loss of absolutely nothing. It is verbose in the basest sense. The dialogue is repetitive in the sense of ideas. Why take one sentence when you can drone on for a whole chapter? Card seems unable to simply be satisfied in making his point, or illustrating an idea. He just repeats the same ideas, the same concepts and the same one dimensional character personalities over, and over and over again. The conflicts are contrived and the solutions simplistic and predictable. Arrrggghh! It took me over two weeks to wade through this book because it bored me so much!

It is as if Card merged the WORST of Camus, Dostoevsky and Asmiov-- Unending descriptions of introspective character musings by simpletons obsessing about themselves in a futuristic setting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pinar sayan
After reading Xenocide, which I thought was a bit boring for lack of action and was really just a book on fictional philosophy, I didn't really have high hopes for this book. I was very pleased to find that this book contained more of the old Card I was used to reading. The story line reaches a desperate climax as the death of Jane and the destruction of Lusitainia seem inevitable and yet are prevented by the resourcefullness of three (four counting Jane) species working together for the first time in the Enderverse. This book contains some very interesting ideas about life, love, and happiness by exploring the inner thoughts of all sorts of people from Ender himself to his puppet-like creations, Young Valentine and Peter. The characters in this book are easy to fall in love with and bring the reader through many human emotions. Children of the Mind provides good and solid closure to the Ender saga for everything except the Descoladores. I wouldn't mind reading something about the future of the united races of Humans, Buggers, and Piggies and their relationship with the creaters of the descolada virus.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
tam s
The Starways Congress is shutting down the net, world by world, and has gathered a fleet to destroy the planet Lusitania. Jane, the evolved computer intelligence, can save the sentient races (humans, buggers and pequeninos ) but only for a while. Once enough of the net is closed down, Jane will not have access to sufficient processing power to move the ships.

In the meantime, Ender is failing and his children must save Jane if they are to save themselves. Jane is losing her memories and concentration as the net is shut down. If Jane is to survive, she must find a way to transfer her aiúa (or soul) to a human body - and who better than Young Val or Peter? But which one, and what will be the consequences of the choice? And what about Ender himself?

`To light a candle of truth where there was no truth to be found. That was Ender's gift to us, to free us from the illusion that any one explanation will ever contain the final answer for all time, for all hearers.'

I have very mixed feelings about this instalment of the Ender saga. I enjoyed the first three books more: the story moved at a different pace and the solutions posed to dilemmas were not always so neat. In this instalment, I found elements of the worlds created irritating, and the Jane that was saved was not the Jane I had come to admire over the course of the series. At the end of `Xenocide' I cared enough about the characters and their worlds to keep reading in order to see how the various elements were resolved. For the sake of completeness, I'm glad I finished but it really didn't work for me. I am dissatisfied: by the neatness of the happy ending, and by elements of the transformation of Jane.

`And then it was over.'

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
laurent chevalier
I loved Ender’s Game. I liked Xenocide. But this one is simply too philosophical for me. I plan to go back and read the Shadow series because Ender’s Shadow was good. How I loved Bean! Hopefully the other Shadow books will also be good.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
janelle wellsbury
I am what you call a hardcore die-hard fan of Card. I came across Ender's Game when I was barely 12 and since then I've read it over 50 times, memorizing it the way people memorize the Bible. Indeed, with the book in the drawer next to my bed, it became my holy book. The Speaker turned out to be different but in a very nice way. Interesting plot, wonderful characters, again something new and exciting. Xenocide disappointed me a bit on a general note but it's still an OK book.

Children of the Mind, however, is way too abstract. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind abstract fiction but it was way too hard for me to proceed all the concepts in the new book. I could call it -digressing-. Coming into existence of Young Val, Peter and eventually Jane was a little but too much.

I asked myself why I did not like this book. Is it because Ender died? Definitely not, I actually found that appealing in a way. Is it because it involves characters who shouldn't have been there in the first place? Probably not. I think the bottomline is that I expected Ender and the rest of the known characters to end up in a completely different way. I could say that the story is taken a step too further from the place that I would have enjoyed to see it. The world of the Children of the Mind is not at all the world of Ender's Game which I loved or even the world of the Speaker. It has grown far beyond that and it kind of felt like... felt like an -alien- world, one I couldn't associate myself with as a reader and as said above, a hardcore Ender fan.

I found myself skipping and skipping passages and waiting to see what will happen rather than being interested in HOW that's bound to happen. I still don't regret getting the book because it's a conclusion of the Ender saga, of the character, my hero for the last 12 years. Every story should have an end and I'm glad that the Children was written and reached my hands.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
marcus barnes
I finished this book. I am confused and disappointed. I enjoyed the series overall but this book almost killed even the good things I liked about the series.

NOVINHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really?!?!?! Novinha?!?!?!?! Ender really?!?!? She is so selfish! She is so self-centered. She wasn’t good at all! I still don’t understand how Ender could have married her. And give up his life? Live in that monastery?? She always talked about the people she loved dying but based on what I read about her she the only thing she cares about is herself. To truly love someone is to be selfless (or so I’m told). She gave up a happy life with Libo to “save” him. So where was her love for Ender??? I still don’t get it!

And young Val! Miro was “in love” with her and wanted her to live and then he wanted Jane in her body? And then he didn’t? And then when Jane took possession of Val’s body that’s it? He now loves Jane only? Doesn’t care that young Val is gone???

And so now Peter is the one that’s alive? Not Ender?

What ever happened with the descolada??? Way to set up a story line that was never going to get explained. I get that not every aspect of every story line can be tied up however that was a major plot for three books!!! Then nothing?

The most bothersome though was Ender/Novinha and Miro/Val/Jane.

Ender comes to when he is essentially dying and she’s upset at the fact that hers wasn’t the first name uttered. I get it; I’m a woman after all. But really? After this man left EVERYTHING and raised your children?! And it’s not as if that was the first time she threw some stupid tantrum!

That is all.

Oh actually, I happen to like the Wang-Mu/Peter story line,

Now that is all.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
arik
Children of the Mind read similarly to the stories I wrote in 2nd grade. Though more sophisticated, it had the same rambling tone, as if the author didn't quite know where to take it, and wrote the story while searching for a way out. In doing so, the story became too unbelievable, to be enjoyable. There were too many miracles, too many near deaths, too many almost destructions. Every time Card couldn't think of a way to get himself out of a tight situation, a new "miracle of science" was discovered, making the story a winding tale. The question is raised: Is it fair to give a lightsaber to a man facing lions?

The ending left you hanging, but I, for one, have no desire to learn or read more. I have a feeling this was not meant as the end of a series, but the beginning of a new saga. A saga that may draw in others, but will continue to destroy the perfection of the original, Ender's Game
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
brian hunt
Aftet the first three books in the Ender series, this book was simply a disappointment. It does not come close to living up to the standard set by those three books.
I wish the series had ended with Xenocide, as this book is not worthy of the series, and Xenocide did not really leave more than one point that really needed to be resolved. That should have been done in the Xenocide, and we would not have had to suffer through this book. The manner in which the author brings back Peter and Valentine in this book, as well as the explanation of instantaneous travel through the stars just make the whole thing ridiculous.
I gave this three stars only because of the characters involved and the story begun in better books. If you've read the other books in the series, you'll probably want to read this for closure, but prepare to be disappointed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aditya
... the rest is history.
While yes, this book does seem quite predictable, no, there are not many surprises in the plot, those two issues don't seem to annoy you when you're reading; mostly because what Scott Card does is arouse so many interesting points and ideas that grab your attention, you just don't care that everything always turns out as you expect it.
While the storyline is excellent for those who love to just read a plain book, people miss out on so much until they search deeper into the hidden philosophy within. One key section that Card explains in the postlude is his discussion (through Wang-Mu) of the Center and Edge Nations throughout history. But also auias, philotic twining, Outspace and Inspace... sometimes it makes you wonder why some of his ideas seem so logical... and why do many science fiction writers include something along those lines? Makes you think. Huh. Well, anyway, I would strongly suggest this book to anyone who has ever read Ender's Game... but read the second and third books first! You'd miss out on a lot if you didn't. This fourth book is not quite as graphic as Ender's game... so it could be suitable for younger readers. I don't know if they would be interested in the complex ideas, though. Try them out on Harry Potter first.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jeremy b
Children of the Mind is the fourth book in Orson Scott Card's Ender Wiggin books (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide). The book concentrates on exploring the origins of the descolata virus, and on finding a way to save Jane's life.

It's an interesting book, but it is merely building on the story that came before. There is very little here that is new and interesting. Most of these issues were resolved in Xenocide, and most of the story feels drawn out. It's the weakest of the four books.

With all that said, it's still a fun read. The characters we've come to know so well are present and accounted for, and we get a better grasp on exactly who Jane is. And the typical Card empathy is obvioulsy present. Also, there is an interesting possible hint of a future storyline, though I'm not sure if Card is considering this or not. He seems to be focused on his Alvin Maker series (the fourth book of it, Journeyman Alvin, was released last winter).

-Lewis Butler

[...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
quentin
With Ender's game, Card told us the story of a little boy whose games and personal problems touched all of humanity. Speaker for the Dead showed the games and the personal problems of the adult Ender, and now, with Children of the Mind, we see how once again they take on all-encompassing consequences.

The story takes us from the planet Lusitania to all ends fof the hundred worlds, as Peter and Wang-mu seek to save not only the citizens of the planet, but also Jane, the brainchild of Ender and the buggers, and one of the three beings to which the title refers.

The Characters they meet are wonderful. Card, known for characterization, does a brillant job of that, and also of forming the worlds that created them. This was a delightful peek at all sorts of Minds, and those thoughts which are thier true children.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
maria los
Like the Dune and Foundation series, the Ender book series suffers from drawn out sequels. This book, which finally sums up what should have been summed up in Speaker for the Dead (two books prior), does not capture the imagination or hold the reader's attention as well as the first book in the series. In fact, this book, along with Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide actually does a great disservice to Ender's Game.
The book is not too bad though. It finally solves the riddles of the four species (Jane, Piggies, Desaloda, and the Buggers), and moves along at a much better pace than the two previous books. Though the ending is relatively weak, at least the reader won't have to endure more conflicts and problems that Card seems to add on almost page by page. It also tends to stray away from family, philosophical, and religious rants and goes back to the story at hand.
If you've read the three previous books, you should definitely finish the series and pick up this book. However, if you're just starting out, start with Ender's Game, and end right there.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bradley hansen
Ender's Game: 10, Speaker For the Dead: 9, Zenocide: 7, Children of The Mind: 5
A lot of useless self-absorbed inner turmoil and ridiculous pseudo-science in this one. Doesn't have the hard, bitter edge that made Ender's Game so great. These characters bask annoyingly in repentance and unconscionably benevolent gestures toward humanity. And they preach too much--to each other, to themselves, and therefore to me. It seems as though Card went a little overboard with his latest attempt to teach us to be decent to one another, and in the process forgot to entertain us with plausible scenarios. The parallel to modern-day earth he attempts to portray through absurdly homogeneous ethnic worlds is simplistic, hardly a subtle or elegant allegory. But man, was Ender's Game good.
Take us back to battle school. Please.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole kessler
I have read almost ever single review that is listed on the store's site and must say that I am greatly disapointed with what people thought of Card's finish to the Ender's Game Series.... Personally I found Card's forth book to be inspiring and a much needed addition to the Science Fiction genre. People have complained about his technique and about certain aspects of his book. But, I think they all miss the point. Card has created a type of science fiction that hasn't been done before, the people that hate this book were shocked and because of the were disapointed, when the reality of this book is that it is superb. It is amazing, and I think it is Card's best Ender's Game book. Because it DOESN'T focus on the Science, that Card has already established, but focuses on the PEOPLE, which is what his reader's loved.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
april rsw
I've never liked the end of the Ender Saga as much as the beginning. Speaker for the Dead is a hard act to follow. The first couple of times listened to the series, I severely disliked Xenocide and CotM was a consolation, a resolution to the conflict of SftD, if nothing else. I resolved not to read the end of the series again once I'd done it once and found out the story.

But even now, on my third time through, I still couldn't just stop with Speaker. I had to finish out the series, and I'll say that I appreciated Xenocide more this third time around, and Children of the Mind was actually the story I rolled my eyes through. I guess you do get something different out of a book every time you read it (or listen, as it were). While Xenocide was formerly the book I sighed through, rolling my eyes at what I perceived to be OSC's personal dogma coming through his story, this time it was CotM.

I wish I'd written the review as I was listening instead of waiting a couple of weeks and a couple more books before sitting down, because I can't remember what exactly it was that rubbed me wrong about this book this time around. But I remember being surprised that I disliked it so much, as before it was my consolation after wading through Xenocide. Let's just say either way, I was happy to jump back to Ender's Shadow.

I've gotten something different out of this book every time I read it, anyway, and I will probably continue to work my way through the entire series once every year or two, as I've done since first picking it up.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
elizabeth hucker
This is the fourth book in the Ender series by Orson Scott card. The series starts out with the fast-paced, action packed Ender's Game, then moves on to the relationship oriented Speaker for the Dead. The next book in the series is the preachy Xenocide and finally ends with the long winded, highly incredulous Children of the Mind. As a friend of mine said, Card milked it for all it's worth. In fact, the author created another series devoted to a character in a parallel timeline to Ender's Game.
What did I not like about this book? The dialogue for the most part was horrible. At any point in the story a character is bound to be giving a monologue on something. Some characters speak and bicker like kids one moment and turn around and sound like psychologists with measured words the next. This is really a story about Jane. Ender's role as a provider, healer and source of strength ended with Speaker for the Dead. It's too bad the author decided to leave the second and third books incomplete. You really need to read this book to have closure on Ender's life. But to read this book is to devote time and energy to a particulary limp and lame story.
Don't you miss the days of the award-winning Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead?
LEAP rating (each out of 5):
============================
L (Language) - 2 (did Orson Scott Card really write this drivel?)
E (Erotica) - 0 (n/a)
A (Action) - 0.5 (the launch of the MD device was probably as exciting as it got)
P (Plot) - 3 (let's save jane, see jane save herself, see jane save the rest of humanity, ugh...)
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jeff rose
I agree with what reviewer Webster says, and add the following.
Ender's Game is no doubt a classic sf novel, and one I enjoyed all over again 25 years after I first read it. The second and third novels follow logically, maintain the forward momentum of the plot, and increase the emotional depth.
But Children of the Mind was a real disappointment. It reads as an afterthought, beginning with the fact that, unlike the books in the Ender "trilogy", it assumes you've read the first three -- and recently. Each of the other three could stand on its own; this one can't.
Also, it's way too talky. Card seems here to have given up *showing* and just decided to *tell* everything he wanted to say.
Finally, it seems to me this book breaks the golden rule of sf: assume one element contrary to nature as we know it, and trace the logical consequences. When Jane starts popping people in and out of places, Card's just playing God, and it ceases to be interesting.
In the Afterword, Card says he's trying to write mature American fiction, and maybe even mature Mormon fiction, but this ain't it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patty
A book I have just recently read was the book Children of the Mind. It was written by Orson Scoot Card. This is the first time I have heard of his writing. In fact I thought it was great. The book a lot of description in it and if you like science fiction you should love this book. My opinion on this book is once you start reading you can't and you don't wont to stop. Each thing that happened is tied into another.
In this book Children of the Mind there were basically two teams or partners in this book. There was Miro and Young Val. Then Peter and Wang-mu. Peter is a creation of Ender but this isn't any kind if creation. Peter is a body but has no true soul he is really Ender. Peter and Wang-mu's job is to find information on people, plant's, and Jane.
Miro and Young Val have Basically the same situation. Miro was given a body from Ender. While Young Val has the same thing as Peter She is only made up. In realty she is there but in souls she isn't even born. These two have to search for new plants for the species.
So the reason they have to do these job's is because Starways Congress wants to blow up the planet Lusitania because it is threatened to have a virus. Jane, an evolved super computer, can help them save the planet but she will be shut down at any moment. The big problem is three species will die: the pequienios or trees, humans, and hive queens, which are like ants. While Jane is alive she can move ships faster than light. The question is: Will Jane live and be able to transport all the species? Can they save Jane before the planet is blown up?
The Literary Elements were foreshadowing, drama, and sensory language. It even has some conflict. Well I recommend this book to any person who likes science fiction and who wants to read about what dilemmas people will have in the year 3000.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
warchild747
After getting to the end of Xenocide, I lost interest in Orson Scott Card and his novels completely. Children of the Mind has renewed my faith and ended a sci-fi series which has secured its place at the level of Asimov's Foundation series. One can almost excuse the poorly thought out ending of Xenocide with this well thought out and executed ending of the Ender series.
My only complaints are Ender's small part and anti-climatic exit in a saga that placed him so highly and it's inability to seperate the unrealistic, mystic aspect brought on in Xenocide with the genuine Sci-Fi magic that made the first two novels in the series classics of the genre.
However, if you read Ender's Game and are wondering whether to continue through the series, the answer is a definite yes.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
deane
Actually, I take that back. I do know why I read this: Because of Ender. He is such a real and compelling character that I couldn't help but finish his story. However, I can honestly say that I wish this book wasn't written. "Xenocide" should have ended differently, namely with some actual legitimate xenocide, and then this story would have been 100% different. When you read a story and realize you don't even agree with it being in your hands, it's almost impossible to enjoy the story at all. However, Orson Scott Card is still an excellent writer, and that can't be denied, even amidst such an absurd story.

See more at [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
patti mealer
While this is perhaps the weakest of the books in the Ender saga, that rating comes only in comparison to an awe-inspiring beginning. COTM perhaps didn't have the depth of the other novels, but Card did an excellent job of fleshing out some of the more minor characters from the previous stories.
Most of the criticism of COTM seems to concern Card's rambling style. This stylistic choice may be seen as a reflection of Ender himself in his final days, a skillful projection of the personality of the main character onto the frame of the work. Card's narrative didn't ramble all the time; observant reading relates Card's style to the "rambling" of Ender's soul. This book needs to be read with an open mind and an eye to the author's art as well as his tale.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah richardson dugas
Still in sync with "Speaker for the dead" and "Xenoside" rather than "Ender's Game", focuses on morals, humanity's tendency not to learn from its past, etc.

O.S.C. adds yet more planet-nations, this time Japanese and Samoan

The plot-line is ok but a little lackluster, the end of the series comes a little anti-climactic for me, and I believe some things would probably have been better if left as open ends rather than neatly wrapped up in a cliché and hastily manner as they were.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
liz gonzalez
There is wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too much dialogue - both inner and outer - in this book. A planet with its inhabitants is about to be destroyed and we are misguidedly treated to endless useless and boring details about the love lives and inner demons of many characters. And pointless verbal sparring and pedantry.

The stuff about the aiuas was interesting at first, but it doesn't seem to make any sense. Why can't young Valentine hold herself together? She has her own self inhabiting her body, no matter the forced ruminations about the topic. This should have been an obvious flaw from the outset. And that Jane cannot seem to find better solutions to being shut down by Congress is hard to believe.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sarah rzewski
When I heard about the movie soon coming out I thought, read the books first. The first two were ok, Xenocide kinda fell apart, and I only made it to page 35 of this one before I trashed it. He basically took a strong character, Ender, who we all cheered on and loved when he was a boy then tragically let him age without any further action until he was living in a convent with a bunch of religious nuts and his self centered bitch of a wife! Way to kill a hero Orson! I pretty much knew by the end of Xenocide that this one would involve a love affair between the made up half Peter and Wang Mu, and I skipped to the end to see what became of Jane. Another useless mess he turned her into. This book is a disaster and waste of paper. Maybe I thought i'd find something like the Halo books which were excellent all the way. This story is boring. At least now I know I wont bother seeing the movie.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephanie thornton
I have read every book Orson Scott Card has written, even his non-fiction works. Ender's Game will always rank as a top Science Fiction work. My wife and I are writers who admire his work. I just reread Songmaster, one of my favorite Card novels and choked up in places. Card can summon emotions from the written page as well as any writer alive. After reading Card's `How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, I was inspired to start writing. I wrote Alien Rapture with Brad Steiger and have completed two other fiction works soon to be on the store.com. I recommend this book to everyone and if you love science fiction enough you might want to read about how to write it. Card is a superb professional writer, teacher, and dreamer who all should admire.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ann marie
I greatly enjoyed Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. The writing was wonderful, the characterization was excellent, and the plot was interesting and detailed. The first half or so of Xenocide was also wonderful, and the Godspoken of Path were intriguing characters. But by the end of Xenocide, I became disappointed, and Children of the Mind did little to change that. The philotes plot seemed silly (was he just trying to rescue himself after writing himself into a corner with the Lusitania Fleet?) The characters sagged. The new characters were two dimensional in their basic definition, and the book seemed just a forum to air his strange science twists. Even science fiction should still be based on characters and plot, not science or philosophy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
austin kinder
Orson Scott Card, my hat goes off to you. I truely lost myself in the series and compleated it in about a day. I'm only 16 but this book, it just hit me in the heart you know? I remember, I began reading the saga at about 9:30 pm or so....stayed up all night (On a school night!) and was done at about 4 in the morning...my mother came to my room and I was crying...it was awesome...Card has a strange power to make ethical dilemas seem like serious action..and you become so caught up in the book that you have to love it. Ender can rest in peace..his end was truely moving. Card is well on his way to being on the level of the late Isaac Asimov. On a final note: The end is'nt exactly an end, its more of a new begining. -Miguel Pimentel
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
todd mundt
I read the first three "Ender" books when I was in middle school. Back then I related with Ender in some ways, and it opened my mind to my potential (not to mention the genre). Again I loved the entire series, felt compassion for the characters, and was on edge to see what would happen next, not sure that my memories were all that accurate. Twenty five years later, I can see the relationships between this fictional story and my own life and time. Card describes in his afterword the idea of the relationship between his story and our society, junbungaku, and questions his readers on the truth of this.
The story is amazing, even without expanding the meanings to this depth, that it was like reading a new book. Anyone seriously interested in science fiction would have to read the Ender Saga to say they were a true fan.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nicole lyons macfarlane
As with most of Card's books I found this a very interesting book to read. But at the end of the book I was disappointed. I felt that I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if Ender was not one of the main characters. You fall in love with Ender in Ender's Game and you want to see him put his harrowing experience at Battle School behind him, but you miss the happiest years of his life in this series because we are watching Valentine in space. When he gets back together with his wife, instead of being happy he is "bored to death". And the book ends without really dealing with the descolada issue. The reincarnations of Peter and Valentine were interesting, but they really seemed ill-fitting to the rest of the plot. I am finding Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow much more worthwhile reads.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
john dinh
I want to preface this by saying that Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are two of the best novels that I have ever read. Unfortunately, Children of the Mind, while a good book, did not live up to my expectations. It does have some moments of brilliance, but there are not quite as many of them as in OSC's previous works. Part of the problem is that much less time is spent with Ender, and Ender is the central reason that most of us became such fanatics. It is still a must read if you have read the other three, if for no other reason than to gain some sense of closure (although as others have pointed out, there is at least one story line that is left open). Go ahead and get it, but don't get your hopes up too high
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lisalamb
Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors, and many of his books have become touchstones in my life. Children of the Mind, however, is not one of those books. After Xenocide, I really feel that Card had told all the stories about Ender and the gang that could well be told. And, as the others reviewers have mentioned, the odd return of Peter and young Valentine is just plain weird. I really think this whole book could've had 80% of its plot and action gutted and been made into three chapters at the end of Xenocide. The ideas expressed here are too far flung and don't feel like a natural or meaningful completion of the story that began when Ender won his way into Battle School. Moreover, I feel that Children of the Mind marks the point at which Card's powers of creation begin to decline.

Having said all of that, Card's worst books are still better than most people's best ones. As a standalone, this book is still pretty strong. But I found that I was happier with my mental idea of the Ender series before I read this book. If you'd read the first three, you too might be happier to just leave the loose ends dangling and imagine what might have been yourself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thomas hansen
Many times I have read a book and could barely contain myself while waiting for its sequal, but was extremely dissapointed by its successor. This book -- this series -- however, is quite a different story. While reading each and every book, I could hardly contain my excitement as I read line after line. It was almost too much for me to just read one sentence at a time, as I wanted desperately to take it all in at once. Even though I knew that each line brought me that much more information and detail about the world that Card has beautifully spun through these works, I found it sad to continue to read because I knew that it would also bring that much closer to the completion of the story. A truly great read!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
irum
In classic Card style, Card breaks off completely from the story that he has been telling for the past 3 books to unburden his soul and really spell out in blatant terms his opinions on life, the universe, and everything else. This book completes the Ender Saga in a rather roundabout way, really not dealing with Ender in any way/shape/form. Instead it goes on to tell the story of Ender's evil brother Peter who was born out of Ender's fear and his pairing with a servant girl who beleives in serving her god. This book is so philisophical I think Card is overshooting his audience a bit. For those who enjoyed the series as a story, they will not find any joy in this book at all, as it really is a weak storyline. For those that were taking the depper route they too will feel cheated as Card underestimates their intelligence and blatantly explains the story he is trying to share with everyone in a rather direct manner.
If you have read the first 3 books then you will want to read this one to enjoy the end of the story, but if you have not read an Ender's book before, this is not the place to start.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tim spiers
Children of the Mind is the conclusion of the Ender's Game series; it fulfils this function beautifully and naturally. This is a definite contrast to the shoot-em-up atmosphere of Ender's Game - this is a very thoughtful story, and while the plot is exciting, the most meaningful part of the book is contained in the maturing of all characters involved. Be warned: if you are only interested in science fiction because it redefines the limits of sex and violence, this is definitely not the book for you. CotM stimulates the reader's imagination; it satisfies all major plot points, but it certainly doesn't tie off all the loose ends. This is an excellent book, but don't expect to be spoon-fed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pedro carreira
OSC is one of the best writers in the US today. In fact I will go so far as to say he is second only to Stephen King.
This book is not a stand-alone book, it is a sequal to Ender's Game. I read this book around 1996. I heard about Ender's Shadow a month or two ago and have recently finished the series. I have read all of the Ender and Shadow series and will continue to do so as long as they keep being written.
If you are not familiar with OSC, he is also the author/playright of the Abyss! Ender's Game is planned to be made into a movie by WB and the producer of a Perfect Storm.
This book is about Ender's life off-planet after having saved the world. This book is very philosophical and has less action. It is a not as fast paced as Ender's Game. I would say more about the book, but I hate people giving away any information about books and movies so I won't.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
shek
Once i finished xenocide i figured i could at least like this book, but nooooo it had to be the same boring long and confusing which i hated so much. The characters of the book would piss me off so much cause i felt like like thier personalities were so bad that they ruined everything about the book. The ones i hated the most were Novinha, Jane, young Val, Valentine, and Peter becuase everytime they would say something it would get to me abd i would wish they had said something else. I think these are the characters that the book revovles around the most, but thier obviusly really bad. I dont understand why in every chapter there had to be some sort of drama or conflict and some stupid dialogue. And i don't understand why the characters loved eachother, but at the same time would get jealous like Novinha got jealous becuase she thought that Ender loved Jane and with Miro and young Val she was jealous of Jane and it was also the same thing with Peter and Wang mu. So baisically these three girls were all jealous of Jane becuase the man they loved, loved Jane. I dont get why osc would waste his time writting about these stupid relationships when instead he should of focused on making his book more actiony and little less lovey. Lastly I would like to say i dont recommend this to anyone even if you want to finish the series and get hooked on the book i dont recommend it as it might make you a nervous wreck or becom depressedust reading it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jorge
Really nice device! Card can find a way to beat all the odds and get out of any situation. So it applies for the philotic connection. What else can I say except that it rings true?
In this book there is the religious layer, in which, Catholicism is the main target in opposition to something we can't totally figure as Pantheism. This is largely analyzed with interesting elements.
Card plays with politics and how politicians use religion to further their own interests which is a nice critic on human history. Religious sci fi has been very little exploited so it has a freshness to it in fact. So I do think the story has a lot of merits.
Not to give up too much of the plot: there is a definite change in Ender. A liberation that I really disliked a little, because he was what he was for all the had to do and go through. Nonetheless, it lets open a big space for more to come.
If you read the three previous books you will have to do this one too. If you haven't read any of the series before, it's better left alone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lindsay russo
"Children of the Mind" finishes the story of EnderWiggins, as he finally reaches reconciliation with his past and present. A dazzling array of ideas and conflicts, the novel comes to a very satisfying conclusion. Starting "Children of the Mind" was a tremendous relief, because the ending of "Xenocide" had angered me with what seemed like an arbitrary escape from the plot complications. Rather, the introduction of Peter and Valentine from the combination of Ender's mind and the new mode of instantaneous travel come to fruition in this novel, and prove to be the point of Card's entire quartet. As always, this deeply religious man uses science fiction and fantasy as allegories to study the human spirit in all its facets. Essentially, Card is proposing the divine nature of the universe, and its identification with each and every mind as part of that divinity. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau proposed much the same thing, as did Robert Heinlein in "Stranger in a Strange Land." But Card takes these concepts to their broadest reaches in his recreation of the very structure of the universe, hinging the entire plot and character development of his entire series on this discovery. Like all endings should, this novel moves much faster than the previous two books; in many ways, it's the easiest to read of the series after "Ender's Game." Anybody who professes to be a science fiction fan needs to read this series; it's one of the classics of the genre
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
meredith koontz
Though I am a fan of Mr. Card, I must say this series of books has made Sci-Fi readers of people not originally Sci-Fi readers. As for me, I liked the twists and turns this book brought about from the beginning. I thought it was befitting for Ender to move on in this book. I also liked how Jane was tied together with the rest of the characters. I have read comments from the naysayers, but Mr. Card really puts pieces of his life into this book. Those of you who are familiar with his life, can see a part of his life and culture tied directly to this book as well as others he wrote. To the new reader, please start at the beginning book, Ender's Game, and read the entire series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
dan brazelton
Orson Scott Card was just criticizing Star Trek in the Houston Chronicle. So it's amazing that this book feels just like a bad Star Trek book. This is because of how XENOCIDE ended. The first two Ender books were perfect, and why? Because they WEREN'T STAR TREK! There were a few liberties taken, but generally the books were quite intelligent, even if the pacing was warped and disorienting in SPEAKER. I first realized the series was declining in XENOCIDE when I read the argument about Jane cutting off the fleet, which was really quite stupid and pointless, and didn't feel like pro sci-fi. Fortunately, I was drawn into the emotions of Qing-Jao and Wang-Mu...then BAM! Jane decides "oh, let's make a hyperdrive", and not only do they, but *gasp* a bunch of guys pop out of Ender's and Miro's heads! Then, Peter shows up at that Chinese place and says "Yo, guys, I'm gonna go take down an interstellar empire and all it'll take is some talking and a little traveling! But I've got a hyperdrive, so hop on!" or something like that.

I put the book down, swore a lot, and made a commitment that, while I would buy the last book so that I would be satisfied with finality, I would never buy another OSC book ever. EVER.

As Card explains, this is the second half of XENOCIDE, expanded a bit. And it is ridiculous, it gets worse and worse, and it's all thanks to Xenocide. Peter and W-M hop around the star systems trying to get people to stop Congress--yeah, great. And I bet that all it'll take to convince Americans to take over D.C. and establish an imperial world government is some talking and two weeks, too.

And then there's the Descoladores. Another side-story set up by the third book. The entire debate about the virus being intelligent was unneeded, just fattened up the book a bit. The fact that the inhabitants of Lusitania manage to discover another sentient species of aliens--with which the humans will probably be warring--even as the Fleet approaches. Getting a bit far-fetched.

The book really sinks to the level of common sci-fi. The only refreshing character is the Fleet Admiral, but even he is paper-thin. And pretty stupid, too.

If only it weren't for Xenocide. This could have been great...but it just isn't. Instead, it's a joke.

Speaking of which, OSC has announched his next book after Majic Street:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Franchises: Kill a Franchse Without Really Trying!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
patrick king
I really loved the Ender series. I thought Speaker for the Dead was better than Ender's Game and Xenocide was building on that untill Ender's umm... children came into being. Then Xenocide got weird. This book doesn't end this series like it should have. It continues on similar to the last hundred or so pages of Xenocide, and can be compelling, but lacks the substance of Speaker. Speaker was a sci-fi book that actually had a human story, based on human problems, and was a masterpeice. Children of the mind just deviates from that as much as possible. None of the problems faced by Peter or Jane are realistic in any sense. However the book is still a fun read for people such as myself that really enjoyed the rest of the series. It just lacks substance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gary b
While I continue to be impressed by some of the depth of thought and interesting writing style of Orson Scott Card, I felt this was the weakest book of the Ender series. That being said, I still enjoyed the book and appreciated getting the chance to read it. Perhaps my disappointment came from how the book ended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
joanne dielissen
Ender Wiggin continues to redeem his life following the genocide he once caused. Ender resides on the planet Lusitania, home to the indigenous Pequeninos, a human settlement, and the Hive Queen he saved.

Ender soon finds life is a circle as the weapon that he used thousands of years ago has come to destroy his adopted home. The Starways Congress has sent a fleet to destroy the planet out of fear of a virus traced back to Lusitania. They also want to kill Ender's friend, Jane the computer for they are afraid of her ability to control communications. Jane tries to save the sentient races of Lusitania before the Congress shuts down her intergalactic Net. Meanwhile Ender makes a last stand by creating replicas of his brother Peter and his sister Valentine.

The conclusion of the Ender's series is a strong entry that readers will appreciate if they have read the previous novels. The tale provides the Orson Scott Card's powerful philosophy of involvement inside a strong redemption story line. However, many threads tied up in this novel will mean nothing to new readers, as this book is not a stand-alone. Still CHILDREN OF THE MIND is a fine finale (with new dangling threads) to a wonderful series.

Harriet Klausner
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ken bradford
The Ender Saga, which began with two of the greatest novels
in all of science fiction literature, wobbles to a close in
this anemic volume. As Mr. Card's ego grows (read the
embarrassing afterword in which he concludes that he is one
of the few great writers in America today) his writing withers.
Perhaps he is spending too much time in his virtual "town" on
AOL. Certainly the writing has the rushed, abbreviated tone
of an e-mail post, and what he passes off as wit in this book
sounds less like Wilde or Coward, and more like it came from
a chat room.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matt heimer
I found this ending the best to the entire ender quartet, apart from Ender's Game, which really can't be compared to it. Why? Becacuse Ender's Game is a different type of book to the other 3 in the series. Ender's Game is really a pure science fiction book, whereas the others always dab slightly into philosophy. I found Children of the Mind absolutely wonderful as a suitable ending the the Ender series. The only flaw I think that is valid is the fact that occasionally, scenes are abruptly changed just as the story gets to a climax. This was rather dis-orientating, in my opinion
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hannes
I'm still enjoying the series...good writing and it works hard to tie up the ends of the last book and even gives some final conclusions (for Ender) to the original book too. I feel that the detailed writing related to the cultures was a little more than I needed but after reading the afterward I can see what influenced the author to write in such explicit detail.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
muhammad moneib
I'm a big fan of Card's and think his Ender series is great, but Childred of the Mind just isn't very interesting. It's rambling and lack just about everything that's good in the other books in the series. The other books in the series are well told, full of imagery and interesting ideas and twists, and one develops empathy with his characters. His editors should have reminded Card of what makes him a good writer. Perhaps Card is starting to write above mortals like me, or perhaps he's getting a bit weird on us. I'd suggest skipping this book and trying something else he's written
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
geoffrey kleinman
I was disappointed with this fourth (and presumably final) installment of the Ender saga. Indeed, this story isn't really about Ender at all but about the 2 Ender "clones", Peter and Valentine. While this does not make this a bad novel, frankly, I was hoping that Card would have found a way to make the demise of Andrew Wiggen, one of the more interesting protagonists in science fiction, more memorable. Wiggen's death is reduced to almost a footnote in this installment and I could never generate the same degree of interest in either Peter or the young Valentine
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sara rosenfeld
If you have't read the Ender's series, PLEASE DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. If you have read the other three books, drop what you are doing, buy it, and read it. Hey, what are you doing reading this review, just buy it already! On a serious note, this book was fabulously written. My only wish is that it had focused more on Ender and his involvement in everything. However, his 'children' filled in quite well. The character development was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the play between each and every one of them. I could feel the emotions and pains of them all. In three words... just buy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lafcadio
Many argue that the Ender/Shadow series are not to be considered "hard" science-- and that may be true, but I think that these "soft" sciences are certainly worth reading. For people who aren't much for science fiction novels, the Ender series is definitely worth a read. Children of the Mind deals with the speed of light, while not going overboard with boring details (sorry for the people who apparently DON'T think it's boring ^_^;;), and he kept us reading with the romances of Peter and Wang-mu (my favorite ^_^) and Miro and Val/Jane (i was extremely ANGRY when Jane overpowered Val-- I prefer Val over Jane and was disappointed that Mr Card thought different). Anywayz, the story is fun and should be read by fans. ^_^
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
antoinette corum
OK, I got over the fact that Ender had a cameo and then died. But I couldn't get over the lack of good hard science (like Speaker for the Dead's explanation of how piggies reproduced). What in the world is an aiua, anyway? Novinha had undergone a sorry change from the intriguing, pivotal character she used to be, and the new characters introduced were more blah than the Brady Bunch. Grace Drinker (couldn't find a better last name?) and her husband who laughs all the time were ludicrous. If there really was a Jane, she'd be rolling over in her ansible network
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
patrick riviere
The Ender series was one of the best I've read. This book was a big dissapointment. The characters were weak and the plot wouldn't challenge an eight year old's imagination. If you
plan on buying this book, don't worry about the money you are wasting. Worry about the time you waste in reading it. ******

In terms of plot, I submit that It would have made sense if Jane's auira was transferred to the D. VIRUS. That would have had more of a potential for a real plot and at the same time the d. virus problem would have been taken care of.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
susana
When I first started reading the series with Ender's Game, I was blown away. That book was one of the best I have ever read. Speaker for the Dead was another strong book, though it wasn't as good as Ender's Game. Then came Xenocide, I was incredibly bored throughout the entire book, it had its good moments, but they couldn't make up for the rest of the book. I still wanted to read Children of the Mind because I wanted to finish the series. I was pleasantly surprised when I read it. I believe that it was a strong ending to an overall excellent series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
khalil tawil
This book is necessary because it gives you the conclusion to Ender's life, you definitely want to know what happens in his last days. But don't expect the read to be very similar to the other 3 books in the series. There's more inactivity. There's some asian history and philosophy. Being a student of science and never having had a deep interest in the liberal arts, I was only kept attentive to those philosophical discussions because I'm asian; others might find those parts boring.
Overall it's still a great book, like all others in the Ender's Game series. You're left feeling disappointed that it's the end and there is no more to read about Ender, because reading the series was an experience.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
viral
I can't tell you how dissapointed I was in this book. It was not what I have come to expect from Orson Scott Card. Many authors take a concept to the point where they just fill pages with words (i.e. Piers Anthony & his Xanth tales), but I expected more from this author. I know Card is capable of better work Treason, and the entire Alvin Maker series are a testament to that, but this last book in the Ender Wiggins saga is not in the same class as his other works. My best advice is to ignore this book and enjoy the Ender Wiggins Trilogy
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
elizabeth stigler
This is an awful book and (luckily) the last in the Ender Quartet.

Ender Wiggin plays almost no part in it at all, and instead his `children' are central. Ender is dying and because of a quantum-physics crap-fest nightmare with a super-computer named Jane (who has taken him `In' and `Out' of space time, allowing for faster than light travel), his personality is split between three people.

The story follows a plethora of characters, none of whom the reader has any reason to care about. They are all two dimensional and completely unbelievable. In the midst of interstellar warfare and dramatic tension, they leap constantly into long diatribes and dialogues whereby they psycho-analyze themselves, their traveling companions, Ender Wiggin, and the moral complications of the situations they have found themselves in. There is no subtlety. There is no action. There are only malformed characters and a convoluted plot that leaves you wishing all three species would be annihilated.

Not recommended. Read 'Enders Game' and stop there.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
preeyonce
Ender is such a strong and sensitive character that this finale book seems to do his saga little justice.

The story picks-up exactly where "Xenocide" left off and finally gives readers a sense of resolution to the mystery of the descolada and the fate of Lusitania. However, "Children of the Mind" is a sorry part 2 to "Xenocide." "Xenocide" was far superior and was much more interesting than this book. The sorry thing is that if you want to know what happens to Ender, Jane, Young Val and the others you have to read this book.

The focus seems to be mostly on Wang-mu and Peter Wiggin which feels rushed and not nearly as well thought-out as the preceding books. There are also some sad (and fairly pathetic) moments with Ender that I found disappointing. Orson Scott Card also missed the boat on a lot of his facts and grossly misinterpreted many Polynesian words, Japanese customs, and American history. There is also no depth to the characters and it feels all too much like a Hollywood screenplay and less like a ground-breaking scifi story. The plot itself is much too cliche (right down to the fairy tale happy ending). "Children of the Mind" offers nothing impressive or new to readers.

The entire first half of this book had me wondering if this was even the same author I had learned to love. I found myself on several occassions wondering, "who wrote this garbage?" The quality of this book's story is much less than I would have expected from Card. After the first half, the story does improve slightly but it is only a whisper of my expectations. Sadly, I rate this book my least favorite of the entire Ender Saga.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
krista bratton
How can you go from Ender's game to this?!? I almost tore my eyes out when reading it. If you like boring characters talking about the same things over and over and over and over and over... and over, be my guest. Young Val is specially boring and annoying. The only redeeming quality is that there in not as much crying and weeping as in the last two books.

You could probably write a fifteen page summary and miss NOTHING!!!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kirstyn
Everything in this book wants to get pregnant and worship Jesus.

Given that the genre is SCIENCE fiction and the plot is about a planet facing potential destruction via military strike, something eerily similar to that previously delivered by Ender Wiggen, boy solider, you would expect some probing of military, technological, and psychological strategy, right? Well, you will be disappointed. As an end to the Ender saga the reader is given a baffling soap opera where each character's suspense, fulfillment, and agony centers around their personal ability to procreate. The constant drama whether it be at the personal, family, or species level is always very pragmatic breeding, breeding like rabbits. But even if OSC longed to make this meta-observation that thing ticking isn't a bomb, it's always the biological clock, he could at least have added something interesting between all the pages. Lasers, guns, fantasy game, proof of genius, Demosthenes, betrayals, warships, political jockeying, something other than people crying and philosophizing?

Obviously procreation is of importance and love stories have their place, even in space, even in science fiction. But people tend to be well rounded and readers tend to like that. The story claims the characters are endangered, that they have education, philosophy, and job titles, but it focuses on their sex lives. There are no military, technology or computer based descriptions. The solutions are all mystical and described in ethereal, not science fiction or scientific terms. When did we hop genres?

If what you loved about the first book, Ender's Game, was the descriptions of the battle room, the fantasy game, Ender's ability to hack, to overcome, to survive through instinct and intellect, you'll hate this book. There isn't a single trace of that here. This story made me uncomfortable, like I had accidentally discovered Orson Scott Card's personal pornography file, not a book intended for publication. The descriptions of egg laying, mother trees with crevices, and every female human gagging for pregnancy doesn't seem like it was written to be misogynistic, but masturbatory. And I'm clearly not the target audience.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jiri pevny
I really enjoyed this sequel. I found it very interesting that is was written 23 years after the original "Ender" series. It kept me entertained well into the late night. More late night rereading to come with "Shadow Quintet."
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kari
A subplot of this last book is that Ender, having overlived his usefulness, finds himself slowly wasting away into a bland, lifeless shadow of his once radiant self. A better analogy for this book there will never be.

My first regrets about having bought Children came about page 25, when I realised that the dialog up to that point had consistd entirely of whining and bickering. I wish I could find some redeeming quality to the last chapter in Ender's life, but I can't.
Rest in peace Ender Wiggin
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matt ogborn
I have read the whole ender series, but with a strange sequence which may have affected the way I view the different books in the series. The first book I have read was the Shadow of the Hegemon, thanks to a tourist that had left it in the library of a hotel in Skiathos island. This book got me hooked, but it confused me also as I didn't know if I should start reading the next books or the previous ones.

The general pattern in the whole series is:

The beginning book is Ender's Game. Then we have two subcategories, one the Shadow series (which, with the exception of the first book, take place on earth and are more within military strategy) and one the Ender series (which take place in space and are more into new sci-fi ideas). Shadow series probably can be read from everyone, while I guess that the Ender series (especially from Speaker for the Dead onwards) would be read mainly from sci-fi fans.

Below are my comments for the books of the series, in the order I have read them and a marking (10 is the highest mark):

Shadow of the Hegemon: The first book I have read, and which I could not leave from my hands. I finished it in 2 days. It was fast paced action, very smart plot and after reading it I believed that Orson Scot Card (OSC) has invented/re-invented a new genre of literature. That of military strategy and adventure combined with brilliance/mind games and hidden portions of romance. Such books always existed but this seemed to be THE book. It was like the way Dan Brown re-invented books with trivials and puzzles, together with fast paced adventure. I strongly recommend it to everybody that likes such type of books. (mark: 10)

Shadow puppets: The sequel to the above. I found it interesting but somehow boring as the above story developed little and the focus was on the characters (maybe too much focus so that it seemed to me that it was slightly mumbling jumbling. Strategy, brilliance and adventure seemed to be very low here. I would not recommend it for anybody to read it in isolate, unfortunately you have to read it if you want to go to the next book. I really believe that OSC made a mistake here (deliberately or not) as this book should have been told in 50-60 pages and be included in the previous or the next book. (mark: 6 but you will read it because you will want to read Shadow of the Giant)

Shadow of the Giant: (see below)

Ender's game: A really great book to read, probably the best of the series, however, as I had read its sequels first, when I reached the 80% of this book, I had predicted the end. However, it's at the highest standards of sci-fi, military strategy, adventure, brilliant mind games and very good depth in the human aspect of the characters. In comparison to the shadow series, it is more "space" sci-fi, while shadow series have much lesser sci-fi elements and are more down to earth. (mark: 10)

Speaker for the dead: Another great book, but different style. Less adventure, more human aspect, more maturity. Brilliance yes, but not military, sci-fi yes (some great ideas) but not spaceship style. (Mark: 9)

Xenocide: A good sequel of the previous novel. In certain points more brilliant, in other sections more boring, however is again a very good sci-fi book. The only flaw in these series (Speker for the dead, Xenocide, Children of the mind) is the idea behind one of the alien species described which I found outrageously extreme, however if you ignore it becomes first class reading. (Mark: 9)

Children of the mind: I think that OSC has wrapped up his case pretty badly in that one. It's a fair book except the fact that I felt that OSC mumbles jumbles for one third of the novel not having decided how to end it. In other critiques I have found it described as nice approach to moral dilemmas, however, moral dilemma is when you describe it once and make your choice, while here the dilemma is repeated and repeated... I felt like I was watching a movie worth 10 oscars and the end did not worth to be included even in a cheap video movie. And again, many open ends at the end (for possible sequels). (Mark: 7 but you will read it as you will be hooked from the previous ones).

Ender's shadow: Having read Enders Game and Shadow of the Hegemon, I found this book probably the best of the series, which of course is my subjective preference. I could characterize it as probably the best book I have read ever! Not to repeat myself, it has all that Shadow of the Hegemon and Ender's Game have, and even more...(Mark: the absolute 10).

Shadow of the Giant: When I read shadow puppets, I said, "that's it, OSC has lost either his talent or his appetite for good writing...", so I was pretty unwilling to read it. Fortunately I decided to, as it proved to be a good one, were I believe that OSC has nicely wrapped up his story, with two small flaws.

* The one is described below (its end needed to be slightly more complete) and,

* The other is the fact that although he describes certain smart battles, he does not focus enough on them as it seems that he is in a hurry to wrap all things up. It had all elements to become a masterpiece but it ended up being a good to read book (Mark: 9)

In general, both series have three categories of good stuff:

1) Some great sci-fi ideas (battle room, battle games, fantasy game, ansible, aia, Jane, in/out travel, raman varelse etc)

2) Great military strategy, mind games etc combined with adventure

3) In certain books, depth of characters, moral dilemmas etc

And two main bad stuff:

1) Mumbling jumbling in certain books which was completely unnecessary (either OSC wanted just to produce and sell another title - see shadow puppets- or he could not decide how the story will continue-see last book of Ender series).

2) One of the alien species described in the Ender series was so too outrageous even for sci-fi that made it look ridiculous. The idea behind it was brilliant in sci-fi terms, but he could try a different living organism...

Finally, OSC has left open ends in both series (probably for next sequels), however I believe that there are two things missing. a) the story of the Hive Queen and the Hegemon, told in a metaphorical manner so it means much for humanity. b) In ancient theatre, a story should end in a way that brings "katharsis" to the story, and the souls of the readers. I believe that the end of the shadow of the giant may be smart for commercial purposes but it was very unfair to the reader as it did not bring full "katharsis".
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adelene
As usual, Card delivers with great writing and relatable characters. But the plot of Children of the Mind was just a little too out there for me to take it seriously.

This book is hardly about Ender AT ALL. Or, it is if you count the fact that his soul divided and made two new characters, which were really old characters, one of which is still alive, so there are really two of them, only... well, it got pretty wierd. All the conciousness-swapping made the book rather unrealistic. I did, however, enjoy the God-Whisperings of Gloriously Bright.

In short, this was a good book with a far-fetched plot. The ending was very solid, though-- and the book was a definite page-turner.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lindsay london
Card, in his third Ender book, Xenocide, left us hanging in the same place we started, with the threat of destruction approaching Lusitania. I, for one, wondered why I had bothered to read the volume.

Fortunately for us, Card DID have a conclusion in mind.

Children of the Mind includes not just an end -- a surprising, yet expected end -- to the story of Andrew Wiggin, but also a complete philosophical underpinning for Ender's universe.

This book is well worth the read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
samir
Not as good as earlier books in the series, Card gets wrapped up in these lips questioning there nature of the soul for about the last half of the book. This might be okay, but he doesn't seem to have a clear notion of what he wants to say is the soul or how it operates. There are also several tedious stretches in the second half that turn into space romance between emotionally stunted characters and these passages border on tortured romance novel.

Still, there are worse ways you could spend your afternoon then reading this installment in the series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alpestre
Children of the mind is the fourth of a fantastic series called the Ender series. This series is also paralleled by another fantastic series both written by Orson Scott Card. Children of the mind is placed in the future where there are starships that can almost paralell the speed of light. This book is great because it shows us what dangers could come if we learn how to explore space and find another sentinent species. It shows us how mean the human race can be when the alien species reflects thier behavior back at them. Children of the mind a very good book to end the ender series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kjersti
CotM is a great book, and an excellent read, it exceeds Ender's game and even Speaker. I found that the complaints of rambling are justified, but if you don't understand the rambling you may be unworthy. Ender's meaningless death has all the more meaning because it is meaningless. Still, if you want something more shallow and obvious, read Ender's game. If you've only a little bit of compassion, then read Speaker. And if you enjoy CotM, maybe you're no varelse after all.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ruchika
Essentially, this novel is a continuation of "Xenocide," with all of the flaws of that novel rehashed yet again. "Children of the Mind" is talky and implausible, in the sense that it becomes increasingly harder to suspend one's sense of disbelief as the book continues. By this time, readers want some resolution of the plot threads began earlier in this series. However, instead of resolution, what we get is a setup for yet another sequel. If you have read up to "Xenocide," of course you will read this as well, but it is doubtful you will like it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe ryan
Forgive me if it's illegal, but I am writing a review of CotM, and I have not, I confess, read it. I have, however, read the first two books of the same Ender series, and I would really like to say to those who have already posted their revealingly taste-lacking comments that you do not know good writing, masterful plotting, and genius in action when you see it. Orson Scott Card is one of the foremost science fiction writers of our time, and has something very important to show you--maybe relevant to your existence--which you could find if you only listened. Every element in his books--in any writer of that caliber's books, for that matter--is significant: you just aren't trying to see why. None of it, I repeat NONE of it is pointless, unsignificant, or boring. For those of you who actually enjoy great books, I STRONGLY recommend the Seafort Saga, otherwise known as the Hope series, by David Feintuch. His story is compared with the best of Card, C.J. Cherryah, C.S. Lewis, and Robert Heinlein. To those of you who don't recognize those names, they were and are the creators of sci-fi as we know it: the brains behind every trick, plot twist, and improbable circumstance thinkable. They wrote the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kerry overton
This book, the forth in the Ender series shows why
Orson Scott Card is one of the best writers of our
time.
Every novel in the serie has been as different from
the ones before it as books in a serie can be.
In this novel Card brings to conclusion the story
of Ender Wiggins in a way that is both surprising
and highly imaginative.
This is a book that no Card fan, and in fact no
science fiction fan, can afford to miss.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
summer canterbury
Children of the Mind is indeed a stunning and well-written conclusion to the best science-fiction series of all time. It is the second-best book that I have ever had the privilege to read, next to Ender's Game. The relationships are so well-developed that it makes one feel as if they themselves are in the characters' positions. Card does such a brilliant job of drawing the reader into the plot that I was almost unable to put it down. The book also gives surprising twists, as with the complications made by the young Valentine and Peter. Ender's step-children's personalities are also given depth in this book, showing their humanity. Ender is also portrayed in a different light, showing the dependent, vulnerable side of him rather than the headstrong, independent man that many thought he was. If you have not read this book but have read Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide, I recommend that you immediately purchase and read it. It is a worthwhile experience that should not be missed.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
keith blair
If we were looking for a trip back to brilliance by Orson Scott Card when we picked up this last book, we were sorely dissappointed. Enders Game is truly the only excellent piece of literature to come out of this series. Card seemed to be struggling for a plot. His examination of Japanese culture and of obsessive compulsive disorder is interesting, but he seems unable to really tie it in with the rest of the book and to me it seems like a gimic. I however have read everything that Card has written and might be a harsher critic of his writings than those who have just been reading his Ender series. It is certainly a fun and easy read, it just doesn't match up with Enders Game, Songmaster, or The Worthing Saga (my three favorite books by Card).
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
o uzhan zdemir
Orson Scott Card went too far with this one. I felt he was pulling at strings to tie all of his books and the universe together in a cohesive work. He spun a web and got caught in it.
Ok, no more metaphors. This book is the conclusion of Ender Wiggin, with his final acts and battles. This book gathers many of the characters from his previous books, and attempts to solve all of the universes problems through the acts of a few incredibly bright, isolated, tortured, souls. With a convenient, all knowing, almost all powerful being to help out, it's no surprise that our protagonists succeed in their tasks. It's a must read if you're a fan of Card, but far below the quality of the previous books in the series.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jamon
As often found with writers of a highly succesful book: the subject is streched beont it's limits. The story drags on for pages without anything happening and wasting paper on surrogate deep thoughts. To quote Salerie from the movie "Mozart" this book just has "to many notes", being to many words. It could have been a short story for a magazine, not a full volume in what could better have been a trilogy or a single book for that matter.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dr aly
Children of the Mind is an excellent read. The plotline is intense, the interpersonal-relationships are complex, and the characters are realistic. Card answers all the questions he brought up in the first three books (which, in my opinion, were better). My only complaint is that some of Card's spiritualism can get pretty bizarre at times. The bit about auia's struck me as unrealistic. But as a whole, Children of the Mind is definately a worthy choice.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
devesh gupta
In Children of the Mind, Orson Scott Card wraps up the Ender's Gamer series. That's what this book is basically for. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead can stand on their own but Xenocide (the third book) and Children are for those who enjoyed the first two books and want to see the story to the end. Not to be too harsh on the very readable book but little is new. The ending is satisfying but no more. I would recommend the book to those who love Card and want the complete Ender's Game story.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
india
Confused, jumbled, long-winded and ultimately a huge waste of time.

Read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead and then walk away.

This book is not necessary and that, sadly, is all that can be said for it.

It's completely pointless, beginning to end.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
starr
From the best sci-fi author of this time we have the conclusion to one of the best series ever written.If you thought what Andrew "Ender" Wiggin had to go through before was tough, wait until you see what transpires in Children of the mind! New characters help this aging star, and with the problems Lusitania faces they need everything they can get. When the book was finished, I flipped it over and began again
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ewa wisniewska
Ender's Game entertained me, Speaker for the Dead educated me, Xenocide enthralled me, and finally Children of the Mind absolutely immersed me. I think by far this book beholds the best character development out of all of the books. Establishing great characters from Xenocide, you truly get to know, feel, and grow with the focused characters in the fourth book as they develop relationships both brutally and beautifully, confront the final fears that the series has built up to while also producing an amazing end to the Ender Wiggin Saga. The many sides of the tale are so well intertwined, that connecting with the characters and their emotions become so much more easier than what Card did previously. All the profound touches on religion and culture are all here, fantastically written by Card yet again. If the first three books have kept you enraptured, do yourself a favor and finish the amazing saga with Children of the Mind.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jake basner
this book is really just the second half of Xenocide. At first I was taken back by the extreme strangeness of the main characters but as with all of Cards writing I soon loved it. This is only series I can reread over and over again. Pure genius. Note: don't listen to people who say to only read Enders Game. Speaker is the best book in the series but the final two are almost as good.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
brooke moncrief
About halfway through "Children of the Mind" I realized that I hated it. With a passion. Anything that evokes so much passion can't be worthless. That's why I'm giving it 3 stars. If you loved the first three books as much as I did, you may similarly feel a strong emotion when you read this one. It's not exactly boring. I just felt like I was in another universe trying to understand what in the world Card was doing.

Why do I hate it so much? Because the characters are all varying degrees of unsympathetic, and all of the major action surrounds Card's weird new mysticism, rather than the intense ethical dilemmas of the previous books. This book is like the opposite of the other books and I couldn't understand why. No one is rational, no one is wise, no one has any empathy at all. The spirit of Ender Wiggin doesn't exist in this book.

No, Ender isn't really present in this book. Card would like you to believe that he is, in the form of Peter and Valentine, Ender's "children of the mind", but I found those characters frustrating and unbelievable and not at all like any side of Ender. Interestingly, they could be viable characters on their own, but Card insists on treating them as if they are not real people and we should not care what happens to them (especially Young Valentine who is subjected to extreme emotional torture but we're not supposed to care about her feelings, she's just an "empty vessel").

No strong characters rise up to replace the absence of Ender. Card tries, with Miro (who becomes loathsome in my opinion)and Peter (all the fun sociopathy drained out of him). With the exception of Wang-Mu, all of the female characters come off looking really bad. You'll wonder why Ender married Novinha, as awful, self-centered and destructive as she is. You'll wonder why you didn't realize (Old) Valentine was such a self-righteous prig before. You'll wonder when Jane became so extraordinarily selfish and annoying.

Far too much time is spent on the planet Pacifica, a planet apparently inhabited by self-righteous and rude religious nuts. The chief one being a holy man who doesn't "believe in ceremony" yet insists any roof he eats under be burned because he is oh so holy. And did I tell you that we are supposed to love these Pacifican nuts? That they are supposedly so wise and above everyone else that main characters are reduced to tears and supplication?

If you want to know how the situation with the Lusitanian fleet is resolved and what happens to Ender and the gang, then go ahead and read this book. I thought everything that happened was backwards and wrong but hey, that's just me.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
curt bozif
This book is undenaiably a good book. That being said, it was still a trementous disapointment. I have read and adored the other books in the series, and after finishing Xenocide I was expecting somthing just a wonderful. This book was not it. I feel that Card has beglected his characters and beautiful ethical dilemmias for a plot that, while interesting, was not spectacular. The book is frusterating to read, with favorite characters dissapearing, and with inconsistencies with the earlier books. I would recommend this book to anybody who has read the series simply because it resolves the earlier books, but I wouldn't really recommend it for its own sake.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gilda
Children of the Mind was different in a way from the first three books. Ender has not played a big role in the book compared to the other books. You could say he has not played a big role because in the begining of the book he joined his wife in the Filhos. But in a way he is playing the biggest role. You could say he is playing a big role, because of Peter and Val. Peter and Val are a piece of Ender if they want to be or not. You could say he is living through them without even doing anything. Peter and Val came about when Ender, Miro, and Ela traveled to outside space. When they were in outside space Ender must have had his perception of Peter and Val in his supconcious and they were created some how through him. Now Peter and Wang-Mu are on a mission to find the person that would have the power to persuade Starways Congress to stop the Lusitania Fleet from destroying Lusitania. Now Miro and Val are searching out new worlds for the Piggies and the Buggers to colonize, at least that is what the two of them think they are doing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
keris
since i'm from israel i had to read all the first three books in hebrew, but took an effort and read the fourth in english. I finished it in 2 days. Orson's writing if flowing and easy to comprehend, even for foreigners like myself. The story is full of philosophical aspects and it enriches the reader, and gives the book the title of a classic noble, and not just yet another sci fi book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
nora jay
Don't bother reading this final book in the Ender series. I know, I know, the ending of Xenocide was a cliffhanger. However, you'll be more disappointed if you read Children of the Mind than if you imagine your own ending. The answers to how the fleet sent to destroy Lusitania is stopped do not merit an entire book. Children of the Mind is long and boring. All of the characters of the previous books seem like ghosts; they just fill the space. It is also very weird. Ender created young copies of Peter and Valentine, but they depend on him for life. Since they aren't their own people, they are not really Peter and Valentine at all, but Ender's personality in new bodies. Ender doesn't have the energy to keep three bodies going. The question of who will be discarded is a main focus of the book and is not satisfactorily dealt with. I found the whole idea rather stupid. Children of the Mind does not have the same feel as the other books. Almost no attention is given to alien species and several new principles are introduced that just don't seem to belong in the Ender universe. I had read Xenocide a few years before I read Children of the Mind, and I was satisfied with the end of that book. The series has been going downhill, and this book is rock bottom. It took away from the series instead of adding to it. Card should have left the series alone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
booboolina
This is not Card's best work, but it's one of the finest
books that I've read in a very long time. Card writes
fiction; yet his work has a finer sense of truth than
much 'fact'.
I have heard derogatory comments on his concluding note;
let me just say that it is Card's intense personal
involvement with his stories that make them worth reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marc sparky
Orson Scott Card is my hero. How he can continue his Ender story to completely new worlds and not lose the reader is an amazing feat. I am moving on to the parallel stories of Ender's Shadow. I will be heart broken when that series is done. No really. I will be heart broken...
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
yusra ben
The perfect example of a good concept that got away. The first two are great. The third is ok but starts to slip. In this book you begin to wonder of Mr. Card gets paid by the word. There are long conversations that repeat the same thing over and over five different ways. There are endless self reflections that go on and on and on... It is a book that wraps things up well but could have been done much better if the author wasn't chasing the money turning it into two different books.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
erin carlson
Having read and loved the first three books in the Ender series, there was no way I was going to miss this entry. Like so many others, though, I am of split mind about the finale (and how appropriate, given the schizophrenic existence of its lead characters Ender-Peter and Val-Jane). While "Children of the Mind" does contain Card's trademark wit and while the last 100 pages kick into high gear, the final installment, on its own, is as unsatisfying as it is pleasing.
One of the major problems is Card's ill-considered decision to publish "Xenocide" and "Children of the Mind" as two books rather than one cohesive unit; the fourth entry seems more an epilogue to the series--a 350-page denouement--than the climax it should have been. Card admits he originally planned the two books as one work, and this admission resonates like an apology. Well over a third of "Children of the Mind" summarizes what happened in previous volumes, and another third is riddled with endless conversations on political and metaphysical topics, many of which the characters already debated at length in "Xenocide." Only in the last 100 pages does Card finally abandon the themes that were presented more thoroughly (and competently) in the earlier books and turn his attention to resolving the many loose ends. In sum, Card would have been much wiser to have written a unified 600-page book rather than 900 needlessly repetitive pages.
The second problem is that Card's philosophical ruminations often steer awfully close to quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo. The entire section set on Pacifica, a planet governed by Samoans, feels particularly incongruous. (Peter and Wang-mu wonder aloud--twice--what they are doing on this particular world, a question that is never really fully addressed.) True--some of the philosophical questions are fascinating, but there's very little that wasn't already said better and more succinctly in "Xenocide," and the dialogue is often excruciatingly shallow. Take this conversation between Valentine and Novinha, which reads in part:
"You didn't really need him anymore." "He never needed me." "He needed you desperately," said Valentine. "He needed you so much he gave up Jane for you." "No," said Novinha, "He needed my need for him. He needed to feel like he was providing for me, protecting me." "But you don't need his providence or his protection anymore."
I wish I could tell you this bit of dizzying dialogue is an exception, but there are similar angst-ridden conversations between Miro and Val, Peter and Wang-mu--in short, between any two characters who feel the need to explain to each other their raison d'etre. In the earlier books, Card allowed metaphysical questions to arise as much from the actions of the characters and the development of the plot as from the dialogue; in "Children of the Mind," everyone seems to be in post-Freudian interplanetary counseling.
Yet the book is not a wholesale disaster; and I particularly enjoyed the page-turning final resolution, even though it relies on a melodramatic sleight of hand. If the last third of "Children of the Mind" were merged with a pared-down version of "Xenocide," the whole would probably have been equal to the excellence of the first two books in the Ender series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michelle lapierre
So I recently finished reading this one, and I have to say I'm relieved. I didn't care for the ending of book 3 (don't worry, no spoilers here), but I enjoyed "Ender's Game" and "Speaker..." so much that I'm glad I trusted enough in Card to wrap up this story successfully. I know that there are more books in this series, and at some point I will probably visit them, but this story has been told and fitted with a genuine conclusion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bennett
"Jane closed her eyes, smiled, and then all four of them were gone. Only the mothertree remained in the center of the clearing, bathed in light, heavy with fruit, festooned with blossoms, a perpetual celebrant to the ancient mystery of life" I write this last paragraph of "Children of the Mind" from memory as I felt it was worth it to memorize the ending to the greatest SCI-FI saga ever written. This book ending the "Ender's Saga" is a masterpiece of writing. The characters are rich and full of life both good and bad. The morale battles waged are gripping and thought provoking. I recommend without any reservations that anyone who loves to read a well written story that they buy all the books in the series and pass them on to friends, family and loved ones as you will be giving them a gift of more than just words on a page but a gift of what life is all about.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sparky abraham
I guess that _Ender's Game_ and _Speaker for the Dead_ are tough acts to follow, but I can't help feeling let down by this book. The first half, published as _Xenocide_, was quirky but full of ideas and characterization. This one gets bogged down with the weirdness of the young Valentine and Peter, and gets caught up in mysticism while trying to postulate a physical basis for the soul. More to the point, it really doesn't tie up all the loose ends and provide closure. If anything, it ends with an obvious lead-off to a next novel, which is odd since this is supposed to be the final one.

All in all, I was annoyed and unsatisfied, not so much because it was an awful book -- Card is still Card -- but because it fell short of what it needed to be. If you've read the first three, you'll want to read this one, but maybe you should contain your enthusiasm and wait for the paperback.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david ward
This series has "grown up" as I have. I read Ender's Game for its space opera value, and enjoyed Speaker for the Dead for its dialogic nature (religion, science, and reality). Xenocide left me hanging, but I had grown into its "philosophical" nature, and Children of the Mind was just the ending this series needed. It brings the Ender saga to its perfect resolution, offering some of everything we have come to expect from Ender, yet a thoroughly unexpected ending. This book was a wonderful read, and I recommend it to anyone who loved Ender the Warrior (Ender's Game), Ender the Speaker (Speaker for the Dead), or Ender the Philosopher (Xenocide), Card brings all of that together in this climactic volume.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
solstice
After having thoroughly enjoyed most of the books from the Ender Universe (not so thrilled about Xenoside either), I was utterly disappointed with all the nonsense in this book. Its boring and it took me two months to finish reading it. Very disappointing.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mary ginn
I never thought I would say this about a book in this series, but I hate this book. I was absolutely disappointed with the way Card chose to resolve his story. I'll give him license since he may do what he will with his story, but I feel so bitter about this ending to such a magnificent saga that I can't recommend this to anybody that isn't dying of curiousity at the end of "Xenocide".

And to those who believe you fit in this category, I'm sorry for the feelings you will like possess upon completion. I honestly feel the same unrest now as I did when I finished "Xenocide". I hope everyday that Card will come to his senses and revise his plot here to be more logical, less rushed, more conclusive (which some may argue with), and more fulfilling to a character of such quality as Ender Wiggin.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abhishek chhajer
Everyone is saying this is the worst book of the Enders Saga, while I have always thought it the best. I guess everyone just reads it, but doesn't actually LIVE it. Whenever I read a science fiction, I think about it all the time, dream it, write it.
When I read Children of the Mind, I thought, Wow, finally a book that contains science fiction, drama, romance, and just a bit of angst. Not a lot of sci-fi out there that captures your mind like this one. The deatail is amazing, and, for once, Card begins to focus on a many different characters, other than just Ender. Everything about this book was a stroke of pure genious.
I believe most people don't like this book because the deatails are just to deep for them. It has more scientific and historical deatails that not everyone is willing to study if they do not understand them. I didn't understand, so I looked for information, read the book over, and there was the understanding! To truely love a book, you must understand it from all angles, not just one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
siobhanyeh
I thought that this book was very kewl. I am 16 and have loved all of Orson Scott Cards books since 6th grade when I first read "Ender's Game". I have read the whole series many times and find them just as exciting.( I mut say that I did think that "Speaker For The Dead" was a little dreary.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
parto shahvandi
Orson Scott Card hits another home run in the amazing and hopefully ongoing saga of Andrew Wiggin and Julian Delphiki.
If you are a fan of the series so far, I implore you to finish them all, no matter how boring some parts are. I loved each and every book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sara liebert
"Children of the Mind" is the final book in Orson Scott Card's Ender Quartet. It picks up right where "Xenocide" left off, and is the logical conclusion to Ender's story, wrapping things up in a satisfying enough manner.
Like the books that preceded it, "Children of the Mind" is largely character driven, and this is certainly one of its strengths. Few of the characters are explored in excrutiating detail, but Card gives us just enough of a glimpse into their lives and personalities to give the reader the feeling that we know these people.
While the book is certainly satisfying in that it ties up all the threads woven in the previous books, I feel that it is the weakest of the series. I'm not sure that much would have been lost if it had simply been compressed and included as the final chapters to "Xenocide". That said, if you are a fan of the series, and particularly if you have read "Xenocide", then "Children of the Mind" is a must read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica shortall
This is the first book that I truly lost myself in. I have to say that I could relate with the characters in this novel. By using non-human characters, Card is able to show all of the aspects of humanity, both good and bad. A must read for anyone interested in human psychology in action.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nithin
Orson Scott Card once again takes us into the minds and hearts of the characters he creates. Through his poetic language and fluid prose, we are guided by his plot's clarity. Card is a suberb author whose ability to clearly reveal philosophical aspects of the nature of mankind and of the universe deepens everyone's understanding of life. If one person could define the meaning of life, it would be Card. Finding the characters on a new discovery of themselves and their place in the world, we are captivated immediately by the inherent genius of his books. Although we are left wanting more after reading his novels, they leave us with a sense of surreal comprehension.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
asma alsharif arafat
Children of the mind , although trying to close to
many of the marvelous dilemas concerning the deep and thoughtful character Andrew Wiggin , is a very
intresting thoughs-trigger and a very good end for
a saga which I concern to be one of the best Sci-fi books ever.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
hater shepard
Disappointing book, silly finale, characters that all the same and have no distinguishing personalities whatsoever. I don't know why I keep reading Card's book, but at least I'm finally done with this ridiculous series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
joanne mahran
Orson Scott Card in trying to explain the ansible, souls and so forth simply destroys the mystery of it all. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead were incredible, but it starts declining in Xenocide and becomes unbearably dull in Children of the Mind. Authors should know when to stop milking a series and start anew. We don't always need resolution, sometimes we're better off without it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rajesh
Okay, Ender's game. An action packed book, very exciting and very entertaining. Then, Speaker for the Dead. Great book, good plotline, not as exciting, but good. The only flaws in these two books were the cliffhanger endings, which led to the drivel Xenocide and Children of the Mind. These two books are quite ridicolous, Ender and Co. have long talks bickering with each other and talking about "philotes" and "Inside and Outide", which all make absolutely no sense at all, and how much they all hate each other and love each other. Theres a lot of complaining too. After a while, they just get really boring, you know? I think Card should have ended the books with Speaker for the Dead. With each book, the series declines more and more. Rent this book from the library, otherwise, don't spend the money. Wait for a new Series of Unfortunate Events to come out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
esuper03liz
The series is awesome! I love Ender, Bean, and the others. I found Card's approach to childrens' grasp of world affairs intriguing. I've reread the series a few times and each time caught a new detail I missed about the relationships, conflicts and ideas on what it would be like if children fought the battles. Side point: just read a book by S.G. Rainbolt "Dear Sun, I Am Real" and he dedicated it to Orson Scott Card. He too used the approach of genius kids running things. I find that subject inexhaustible but delightful to read. Take a look. I recommend both.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
eric blank
It's almost all philosophizing and psychoanalyzing; humans and their weird thoughts and wrong theories, presented over and over again. Really lost a lot of momentum since Speaker of the Dead. 3-star, at best.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
michael cot
You thought Ender's Game is one of the very best books written?
You thought Speaker of the Dead was a good book?
You thought Xenocide was slightly above average?
You'll think this is god awful... but you'll have to read it, because you're an Ender fan. But I'd skip this and go read 'Hyperion' by Dan Simmons or some really classic Sci-Fi like Asimov, or even ENDER'S GAME again
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda coppedge
There wasn't much that was new in this story, but to know how things evolve and move on--thus the way of Card. Children was as interesting as the rest of the Quartet, and I was pleased to know what happens to the characters, and it's great to know that Ender will live on--through a life that he created. Cycles, cycles, cycles.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
george burke
I can`t believe that someone in a previous review would call this corny. Card is the best SF writer there is,was,and always will be. this book was amazing I believe that the only book that ever matched up to this is Enders Game.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kylie sullivan
I highly recommend NOT reading this book, which managed to diminish the magic of Ender's Game for me. Stop at Xenocide, which was pretty good, and skip straight to Ender's Shadow, which is VERY good. This book is exceedingly disjointed, makes way too much of the Valentine/Peter dichotomy, and is boring, boring, boring. Where I couldn't put the other Ender books down, I had to really struggle to finish this one. And then wished I hadn't.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
halie
It wouldn't matter what series this was in. If this was the first book in the Lord of the Rings it would still be bad. The plot is over blown and time and again vanishes into strange tangents. I wish it was not in the "Ender Series." In fact I wish I could get my money back
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
daniyar turmukhambetov
I was extremely disappointed with this book. Ender's Game was fascinating but Speaker for the Dead had very little action and this book just was the absolute pit. Card sets up situations and then never uses them, the actions of his characters are all futile and every character is just a repeat of one created in a previous novel with a personality quirk. More importantly, we never discover who the people really are; we only learn their basic epithet, the blind one, the religious one, the silly one.
The entire "Descoloda is sentient" argument gets tedious, the same conversations are repeated multiple times and nothing really happens for a really long time as if Card suddenly remembered that something actually has to HAPPEN in a book. The OCD people are just irritating. Card also creates charactes with potential (like Plikt) then discards them and they aren't spoken of again. Also he seems to write himself into holes and then have to write himself out again with this "Well what we spent the last 400 pages saying wasn't true suddenly is." The "think-travel" is just ridiculous. Card needs to learn to be less random in his writing for sure.
This book leaves off exactly where it started and nothing really gets acc
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
d l snell
Wonderfully wraps up the Ender stories. With the interesting twist on old characters brought into the new story, there are a lot of strange feelings. Card brings everything from each book together and fills all of the voids in this wonderful conclusion "Children of the Mind."
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
g026r
This book was terrible. So full of meaningless and stupid dialogue. Nothing happened at all. The characters were stupid.

The most frustrating part: they vacillate going back and forth from the descoladores planet AND NEVER GO THERE.

Too saccharine an ending--just like Xenocide.

In my estimation:

-Ender's Game is a very good book and worth reading. It is also tightly written.
-Speaker for the Dead is not great. The ending is not very powerful b/c I didn't find myself caring much for the Novinha character and what made her tick. It began a series of 3 books that were more about dialogue and pontification than action or intrigue. The introduction to the piggies was interesting at times.
-Xenocide and Children of the Mind are bad. Xenocide I thought at times was more interesting than Speaker but again the ending was saccharine and it was too dialogue heavy.
-By the time I got to Children, I was worn out. What began as a tight, fast, action-packed series had become a slovenly-edited, slow-paced, dialogue-focused one that didn't go anywhere.

Read Ender.

Maybe Speaker,

MMMMMMMaaaayyyybbeeee Xenocide.

But end it there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ted mcalister
Well, the story is finally ended. Even though I have others books that i like more than any of this series, the Ender series is MY FAVORITE story and series that i have read. Just trust me and read it for yourself -
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
william stafford
First there was "Ender's Game", then "Speaker of the Dead", both Hugo winners, and now this great book that unravels and reweaves Ender's life and surrounding events and situations. This book is fantastic and I eagerly added it to other great books ranging from the Old School of science-fiction like "Foundation trilogy", "Childhood's End", "Stranger in a Strange Land" to cyberpunk like "Neuromancer", "Cryptonomicon", and "Darkeye: Cyber Hunter". Get it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thomas kohnstamm
Card further refines his philosphy that misunderstanding results in tragedy, and that understanding results in joy and value. Characters are convincingly written, and it's a pleasure to once again return to the Ender's Game and "Speaker" cast of characters, who are older, wiser, and more complicated than ever. Card's personal notes at the end of the book should be required reading for any serious student of American literary culture, or for any serious student of American culture, period.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
noster
This book is very gripping- I read it in one day- and is a very good conclusion to the Ender Quartet. It ties up all the loose ends and develops some of the characters more than had been done before. The characters are very real-seeming and memorable, and the book has great emotionall impact. If you liked the other books in the Ender Quartet, then I greatly reccoment this to you.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
bianca greda
It's sad to see the Ender saga fizzle away in ever-increasing complexities and meta-physics which are not substitutes for new concepts and plot directions. Sometimes when you have painted yourself into a corner it's better to jump out a window and forget the little bit that is left to tidy up. I feel that it is at least two books ("Children" and "Shadow") past the point that this series should have been left to stand on its undoubted early merit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
carol copeland
It was an exciting conclusion to the Ender quartet. It is one of the few sequals that is as good as the first book in the series. Children of the Mind is a compelling novle full of multiple intertwining plot lines and riveting twists and turns which will make you laugh and gasp, but probably won't make you cry. Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading the entire series, but the ending was a bit dissapointing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lairn
A+, It's a gotta have for the Sci-Fi Officianado.

The "Ender Saga" opens your eyes to human frailties, romance and Adventure. Card is a genius at Techno Speak of the future, and the Wiggin future is presented in a reality that will make you crave more. If you enjoy cutting edge science, Quantum Physics and a real belly laugh, Children of the Mind will keep you turning pages.

Pain and Peace, Fear and Foreboding, Love and Laughter, Orson Scott Card is a master and this is NOT the end!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa keating
i seriously have to give it five stars... in no way shape or form could i have thought he could have tied all this together... and the history he used behind it made it even more real and enjoyable to read...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
lindsey schroeder
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS:

There is absolutely no reason on earth to read this book. None. Reading it only makes you angry, bitter, and unhappy. If you bear any love of any kind for Ender Wiggin of Ender's Game, then you must not read this book lest you destroy that memory forever.

WHY YOU SHOULD PASS:

You know, maybe Tor has made enough money robbing the graves of superior authors and pressing living authors of potential into some kind of servitude in working for their private pulp mill. Send a message to these guys by not buying this book and announcing, finally, that you are not a mindless lemming that will purchase any sort of book so long as it has the right pedigree. Have some discrimination and read something new and good; those books are out there.

READ MORE AT INCHOATUS.COM
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
blakely winner
It was an interesting read. I thought it was a little toospiritual at times but in the end a satisfying book. It is obviouslynot the last of this series - far too many loose ends and mysteries unsolved.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katarina
This book is nothing like the rest of the entire series. It's more phenomenal. :) This is one book many people say they don't like, but frankly, it's one of my favorite. I read a LOT of books - all sorts of books, but I make time to read this one at least 2ce a year. Yep - it's that good.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jessie chapman
Good, but it simply wasn't actionous enough. I don't mind having no action in a book (otherwise how else could I love Foundation so much?), but Children was a book that NEEDED to have action in it. Unfortunately it didn't really. Too much philosophical babble that I had to re-read to get it. Slightly reminiscent of Card's later Shadow series with the sheer amount of internal monologue. Too much about Jane, not enough about the pequeninos and barely anything about Ender, which annoyed me. To my shock Ender's death did not really impact me in any way, beyond--"Huh? Wait...Ender is dead?", so little was his role in the book. He probably talked for only about twelve pages altogether.

EDIT: From now on I am never giving a book that I halfway like two stars again because each time, I receive the urge to change my rating to three stars. Just keep in mind that while it says two, it means three.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bella
CoTM is absolutely worth a read, and worthy of inclusion in the Ender story. Perhaps not as stunningly deep and thoughtful as Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead, but on a par with Xenocide. Card is brilliant and original, as always. If you have read the first three, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tracie
Card did an excellent job in re-writing the Ender's Game story from Bean's point of view. It compliments Ender's Game quite nicely. It fills in what may be considered some voids in the initial story as well as lending a very different view of the battle school, Ender and the armies. A very good read!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
petra schnebergerov
Card's first Ender book was undoubtedly the best, but the last three make good additions. While the theories prompted by Card are interesting, the ending is more of a deux ex machina than a groundbreaking revelation. Overall, Card has a problem with being narcissist: constantly adding new spinnoffs when the series is DONE, and pro/epilogs that make me angry every time...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tabitha gregory mosley
i liked it, it wasn't what I expected but then it's not my vision it's the authors for me to interpret.
Ask yourself if books always turn out the way the reader wants then who is actually writing.
Deep thought - common sense
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
legna
Wow. All those Islamic terrorists trying to destroy America apparently don't realize that all you have to do to overthrow a superpower is bounce around a bit. Sounds ridiculous? That's not even half as ridiculous as this piece of...well, this mistake.

The end of Xenocide was bad enough, when we learned that all your problems can be solved just by traveling to the magic dimension. Now, only a few weeks have past and not only have our heroes discovered a new race of alien species, but Jane--now a goddess-- has figured out that she was never really going to die anyway because she has the power to take over someone's body. Ender is boring himself to death, and Dark Peter and Wang-Mu are hopping around looking for random people to preach to. We are introduced to a new character: the Admiral of the Lusitania Fleet, who is quite clearly retarded.

Children of the Mind...you fail!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jane fox
This is the only book that has made me cry. I cried when Ender died, (although he didn't die his aiua passed on to Peter) the character of Ender died. Through the series I have gotten so attatched to his character unlike any other character in any series. Through his guilt of xenocide, and hard life it was hard to read sometimess. Especially, when he had problems with Novinha in Xenocide, losing her for the time being but gaining her back in COTM. His funeral was very touching, and probably the best part in the book. The whole book was good, and had a satisfying ending. The philotes were a bit confusing, but oh well. Ender's Game is being made into a movie, and I doubt it's going to be very good, but they can make it good if they go into the emotions of the characters, not just the battles. The thing that I liked best about the series was the characterization, especially the character of Ender. After a life full of guilt he can live a new life. Farewell, Ender Wiggin "the candle burned out long before the legend ever did."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
teodora
Will you people *PLEASE* stop casually inserting spoilers in your description of the book with no preface, no warning?

I really despise having major plot elements thrown on me before I've had a chance to enjoy it with no warning.

Show a little respect and a bit of forethought.
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