Xenocide: Volume Three of the Ender Quintet

By Orson Scott Card

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
irene chan
Having read "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" and enjoying them a lot, I figured this would be a book I liked as well. But I've found it very difficult to read and it loses my interest quickly. I've stopped and re-started reading it several times and still haven't made it all the way through it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jeani
Love the series, but this particular e-book has many editing mistakes. For instance, there were 3 missing letters in words within a 2 chapter span. It makes you wonder if anyone even proofread it.

Again, the book itself is great.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
fran
But loved it despite most criticisms. I thought the idea of the universe OSC presented was original and somewhat brave. Along the lines of thought I've toyed with and at the risk of seemingly like a complete fanboi - I think is less 'out there' than most think it is... At least in comparison to science fiction as a whole IMO
Ender in Exile (The Ender Quintet) :: Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) :: Children of the Mind (The Ender Quintet) - Speaker for the Dead :: A Year with Rumi: Daily Readings :: Children of the Mind
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
julie endres
For those of us who have suffered through this series out of the love for Ender we had after the first wonderful book, this episode tied up some loose ends. I was so happy to read the advice given on the board for the fourth Ender's quintet book---skip it and go right to Ender's Shadow. (Ender's Shadow was nearly as good as Ender's Game itself!)

I would not have skipped this one, though, because I needed closure on Ender's family, and this one does provide that, although not always with a happy ending.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
aahzmandius
I loved Ender's Game, and I felt like Speaker was even better in many ways. Other people have written a lot more so I'll leave it as: I enjoyed this well enough, but unlike the other two I seriously doubt I will ever read it again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
flkitty reads
Amazingly well written story. Though, I'll only ever buy his books used so that the author doesn't get a cent of my money. His actions at trying to stop equal rights for gays/lesbians and others just makes me sick. Love his writing though.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ennelion
Amazing similarity between their reality and ours. Will nothing change must we always have to relearn our past mistakes, I guess only time will tell.
I enjoyed this book alot it kept me glued to it. I too wish you much joy and wisdom such as there is out there.
Peace out!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie duggan
I rated this book 4 star because it has so much "extra" information which I thought was filler to make the story longer. There was lots of soul searching suggestive text that I found myself half understanding Ended`s dilemma. Will avoid future, booms
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ben mattlin
I was thoroughly immersed in this book. I have the printed copy which seemed to take longer to read. Once I bought the Kindle version i flew through it! There are some many layers to the story in here. You will not be disappointed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sammygreywolf
Xenocide is the third book in the Ender quartet, and one of the best (Second only to Children of the Mind). Amazingly enough, this tops Speaker for the Dead. This book not only chronicles Ender, but also a girl called Han Qing-Jao. This dual-storyline strategy makes the book doubly good in turn. All in all, this book is one of the best books that I have ever read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kimley
the name should read Xenocide: how to move from great science fiction to cheesy evangelism in two books?

the book is full of shallow philososphical discussion, and religious propaganda. i ma totally disillusioned, i am 75% through the book, just pushing myself to finalize the plot, yes it still makes me curios a bit, but only in a way a bad movie does, and i couldnt wait until the end to write a review. this is my first ever review of a book, i felt compelled to do it...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
scott witmer
Most books in the middle of a series take 2 chapters or more to get into the story after re-capping the previous books. Orson Scott Card has found a way to get a story line going and spreading the recap through out the first half of the book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
chelsea hartman
I'm disappointed in the blatant misuse of authorship. Orson is an extremely intelligent author who knows exactly the kind of power that his stories hold - hence the egotistically under-lined opinions scattered throughout the book. I could deal with that we're it not for the tedious and "thoroughly thought out" arguments against religion that completely promotes humanistic ideas while managing to keep from being offensive to anyone directly by remaining natural to all religions with several Christian characters with "Christian" and a Buddhist thrown in for good measure. I'm very disappointed in the tasteless and completely intentional propaganda that was scattered throughout the book. You, Orson, should watch your pride - you may have a following but it'd gotten the better of you and your writing has suffered for it!
I became bored during the pages of useless dialogue rationalizing humanistic beliefs and attacking God or Gods underhandedly.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sally franson
While not the story of Ender's game or it's sequel, the book poses an entertaining look into religion and it's effect on human populations. While it is a terrible sequence in the Ender's Game Quintet, it could stand on its own as an independent novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah bryde
Lots of answers and lots of foreshadowing. This is a great series of books because the concepts expand and mature through the series instead of becoming melodramatic the characters age well. What a great book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
thomas nicholson
Card takes a story that has already stretched the minds imagination and manages to somehow push it even more to the limit. Deals with issues on such a large scale yet still penetrates to the core of all humanity and your very soul.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
bob koo
the store has created issues with my Kindle where I can no longer find my book index...all I can do is be in the the store store no matter what I've tried to do.

Better to buy the hard copy and know I'll actually get it and be able to read it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
brittany cavallaro
Much like authors Jules Verne and H.G. Wells were well ahead of their time in their science fiction writing, Orson Scott Card once again shows that he understood some of the key concepts of our universe. Written in 1991, Card’s Xenocide deepens and furthers the continuing adventure of Ender Wiggin that he began back in Ender’s Game . Picking up where Speaker for the Dead left off, Xenocide adds a powerful adversary while also tying plot points back to the first book in the series. In this sense, the tight intertwining of Xenocide with its predecessors makes it difficult to separate and review by itself.

I appreciate what Card has done by creating a multi-book narrative that requires the reader to have started from the very beginning of the story. While Xenocide is not nearly the end of the series, as made clear by the astounding twist near the end, it does pull enough unresolved threads from Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead to create the next segment of the story. In this sense, the whole story is a multi-book epic so well-written that no detail or specific piece of continuity is overlooked. Plus, with so much history behind it, Xenocide reads at a frenetic pace, just trying to “beat the clock” of an almost assured planetary destruction.

Surprisingly, if you told me that there was a sci-fi book comprised almost entirely of dialogue and profound, philosophical arguments, I would probably assume it was boring (or at least written by Robert Heinlein). And yet, Card has brought the reasoning proposed in the previous books of this series and pulled them through to their logical conclusions, creating an engaging discussion of artificial intelligence and sentience, while wrapping the whole thing in the context of moral arguments for and against exterminating an entire species. There are no easy answers in this book, but Card has masterfully included concepts like cloud computing, interdimensional travel, and genetic engineering to get his point across.

A fantastic continuation of Ender Wiggin’s story that leaves the reader begging for more, I give Xenocide 5.0 stars out of 5.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
erin smith
On Lusitania, three species struggle to coexist; the native pequininos, the ancient buggers, and the human colonists. Between them stands the ever adapting Descolada virus. The pequininos need it to survive, but the humans and buggers must work tirelessly to keep it under control. Driven by fear, Congress has launched a Fleet to contain the virus at any cost. Now that fleet is drawing near, the virus shows signs of breaking free, and Jane, their only advantage, may soon be unmasked.

Characters remain a cornerstone of the series. Han Fei-tzu and Qing humanize the faceless Congress; representing their diverse perspectives even as they undermine those views with harsh criticism. Fortunately they are not alone. Relationship driven conflicts invest every scene with tension, building towards an inevitable tragedy, and the revelation of each character’s role in bringing it about.

Summaries emphasize the characters’ inner struggles, punctuated with intense debate, as each character is called to advocate their position. Issues range from faith and obedience, to morality vs survival, and even the nature of free will and the soul. Scenes are richly personal, but leave the story fragmented. Scenes overshadowing the main plot, reducing it to little more than an afterthought, resolved out of necessity, instead of culminating in a strong catharsis.

+Strong Characters
+Strong Ideas
*Strong scenes, weak plot
*Strong tension, slow pacing
-Anticlimactic resolution

3/5
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cameron watson
Xenocide is a thought experiment shoehorned into the Ender Wiggin saga. It's overlong, talky, and, worst of all, only half of the story. I knew as I got down to the waning pages that this one wasn't going tie a bow on the Enderverse, and apparently the fate of Lusitania will have to wait until (at least) Volume 4: Children of the Mind.

That said, it's still a pretty good read if you can plow through it, though things get a little ridiculous towards the end. Ender is, as always, an interesting if irascible fellow, and his cohort in the novel move the story along across two planets bridged by the affable Jane.

Where the novel goes a bit sideways is when the of course brilliant scientists comprising the dramatis personae have to simultaneously solve three impossible problems bridging various disciplines. The result contains lots of pages of Orson Scott Card's meandering on the nature of the universe, ultimately resulting in a solution which painfully strains credulity even in a universe with faster-than-light communications.

If you thoroughly enjoyed Speaker for the Dead, this novel might suit you, but if you're hoping the various plot points are resolved in these hundreds of pages, you'll be disappointed.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
vmom
“Xenocide” didn’t have quite the same pull for me that the earlier books in the Ender series did. I was interested to see how the author got the characters out of the seemingly unescapable jam he left them in at the end of “Speaker for the Dead,” and to his credit, I think he did that fairly well. But the pace was definitely slower.

There were lots of interesting concepts (too many, perhaps?), the characters were handled well, and there were some fun twists at the end. It is a little thing, but I also really liked the small discussions between the buggers and the pequeninos that started most chapters. It was a neat touch that helped set the tone.

One portion of the story that seemed unnecessary was the whole Path subplot. While the idea of a planet constricted by OCD-like behavior was interesting, I don’t know that anything that happened on Path was all that critical to the main resolution of the plot. Were the inhabitants of Path added for the next book in the series? Not sure.

Another thing that tweaked me in this book were the occasional historical inaccuracies. For instance, Valentine is portrayed as being well versed in history, yet she summarizes the Crusades as being the Christians’ reaction to “insults against their god.” I would guess that if Valentine were a true student of history, she would know that the Crusades were a lot more layered and nuanced than that, and that the First Crusade in particular wasn’t an act of aggression, but a response to it. I realize this is fiction, and the author has constructed a world where he has only Christians to somehow work into a frenzy…but still.

All in all, though, I think Xenocide is worthy sequel to the earlier books. Clearly the author put a lot of thought and time into it.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
casi graddy gamel
I need to rethink rereading some of my favorite books from my teenage years and simply let the past remain in the past. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead hold up well over time, but then Ender's story devolves from there into ridiculousness.The last two books are an exercise in moral tedium without an intriguing plot.

I read Xenocide for the first time nearly two decades ago and upon finishing it I distinctly remember not caring enough to pick up the next book, the series conclusion Children of the Mind. I mean, Xenocide leaves you hanging with a fleet of starships heading towards Ender and crew to destroy the entire planet(!), and I still didn't bother to find out how it ended, at least not for several years. Curiously, I followed a similar pattern while reading Card's Shadow series.

The side narrative about Qing-jao, the people of Path and the Starways Congress was interesting, but that's about it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
caleb liu
Scott Card has a fertile imagination, as evidenced by the earlier Ender books. This one (the third of the five volume series) is a little more "out there" than the previous two. I found it to be a more difficult read than the earlier books, too, but even though it did take a little work and dedication to get into them as well.

In this volume the human race is attempting to colonize the planet Lusitania, which already is populated by a race of sentient pigs, but the virus that keeps the pigs alive and allows them to procreate permeates everything on this planet and is lethal to humans. Andrew Wiggins arrives as requested to speak for the dead patriarch of a human family and promptly gets into the middle of the struggle for human viability. The plot is further complicated by the fact that Ender brings the chrysalis of the only remaining hive queen in the universe to survive his successes in previous volumes. Card's attention to detail is often mind blowing as is the entire premise of the book, but it somehow all works out in the end, and I haven't even mentioned the race of Chinese human descendants on yet another planet, whose dominate class are "God whisperers" and who ultimately have an effect on the final outcome. The book is a lot to take in but if you really enjoy pure science fiction, this should float your boat.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jo o lopes
I was curious about the title of this audio book at first because the xenocide really occurred in the first audio book, Ender's Game. By the time I was about halfway through Xenocide, however, it became clear that the title was very appropriate. We find ourselves on the verge of another xenocide, but Orson Scott Card keeps us guessing this time. We don't know which race is going to be wiped out: the newly resurrected Buggers, the Pequeninos, the Descolada, or the mysterious new life-form that calls itself Jane.

Orson Scott Card has created some fascinating characters in this series. He develops them well and really convinces us as the readers to care about them.

Orson Scott Card wrote this series of audiobooks from the perspectives of several different characters. For each character's perspective, there is a different narrator. This is uncommon in an audio book, and at first I found it a bit odd. After I got used to it, however, I really began to enjoy and appreciate it. It helps the different characters develop their own persona in my mind

As with the first two audio books in the series, Xenocide did not have the names of the narrators anywhere in the recording. As I have mentioned before, I find this a distasteful practice. The narrators did a good job and should at least have their names mentioned. At audible.com, the narrators are listed as follows: Scott Brick, Amanda Karr, John Rubinstein, Stefan Rudnicki, and Gabrielle de Cuir.

I like the message Orson Scott Card delivers in Xenocide and the other audiobooks of this series. Just because we don't understand something, that doesn't mean we have the right to destroy it. A good message, and a good piece of science fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hom sack
After the strength of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, I had to see where the story went and decided to read Xenocide even after hearing and reading very mixed reviews for the book. I’m glad I did. Xenocide took a slower pace than the previous books and deals with a human fleet sent by Starways Congress toward Lusitania. Onboard the fleet is a weapon called the Molecular Disruption Device (MDD, or the “Little Doctor”), a weapon with the ability to destroy an entire planet, sent with apparent intent to do just this to Lusitania. If so, the destruction of this colony world would result in the annihilation of all the human colonists as well as the xenocide of two entire races living only on Lusitania: the Pequininos and a third (surprise) sentient race. Working together, the three races struggle to find a way to stop the fleet and if necessary, to leave the planet.

Whereas moral and social commentary are usually undercurrents in science fiction, they take a much more significant role in this book as the author examines cultural, racial and even gender biases and preferences in the context of the struggle to preserve life: specifically what happens when the struggle for life and culture of one group puts another in jeopardy. Xenocide also examines the unique origins and life of Jane, Ender’s faithful companion and an apparently another sentient being (a third species outside of humanity) living within a communications network of devices called Ansibles, spanning the inhabited universe and allowing faster than light communications between the worlds.

This diminished the strength of the book for some, but I didn’t mind as the more traditional elements of science fiction were still solidly present: the possibility of a sentient life emerging from within the virtual world; an interesting and creative examination of a particle called the Philote; faster than light communication and travel; and time dilation. Some reviews I read expressed dislike for the liberties Mr. Card takes with science, however I enjoyed how he played with physics to enable a continuing and wonderful work of fiction. He’s no guiltier with his scientific liberties than most who preceded him in the genre.

While Xenocide wasn’t my favorite single book in the series, I definitely enjoyed it as a key part of a broader piece of wonderful storytelling. While taking a slightly different direction, Xenocide is a logical place and way for the story of Ender Wiggin and the universe he lives in to continue. Keeping that in mind, I recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sir michael r hm
I still maintain that Speaker for the Dead is the best of the Ender series and that the books get progressively "worse" after that book. That said, I enjoyed Xenocide much more this read-through (listen-through?) than I had previously, mostly because I understood and took interest in the science more than I ever had before.

Knowing what I do about Orson Scott Card and his religious and political beliefs (or at least professions) took a little of the joy out of this book, and more so than the others. I found myself frequently wondering what he was trying to say. Before I had been able to suspend those thoughts and get lost in the story, but they came to the forefront this time.

When I started listening to this books again (I do it about once a year), I didn't intend to read through the whole series, knowing that I could feasibly stop with Speaker and be done, and that I didn't like the other books as much. But as usual, the story drew me in, and even though I KNOW what happens in the long run, I wanted to hear it all again.

If you've never listened to the Ender books, I highly recommend it. The voice acting is phenomenal and really brings the story to life.

==================
My third time through, and 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). I once again applied what I know about OSC and his beliefs to the telling of this story, and while I was still irritated at times, I also found myself analyzing and questioning and being generally curious about how much of the story does align with mormonism or OSC's personal dogma.

I'll still call this a three-star book, but I am glad that I have read it again (and again), if only to see how I as the audience have changed.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
oloore
I was pretty disappointed by Xenocide overall, even though I loved Ender's Game & Speaker for the Dead. The parts about the Piggies & everyone on Lusitania are great, but all the sections based on the people of Path are INCREDIBLY boring and really hard to sit through. I bought this for a long road trip and by about 1/2 way through found myself fast forwarding through these sections as otherwise I would have simply turned the entire book off. It's a shame, as the rest of the book is fascinating, and truly unique. I'm not sure if this is just me that was bored by that part, but it was pretty off putting.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
sirawich
An incredibly long journey through what could have been an amazing story. For every page of plot advancement, prepare yourself for at least ten pages of highly repetitive, pedantic philosophy. If I wasn't more than a little OCD about finishing series, I would have never made it through this book. If you do make the mistake of paying for this, you'll get the reference.

Don't buy this book. If you must read it, check it out of a library so that you don't lose money in addition to time.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nikki morse
Xenocide is the third book in Orson Scott Card's award-winning ENDER WIGGEN saga. In the first book, Ender's Game, the child Ender Wiggen was trained to wipe out the alien "buggers" who were planning to destroy the earth. The second novel, Speaker for the Dead, takes place years later when Ender visits the planet Lusitania where Xenologists are studying two non-human species: the pequininos, who have an unusual life cycle, and the descolada virus, which is fatal for humans but necessary to the pequininos. In addition, Ender has brought the buggers' hive queen to Lusitania so she can rebuild her species. When the human Starways Congress finds out what's happening on Lustinania, it sends its fleets to blow up the planet. Speaker for the Dead ends with Ender's sister Valentine, who writes propaganda under the name Demosthenes, traveling to Lusitania to support her brother. Both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Ender's Game is being made into a movie for release in spring 2013.

As Xenocide opens, Valentine is arriving on Lusitania after traveling for many years to get there. So far, her propaganda hasn't worked and the fleet is still on its way to destroy the planet. So Jane, a Neuromanceresque artificial intelligence who lives in the connected computers all over the universe, cuts off the fleet's communications so they can't get the final "destroy" command from Congress. When Congress can't figure out what happened to its fleet, a young Chinese girl on the planet Path is asked to use her superior intellect to solve the mystery.

Meanwhile, on Lusitania, Ender's family is desperately trying to find a way to recode the descolada virus's DNA so it will do what it needs to do for the pequininos without killing humans. If they can prove that it's no longer harmful to humans -- and get in contact with the fleet before it acts -- they can stop the destruction of the planet. If they can't, not only will the humans on Lusitania be killed, but two species, the pequininos and the buggers, will be completely wiped out. And make that three if you want to count the descolada as a species -- the more they study it, the more they think it may be sentient. There's a lot to get done before the fleet arrives...

Like its predecessors, Xenocide is an intense, emotional, and thought-provoking novel. Most of the text doesn't actually deal with the action that the plot implies (e.g., the nearing of the fleet, the tests on the virus's DNA, etc.) but it mostly revolves around all of the ethical and psychological issues that arise, and there are a lot of them. I can't tell you about some of the most interesting ones because it would give away plot twists, but in generalities I can say that Xenocide had me thinking about the genetics of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), the relationship between compulsive behavior and religiosity, the nature of fatherhood, God, the big bang, the possibility of traveling faster than the speed of light, time-travel paradoxes, guilt and forgiveness, sentience, language, artificial intelligence, loyalty, and death.

The subject matter in Xenocide is pretty heavy, but Card accompanies this with lots of psychological drama, too. Almost every conversation is emotionally intense. The characters are constantly challenging each other's beliefs, psychoanalyzing each other, and attributing motives to each other. They often go back and forth -- analyzing, interpreting, questioning, denying. I found this to be emotionally draining and it increased the page count beyond what I thought was necessary. In fact, Card explains in his author's note that eventually Xenocide got too long and the story had to be continued in the next novel, Children of the Mind. From what I've heard (not having read it yet), Children of the Mind rehashes much of the plot of Xenocide. I would have preferred for most of the overwrought dialogue to be written out of Xenocide so the story could be told in one volume as originally planned.

But that's my only real complaint about Xenocide. I think some readers will find the ending too bizarre, but I'm feeling mostly generous toward the novel. Other than the overdose of drama, Xenocide is a well-crafted and thought-provoking story. It works beautifully with its award-winning predecessors and, though it's more than 20 years old, its science and technology feel surprisingly current.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erin kogler
Title: Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Pages: 592.

Time spent on the "to read" shelf: 2 years.

Days spent reading it: Over 1 ½ years. I started reading it just before a family vacation in June of 2008.

Why I read it: It is the third book in the Ender series by Orson Scott Card. Ender's Game is one of my favorite books of all time.

Brief review: Xenocide is a strange book to categorize for me. On the one hand, Card has created a morally fascinating novel that started in Speaker for the Dead and continues here in Xenocide. At the heart of the book is the question--how do we determine who we will go to war with and kill? What if it is us or them, how do we respond? And he takes these very great questions and extends them to the extreme. So, what if it was the entire human race or an entire alien race? What would we do? What if it was three or four intelligent species? I love the questions that this book creates and begins to solve.

Second, I like how Card makes me think about how we would interact with a culture that is entirely different from our own. Sure, Card is using aliens as his example of a new culture, but aliens are a clear metaphor for any culture different from our own. How will we interact with that culture, influence that culture, change that culture, even by simply observing? It is a question cultural anthropologists and missiologists have been dealing with for a long time now.

This book struggles (and so does Speaker for the Dead) in explanations about science. Card gets bogged down explaining philosophy about human connections (philotes), DNA splicing, space/time travel, etc. It is clear that Card has done his background research, his explanations just seem forced. I feel like someone needs to tell him, "It is science fiction, it does not have to be based on REAL science."

Reading Xenocide made me want to read Ender's Game again. And that is not a bad thing. I think people who are already committed to the Ender series will like this book, but it would not be a good place to start.

Favorite quote: "Isn't it possible, he wondered, for one person to love another without trying to own each other? Or is that buried deep in our genes that we can never get it out? Territoriality. My wife. My friend. My lover. My outrageous and annoying computer personality who's about to be shut off at the behest of a half-crazy girl genius with OCD on a planet I never heard of and how will I live without Jane when she's gone?"

Stars: 3.5 out of 5.

Final Word: Deadly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
aggie
"Xenocide" is the third of the five book series "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. We have already been introduced to the sentient species of the piggies and the hive queen (the bugger). But now we see the questionable sentient appearance of a potentially destructive virus and an entity, Jane, who seems to reside in the computer network. Most of the characters are unlikable and Jane, alone, is sympathetic. Bringing into the story of several genius Chinese girls, one of which is severely OCD, adds little. The real villain of this work, other than maybe the virus, is the unseen, evil Congress which has ordered the destruction of Ender's adoptive home world. One bit of philosophy I question is the need to Christianize the piggies. Being non-human they would not need to be saved from the Sin of Adam and Eve. And if the piggies needed Christianizing, why not the hive queen? With many lose ends, we are ready for the fourth book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
roseanne
In this, the third novel in the Ender series, the world of Lusitania is under threat. The planet is in rebellion, and the Starways Congress fears that if the descolada virus escapes from Lusitania all humanity will be at risk. The descolada virus kills all humans with which it comes into contact but the pequeninos (piggies) require it for the third stage of their life cycle. The human colonists on Lusitania eat food laced with inhibitors to keep the virus at bay. The Starways Congress has decided to destroy the planet: a fleet is on its way with the means to sterilize the planet.

If Lusitania is destroyed, then other sentient species will be destroyed. Andrew (Ender) Wiggins is working to prevent this, and the plot turns on whether Andrew, the members of his family and the leaders of the other species can work together to prevent this multiple xenocide. Research is undertaken in the hope that the descolada's deadly components can be neutralised without destroying the virus.

But the ultimate fate of Lusitania may rest with the Chinese Taoist colony of Path, with Han Fei-Tzu and his daughter Qing-Jao (`Gloriously Bright'). Gloriously Bright is able to discover various truths, but is unable to deal with some of the reality exposed.

`There are many different purposes in this world, many different causes of everything.'

Xenocide is a long novel with multiple themes. The themes of duty and absolution that were so much a part of `Speaker for the Dead' are continued, but there is also considerable reflection on the nature of life and the consequence of choice. Families are split apart as well during the battle to save or destroy Lusitania.

I liked this novel, and although in parts it moved very slowly because contemplation slowed action, I find myself lining up for the fourth instalment. I am intrigued by some of the questions raised, and keen to know what happens next. The worlds created are rich in detail and full of existential dilemma.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rita trivette
Xenocide continues the plot of Speaker for the Dead, focusing on the people of Lusitania's urgent attempts to save their world from destruction. Along the way, they must face the fact that history may repeat itself in the form of a second xenocide. Meanwhile, on the planet of Path, a girl named Qing-jao fights with her own beliefs, in order to discover why the fleet headed for Lusitania has disappeared. As their stories intertwine, they must fight against one another's beliefs in order to stop the crisis headed for Lusitania, and the species who inhabit it.

One of the inherent problems of Xenocide is the sheer amount of moral and ethical dilemmas the characters must face, with much of the plot being carried on their backs. "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" may have been intense and gripping, but Xenocide is much more restrained. While the ethics of the characters' decisions and their struggles to come to terms with them make interesting food for thought, they do not make for a fast-paced novel. Throughout it, many key plot points come through lengthy discourses on morality, ethics, and philosophy. As such, some readers may find the novel tedious, but others will love the chance to reflect and debate the issues in their head. That is the key to enjoying this book - whether you enjoy Card's philosophical writing, or just want to see some explosions. Neither reader's tastes are wrong, but one of them will likely hate this novel. However, one of the most valuable and enjoyable parts of this book is that it's issues can still be related to the present even twenty years after publication. But compared to the previous two books, which found a precise balance of intelligence and action, Xenocide finds itself occasionally stumbling under the weight of it's own conscience.

Xenocide does succeed in carrying on the Ender series, though. As a sequel to Speaker for the Dead, it answers that books questions well, without resorting to half-baked or cliched methods (save for one or two exceptions). Even though there is fat, the fat helps flesh out the characters, by letting the reader deeper into their minds. They become that much more human, because now instead of being simply black or white, the characters fall into their own shades of gray. Surprisingly, Ender himself takes a backseat here, and while he is still a present force in the book, he must often step back and let others decide the fate of the world around him. It presents an interesting side of him, because as the story unfolds he becomes a more insecure man, who must fight both his past and his present. Xenocide also returns to the galaxy-sweeping conflicts of Ender's Game, and manages to maintain it's focus on the human side of the story as well.

In conclusion, Xenocide may not have the sheer power of it's predecessors, and at times becomes bogged down with moral issues, but it still remains an interesting and worthy sequel. The novel offers an opportunity for the reader to reflect rather than be thrilled, and question what the definition of right and wrong truly is. It also offers character growth and development in directions that were unexpected, but welcome. Xenocide is not for the reader that is only casually interested in Ender's Game, or even Speaker for the Dead, but for the fan, it's essential.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kristen dimicco perry
I'll start by saying, that in a way, at least through the first 400 pages of the book, I was amazed by it. I felt that Card had trully surpassed the first 2 books of the series. "Ender's Game" was all about the plot, the action, and didn't really get into the characters. "Speaker of The Dead" was a better, but had waaaayy too much useless theological/religuous discussions, even though the story was trully intruiging. On "Xenocide", I felt Card had reached his peak - The characters were deep, interesting and human. The plot was intersting, complicated a true thriller, and while there are many ethical dilemas, it wasn't "heavy" or religion filled like "Speaker"... I won't get into the story itself (you can read about it everywhere) - But what happens after page 400 is a big, big dissapointment. Looks like Card had reached a dead end (too many unpossible to be solved issues) and was looking for an easy way out. First of all, almost 100 pages are devoted to scientific debates, that I am sure make sense to noone (I am not sure even Card had an idea was the f&#* he was talking about), that finally lead to the miricalous solutions to the many problems there are. Suddenly, there is Jane who can fix everything, suddenly Grego, Ella and the rest of them can come up with impossible scientific achievements in a matter of days. The last 100 pages are compelling, you can read them in an hour or so, but still what happens there is just beyond any logic. I realize this is a science fiction novel, but still things need to make sense (the way the previous books did!) instead of the author making us feel like idiots for not understanding what happened! I also felt that the whole Path thing, although interesting, was totally useless and added almost nothing to the story. With all the miracles happening, I didn't feel they needed the Chinese girl to solve one of the questions (it's just absurd - they can solve a TRILLION things, but the questions they asked her they cannot?!?) Another thing that was very dissapointing was Ender's character. While ALL the other characters are deep, interesting and feel like real life personas, and they all have important parts of the story, Ender's character is a mistery: I gotta admit, that Card made him more human than ever (even though he still remained a perfect, peaceful, and impossible rightous person), Ender barely did ANYTHING useful in this book, other that talking with the characters! Roughly speaking, everything that's done on this book, was done by the many other characters, while Ender seemed to just be around and say a few things here and there (nothing trully important actually). You just might forget that he used to be the ultimate leader - briliiant, unbreakable and even ruthless - a genius who killed two people with his bare hands, and destroyed a whole species, all this when he was just a kid! I guess being 60 years old really killed his abilities, didn't it?... He just stands there, old and helpless, his spirit broke because that annoying bi$%& left him (that Novinha character needs to be shot right away!). To sum it all up, Xenocide is still a GREAT read, for any Science fiction fan, it raises many important questions, and deals with a lot of issues, but in many ways it will let you down. This book had huge potential, and the first 400 pages live up to the promise. However, as I already stated, most of the last 200 pages doesn't make sense at all, too many quick, unreal and impossible to understand (not to mention that they come out of nowhere and make no sense whatsoever) solutions that made me, and will make any reader, feel cheated. I don't know the reason for this - Maybe Card found himself stuck, or maybe he got lazy, or maybe he had to reach some publisher's deadline, I don't know. But the bottom line is that when you get to the final 200 pages, you'll feel that in terms of consistency it doesn't really look like the book you started reading... The book turns into a real absurd. Suddenly too many comfortable miracles occur. Suddenly a cripple turn healthy, suddenly Ender creates clones of his dead brother and living sister out of his mind (although I love the idea of having Peter back - it was fun to see him humiliate Ender, just like when they were kids), suddenly there's a cure for everything and for everyone!.. Everything goes just the right way. Come on now, the readers aren't idiots, Mr. Card! Many reviewers critisized the book for it's many ethical dilemas. Well I disagree with them - the questions asked are rellevant and interesting, I had no problem there. I had a problem with all the ABSURD things happening in the last 150 pages. Us fans deserve better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ariele
Andrew "Ender" Wiggin has lived in the human colony on Lusitania for 30 years, married to senior scientist Novinha and enjoying his role as stepfather to her brood of adult children. It's been 3000 years since his birth, and almost that long since he left Earth forever after the events of ENDER'S GAME. He has spent much of his long life traveling on starships, and the relative difference between "real time" and that passing aboard an interstellar ship can amount to many normal lifetimes. As his crippled stepson Miro's youth can attest, when Miro returns to Lusitania about 30 years younger than he "should" be to keep up with his siblings who have been there all along - as can his sister, Valentine, who shared his wanderings before settling down on Trondheim with Jakt. Who shares Valentine's journey from Trondheim to Lusitania to rejoin Ender, accompanied by the couple's four children.

Lusitania is under death sentence from the Starways Congress, with a fleet on its way to destroy all life on that planet. That will include the pequeninos (nicknamed the "piggies"), Lusitania's sentient native species, and the reborn "buggers" whose one surviving queen Ender carried here with him at the end of his wanderings. The same virus that keeps the pequeninos alive kills humans, buggers, and probably anyone else not native to Lusitania unless measures discovered by the colony's scientists are used to keep it at bay. Those measures may be about to fail, though, as the virus - quite possibly intelligent on its own - adapts. No one can leave Lusitania and take refuge elsewhere without carrying the virus along, and letting it loose on other human-settled worlds. So Valentine and her family arrive as Novinha and her scientist children begin a desperate fight to alter or otherwise conquer the virus, despite the opposition of one particularly gifted daughter who views this as xenocide against another intelligent species. Which sets up a painful internal conflict for Ender, who is still known to history as "the Xenocide" for having destroyed the buggers (or all but the one queen he later rescued) during his long ago boyhood. Added to all that is the threat that a young genius on another colony planet may soon figure out how to destroy Jane, the sentient computer program who has guided and protected Ender for most of his adult life, because that young woman has already identified Jane as the cause of a communications blackout intended to protect Lusitania from the fleet sent by Starways Congress.

Complicated enough yet? Those are only the highlights. The plot's bare bones. This is an ambitious novel, indeed; and for the most part it's a highly successful one. A reader who has no previous experience with the "Enderverse" may find it difficult to follow, and even a reader who has read the other books first may get bogged down or confused if unable to read XENOCIDE in substantial chunks. It is not a good choice for reading a chapter or two at a time. With those drawbacks noted, though, it's a terrific read. I am still undecided as to whether its key plot twist is a stroke of brilliance or a retreat into Deus ex Machina.

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 EPPIE winner REGS
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lance presley
I gave it 3 stars because I like the author but I hate the characters in this book, one or two characters you want to b..ch slap are ok but a book full of characters you want to b..ch slap is a waste of time. So while the book is well written and the characters are believable they are ridiculously annoying. I read books for many reasons but to be irritated isn't one of them.
The other part of the book I didn't like was all the religious dogma, gack! Granted I'm a recovering Catholic so I'm biased about reading a book full of that point of view; besides there was a lot of it in the book, so much so that it felt like he had started writing a different book and when he changed plots he didn't want to lose the work he'd done so he just kept it in there.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
flelly
Xenocide is a very difficult book to assess. On the one hand, Card pushes the limits of self-indulgence - of the book's nearly 600 pages, I think a good 150 pages or so could have been eliminated without any harm to the ideas presented or the overall story. Numerous times, Card (or his characters) would make a point and then continue making that same point across a number of pages. This could be frustrating. Rather than include an entire chapter in which characters debate free will, I think we would have been better served by having the plot develop and move forward. In other words, Card at times seems to have an agenda, and that is to show off how smart he is. He is smart, though, brilliant at times, but it can be a slog to get through.

On the other hand, when the plot does push forward, as it does in the final 100 or so pages with great force, Card's brilliance is extraordinary. His characters feel real, and their problems, whether physical or ethical, are captivating. Speaker for the Dead was a significant shift from the tone of Ender's Game, and Xenocide follows that path even further, mixing in the characters on Path deftly and adding a new dimension to Ender's universe.

Overall, I don't think this book is quite as good as Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead, but it's a worthy continuation. If you enjoyed those first two books, I think you'll find quite a bit to relish here. Try to be patient with the slower bits, because it does build to an excellent pay-off in the concluding chapters, which I will not spoil here.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dania
The major theme of this novel, as well as Card's previous work is concerned with understanding the Other (i.e. in this case, different alien races). The characters struggle mightily with the fact that there are several alien races that may be capable of destroying mankind. The idea that makes Card's works different is that individual people, not even Government, decide if the other species should be destroyed. There is strife; not all of the people agree on what action should be taken.
My problem with the novel is that there are two streams of narrative that do not fit together until about midway through the novel. One of the streams of narrative involves the characters from "Speaker for the Dead," while the other involves the Chinese on a planet called the Path. The Path has a strange religious tradition that fuses different Chinese religions (e.g. Taoism, folk religion etc...) with a caste system. The caste system consists of the god-spoken (those who hear/feel the voice of the Gods) and the vast majority of the population who do not. The explanation of this was quite inventive, but I don't want to give away all the details.
There is also a strange current of philosophy combined with highly speculative philosophy. I am inclined to view any such combination with skepticism, yet Card's presentation of it was decent. The discussion of free will was somewhat frustrating, but I suppose one must be grateful that these sorts of topics are present. Too much science fiction has no intellectual content; merely action and flashy aliens.
Also, Card does a very good job at avoiding a trap that plagues the science fiction genre, namely characterization. Building on what he wrote in "Speaker for the Dead," Card paints an portrait of a family that it is deeply divided and, ripped by rivalries. Card's characterization of one family made "Speaker of the Dead" stand out. As Card himself said in his introduction to "Speaker for the Dead," the idea of a family is rarely portrayed in science fiction; it is all to often a lone adventurer, cut off from all family connections. This fact makes Card's work all the more plausible. Simply having plausible science (his writing is somewhat lacking in that respect) alone is not enough to make a story believable and enjoyable; the reader has to be able to care about and, to some extent, get involved with the different characters.
Comparing this novel to the previous ones, (I have reviewed both, "Ender's Game," and, "Speaker for the Dead"), I think that "Speaker for the Dead," is the best novel in the series. Granted, I have yet to read, "Children of the Mind," which concludes the original Ender Saga. I have also not read the two novels that take place in the same time period as "Ender's Game," namely, "Ender's Shadow" and "Shadow of the Hegemon."
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
steve sorenson
The third of a truly great series, Xenocide is a good deal more talky than the first two books. Maybe it's inevitable: Ender's Game is a novel about gifted youngsters, Speaker for the Dead is about a messed up family and a bizaare alien race; Xenocide is about the nature of existence.
There's not a lot of a plot, there are just a lot of problems to solve. I didn't miss the twisting-turning plot all that much. The story is still pretty strong, and the answers to the problems aren't easily guessable. You learn a lot about Card's philosophy/metaphysics, or at least a philosophy he's made up, even if he doesn't believe in it. Lots of science, a hint or two of mormonism (preexistence and attainable godhood) and some miracles. But all of this is well-woven into the story, so it's handleable-- though difficult at times to get through. If you're a fan of "hard" sci-fi, you'll love it. But if you're like me -- not really a sci-fi fan so much as a Card fan -- it might be better to speedread these passages. You'll miss an interesting way of looking at the nature of the soul, but you can follow the story just fine.
Characterization remains Card's greatest strength, and continues to make me wish he'd write books about the "real" world. His characters are multi-dimensioned, people I can care about, and I appreciate his ability to give them different worldviews and still maintain their integrity here. Unlike in Speaker for the Dead, in this book it's possible to be Catholic--or Taoist-- and not a moron. On top of that, I admire his willingness to make risky moves, like killing off key characters. There are some truly painful scenes in this book, and they are some of the most powerful, best-written pieces. Some of his risks don't quite work (why take away Novinha?) but they're all worthwhile.
There is a subplot about a brilliant race of Taoists afflicted with a form of Obssessive-Compulsive Disorder that is really wonderful. It is some of my favorite pages in the book, and often feels fresh when it feels like Card is tired of his Lusitania characters. It is beautiful, poignant, and well-written. Though it's not all that crucial and never truly ties into the main plot in a significant way, I'm glad it's there.
A passage from the book:
"Jakt gave her his impatient look. "I thought we were coming to Lusitania to help in the struggle against Starways Congress. what does any of this have to do with the real world?"
"Maybe nothing," said Valentine. "Maybe everything."
Jakt buried his face in this hands for a moment, then looked back up at her with a smile that wasn't really a smile. "I haven't heard you say anything so transcendental since your brother left Trondheim."
That stung her, particularly because she knew it was meant to. After all these years, was Jakt still jealous of her connection with Ender? Did he still resent the fact that she could care about things that meant nothing to him? "When he went," said Valentine, "I stayed." She was really saying, I passed the only test that mattered. Why should you doubt me now?
Jakt was abashed. It was one of the best things about him, that when he realized he was wrong he backed down at once. "And when you went," said Jakt, "I came with you." Which she took to mean, I'm with you, I'm really not jealous of Ender anymore, and I'm sorry for sniping at you. Later, when they were alone, they'd say these things again openly. it would not do to reach Lusitania with suspicions and jealousy on either's part."
....
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
r l anderson
This was the first book I ever read by Orson Scott Card, which means that I read it before I read either "Ender's Game" or "Speaker for the Dead," the first two books in the expanding Ender series. Suffice it to say that I was hooked. Not only have I gone back and read the entire Ender series to date, but I've also reread this book several times, along with a multitude of other Card offerings. He has become part of my pantheon of authors, and it all started with my reading of this book.
This is not an easy book. The ideas in it are very high-level, and I still have not yet entirely figured out the philotes and the conceptual underpinnings of ansible physics. But the hard science fiction is never the important part of Card's works, and this is no exception. It is the people and their interactions with each other and the world around them that is the 'raison d'etre' behind this book. The tragedy of Han Qing-jao and Han Fei-tzu, the irrationality of Novinha undiminished despite 30 years of marriage to Andrew Wiggin, the unmentioned failure of Andrew Wiggin to raise either Grego or Quara to a sense of decency and social responsibility despite them being the youngest (and therefore supposedly most fluid in their personalities) of Novinha's children; these are the things that make Card's writing so important to the sensitive reader. Ultimately, Orson Scott Card writes with a greater sense of hope for the future and a greater sense of the fundamental decency of humanity (along with the Hive Queen, the Pequeninos, and Jane) than almost every author I have encountered. "Xenocide" is replete with heroes, and even the one great failure in the book fails heroically.
Finally, Andrew Wiggin is actually a rather minor character in this book despite his being the central figure for the series. Some might find that the older Ender has become rather wimpy and ineffective. The opposite is the truth. Andrew is the character that keeps pushing all the others to the final solution, even when he is fighting his own inner despair. As in "Ender's Game," he is the over-burdened centre of the fight against the descolada and the Starways Congress fleet, but just as in "Ender's Game," it is others who have the positions on the front lines of the various battles. Andrew (Ender) Wiggin remains the commander. The difference is that "Xenocide" is told from the front lines, whereas "Ender's Game" was told exclusively from the commander's chair.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
petya
I read Ender's Game and it was wonderful. Strategy and space battles, winning when the odds are against you, that's cool.

I was hooked onto Speaker for the Dead. The discovery of a new world. Aliens. Mysterious deaths.

Then I read Xenocide, with its talk of gods and something like OCD. I managed to read the first half in a day or two. It was good, but was more geared towards philosophy than science fiction. However, contact between alien races is bound to involve discussion of philosophy, so this would be pretty realistic. I like the concept of how science was used to explain certain phenomena, such as how something can be created from the other ... dimension. However, there's a bit too much on religion (not my religion), while at times the previous books seem to bash religion, which when put together shows humanity's different sides, which is to be expected.

So the story was good, but I think some people might find the philosophy dry if they aren't interested in philosophy. The science was very well depicted. However, if you are looking for space battles then you might not like this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mrniggle
First off, "Xenocide" is many things besides a character study on the power of myth. It is a worthy contribution to the "Ender's Game" series, an insightful analysis of inter-personal relationships, a study in ultimate values, a discussion of free will on a number of levels (e.g., Ela's decision to alter the descolada, Grego's mathematical analysis of matter, energy and substance, Jane's decision to risk her life for humane values, Quim's decision to preach the gospel in a perilous place, Planter's decision to sacrifice his physical life for his mental freedom and for his brothers) and most importantly, a really enjoyable read. It's my favorite book by Card. But at this particular stage in history, I am most interested in the book for its study of the power of myth, and to a lesser extent, the power of ritual.
In "Speaker For the Dead" Andrew says at one point: "We question everything except for that which we truly believe." In "Xenocide," Card takes that concept and runs with it to the finish line. Qing-jao, the teenage genius on the planet Path, has been bombarded with duty and talk of the Gods ever since her birth. When offered the choice of a posteriori knowledge of corruption of her masters and inherent goodness of her supposed enemies on the one hand, and her a priori knowledge of the Gods and the ancestors on the other, she makes the decision for her Gods, false though they are.
Reinforcing Qing-jao's belief are her OCD rituals of woodgrain tracing and hand washing. Unquestioned in her mind through most of the book is the causal link between the Gods and the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Yet even when the causality is exposed as a human, and not divine, device, she chooses the false path.
What caused Qing-jao to turn her back on reason, on her father, on common sense and her own humanity? Card posits that it is a constant cultural bombardment, a specific intellectual arrogance and the general arrogance of youth, with her OCD rituals functioning as a reinforcing mechanism. I think he's right....
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rich dietmeier
This book is decent, but not nearly as good as the earlier books in the series.
I don't so much object to the "wordiness" or "philosophical discussions" that other reviewers pointed out. What bothered me was that Card now results to preaching, and the plot simply stretched credibility too far. As for the preaching, in his previous books, he alway had points to make about various moral issues. Here, however, he uses his characters to literally preach Card's beliefs. There was one scene where he, through Valentine, discusses polygamy, and I thought I had entered Card's temple. It was simply too much, too preachy. Philosphical discussions are fine, but preaching your gospel was overkill.
I also felt that the plot stretched credibility a bit too far. There is always a need to suspend belief in Card's books (teens taking over the world, etc.) but this book was too much, bombarding me constantly. And the conclusion... let's just say that was the epitome of a contrived ending.
On the plus side, I like that Valentine reappeared, I like that the story is about Ender, but not solely about Ender, as there are other interesting characters in the story. I found Wang-mu and Qing-jao to be interesting characters as well. I liked that Novinha is not a major character, as she always bothered me, but instead the story focusses on her children and their internal struggles.
Warning, Xenocide ends very suddenly, and it's not truly an ending at all. Card realised he had another book to write, so he fairly arbitrarily ended the story and wrote Children of the Mind.
I will read the last book, as I have purchased it, and I have enough curiosity to see how the story ends. .... Furthermore, if you didn't like Speaker for the Dead, you definitely won't like this book, as it is even talkier and stretches the credibility boundaries farther than SFTD did. This is not another "Ender's Game".
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
betty rose williams
I loved Ender's Game and appreciated Speaker for the Dead, so I started Xenocide with enthusiastic anticipation. I was completely let down! Card has moved so far away from what made Ender's Game brilliant: a simple, elegant, unified story with universal themes and enough left unsaid to let the reader think for herself. I think of Ender's Game as a beatiful silken braid, then I imagine Card thinking, "That braid is beautiful, let me combine (or should I say "twine") it with another braid...hey that's Speaker for the Dead...let's keep adding to it"...by the time we've reached Xenocide, Card has fused together an unwieldy rope. The reader can hardly hold it in her hand, much less appreciate the beauty of the indivdiual threads. I didn't feel intellectually or emotionally invested in the story until I'd forced my way through almost 300 pages, and then only marginally so. I had several hundred pages to go, and I slogged through as quickly as possib! le to fulfill my obligation to myself to finish. This is completely the opposite of how I felt reading Ender's Game, and even Speaker for the Dead, when I couldn't wait to turn each page and watch the character's lives unfold. In Xenocide, Card betrays his own legacy by turning his characters into insufferably selfish, endlessly pontificating mouthpieces. For those reviewers who found fulfillment in Xenocide I am happy for you, but I have to honestly say that reading it dimished my ejoyment of the whole series. To mention a final irony, in my local library Ender's Game is shelved under Young Adult fiction, but I felt that its honesty and simplicity reflected a respect for the reader's intelligence. It is Xenocide that treats us readers like children by hammering us over the head with so much heavy-handed philosophy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
themindframe
Every time the first book of a series gains some followers, some of them are always going to be disappointed in the sequels. Of course, this book wasn't *quite* as good as EG and SFTD, but it was very, very close. It just didn't have as much of a surprise ending. I was prepared for a disappointment after reading some of these reviews, but Xenocide was good anyway. Some people were bored by the philosophical and scientific debates, but I was interested by them and thought that was one of the best things about the novel. Anyway, you should _definitely not_ skip this book just because some of the other reviews said to. Even if you did turn out to hate it, don't you want to find out what happens? You also get to find out a lot more about Jane, which is great! The subplot on the planet of Path was really interesting, but I thought they could have had a bigger part in the story. I also thought Ender hogged the book a little-- he had his two books, and this time he didn't help much. But this is about all the criticism I have for it. My recommendations for reading this book: Be prepared for a disappointment (especially if you prefer lots of action and video games like in book 1) -- but read it anyway. That way, if you're not disappointed, you'll like it all the more. Another recommendation for an excellent sf book with lots of scientific and philosophical theories is the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, my favorite books ever. (BTW this trilogy is much more popular than Xenocide. Almost no-one hates it, at least according to the the store reviews!)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
connieii
Only Orson Scott Card can write a novel this intricate, encompassing so many different ideas to such depth. I can't add anything that other reviewers have so aptly put, as to how deftly Card writes about themes of speci-ism, the soul, and survival ethics. It is astonishing to me that more people don't know about this great writer.

I gave the book a three because I really struggled to get through this one. And I've read most of his books. I think it's because he chewed off SO much. Introducing the new concept of sentient aliens, including AI Jane, and how humans could live and interact with these characters, was a mind-bender extraordinaire, to say the least. The fabricated Taoist society was most disturbing to me, a horrible form of human-to-human abuse. Facscinates me that Card could dream up such a thing ... but he is magnificent. While some are of the opinion that as a bridge book, Xenocide served its purpose, I almost would need the book to be a bit longer, to flesh some of the story out. Maybe some clues in the Taoist society because I was lost for a long time in that crazy world. lol
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
haylee
This book really surprised me. It also really dissapointed me. As I was finishing Speaker I began to read some reviews for Xenocide. Those reviews and some word from other friends of mine indicated this installment to be the worst in the series. And as I read the first 400 pages of this book I simply couldn't imagine why. Card had this fascinating element in this book, and it started to make me think he was a genius. I would be reading the Ender side of the story, and when I got to the end of it, I didn't want to leave it. Then when the Qing-Jao story ended, I didn't want to leave that. It was simply that good.
Starting at about page 400 though, the book really takes a dive. I found myself reading it just to get to the end. Once they figure out how to travel faster-than-light it picks up again, but that 125 page or so valley really hurt the quality.
The ideas contained within this book are just too complex, and don't enhance the story much. The mystery of Jane's existence was interesting, though I couldn't get into the whole philote concept.
In Speaker for the Dead, we were given a great sci-fi story that was easy to follow but still provided an excellent story. In this book, it seems Card just had to throw in his opinions of the universe. The Ender series is not the place. As for the ending...there isn't one really. Make sure you have Children of the Mind in close proximity before you finish this one.
Don't pay attention to the synopsis on the back, the actual story does not rest around that at all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
idris
I loved Ender's Game (Book 1) and Speaker for the Dead (Book 2). Both very different, in my opinion, but both 5-star efforts. This book 3 continues the story well, but I have to admit to having some issues with it.

First, I found the character of Wang Mu interesting, but somewhat inconsistent. Earlier in the story, she was portrayed as secretly ambitious, confident in her intelligence, open-minded, and aware of her superiority in some ways to Qing-Jao. Later in the story, she falls back into a traditional servant mentality of "I'm not worthy". This seemed inconsistent. I saw nothing in the story that should have changed her attitudes (at least her inner monologue).

Finally, the last part of the book dealt with several simultaneous, seemingly impossible tasks, that gets neatly wrapped up at the end. The term deus ex machina sprang to mind. And frankly, it seemed unnecessary to me. The story would have been just as good if not everything got wrapped up. Perhaps the reasons will be revealed when I read book 4, and my opinion may soften somewhat, but having just finished this book, I'm left feeling the author may have taken the easy way out...

Despite these issues, I liked it overall.

If I could, I'd give this 3.5 stars, but the store made me choose a whole number, so I gave it 4.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
bee hoon tee
Having loved Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, I was looking forward to reading Xenocide. Although it is well written, I have to say the book was a disappointment. In his zeal to explore ethical, philosophical and moral issues, Card somehow forgot he was supposed to be writing a novel.

The fundamental problem with this book is that is was based on weak premises and unfounded assumptions which produced more errors in logic than the story could bear. The most glaring of these was that the descolada virus was sentient. The fact that a virus can change rapidly to adapt to new environments certainly is not a proof of sentience. Rapid adaptation is a feature of every virus, as well as most bacteria (which is why we need a different flu vaccine every year, and why so many bacteria are resistant to antibiotics). The moral "dilemma" of whether or not to alter/destroy the virus was a basically a straw man.

Logical inconsistencies were rife in this book. If, in fact, xenocide was universally considered morally reprehensible, then why was Lusitania established in the first place? Why take the risk of destroying the only other sentient species in the universe? And why blow up the whole planet? If the buggers can come up with a way to neutralize the descolada, then certainly humans can figure it out. (Or maybe the buggers can just tell the humans how to do it.) Why send a fleet anyhow, if only one MD device was required? Why create people with superior intelligence and then hobble them with OCD? (Superior intelligence does not imply a challenge to governing bodies. If anything, intellectuals pose less of a threat. They are too busy inventing the theory of relativity to overthrow governments.)

There was also an underlying assumption throughout this book that while gods did not exist, God did. In a sci-fi novel, assumptions need to be proven. (That's the "sci" part.) Card should have treated Catholicism exactly as he did Confucianism. (As a set of superstitious beliefs leading to social inequity.) Instead the existence of God was a given, and the spread of Christianity amongst an alien species was treated as unproblematic. (A highly questionable stance to take in a novel about ethics and morality.)

All of these errors, inconsistencies and assumptions might have been forgiven if the characters had been well played out. Unfortunately, Card utilized only two emotional modes for his characters--lofty philosophical and scientific exposition, or adolescent quarrels (regardless of the age of the characters). The relationship between Novinha and Ender was entirely unconvincing. And while Card introduces several potentially interesting characters--Plinkt, and Valentine's children--these mysteriously disappeared almost immediately after they were introduced. (Almost as an afterthought, Card mentions them again at the end of the book.)While the Chinese characters and the holdovers from previous novels (Valentine, Ender) managed to retain authenticity, the rest were no better than caricatures.

The only strength of this book lay in Card's marvelous ability to convey alien cultures. The description of the "buggers" was captivating. (I will never forget the image of white, viscous fluid dripping from the end of the hive queen's abdomen). Card does an equally convincing job of conveying the world of the piggies. Where he failed was in creating a believable Lusitanian culture. (Throwing in a lot of Portuguese did not suffice.) If the Lusitanians were supposed to be Brazilians (who are the warmest, friendliest people on earth), then why did they speak and act exactly like neurotic, self-absorbed Americans?

All in all, I wouldn't say this book was a complete waste of time. It was easy to read and entertaining in enough places to leave me with no regrets. However, I am not motivated to read the last book in the quartet. Card has wandered too far away from his commitment to provide readers with a credible novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jammies
It's hard to say exactly what I think about this book. Overall it was very good, very deep. It was like an exploration of the potential of humankind, in life, in relationships, everything. Considering the two previous books, this was a much more difficult read for some reason. I figure most would say because of all the philosophical, moral, and metaphysical rambling that it contains, and they may be right. There is alot of it so be prepared, but on that note I honestly feel the story couldn't of been told without it all. My only real problem with the story is that there is no finality to the ending. There is alot still hanging out there for another book to work out, and hopefully the fourth book will enlighten me on some of it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lag21245
I give Card's brilliant "Xenocide" five stars, as I would give all of his "Ender" books a full five, but for a completely different reason than the previous two. "Ender's Game" was a feisty, fast-paced space epic that gripped your attention right off the bat and hurled you through to the end like you were on some light-speed roller coaster. "Speaker for the Dead" was more philosophical and psychological, getting right into the depths of your consciousness and making you think so hard that your head would hurt... but you didn't realize you were thinking. The thoughts just flowed like a crisp river on a warm day, and when the end of the book came, and that last page was turned, you felt extremely emotionally satisfied. "Xenocide" is like a combination of "Speaker for the Dead" and Chinese mythology, brilliant in its own right, but lacking the pace that was necessary to make a page-turner. However, when the book was finished, you felt the same kind of emotional resonance that made "Speaker for the Dead" so great. It's hard to explain how it does it, but "Xenocide" does something completely unique from most novels: It gets under your skin like a tick and stays there until you totally understand what you've read. Pretty cool, huh?
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
nidal ibrahem
Xenocide is not quite up to par with the previous books in the Ender Series. It starts off slowly, with Jane cutting off ansible communications with the fleet that has been sent to attack the colony on Luisitania, and doesn't really start to get interesting until over 100 pages into the book. From the 100 page mark it does become an enjoyable read.
A God-spoken girl on the world of Path is set the task of finding out why they lost contact with the fleet, while the people of Luisitania search for a way to stop the Descolata from killing them and all of humanity by keeping the Pequinoes confined to just one planet. Through their separate searches, many amazing and terrifying things are discovered. The frightening purpose of the Descolata is discovered, as is the reason behind the God-spoken of Path. All of these discoveries help to add tension and excitement to an otherwise pretentious book.
The story leaves many questions unanswered, and the survival of the human colony is in doubt, as the whole universe seems to be pushing for its destruction. With the first books in this series, all this seemed fresh and new, if not a little overbearing, but now it's just getting old. The story seems a little forced in places, and it's not as fun as its predecessors.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
chrystie
Warning: In this book, the author creates a metaphysical explanation for human consciousness. This ruins the book for me. The consequences of the metaphysics are also pretty stupid. You may want to stop reading 3/4 of the way in.

It started out fine. I like the idea of OCD as a religion, the exploration of the biology of the descolada, the interpretation of catholicism by space aliens, and the dialogues about humanity between the hive queen and the father trees.

In the middle of the book, the only action you'll see is people sitting around and thinking about some hard problems. That's not bad, but not all that exciting either.

In the end, they come up with a solution that's pretty dumb, but not nearly as dumb as what happens next, which is complete nonsense with no connection to reality.

I finally understand what the title of the next book refers to, and that makes me fear it will just be an extension of this silliness.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ahmed elwany
I have read a half dozen of Card's Ender series. None are as good as the original "Enders Game" but this is definitly second place. Ender has aged a good deal, and the young boy's unique, but somehow believable life situation had given the first book a lot of appeal. That was gone in this book. Ender is not the strong character he was.

The Xenocide storyline and character development are what was so fascinating for me. Card takes his creatures and humanizes them and yet gives them complete uniqueness as interstellar foreign species. In the first three books of the series, the author is excellent at developing the moral issues, without being terribly obvious that they are moral issues, which can get kind of sappy. This book as well as the other two are very compelling reads - hard to put down - make you think and want to talk about them.

My kids turned me on to them after reading them in school, and I have continued to recommend them to others for years. And I am not a sci fi fan in general.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jennifer millican
Some people praise this story for its philosophical depth. I agree with them, except on one point. It may be just one point, but it's perhaps the most important one. As a starting point for philosophical discussions on major human issues, it's admittedly stellar, so long as you remove any and all points from the story itself.
Some people criticize this story for its lack of energy and action as was very present in both "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead". I agree with them, but that's not why I dislike this book. As an enjoyable story that is good on its own merits, this is really pretty bad.

The reason the philosophical points only work outside of the story and the reason the story cannot stand up on its own are the same reason. However, since I don't really like spoilers, you'll have to read my review (link is below) to see what I'm talking about.

See more at [...]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
benjamin babik
Surprisingly enough, Xenocide proved to be of a bit higher quality than Speaker for the Dead. While Card still manages to ignore his gift of characterization, the plot proves to be original enough to somehow keep the book on steam. In my opinion, Card's biggest flaw with Xenocide is practically ignoring the 30-year gap between the last volume and this one - it is barely dealt with. Furthermore, while all the characters (except Miro) have aged that amount of time, Card very rarely plays upon that. They still speak, behave, and move like they are the children of Speaker for the Dead, and when their ages are mentioned I felt somehow cheated. Whenever they are mentioned, instead of active, eye-catching personas they become slow-witted dewy familymen and familywomen Nowhere to be found is the general life expectancy for the humans - I didn't find Ender to appear any older than in the previous book.
Also, some of the conflict is a bit contrived - why does Novinha loathe Ender so much, even after thirty years of marriage? Similarly, Card shows that his way of dealing with problems in his own writings is to ignore them - didn't he write that Jane was the one to alert the Congress about the cultural exchange between the species? Are we to forget that? Most plot twists seem to be thought of on the spot.
Returning to the characters, I found them to be quite a disappointment. They are just so uniform in their whining and squabbling, I just felt a great urge to reach into the book and just try to put them to some use. Nowhere to be found is Ender's mind-boggling intelligence or inter-personal wisdom. Is he becoming senile? What attracted readers to Game and Shadow was that all of the characters displayed amazing intelligence - those who thought themselves as intelligent finally found someone to identify with, and those who thought the characters to be above them found great role models. Most of all, the characters were children. Here we have squabbling, inefficient, and quite unintelligent adults who cook up off-the-wall things in their minds. The narrative is enthralling, but where is it coming from? Not the characters, for certain.
Lastly, the only original and fresh characters in the book seem to the inhabitants of the Taoist world of Path, where the gifted citizens are invariable hampered with OCD (which is interpreted as hearing the Gods' will), but the way in which they are tied to the rest of the story seems to be a bit clunky.
The theories and the theology are certainly unique - if only they could make the book that much better. Alas, they do not.
Xenocide proved to be a certain improvement upon the Speaker for the Dead, but it is still miles below the quality of either the Game or the Shadow.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laura zlogar
First of all, I wouldn't recommend this one to those of you who haven't been following the series. The book is great, but not understandable on it's own. Besides that though, this book is excellent, very well written and excellent character development. Anyway, in this book Ender has married and settled on Lusitania, when the Starways Congress decides to send a fleet there to destroy the planet, and the human killing virus, Descolada, that has manifested itself there, but that the Piggies need to complete their unique life cycle. Now Ender and Novinha's children must fight once more to prevent another xenocide... Anyway, once again this book is excellent and I guarentee it will have an emotional reaction out of you one way or another. I would most definitely have rated this one five stars, if not for some extremely sexist dialogue and inuendo, which takes a lot out of a book for me. I was also surprised by how many people didn't like this book because it was too long! Why? It's only six hundred pages. Reality check please! This is how long good books are! Gosh, I've honestly read Star Wars books that were longer than this one! Anyway, read the book, and love it, but start with Ender's Game or at least Speaker for the Dead.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sab1218
Xenocide by Orson Scott Card is the disappointing sequel to Speaker for the Dead and third volume of the Ender series. While it has some interesting elements, much of the book feels like one story shoehorned into another. What is more, it has a WTF??? twist in the middle that forever changes an excellent Science Fiction world into a mediocre Science Fantasy one. Combined with its long philosophical dialogues that only work because the author has final say in the argument, what could have been a good story is dragged below the bar of mediocrity.

In short, the story goes more or less like:

Ender! Blah, blah, blah, blah, interesting Chinese subplot, blah, blah, blah, ???WTF??? blah blah, blah.

For more detail go to [...] or shortlink straight to the article at [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
patty sagucio
"Xenocide" is the third part in Orson Scott Card's masterpiece, the Ender series. "Ender's game" was an excellent book, fast-paced, with great characters, and a hint of what was to come in the next books. "Speaker for the dead" features the same character, Ender Wiggin, now in another planet, and in the second book Card introduced some very different and intriguing concepts concerning planet Lusitania and its inhabitabts, the pequeninos and the mortal virus descolada.

In "Xenocide", Card picks up his story 30 years after he left it in "Speaker...". This is a good decision, because Novinha's sons, presented to the readers in the previous book, are now grown up, which leaves room for more character development and further interactions between them. If the pequeninos are not as present in "Xenocide" as they were in "Speaker...", they still are part of the most important happenings in the book. The Hive Queen and the buggers are also an important part of the plot.

"Xenocide", as a book - plot, characters, writing style, pace - is very similar to "Speaker for the dead". Many previous reviewers complained about the "philosophycal" parts of the book - especially when the setting is the world of Path - a planet colonized by the Chinese, where the society is split between servants and the "godspoken", enlighted people that display abnormal behaviour in order to purify themselves. I, on the other hand, think that Card's concepts portrayed in the book are very cool. Genetic manipulation, a sentient virus, interaction between three very different species, faster-than-light-travel based on Plato's teachings, all these strange ideas interact during the course of the book, and I can't help but think Card is a very talented concept sci-fi author, and he's not afraid to display his very different thoughts in his books. To me, "Xenocide" was never a boring read, on the contrary, I was always eager to see what the author was going to propose next.

This book is clearly not a standalone. In fact, it has no ending. I recommend reading "Xenocide" with "Children of the mind" close at hand; even if it may be the weakest book in the series, this fourth installment contains the final moments of Ender Wiggin's saga.

Grade 8.3/10
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rachelle
Two separate reviews on the back cover of the paperback edition use the same phrase:
"Card has raised to a fine art the creation of suspense by means of ethical dilemmas" - Chicago Sun-Times
"hard ethical dilemmas.." - NY Daily News
These dilemmas are indeed raised, faced, and discussed by the characters, including Ender, Valentine, and the various battling members of the Ribeira family. (Warning: if you haven't read the preceding volumes, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, which are both excellent, you are very likely to be completely lost in this volume.)
However, when it comes to resolving them....
There was a kind of science fiction story, more popular in the 1950's than recently, in which humans would get themselves out of intractible scrapes by reinventing physical law. You couldn't beat those humans, by golly! If a crew got stranded somewhere, they would invent a few new laws of motion, then whomp up a faster-than-light drive or a perpetual motion machine out of spare parts. The rule was, "When all possible solutions fail, pick an impossible one and make it work." Nothing was too far out. I remember that the punch line of one such story was "We brought the planet with us." If individuals got stranded alone without a laboratory, necessity would impart to them the skills of teleportation.
To get away with this kind of nonsense you need a certain kind of brassy showmanship: you can't convince the reader it's not a trick, but you can make it fun. Van Vogt was good at this. In Rogue Ship, one of his characters wakes up his pal and tells him, "Hey, I've discovered the secret of the universe!" And he had: "The universe is a lie!" This meant he could do all kinds of amazing stuff, like going places by thinking about it.
Xenocide is ostensibly a much different book in style, emphasis, areas of focus, mood, and characterization. There are some inventive Card touches: a subplot involving super-intelligent prophets with obsessive-compulsive disorder on a Chinese-settled planet is good. And suspense is indeed created through a set of dilemmas which appear to pit humans, pequeninos, the hive queen, Jane the intelligent program (as she is thought to be), and the arguably-intelligent descolada virus against each other in an inescapable Hobbesian war of all species against all.
But when it comes close to the time of actually making the hard choices, we start to see stuff like this:
"We're on the verge of reconceptualizing the universe. We've discovered the illuminating principle that wishing makes it so..."
I hardly have to point out how closely this parallels the Van Vogt device above! But while it works for Van Vogt, in Card's novel it falls with a hollow thud. The reader can see it coming, because early on Card throws in some stuff about how all mass-energy has been proved by experiments on the planet "Ganges", which nobody tried to replicate because of the universal heavy hand of scientific dogma, to be composed of "philotes" which are like little souls for all atoms, particles, planets, people, etc. (By the way, this is sort of like another Van Vogt invention, "adeledicnander," from another novel!) By bringing together the proper group of High-Tension Thinkers (to borrow from Doc Smith) to ponder these matters for a couple weeks, it is discovered that the beleaguered Lusitanians can do - well - all sorts of amazing stuff.
Well, if you are writing whiz-bang space opera and use such devices, that's one thing. But if you are supposedly dealing seriously with "ethical dilemmas" and writing a cycle about "the ethical awakening of humanity", as the blurb to the sequel says, I believe it is just cheating to change the rules of the game so drastically. In Valentine's words, "It would be too idiotically convenient if the universe could be manipulated to work this way."
Furthermore, there is the added drawback that additional baggage, residue, and characters are created (sic) which/who clutter up the plot considerably as the saga moves into volume 4, "Children of the Mind." Ultimately there are enough good Card tricks here to keep this from being a bad book, but I don't think it's a really good one either.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
murali
Three months ago I was introduced to Orson Scott Card through his book Ender's Game (Ender, Book 1) Seeing how awesome his envisioning of modern technology (a lot of which have come true since the book was published) and study of human nature was, I eagerly jumped into the second book of the series, Speaker for the Dead (Ender, Book 2)

This book was even better!!

True, it was not as action backed as "Ender's Game" but nonetheless it was an amazing book that dove deep into the human behavior. How does one treat an alien race that is different than one's own? How about a human who is reacting out of guilt and secrecy? Can you learn to understand someone, even when they are `evil' and do bad things?

It was with great joy that I picked up the third book in the series, "Xenocide" (especially since book two ended before everything was resolved).

Sadly enough, I have to report that "Xenocide" failed to uphold the same standard as the first two... =(

Well, kind of... the first three-fourth of the book was fairly good as Card tried hard to explore how one could live side-by-side with aliens, who by their very existence, places your life in danger. He also explores the nature of life and what it means to be alive.

I grant you that these are not easy questions/topics to explore...so some grace must be given to Card for tackling such concepts. However I must say that Card ended up backing himself into a corner with tons of major problems for his characters that could not be solved easily...

So instead of letting them die or having them fail, he jumps the shark and solves 95% of the problems with one action.

[Spoiler Alert!]

Normally I let an author get away with as there are times when something has to give...yet... when Card has his characters recreating their bodies, figuring out faster-than-light travel, bring 3,000 year old dead people to life, and developing new forms of a virus by simply WISHING for it... sorry, I can't go there... that is a tad much for me.

True, he develops a huge `scientific' theory/argument for such wishing...but no...can't buy it. =?

Sorry, Mr. Card, but you lost me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mstcat
Patterns behavior and the realms of the god...s Please don't read this... Read a book or the book. A place of faith and transparent guidelines of morality and obsession's. Hard work with care and purpose in transformation of one aspect of who you are than what you ending up building yourself as. Positive creative energy in the forming of gods and mirrors with the divine..
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jamie harms
Many people don't like this book because of the long ethical and philosophical discussions in it, but these are the people who only read Ender's Game for the action, violence and war aspect of it. In fact, I'm surprised these people got so far as to even read Xenocide. If you look closely, all of the Ender Quartet are philosophical books, but Xenocide it the most open about it. Xenocide considers outrageous things, such as an entire planet inhabited by geniuses who are struck by a crippling and incurable variation of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or a self-aware computer program making herself into a martyr even though only three people in the entire universe know she exists, or a group of aliens determined to bring humankind to meet it's maker by spreading an incurable plague, etc. The sub-plot on the world of Path is riveting, and holds up the whole book of itself. I don't know how Card does it. First I was convinced that Ender's Game was the best book ever written, then no one could tell me that Speaker for the Dead was anything less than perfect, and now Xenocide has risen to claim the title! I want to read Children of the Mind, though I am skeptical about whether Card can improve on the perfection of his previous three books. For the reader who is into deep philosophy: read Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder, but take it in small doses! I have only one question. Orson Scott Card, will you marry me?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brenda woodford
First off, this book is the second sequel to Ender's Game, so I suggest you go read the other two books first. Second, Xenocide follows the story of The Speaker for the Dead, so don't expect a story similar to Ender's Game.
But with that over, lets get on to the good stuff! Xenocide is not a direct sequel, instead, Card takes another of his twists and makes it take place 20-30 years later, once the children are grown, and Ender is an old man.
(For those of you who have read the series) it's interesting to see how everyone has changed over the years, to see what fields each has entered. Card built a person out of each name, and with this book, the personality grows for all of them.
On top of that, the series also sees the return of Valentine, Ender's sister. Reading this book is like looking at your highschool yearbook, it's fun to see how everyone's both changed and stayed the same.
Concerning the plot, this book has gained some respect. I don't read too many sci-fis because of the fantasy involved. In Star Trek, if a ray-gun is needed, there it is. It is assumed that they were made a long time ago and are as common as pants now. But this series, and especially this book rejects that theory. Everything exists for a reason, and Card does a fantastic job at explaining "histories" and describing theories, then BUILDING on those theories to make more. I'm sure it was time consuming to Card, but it has an excellent effect on the reader.
A word of caution though. Some of the theories (especially the ones involving space) get, to say the least, confusing. On more than one occasion, I needed to put the book down because I either had a headache, or needed to work out the words in my mind. But nothing written is too confusing to figure out. The benefits of the explanation outnumber the time it takes to figure it out.
It's a good, long story with realistic characters and just enough science fiction to satisfy the crowds. Enjoy!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
maria vujic
Like most two star reviewers on the site, I had great admiration and respect for both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Both books were riveting, exploring themes both familiar and new. They were also excellently written and paced and ultimately thoroughly enjoyable to read. Xenocide, however, strays from this stalwart formula, and ends up being hard to finish and in some places even painful to get to the next page.

The writing is dry, especially the parts of the story that take place on the Chinese planet of Path. The characters are fairly one dimensional. Nothing much seems to change them throughout the entire book's nearly six hundred pages, despite a lot of events unfolding and things constantly happening around the characters that probably should sway their viewpoints. We are also introduced to several characters who do basically nothing for the story other than provide a way for Card to spout what equates to science fiction nonsense at the reader, expecting them to accept it and simply move on. There are so many stark examples of deus ex machina in the novel that you could probably teach a college English course with the book, citing it as an example of what not to do when formulating your story.

In fact, the only character who seems to change all that much is Grego, who we get intimate with, learning all about him and his motivation, watching as he changes into someone we can actually like - and then he's gone. After his side story ends, he is barely mentioned for the remainder of the book until, once again, Card needs him to move the story forward.

This was a terrible misstep and really illustrates one of the book's main failures. In attempting to delve too deep into religion and politics and how nasty 'the establishment' (Starways Congress) can be, Card forgets that we're reading this book for Ender's and Novinha's story. We're reading it because we fell in love with Olhado and Miro and Ouanda and the entire Ribera family. We're not reading it to be preached to about the pitfalls of ultimate power - we're reading it because we want to see Ender and his family grow together. Rather than explore this at all, Card goes in the complete opposite direction, and we end up with a disappointing work in an otherwise impressive portfolio.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
msiira
Well, the author did warn us in the preface of Speaker for the Dead that Xenocide was going to be more philosophical and slow than his first two books of the Ender series. (Perhaps that's why this book didn't win the Hugo award that year.) The book's ending is set up for the fourth and last book in the series - The Children of the Mind. (The reviews I've read on it are less than positive.) This book deals with a wide range of issues such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, faster-than-light travel, interspecies tolerance, martyrdom, separation, etc. It's no wonder this book seemed long preachy.
Here's what I really think about this book. I hated the ending. It's a ... ploy for the reader to buy the fourth book. The rest of the book was so-so, a LOT of dialogue and positing. And since all of the technology presented in this book is fiction, it's highly incredulous.
Plotwise, nothing really exciting happens in this book. It picks off from where Speaker for the Dead left off. (It's like that movie Contact with Jodie Foster. Did she really travel to space or was she just [imagining it]?) The sources of conflict in this book are the same: the descolada, Lusitania fleet, Novinha's family, Valentine. I'll keep you posted on the last book. But I'm not getting my hopes up.
LEAP rating (each out of 5):
============================
L (Language) - 3 (blah blah blah)
E (Erotica) - 0 (n/a - sigh)
A (Action) - 0 (n/a - can you believe this?)
P (Plot) - 2 ("we need to figure out what to do with the descolada" <- pretty much sums up the story)
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kestrel
Xenocide continues the story of Lusitania, through the eyes of Ender, Valentine, Jane, Miro, and the rest of Ender's adoptive family. However, the story also branches out to include a storyline with Chinese culture influence, which includes a strange subplot with a society which revers OCD like activities - claiming that the gods must talk to these people. There are a number of philosophical discussions, moral dilemmas and much character development. However, it just didn't feel like it was pulled together as well as in the first two books in the series. The ending was also a little off for me.

All in all, the book was OK. I didn't like it nearly as much as either Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead. I did like it enough that I will probably continue with Children of the Mind. I've also heard that the Shadow series is much more in-line with the Ender's Game feel.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mohamed magdi
Orson Scott Card, one of the greatest living American authors and certainly in the pantheon of sci-fi authors, made me smite my forehead in pain after I read Xenocide. Ender's Game was an incredibly powerful novel; Speaker For the Dead was less powerful but more thoughtful, and the two existed in an elegant symmetry: the first told the story of Ender's childhood and consequent crimes, the second showed an adult Ender and his redemption.
Xenocide, and its equally smite-inducing sequel Children of the Mind, imbalance the near-perfect duo by tacking on additional, irrelevent material at the end of Speaker for the Dead. The problem is that the character of Ender has already developed as much as possible; by the end of Speaker for the Dead he has come full circle. I felt cheated that OSC (or at least, I suspect, his publishers) took the characters from the end of the second book and used them statically, in the manner of a Star Trek novel, to advance a meandering, tritely philosophizing plot that really contributed nothing to the "Ender" lexicon.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
daniela pineda
"Xenocide" continues the compelling storyline begun in "Speaker for the Dead". Having violated the strict policy of the Starways Congress regarding interference with indigenous species, the human colony on the planet Lusitania has been targeted for dissolution. The added factor of the existence of the killer (and highly contagious) genetic virus, Descolada, on Lusitania has led the Congress to order to the planet be destroyed before the colonists or other indigenous life can leave and spread the virus elsewhere. On Lusitania, a group of colonists, led by Ender Wiggin and his adopted family, are in a race against time to find an antidote to the Descolada (not just a 'fix' like they are using currently) and find a way to stop the Fleet that is being sent to destroy the planet. The official full partnership between the 'piggies' species and the humans threatens to break apart under the stress of the events surrounding the Descolada and arrival of the Fleet.

"Xenocide" is, on may levels, as equally captivating as "Speaker for the Dead" because author Orson Scott Card focuses on what he does best, character development and character interactions. Such focus is what made "Speaker for the Dead" and "Ender's Game" spectacular novels and Nebula award winners. "Xenocide" keeps much of that momentum going. The politics on the planet among the species (the Buggers have also been reborn there) are quite compelling. The efforts of the high-minded members of the human and piggie species to prevent the ignition of a bloody civil war caused by ignorant members of both species is both harrowing and suspenseful. The events take place 30 years after "Speaker for the Dead" and Novinha's children are all grown now and play major roles in the resolution of this conflict. Seeing how they have evolved from the broken children when Ender first arrived in "Speaker..." is one of the more satisfying aspects of "Xenocide". The paths in life they have chosen are wholly believable and the reader can see that, without Ender's intercession decades earlier, these children might never had the opportunity to make the choices they make here.

This book is nearly 600 pages long, but powers forward at a rapid clip until about the last 100 pages. It is there that "Xenocide" goes on an existential path that would continue into, and plague, "Children of the Mind". Without revealing any plot details, it can be said that this literary choice of Card's dramatically slows the momentum created by the previous 2 1/2 books. Since it only occurs over the last 100 pages, it doesn't slow the reader down so much that they would be compelled to put the book down. It does, however, make reading the sequel, "Children of the Mind", more difficult.

Card seemingly wanted to explore a higher meaning in the overall story arc with this development. It just seems unnecessary because the character-driven stories he had told up to this point clearly revealed a greater meaning that just simply science fiction novels would. Complaints aside, "Xenocide" is still an excellent book and a good read for anyone who appreciated what "Speaker for the Dead" stood for.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rania
Xenocide is Orson Scott Card's third installment in the Ender series, and the second book of the Speaker trilogy. Congress has sent its fleet to the world of Lustiania, intent on destroying it in order to put an end to their rebellion. Lusitania also happens to be the only known home in the universe to sentient beings other than Humans, so the result of its destruction will be xenocide - the total annihilation of an entire alien race. When the fleet mysteriously disappears, Congress enlists the aid of Gloriously Bright on the world of Path to discover what has happened.
Xenocide is not one of those action packed non-stop thrill-a-minute science fiction stories that readers of Ender's Game might be hoping for. Instead, Xenocide is much closer to Speaker for the Dead in its pacing. This is sci-fi for the thinking man. Card has a lot he wants to say. He addresses themes of religion, sacrifice, the family, the connections we all make with one another, and much more. Card examines our place in the universe and what it means to be a living thinking being. Card even invents his own science to explain events from the physical, such as the creation of the Universe, to the metaphysical, such as where do our soul's come from. In the midst of all this is an engaging and enjoyable yarn, complete with a rich cast of characters.
If you are looking for a story that makes you stop and think, you will enjoy Xenocide. If you enjoyed Speaker for the Dead then this is a must read. Be warned though, Xenocide doesn't wrap up all of its threads before finishing, so you'll probably be looking forward to picking up the next book in the series in order to resolve those unanswered questions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gina gilbert
This is the third book in my favorite science fiction series. Enders game(the first book) is a very popular and widely read book that is considered one of the best books in science fiction. Speaker for the Dead (the second book) is not so popular and a complete change of pace, even with the same charecters, but it is one of my favorite books in any genre. Needless to say, I had high expectations for this book. It wasnt the amazing book that the first two were, as its plot was weak and predictable, but the philosophy that it dealt with was very compeling and interesting, and there were enough flashes of the brilliance of the first two books to make it worthwhile.
If you just picked this book and have never heard of Ender Wiggin, or you didnt really like either of the first two books, dont bother reading this, its a waste of your time. However, if you enjoyed the first two books at all, this book will fill your need for more of the story of Andrew and his amazing life. Also, it is not the last book in the series so if you liked the first two books you owe it to yourself to read this one so you can move to the last book, Children of the Mind, and see how the story finally ends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maryinns
While Card does a great job developing his characters and upping the ante in regards to the problems facing the Lusitania colony, he refuses to scale back on all the religious garbage in the story. Having to constantly focus on ignoring the incredibly stupid things that the characters say and do based on religion to enjoy the meaningful content becomes exhausting. It's especially frustrating that every brilliant scientist and wise philosopher on Lusitania just happens to breakdown and submit to utter logic abandonment and becomes a follower of the Christian religion.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
yitz dubovick
I love Orson Scott Card. "Ender's Game" is one of my favorite books and it's hard not to have such strong compassion for Ender. The story is good and Card is a truly gifted author. But there were some very strong downfalls.

The saga continues as Ender recruits the help of his sister, Valentine, to help save the planet Lusitania (including the sentient alien species of Piggies and Buggers, the human colony, and his own family) from total annihilation. The threat of rebellion and fear of the deadly descolada virus entices Starways Congress to send a fleet to wipe-out the entire planet with the Little Doctor weapon. A second xenocide seems to be on the horizon unless Ender and company can figure out a way to stop it.

The plot itself fits flawlessly into the scheme of the saga and, as expected, the dialogue is smart and sharp. So much of this book is a mix of philosophical debate and an intense discource of various physics theories (AI, lightspeed travel, etc). Reading this book made my feel like my IQ jumped about 30 points!

The focus seems to be less on Ender and more on his step-son, Miro, and Valentine. Miro is such a beautiful character that I admittedly ended up with a slight crush. Jane is another a scene-stealer. Some of the new characters are from the newly introduced world of Path: Si Wang-mu, Han Fei-tzu, and Han Qing-jao. Two other "new" characters also make an appearance: Peter Wiggin and Young Val (though they are not who they seem).

What is disappointing is the way the story ends. The book does not end with any sort of conclusion...not even a cliff-hanger. There is absolutely no resolution to any of the conflicts. After so many chapters of deep philosophy and physics there is no pay-off at the end. All that rhetoric for nothing. In fact, it isn't until the afterword in "Children of the Mind" that Card admits to the reader that "Xenocide" "was originally intended to include everything in Children of the Mind as well." What a rip-off! Smells like a sneaky plot to goad an extra $8 out of loyal readers.

If you have plans on eventually figuring out what happens to Ender and Lusitania, I would suggest purchasing "Children of the Mind" in addition to "Xenocide." It's an extra (and unfair) expenditure but necessary to complete the story. And a good story it is.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
georg
Yet another gem for Orson Scott Card. Its remarkable how the first three books of the Ender's Game series are so completely different from one another, yet each has earned a place in many of the top 100 scifi books lists. For my money, the relationship Jane builds with her friends, the nature of her soul, and the ethical issues she struggles with are the real meat of this story. Card provides some twists tying back to the past that again leave you jarred. While the end was a bit too much fantasy for my taste (I've always liked his hard scifi better, but it certainly clarifies the title of the next book), it leaves me thirsting for more. Children of the Mind, here I come!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
autumn skye
It seems the reviewers of this book are divided into two camps. Some hated the book because it doesn't live up to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, because the "plot" is boring and minimal, because it's too long and drags, etc. Others rate Xenocide highly because of its well developed characters and its treatment of ethical issues. Both views are valid to some extent, but if you're able to accept this book for what it is, then you'll find it's a superb book, well worth the time to read it.
Ender's Game is all about Ender's childhood development, as he trains to become the savior of humanity. Speaker for The Dead explores some larger issues as it tracks Ender's healing of Novinha's dysfunction family, and the plot is kept going partially through the mysteries concerning the pequininos. Xenocide is different from both of these in that there's no real main character, and very little plot; instead, the focus of the story is the dillema faced by the three sentient species of Lusitania. Within this framework, Card explores a number of unusual ethical questions, such as whether human survival justifies the extermination of another species, and whether fear of the unknown will always be a barrier when interacting with those unlike ourselves. He also develops the complex web of love and hatred within Novinha's family, and the nature of the relationships within it. At times it was almost painful to read about the emotional states of the characters, so well did Card depict it. Yet I was completely hooked from the start, and I marvel at his ability to write about some very abstract issues within a science fiction setting.
If anything, the situation Card created was too hopeless, and once things started resolving the plot became a bit incredulous. One reviewer suggested that Card wrote himself into a corner and had to resort to cheap plot devices to save himself, and that's certainly how it looks to me. Happily, this occurs so near the end it doesn't detract much from the overall value of the book. (However, the consequences are compounded in the final book, Children of the Mind, which is the only one of the four I do not recommend reading.)
I enjoyed Xenocide as much as, if not more than Ender's Game and SftD. (One has to admit that Ender's Game, fantastic as it is, is much more simplistic and lightweight than Xenocide.) As long as you don't enter with undue expectations and you are willing to explore some tough ethical issues, then you'll see the merits of this book, perhaps the most human novel Card has written.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy fitzpatrick
This is a terrific book, and my favorite of the first 3 (as far as I've read so far). It seems clear that a lot of the ideas Card is grappling with in this book were actually the main motivation behind the series, because they solve questions fundamental to the first two books.

In particular, over the course of this book, Card poses a pretty interesting philosophical idea involving physics in an explanation for the mind-body problem. Whether you find his approach satisfying or not is likely to determine what you think of the book as a whole. While there's a certain amount of question-begging involved, I personally found it a gripping attempt to take on a very deep problem.

The book also introduces my favorite character of the entire series, who then turns out to be an antagonist. Despite this Card has no problem returning to that character as a sympathetic one at the ending -- something well done, and certainly in the spirit of the speakers of the dead.

There's a point near the end of the books where something so unexpected and seemingly nonsensical happens that it bothered me quite a bit. As I got past the initial shock, it occurred to me that why this has happened is a question that Card has posed as an enormous problem to be solved in forthcoming volumes -- the fact that it makes no sense on the surface is no problem as long as it later makes sense in context. Whether there will be a good enough explanation later on, I have no idea. But with storytelling this strong and ideas this deep, I'm more than happy to stay on board to see where it's going.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
steven askew
Ethical dilemmas with world-shattering consequences that threaten each person's faith and place in their society. Mr. Card uses this theme not only to tell a engrossing story, but to allow his readers to thoughtfuly reflect on the story as an allegory for ethical dilemmas faced by each reader in his or her life.

Mr. Card elects to tell his story through a series of linked scenes where characters talk about the issues/events facing them. Often, the issues themselves are referred to rather than shown since the characters might not have had direct experience with the events that would subsequently deeply impact their lives.

Though I have little experience with the history of novel structure, it seems to me that Mr. Card has chosen to use a story-telling technique that was common in the 19th century when readers expected a story told through dialogue. This is very different than the modern concept of novel in which the story is told through character action or action that affects characters.

Mr. Card does a wonderful job telling the story through this technique. The story is neither slow nor fast; it does not bog down in places. It is told exactly as Mr. Card intended with the technique he uses.

The technique is very different that most other techniques used in the SF field in particular and in most mass-market books in general. And because it is uncommon, reades might find it jarring.

So, if a person likes stories told with this dialogue-based technique, he/she will love this book. If a person does not like stories told with the technque, he/she will not like this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dmitry ivanchuk
The series has been wonderful through the first two books, and about half of Xenocide. However, the last portion of Xenocide just feels pushed out. I don't know if OSC had his FTL explanation all worked out beforehand, but it just seems like it's something he solidified at the last minute to help his plots reach some culmination. Furthermore, he ruined Novinha as a character. Her paradigm shift, and personality shift at the end of the book is unreasonable. Likewise, Qing-jao's spiral into narrowmindedness. OSC doesn't give enough justification for either. Also, there was so much potential with Plikt, and I thought for sure she's play heavily into the novel, but she remained a background character at best the entire time. What a waste. I did find Warmaker's interpretation of Catholicism a hoot though. Hopefully book four will return to the heights of books one and two.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah hancock
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game series gets better and deeper with each book. Xenocide is very much a philosophical exploration of life and physics. Scott raises questions about whether and how life is designed, as well as the implications of having an ultimate designer. What works about the novel is that it's subtle. Scott weaves his themes into different parts of the story, like the same melody play on different notes. I particularly liked how the discussions between the Buggers and Pequeninos provides a sort of ironic commentary between chapters. While astute readers will note the connections, it takes at least a second reading to fully appreciate Scotts intricate web.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
josephine
Though the beginning looked like a continuation of Orson Scott Card's philisophical writings disguised as a novel, this book progress to a pretty good book. Though not as well done as Ender's Game, it's still intelligent and well thought out.
Though Card continues his thoughts about religion, family, and morality, much to the reader's chagrin, he finally moves back to more action, plot, and fluidity.
This book deals with who has the right to survice, something Speaker for the Dead failed to draw the reader to. There is no good or bad presented in this book, but instead it's a battle of interpertation for what is right for humanity and the universe.
One of the only real flaws of this book are the impossible ending, and Card's reliance and constant explanation of his own psuedo-science. A good science fiction book must be believable at least.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
moshe
This book was horrible. I loved Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and many other of Card's works but this one was rediculous. 500 pages of conversation and philosophic thought, no action no daring plot to keep you invested just the conversations of 20 people. If you like the Ender saga don't ruin it with this finale.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
taisin
I really loved the first book and had every intention of working through the series, but at the half way point on this one, I threw in the towel. He goes to really incredible lengths to cause adversity for these characters. The characters are really outside of the believable. A computer based being that has a personality and feelings that developed on her own by living on the internet, a CHinese child with OCD that believes her OCD is directed from the gods and this OCD somehow makes her a genius that allows her to track Demosthenes even though all the police on 100 worlds haven't been able to do so for 1,000s of years.
The buggers are in play, but with no real purpose. Apparently you stick the buggers in a whole in the ground and in a couple of years they have enough starships to colonize the galaxy.
I am all for suspending disbelief, but none of this FEELs very good. It doesn't flow. It's all much too contrived for me. I'm moving on.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
latro
Third in Orson Scott Card's "Ender" cycle, "Xenocide" charts the events on the planet of Lusitania, home to all three sentient species in existence, two of which are not represented anywhere else in the universe. All living things on Lusitania are subject to a virus, the Descolada, which attacks and modifies the genetic information of the host and is evolving rapidly to the extend that combating it requires constant alteration of viricides in both non-native sentient species. Yet the native species, the Pequeninos, require the Descolada to survive, as it forms the means by which they transform into the different phases of their lifecycle. Any species looking to leave the planet would be required to take the Descolada with them, as it adapts and becomes a necessary part of any organism's genetic make-up. This is one of the main problems the planet is faced with, but the second is equally serious:

Lusitania is under threat of being annihilated by a fleet sent by Starways Congress, because the planet's scientists have broken the law of not interfering with alien species by helping the sentient Pequeninos to gain a foothold in agriculture. Rather than sending the scientists to trial and certain lifelong exile, the colony rebels and is thus to be turned into an example.

The narrative hinges on Ender Wiggin and those around him, with a wealth of emotional, scientific and philosophical conflict between unique characters against a background of questions more normally expected in moral philosophy.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
susan woodring
I read the first two books in this series and was blown away. Then I read this one and it was OK, but certainly not in the calibur of "Ender's Game" or "Speaker for the Dead". I enjoy the ethics in Mr. Card's books, so on that level I was satified. But, the amount of characters arguing with each other got to be a little much, even for me. I think that the points being made were intelligent and that really is what saved the book.

Without spoiling to much, a good part of this story had to do with religious philosophy, but it felt like a segway that didn't need to be told in conjunction with the main story. I found that story to be interesting and it should have been its own book. That would have solved the problem of it being too long. Some stories need to be told over an epic volume and this was not one of them.

Last but not least in the complaint department is the ending. I just didn't buy it and was even a little angered by the (Spoiler Alert!) bringing back of Peter and young Val. There was no good science to explain that and didn't even make good fantasy. I know that keeps the saga going, but it wasn't a direction I could wrap my head around. Instead I wish that they would have found a way (outside the universe) to stop the fleet and the survival of the planet would have made a much more satifying resolution for me. I didn't have a problem with the way he resolved Ender's marriage.

I like this author's work and enjoyed the ethical questions it raises. The story itself wasn't my favorite.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
tric
very complex, but mathematical in its development and as predictable as a Bach fugue. complex and interesting characters on predictable trajectories which began in Speaker for the Dead and proceed to an unexpected but unsurprising ending in Xenocide. a masters class in plot and character development, but not compelling like Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow. i think Card was trying to make writing more challenging for himself when he wrote Speaker and Xenocide, and his intros to these books suggest that, but by enlarging his craft he diminished his art, at least his art that i enjoy. I will re-read the two Ender's for pleasure, but i would only re-read Speaker and Xenocide as academic exercises to analyze how he developed their plots and characters. that said, i'm looking forward to reading my next Card book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ellyce
Many people have complained about this book that they dislike (a) the physics involved and (b) the transition between Path and Lusitania. Well, anyone coming to Xenocide, be forewarrned: The chapters alternate between two planets, and there is some philosophy and physics discussion. Perhaps this book isn't for you. If you've already read the other Ender books, however, please read this book - though I don't think you'll need urging - if you're like me, you won't be able to rest until you finish all the Ender books.
Anyway. Despite all that, or perhaps because of it, Xenocide is a wonderful, powerful book that will live in your heart and mind forever. Personally, I loved the physics and philosophy discussion. I loved the theories about philotes and matter and the descolada virus. I loved the way it made Xenocide not just a novel, but something I had to think about, something that I had to make part of me. I couldn't just skim this book, or rush through it to find out what happens - I had to savour every word, to relish every bit of theory, to try and understand it. And guess what? I never took physics in school, and I'm not the greatest science, math or philosophy student, but when I read carefully, and payed attention, I understood for the most part what he was talking about. And it was great! I loved the way Card brought Path into the novel and made us see things through the eyes of a completely different culture. I loved the aspect that Path added to Xenocide.
And, not that it needs mentioning, I also love the qualities that have always made me love Orson Scott Card's writing from the start. His intense, real characters, who are not always perfect, are not always good, are not even always likeable, but are so REAL that you can't help but fall in love with them and thier very human shortcomings and emotions and hurts. The way he develops these characters through all his books, starting in Ender's Game, continuing into Speaker for the Dead, and now into Xenocide. The way he develops the relationships between all the characters. Card has created characters that everyone can feel for, that everyone can empathize with, because no matter how different you are from Card's characters, they are REAL.
Xenocide is a wonderful book, like Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead before it. Just as Speaker for the Dead builds on Ender's Game, Xenocide is a completely differnet story than the two before it, but is built on thier foundation, and is an incredible, powerful book that will keep you riveted to the last page, and then will hold you still, forcing you to run to the bookstore and buy the fourth book.
You will not forget Xenocide. The philosophy and theories within it will haunt your mind and heart and stay with you forever. Thank you, Orson Scott Card, for giving us the gift of the story of Ender and his families.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
garett
I must say that this novel, though not as thought provoking as Speaker for the Dead, or as exciting as Ender's Game, was still a masterpiece of sci-fi. Many of you may disregard my comments as they come from a mere "child" of thirteen, but mind you I have been indulging myself in Asimov since kindergarten, and started the Ender series in third grade. And I will tell you; this novel deserved the Hugo it was nominated for. Though there were some slow parts, they only made the exciting more spectacular, and increased the book's spectrum of reality. And for all you skeptics out there, who though this book deserved less than at least four stars, I recommend that you read the theory of faster than light travel, and its effects on our universe. For all we know, Jane may actually be God.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mae dahil
Xenocide does have a very good plot, but not as good as the one Ender's game had. It's more about life, about people, about love! One thing bad about this book is that it's way too long! I mean that Card could have cut the book in half, and people would like it better. It has too much philosophical conversations that are not necessary. So don't be surpised if you find this book boring sometimes. But the book definitely has a good ending, very good. Everything came as surprise. What to believe and what not to, what is the truth and what is not. Love what you love, be what you are. Live as happy as you wish. Life is beautiful. Overall, it's a book that's worth to read. But if you are really busy and don't have a lot of reading time for S/F, I don't think you should buy this book, there are a lot of better books out there. ( If you have read Ender's Game, skip this and The speaker of the dead, go read Ender's shadow)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cecelia hightower
At first I was a bit intimidated by the 700 some-odd pages that is Xenocide, but I ultimately found it to rewarding reading. As is typical with almost all Card books, the character development and interaction is stellar. The Endaer series is chalked full of individuals who are faced with ethical and moral decisions and I've found myself wondering what I would do in the same situation. I find Novinha and all of her children fascinating. The scheer dysfunctionality of that family is what I enjoy so much. Maybe 'cos I'm a bit dysfunctional myself.
I enjoyed thoroughly the world of Path and treachery inflicted upon them by the Starways Congress. We see the neurosis and/or blind allegiance of an a young lady, bound by duty, unwilling to see the truth that would ultimately set her free from the OCD. How many of us are afraid of to reach inside of ourselves and admit that we are wrong? Introspection is a very difficult thing to do, as evidenced by Qing-Jao (I know I'm spelling that wrong). I found that part of the story very engaging and compelling.
Like Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide explores the philosophies and ethical dilemmas of the people of Path and Lusitania, but it's not without the action. I felt that the burning of the Pequenino forest was just about the most exciting part of the book. Once again, humans prejudging and killing innocent beings all in the name of "justice." A great illustration of how easy it is to incite a mob. Unfortunately, it does seem to be just about that easy.
Xenocide seems to be bridge that links Speaker and Children of the Mind, but it was a necessary one. Granted, a lot of it was a bit boring and difficult to read, but once those layers are peeled away, we're left with another fine novel by one of the finest students of human behavior. Hat's off to you, Mr. Card
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
dibakar
Mr. Card dove deeper into the esoteric world of the "ansible" in this book. It is slow to get going and in fact pretty much stays slow. If you were disapointed with Speaker for the Dead, then this book will probably be even a bit more disapointing. It is more of the same (from the style of Speaker for the Dead) - and contains little of the excitment of Ender's Game.
Mr. Card is an excellent writer and the book itself is good (not great) - but it doesn't satisfy the craving for the characters and excitement in Ender's Game.
I only compare it to Ender's Game because it is, of course, the third in the Ender's Game series. On it's own merits - it is a good book although fairly slow.
Look to Ender's Shadow for a book more along the lines of Ender's Game.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cara winter
Xenocide is a mediocre work of science fiction. Its mediocrity is especially highlighted by the fact that it was a follow up to two of the best works of sci-fiction in recent times: Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game was extremely fun and interested and Speaker for the Dead was down-right brilliant.

Xenocide attempts to be like Speaker of the Dead, more thoughtful than eventful, but failed in several ways. Its plot jumps around a bit too much and does without reason. The entire section of the story dealing with the planet "PATH" is superfluous.

The far bigger problem, however, comes at the end, when the story officially exits the sci-fi genre and becomes pure fantasy. In order to solve the huge and multiple crises created throughout the winding plot, the characters develop a theory for "faster-than-light" travel which really amounts to instant transportation anywhere in the universe by travelling `outside' the universe in a ship powered by a super-intelligent computer and the passenger's imagination!!!!!

As if this idea wasn't absurd enough, while in this `outside' place, anything you imagine is created and becomes real. As such, Ender and the others are able to magically create everything they need to save everyone. This is a very weak technique used by authors that write themselves in a corner from which they cannot escape without suddenly inventing massive changes to the story universe, sacrificing the consistency of the story. Card is, or should be, above such techniques.

Hopefully, in Children of the Mind, the next book in the series, Card will rebound and produce another work on par with his earlier work....
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
daryl barnett
Ender Wiggin has finally made it to Lusitania. He has found peace and harmony here on his new life, and has decided to settle down. Yet now he is once again forced to battle within himself and with the community as a whole over what defines a species, and what defines an intelligent being. He is forced to decide who really has the right to perform Xenocide, the killing of an entire species. The real world parallels of this book are truly astounding, as you can clearly see the World War II undertones the book is hinting at, and how easy it is for mob mentality to get the better of the whole.
The seperation of church and state really begin to heat up in this novel as well, as Ender Wiggin is forced to decide who he really loves more, and who in the end has the right to decide what is right and what is wrong.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ankit jain
It is simply amazing to me how people could not read this book and be waiting for the next page to come. It was awsome; people who speak of the plot not being unified are missing the meaning of it all. Card made the plot very complex because he wanted it that way, many things were going on at the same time and they all got into theological/philosophical ideas that were cleanly expressed. When Quim and Grego come up with the Theory of the "Outside", it makes me think back to when I was young and how I had those thoughts; I could identify with them. Although I couldn't comprehend the many negative reviews, I guess its safe to say that this novel is a "love it or hate it" depending upon whether you like deep thinking or shallow action, respectively.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
tudor
In the middle of my last law school exam, someone looked at my copy of Xenocide and asked me if I had been disappointed by the direction the series had taken. Although stressed from the upcoming exam (anyone who has survived their first year of law school can understand), I looked at him and told him that I was disappointed, especially considering how remarkable the book that started it all - Ender's Game - had been.

At some point, Card decided, or maybe it was in him all along, that a book of science fiction philosophy would be more appealing than continuing the epic adventure of Andrew Wiggin and his family in the same kind of fast-paced, exciting prose. For those familiar with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time Series, this book is the kind of filler that you find in the last few books of the series. Don't get me wrong, if science fiction philosophy were a genre unto itself, then this would do very well; however, considering how almost monumental the first book was, this shift (started in Speaker for the Deadi) is incredibly disappointing. If I wanted philosophy and discussions concerning the human psyche I would turn to Sartre or the Bible. But Card is not content with advancing the story and instead gives us 300 pages of fluff.

Maybe I'm being too hard, but I've really been expecting something more from this series. Some things do happen - Ender et al figures out how to travel faster than the speed of light, the piggies and the humans learn how to tame the descolada virus, and we are introduced to a world called Path where certain individuals can commune with the gods. Unfortunately, that's almost all that happens. The buggers, humans, and piggies are still stuck on Lusitania and the fleet has yet to arrive. That is how the book starts and that is how it ends.

For those who want an end to the series, you, like myself, have to march on, but for those who have finished Ender's Game should read Ender's Shadow and possibly move on to something else.

Some interesting quotes:

"Every day all people judge all other people. The question is whether we judge wisely."

"Isn't it possible, he wondered, for one person to love another without trying to own each other? Or is that buried so deep in our genes that we never get it out? Territoriality. My wife. My friend. My lover."

"Parents always make their mistakes with the oldest children. That's when parents know the least and care the most, so they're more likely to be wrong and also more likely to insist they are right."
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
komal
Too much blah blah blah blah for me to enjoy as a sci-fi novel ... The first two books had action, mystery, intrigue, this one has too many chapters devoted on the same blah blah blah over the same topics chapter after chapter.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
bryce
Andrew Wiggin(Ender) is in his usual situational 'fix'. A military fleet, bent on destroying the Lusitania colony, current home of Ender and his newly accuired step family, is looming ever closer . Time is of the essence. Also a virus, that basically causes the HUMAN body to reject itself, called the Descolada, hovers like a hawk waiting to attack. So as you might guess its somehow up to Ender and his family to save, not only themselves but also two other sentient species dwelling with them on the planet. The Buggers, and a pig-like race called the piggies. This book as an excelent read, it does however get complicated. I recomend reading the first two books in this series, and then folow it up with the fourth and final installment, Children of the Mind.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maurine
The third book in the Ender Saga. A lot of people didn't like the sequels, because the style and storyline has changed. Well, they're right, it did change. But I still LOVED the sequels!
This sequal, the third book in the series, is indeed a different kind of story, a lot more philosophical, touches on human morals, dilemmas etc.. And moreover, seems to move the spotlight from Ender to other interesting characters.. Personally, the "OSD people of the path" storyline has deeply touched me, and I thought was wonderful!!
So, if you're reading this, you've probably read the AMAZING 1st book in the series, Ender's game. And you've probably, like me, LOVED it.
The sequels.. Well.. Some people loved it, some hated it.. Because of all the reasons above.
Personally, I loved it, maybe even more than Ender's Game.
A word of notice though - The book ends in mid-story.. And continues in Children of the Mind..
In conclusion - Give it a try!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jared eberhardt
As my three year-old son says whenever his dad and mom are chatting for awhile, "too much talking!" And that pretty much says it all for this book. Way too much talking!

I am a great fan of great dialog. Raymond Chandler could write dialog, clipped, brief and to the point. Hunter S. Thompson wrote great dialog, fast, funny and to the point. These are not fair and adequate comparisons to Mr. Card's style of writing. But I am composing this negative review out of thin air and can't at the moment think of better examples. Basically, the dialog in this book is over the top lengthy, preachy, tiresome, annoying and cloying.

The author has opted to go for a really, really long narrative framed almost extensively with dialog. There is surprisingly little exposition compared to the first book in the series, Ender's Game, which was almost all description and action. Speaker For The Dead started to go the "talkie" way, but it managed to hold its own with just enough action, drama and consequence to keep it mildly interesting.

This book, however, to put it bluntly, is boring, boring, boring! The characters just drone on and on about the most inconsequential things. And the author attempts to create false drama where there doesn't need to be any in the endless conversations that take place between the tiny number of characters that matter. And the non-stop discussions regarding religion are so forced and unmotivated that you really have to question what exactly the author was trying to actually say. Seriously mixed messages, that's what.

Okay. Here is a list of the other annoyances that probably won't matter to anyone except those who have already read the book. If you haven't read the book and are looking for buying advice, BEWARE! HERE BE SPOILERS:

- First, I find it tremendously annoying when an author focuses abnormally on things that don't matter to the story, the characters, the action or the genre. Many authors have this problem, they try to inject their own personal real-life hobbies, sports interests, travel destinations, etc. into their writing. And it stands out like a cancerous lump. In this case, Mr. Card focuses way too much on his love of the Brazilian culture - especially the Portuguese language. It becomes so intensely, rancorously, `throw the book into the ocean', annoying after only the first couple of chapters to have to wade through endless Portuguese utterances by the characters. Especially since, in every friggin' single case, an English translation follows immediately after. Why bother at all? Having this band of characters be Brazilian is so absolutely incidental to the plot, it is unnecessary. Ahhh, but then the author did his Mormonic duties in Brazil and this is one of his personal loves. Therefore, we must suffer his hobby with him. Not to mention, the ludicrous idea that a purely Portuguese/Brazilian/Catholic group of xenophobes is chosen by the one-hundred world congress to be the only entity allowed to walk on this world of Lusitania. Where is the cultural diversity? Are there really no people of any other ethnic group allowed into this community? It really is a cult by nearly every definition, but I don't think that is what the author necessarily intended. Or did he... (read any religious undertones into this statement that you want)

- It is made clear early in Speaker For The Dead that a rampant virus affects the world of Lusitania. Therefore, all people there know that they can never leave this world for fear of carrying the virus out into the rest of the universe. So then, why is a gigantic fleet of ships assembled and sent to Lusitania to wipe out the planet and all trace of the "Descolada" only after it is found out that Miro and Wanda have taught the Piggies how to grow some hay? Again, this virus is not new news. Everybody knows about it and has always known about it. Yes, the 100 World Congress wants to keep any of the so-called "rebels" from leaving the planet. But wait. In the many years it will take for the invasion fleet to arrive, any number of people could hop into Ender's or Valentine's space yachts and fly off to anywhere. Not to mention the colonization ship that still sits out there. There is a serious disconnect here.

- Why send a multi-ship invasion fleet if all they intend to do is drop one worldbuster bomb on the place? Further, there is to be no "invasion". So this terminology is simply incorrect throughout the series.

- How is it that throughout all the hundred worlds and the ten trillion people out there, there only seems to be capable scientists in the Ribeira family? Not only are they universe-class xenobiologists (and apparently the only ones in the universe), they are together the top biologist (Ella creates the descolada killer pretty much all by herself, which the rest of the scientists in the entire history of the universe apparently have no luck at. Ella also one morning over tea and crumpets creates the great OCD killer that is subsequently sent to the planet Path. That Ella is a busy little chick!), and the greatest Physicist (exactly where Grego got his incredible training and degree is entirely unclear since the fifteen thousand people on Lusitania are apparently all brick layers, clergy, barmen and policemen. But he solves faster than light travel in basically an afternoon). And seriously, would the 100 World Congress entrust all that is known about the only other sentient creatures in the universe to two eighteen year-old members of a Portuguese semi-cult? That's like leaving the opening of King Tut's tomb to a couple of middle school kids with hammers. Come on!

- Can the 100 World Congress think of no other plan than to destroy the only other sentient creatures in the universe? Can't they even try? How about quarantine? How about trying to figure out a virus killer? Oh wait, only the eighteen year-old biologist on Lusitania could ever figure that out. Right. Forgot.

- Why does Ender, the smartest, toughest, most powerful human in history have to become such a wimp? He is utterly a wet Kleenex throughout this book. I have lost all interest in him as a character by the end. He is not at all the same person that started the trilogy. Perhaps this is by design, but I find it disconcerting and dismaying.

- Hey, by the way, what happened to Valentine's family and the tutor who was so enamored first with Ender and then with the bugger queen? Did they go away? Did they die? Did they just go out for a quick bite down at the Portuguese bakery on the corner? The author built these characters up enough early on that to entirely abandon them later with no resolution is just poor story construction. Perhaps he was working on a typewriter and couldn't go back and delete them. I don't know.

- So, the Lusitanians all get drunk and upset one evening in June and they go out and burn down the Piggy's forest, kill all the women and children, and basically holocaust the Piggies into oblivion. Now this is a minor complaint, but just a few chapters later, all is unicorns and rainbows. The Piggies harbor absolutely no resentment and are actually begging to be used in Ella's death experiments. "Yeah, you killed ma and my two sisters, but hey, these things happen, right? Let's see what's cookin' down at ye olde lab, shall we?" It just is not entirely realistic.

- Another minor inconsistency. Early in the book, it is claimed that no planet has ever been terraformed by humans. Then, close to the end of the book, it is made clear that the planet Path is a terraformed planet. So this is an anomaly. Also, somewhat related, the characters make a big deal all throughout the book about how awful it was for some unknown entity to have tried to terraform Lusitania by unleashing its 'descolada' as an instrument of biological change. But then, without any twinge of conscience (and I think this actually happens at the beginning of 'Children of the Mind', I can't remember exactly) the Piggies, the Buggers and the Humans are dropping in all over the galaxy and planting themselves into fresh planets. Now isn't planting piggy trees going to mess with the ecology of an existing ecosystem? Apparently, our characters are all xenophobic hypocrites.

I've got more, much more. But I've just hit one thousand words and I'm sweating with anger and frustration. This diatribe must end. "Too much talking!"
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jo swingler
Xenocide is the third book in the Ender-saga. The first book (Ender's Game) is a dark military adventure about a boy bred for the destruction of alien enemies. The second book (Speaker for the Dead) is a totally different kind of story. Book one is about warfare, book two is about trying to understand another species (diplomacy) to avoid disaster. Xenocide builds more on the characters and setting of the second book. Book one and two should be read before diving into book three.

Lusitania colony has broken contact with Starways Congress. The act of rebellion is in response to Congress's decision about the fate of the "Piggies" or pequeninos, little aliens who live in the forests of Lusitania. The piggies' life cycle is very strange. And all indigenous life on Lusitania became entangled with the descolada virus which is deadly to humans (and earth life) so Congress is prepared to annihalate Lusitania to keep it from spreading to other worlds.

Ender Wiggin is legendary as both the military genius who saved humanity thousands of years ago from the Hive Queen and as Speaker for the Dead, founder of a humanist religion. Few know that the military genius (presumed to have died long ago) and the diplomatic Speaker are one and the same person.

Ender married Novinha, so he is also the step-dad to the brothers and sisters in the family that makes up most of the scientific community of Lusitania colony. They are a volatile family unit, prone to argue about their principles (is it right to kill this species and not that one? Is this virus showing signs of intelligence? Was it designed? Does that matter when our own survival is at issue?) and about their dysfunctional family history (which is covered in book two). They are in a race against time to come up with a replacement virus for the descolada that won't be fatal to earth life while killing the original virus off. And among this crisis, we have the Hive Queen, who is still alive and well but trying to co-exist with humans and piggies. We also have the intelligent computer program Jane, who also may die if Congress has its way. And the "godspoken" characters on the planet Path, who get mixed up in everything and will find the very core of their foundational beliefs shaken.

I love the way this author takes the convictions of the characters very seriously, whether they are religious, scientific, or philisophical. Lusitania is a Catholic colony, Path is steeped in Chinese religion, Novinha's family is an amalgamation of conflicting scientific and religious views, and so on.

This book does get into some far out ideas, and that seems to be an issue with some reviewers who say the end is too hard to swallow.

There is an approach to S.F. that demands that the science of everthing in these stories is sound scientific extrapolation of the physics of what "could" happen. People in this group want lots of technical details about the workings of everything in the story. But lots of science fiction flies in the face of that mandate. For example: Time travel stories don't seem to use Einstien's theories much. It's just something that is possible in the story. Shelley didn't explain how Frankenstien gave life to his monster. And other magical things are taken for granted in S.F. too, like the abundance of planets with breathable atmospheres just like earth's. Many alien races are still described as humaniod in much S.F.. (More varied species are present in S.F. literature than T.V. and film, but aliens more than not have human ways of communicating and acting).

In book two (Speaker for the Dead) we learn the piggies, who are animal intelligence, are ritually killed and transformed into intelligent trees. That's pretty out there too, so why all the objection to the weird discoveries in this book? Larry Niven, author of Ringworld invented the word "bolognium." It refers to inventions S.F. authors come up with that don't or can't exist. Niven invented "scrith," an impossibly strong building material that is the only thing in existence that Ringworld could be made of. Bolognium is used more than the hard S.F. crowd would like, but as I illustrated, it is a staple of the genre.

There are limits to how much bolognium certain readers can take. In a S.F. story, it's way off base to have a character pull out a magic wand or sprinkle fairy dust to make things right. So I can see where that crowd is coming from. But I didn't object to the weird solutions at the end of this book so much. Taken as a whole, you have to also look at all the interesting views about philosophy, the value of life, the possibility of where souls come from, and so on that the author gets into. A book with ideas like that is fun to read. So if you want to get into the heads of some brilliant characters and can accept that in desperate circumstances humans will consider impractical, wild ideas and every once in awhile they results in breakthroughs, then you will probably like this book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
amorfna
I have no idea how this is scoring so high from so many reviewers.

Let me start by saying that I LOVED Ender's Game, Ender in Exile, and Ender's Shadow. I cannot stress enough how much I thoroughly enjoyed these books.

In stark contrast, I was bored to tears with Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide. It was legitimately a struggle to get through them.

Speaker for the Dead pretty much focused on figuring out how an alien race nicknamed the "piggies" bred and multiplied. Xenocide had a chance to be interesting, as it kept mentioning how the planet Lusitania (where Ender is now living with wife and step-kids) is under threat of punishment for it's rebellion. The government back home (earth) is sending a fleet to bring Lusitania back into line. However, the fleet never actually arrives in this book at all. All that build up, and NO PAYOFF. Not in this book anyway. Instead, what this book focused on was a possibly intelligent virus that had a symbiotic relationship with the piggies which allowed them to breed the way they do. However, that same virus was lethal to humans, and keeps overcoming every effort of the humans to immunize themselves against it. So they come up with a replacement virus that's safe. That's about the whole story in a nutshell. Did Mr. Card need 600 freakin' pages to tell that story? No. But he did it anyway. It's my opinion that Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind (in which the fleet FINALLY arrive at Lusitania) should have all been condensed into one volume. Haven't read Children of the Mind yet, which is the conclusion of Ender's story, but I'm honestly not sure at this point if I'm going to bother. I hate to get this close to a conclusion and bail, but I have very little motivation to do otherwise.

Sadly, I'll probably end up skimming the book, or just try to find a decently written synopsis online.

Again, I just can't understand how these are getting such high reviews. They're definitely intelligently written, but then again so are math textbooks, which are barely less interesting of a read than these books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ranti
Like Book two "Speaker For The Dead" I had to work to get "into" this book but once I understood and got my mind wrapped around the characters and plot I loved it. I have NEVER EVER read two books in a row by the same author, I always need a break but now this is THREE!! WHAT UP!! You can read all the other reviews and comments about the problems that were solved but BIG DEAL if you it's not 100% real. We are talking 3000 years in the future right?

SO - if you read the first two books fear not on book three. Just trudge through the parts just like I did in "Speaker" and enjoy the journey!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ozclk
Ender's Game is so riveting that I lost sleep to keep reading it. Speaker for the Dead is all that and more. It made me examine how I act around other people - not too many books have been able to do that. Xenocide starts off with similar build up and thoughtfulness as Speaker, but then about 7/8 of the way through, it sputters and the book becomes sort of dumb. I was really disappointed and I'm not sure if I want to go on to read Children of the Mind. By the way, there are some very close parallels between the philotes in this book and the metachlorides (??) that are used to explain the Force in the new Star Wars movie. Although I don't think its possible, its almost as if one got the idea from the other.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
joyce zaugg
Gaaack. I just finished the book after reading _Speaker For The Dead_ yesterday. Not a total waste of time, but really disappointing. OSC had nothing new to say, and his continuous bashing of religiosity was pathetic. Yeah, sure, religious people are to be pitied for their stupidity and closed-mindedness, but the author rubs it in much too stongly. Yeah, sure , Catholicism is silly; but he rubs their noses in it. There are uplifting moments in this book, but he makes them (the people involved) seem stupid. The emphasis on familial conflict is unbelievable, and that makes the story unbelievable. The lame plot devices get in the way of the story, such as it is. The invocation of Deux Ex Machina at the conclusion is pathetic, the false injection of Chinese culture is annoying at best, and the story crashes to a poorly constructed conclusion without resolution. If you want to be annoyed and disappointed, go ahead and read this book. If you want to despise Catholics, read this book. Otherwise, don't waste your time.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kaye booth
_Ender's Game_ and _Speaker for the Dead_ were both EXCELLENT books. Mainly because Card focused on the characters and their dilemmas. The characters' solutions to their problems were all resonable, consistant with the characters' personalities, and well within the laws of physics.
In _Xenocide_, Card allows the characters the ask their fairy god-mother (Jane) to solve their problems. She puts them in a magic pumpkin (spaceship) and wisks them around the galaxy, fixing things for them, when the rest of the human race is still confined to slower-than-light ships and limited by the laws of physics.
This book should have been labeled 'fantasy,' so I would have known to avoid it and spend the $... on a Robert Forward or Greg Benford.
Card is an excellent writer, but this one just wasn't up to his normal snuff. It was a horrible let-down -- I had expected something equal to Ender or Speaker.
_Xenocide_ soured me from reading any of the other books in the Ender series, and it is one of the reasons I now prefer to read Sci-Fi by authors who have physics, math or engineering Ph.D.'s.
If Card were to take a physcis course and then re-write this book, it would be five stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
scott baker
I just put Xenocide down after reading it for the first time. Years ago, I read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but skipped reading Xenocide, partially because of it's strong ridicule from critics and Sci Fi fans. I decided to re-read the entire series continuing the ventures of Ender (Game, Speaker, Xeno, Children) and see how I really feel about them. Honestly, this is the only novel that is getting a review because I found it to be the most enjoyable of all of the aforementioned. Although, agreed, didactic at times (as said in one of the above reviews), I didn't find it to be any more ponderous or rambling than some of Asimov's most beloved works. The idea of the "faster-than-light" travel is really interesting, and the twists and turns throughout the book surrounding this plight are fairly interesting.

I think, above all, it was great to be able to get more information about how pequininos, buggers, descolada, and humans exist- and whether existing together is really a possibility. Where is the line between ramen and varelse, and is there a choice between the two? Also, OSC's motif of "free will" comes up a lot, giving a lot of food for though. Overall, I think he did a good job and wrote something that can provoke thought while also telling a story. The issues on Path were also really well-thought out, and I think OSC did a good job linking them to the Lusitania colony in the end. Worth the read for sure!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jane ward
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jim sternieri
"Ender's Game" is a rapid-fire, tremendously adventurous novel with a rip-roaring end. "Speaker for the Dead" is more challenging, as it turns a murder mystery into a philosophical quest. "Xenocide" goes even further up the difficulty scale, and should not be read unless a copy of the final novel, "Children of the Mind," is close at hand. "Xenocide" takes the issues of religion, racism, genocide, love, family, insanity, redemption, and the nature of the universe as its subject matter; a truly amazing mix, as you might guess. But it's not really a stand-alone novel; when you come to the end, you may feel as I did that Card cheated with a deus ex machina at the end. He didn't; I think he just decided to chop the novel off and publish it, then publish the second half as "Children of the Mind." My anger at the ending quickly faded when I started "Children of the Mind"; clearly, "Xenocide" was not the end of the story. I loved the entire Ender Quartet, even if it was hard going for many readers to shift from "Ender's Game" to "Speaker for the Dead." Card has produced a philosophical masterpiece of science fiction in this series, and one that is only matched by his "Pastwatch Redemption" in its scale and importance in his writings. One of the few genre writers worth re-reading in his or her entirety, Card continues to amaze with the breadth and depth of his creations.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vauhini
Loving something and recommending something are two completely different things. I loved this book. Whether I recommend it or not depends on a few things.

If you absolutely loved Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, you will probably enjoy Xenocide. If you loved Ender's Game and were so-so with Speaker for the Dead, you may want to hold off on this book and look elsewhere.

The issue is that Xenocide is 99.9% dialogue. Furthermore, the dialogue is about ethics, government, philosophy, metaphysics, physics, and religion. Of course, all of this fits into the story line, and, in fact, it is the story line. I thoroughly enjoyed the book for these very reasons; however, if you like a story with a lot of action, Xenocide probably isn't going to be your cup of tea.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
boyard engels
In line with "Speaker for the dead" this installment is also more about moral issues and philosophy than sci-fi although there are some more sci-fi elements than on "Speaker", the plot-line is good and moves forward at an agreeable pace.

Just as I pointed out on my "Speaker for the dead" review, the way O.S.C. depicts the future mankind in planet-nations just doesn't work for me, on this book he adds a Chinese planet to the list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nich fern
Most people who have read "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" will like this novel, not for its content but because they love Ender. Card wrote Game as a stand alone novel and Speaker as the first of a trilogy, (he may not have meant to from the beginning, but that's how these books play out). Readers familiar to trilogies know that in most cases they follow a rigid pattern, 1) Setup, 2) bridge, 3) conflict and conclussion. Speaker set up the saga with more style than most trilogies, and is a great novel on its own. Xenocide is just a bridge which disappointed me, and from what I've seen from other reviews, quite a lot of people as well. I was expecting another great novel, but what I read had a "to be continued" feel.
The book is above average for a bridge or arc, which is usually a good thing. However, with our expectations so high from the first two books, this novel falls short of absolute brilliance, and is instead just a good read. We meet a supporting cast of new characters, some hateful and seemingly villianous, which is something new to the series. We are introduced to the dark side of Starways Congress who seem to act out of spite and anger for no real reason. This was the most troubling aspect of the book for me. The first books of the series gave us moral ambiguity and actions bourne of neccesity rather than evil. The story always gave us hope for the future, but the darkness introduced here dims that a bit.
The story still takes place on Ender's "home" world of Lusitania, where the three species are gearing up for the threat of destruction by Starways Congress. We still get the moral dillemas typical of the series, but they feel just a bit contrived at times. Ender's wife acts too standoffish to be true to life. One wonders how Ender ever fell in love with her, and stayed with her for so long. The Sci-fi/fantasy aspect of the book overtakes the human drama which made the series so great and feel so real to the readers. If you get through this book, the conclussion of the series waits on the other side in the novel "Children of the Mind", which gets a lot of the greatness back. If you've read the first two, stick with it. If you haven't read Ender before, please don't start here. If you start here, don't give up on it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelly smith
First off, Xenocide is a very wishy-washy novel. Card really jumps around A LOT with the characters and their motivations, but, it must be understood that Xenocide is simply a bridge between "Speaker" and "Children of the Mind." Obviously Card had too big a story to condence into one novel and wanted his readers to witness the slow development of his characters first-hand. The Ender books are certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but anyone with a good taste for human-based speculative-fiction won't be disappointed if they take the time to read all four. All great fiction must be read and re-read to be appreciated. There. I've said it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
allendra
This book really had me guessing at times. There are quite a few things going on and you really see characters develop in ways you aren't expecting. I was caught off guard by certain developments in the plot and wondered why certain decision's were made with certain characters. The longest of the series I have read so far, but as I arrived at page 400 I was more thankful I still had nearly 1/3 of the book left. This sealed the deal for me to read more the Card's work once I finish the major points of the Ender series.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jim coughenour
I loved the first two books in the Ender saga. I had the same level of expectation for this book. If I could go back in time and stop myself from wasting time on this book, I would do it. There is an interesting plot here. However, it is completely lost in an almost endless parade of shrieking caricatures of hysterical women. The entire plot is hijacked by Novinha and Quara screaming at Ender, and Qing-jao's insufferable self-righteousness. The ending is a muddled mess, where the author was trying to make something happen that he was poorly equipped to explain or understand. It comes off as very much a deus ex machina, even though I get what he was trying to do. I'm not sure why he chose to go this route with this book, but it is a stunning array of poor choices on the part of the author. I feel like he lost control of his characters and forced me to sit through the Jerry Springer in Space. I will never read this book again. It has spawned the very worst character I have ever read, a list which includes Joffrey Baratheon. At least you're not expected to pretend he isn't a horrible person.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laura meyer
I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card's writing style and feel like I can just get lost in his books. This book has everything I love about Card's novels including the philosophical and intellectual sides of science fiction which make his novels so appealing to me. Having said that, I docked this a star due solely to the length of the novel. I felt like this same book could have been written, with the same impact, in roughly 1/2 to 3/4 of the length of this novel. It never really dragged for me because I like his writing, but I just found it to be inefficient - best word I can come up with. If you like Speaker for the Dead, you will like this as well as the content is along the same lines and in essence a continuation, but you'll find yourself wondering throughout the book why it was so long.

Also, it is important to note that while Ender's Game and The Speaker for the Dead could be read as stand-alone books, Xenocide cannot. It needs the continuation of Children of the Mind to have a satisfying conclusion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
pavla
With every book in Ender series it's becoming more complex and sophisticated. This book is full of very interesting mostly phylosophical (especially interesting on role of religion) and metaphysical discussions. The drawback is that it's much more difficult to read. It takes some effort (at least this was the case for me) to get to the end. Although the series started as quite typical sci-fi I can't consider it to be this genre anymore (the presense of another planet and alien cultures notwithstanding). I am not saying that it's a shortcoming but it's something that future readers need to keep in mind not to be disappointed. I believe Orson Scott Card is a very smart person but not a great writer (if you judge his novels by such criterias as plot and character development). Still, it's a very interesting book assuming you know what to expect.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
trom wasserfall
Lusitania is about to be destroyed by the fleet, if a virus does not wipe them out first. Path is being ruled by people mutated to have obsessive compulsive disorder. Ender Wiggin and his family are the only hope for the humans on both of these colonies, as well as the two other sentinant species on Lusitania. This novel is deeply complex with different scientific hypothosis being discussed. The story though complex never lets you put it down. You want to know what they are they are talking about and Card does a good job explaining it. This story efficiantly closes the Ender stories and leaves no loose threads to be tied up. Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
matumio
This book was really good until about three quarters of the way through. Believable, interesting, thought provoking, suspenseful, etc., right up until it got toward the end. The end was absolutely gimp. Just plain gimp. He works the characters into a situation that seems hopeless. You're on the edge of your seat to find out how they manage to get out of it. Suspense factor of 10. Then he takes the readers suspension of disbelief far over the edge and sprinkles the characters with varitable pixie dust and calls it a happy ending. Gimp gimp gimp. I give it a five because it was so good for a while and I really liked the other two books
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chris tripp
An excellent continuation of the Ender saga. I would've continued on with book 4 and then moved on to the Ender's Shadow story, but upon learning of Card's homophobic beliefs I couldn't look at the books the same way and stopped reading. Not only do I feel that it's a shame because he's an excellent author and I've enjoyed reading four of his novels so far, but it's also rather perplexing. Card's novels in the Ender storyline contain the prominent theme of respect for others despite their (Sometimes radical) differences as exemplified by Ender's devotion to the survival of 3 alien species. How Card can write so eloquently from Ender's standpoint and retain his anti-gay stance is a mystery to me.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jamie steele brannon
Card has managed in Xenocide to change the style of the story of Ender once again. The narrative is the highlight of the book as it explores the various species as they try to coexist-the buggers, pequininos, and humans. As the destruction of their world Lusitania nears, tensions increase and spill over into violence and blood. As hope recedes, the need for solutions to multiple problems grow. How do you cripple the seemingly intelligent virus that dominates the world? How do you find the soul of a computer without a body and save its life?
Sadly, the characters involved are shallow, without the depth they posessed in Speaker. They haven't changed in the 30 years between books. If you want to know more of the plot, read this book, but if you are looking for more character development, you will be disappointed. However, if you are interested in the metaphysical, you will enjoy this book.
Xenocide gives one view of the universe or more correctly, a view of what is outside the universe. These ideas and how they are integrated into the story solve too many problems at once but create others that will be looked at in the next book. While this book is not up to par with the first two in the Ender series, I recommend it to readers as an interesting read and continuation of Ender's story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
arthur lewis
I consider the two previous Ender books among the best I have read. Ender's Game was a first rate adventure/first contact novel and Speaker for the Dead actually managed to surpass it by using the lessons drawn from the first book. This third book does not quite live up to the first two but is still a worthy sequel. While Game and Speaker explored possibilities within the confines of a well-defined universe, this book adds more some less well-defined elements ( a sort of thought dimension that only Jane can maintain where wishes become reality) and creates some events that are logical to the story but never feel ... right. (Valentine and Peter).
Other than these minor gripes I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It is well written and all the characters very 3 dimensional. The planet of obsessive/cumpulsive geniuses was very clever. I will definitely be back for book four.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
gouri
Ender's Game is one of my all-time favorite books. Speaker for the Dead was very different, but all in all I found it to be even better (probably because I was much older when I read it.) It dealt with some very significant philosophical and ethical dilemmas in moving and intelligent ways.

Xenocide and Children of the Mind were complete disasters. I had no problem with the lack of action; they're not action books. I did have a problem with the ridiculous and insipid meandering journeys through Card's philosophical daydreams. He repeatedly took bland (not small or trivial, just bland) problems and tried to inflate them into huge ethical or philosophical Questions. But there was no real substance behind them, and he ended up tangling the events into knots just to imbue his stories with a pathetically thin veneer of significance.

Basically, I think Card had a great idea and wrote a book around it: Ender's Game. That book inspired another great idea in a totally different direction, so he came up with another story. All the interesting bits of that story were put into Speaker for the Dead, and random leftover bits were padded with foolish garbage to produce the remaining books. If the last three books were written up as one book and given to a good editor, the editor would have ripped out over 90% of the material in books 3 and 4, and probably would have ended up with a slightly expanded Speaker for the Dead.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kynita grady
Before continuing let me state that i have given both Enders' game and Speaker for the Dead 5 stars and are among my absolute favorites in Sci.Fi. Maybe it is because i rarely read Sci.Fi that i do not share the dame view on the third and (inaccurately) "last" book in the "trilogy" One thing is for sure, while the community and most readers agree that the first two books are classical in the genre, in fact in comtemporary literature itself, the third book really divides the waters with some readers purely disgusted and others enormously thrilled. Xenocide did not win any prices, and for that i agree with the community.

Card tries, really tries, to deliver a novel of even more vast proportions than the previous two, and he tries to spin a story of the fundaments of the entire universe, humanity, and religion but he just doenst succeed....

It is a fine novel, a good read, and better than everage of Sci.Fi in my opinion, but is does not deliver the closure or the desired ending to the story of Ender as i had anticipated. It is also a more difficult novel, and Kudos to Card for trying to write something as Xenocide.

My three stars are given purely for the one brilliant thing in this novel, Card's take on religion and what it means. The religious nature of the people of the path really leaves you at first disguted and you dig out a copy of Nietzche's "thus spoke zarathustra" cause you relly come into the mood of reading critical works about religion, but in the end card delivers a cunning and surprising 'punchline that sums the whole concept up, without revealing too much he is picturing the individuality in religion and the diversity, and proves that it may well be the savior for some, while being the ruin of others. Religion neither builds us up as people, or can be blaimed for hindering our developments, it is purely a product of our individuality, and for that philosophical drame i could easily read the book over again.

That being said, thats all the book has going for it, that and the dilemma in which Enders "followers" (he is becoming more and more a "jesus" character) while maybe having to destroy one race in order to allow another to live. All in all, the book is a must read if you read the two previous books, but im stopping here, from here on with the rest of the books, the "shadow Saga" and the latest publications it is becoming too much of a cash cow for me and reminds me of the unfortunate fate of many brilliant fantasy saga's such as Dragonlance and wheel-of-time that has been going on and on and on while only a minor proportion of them being of excellent quality.

All in all a big thank you to Card for creating the Ender Saga, whether you wanna call it a trilogy, a quartet, or a duology is purely individual, in the spirit of Card himself
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
coffeeboss
I would like to start off by saying brovo Mr. Card on another excellent book! I felt that this book helps on one's perspective of the universe, it opens one's imagination up to all possibilities! The philosophical dilemas opened a new horizon for me because, before this book, i never thought of anything in a philosopical veiw. I would like to make a comment to the gentleman for Evanston, Mr. Card is an excellent author and if anything he is underated! I started off the Ender story by reading Ender's game as an assignment in my language class. I fell in love with Ender (not literal) and have recently read Ender's Shawdow, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide. I highly reccoment all of these books! You have yet to dissapoint me Mr. Card!!!!!!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fokion
I've scanned some of the reviews for this book, to find that a lot of people found Card's change of pace difficult to digest. I suppose people were hoping for a similar dosage of brash suspense and violent conflict. Xenocide delivers something much different. Orson Scott Card is probably one of the few Sci-Fi writers who could get away with creating his own science. Some may argue that he does not accomplish that in this novel, but I beg to differ. Xenocide reads far more like a journey into the psyche of the feeble-brained human, than a simple conflict of interest which is once again, perpetuated by the patriotic, but ultiamtely antagonistic, Starways Congress. Card decided to write something less like a simple novel, and more like a philosophical odyssey. This book also tackles a very popular sci-fi issue of artificial intelligence, but with a complete twist. In this book, readers will actually feel a great deal of empathy for the one called "Jane." Her character makes this novel an emotional masterpiece... it may even be enough to bring one to tears. And the villians of the novel turn out to be multi-dimensioned to the nth degree. And finally, you are left with the story of many factions, fighting to do what they believe is right, and none seeming to be ultimately evil or ultimately good.
Card exposes the flaws and the beauty of the human psyche in what is easily one of his best works to date.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dewey
When I read Xenocide I realized a definate pattern that had been created by the trilogy. Ender's Game was a lot of story and a little philosophy, Speaker was a little of both, and Xenocide is very little story and a lot of philosophy. At times it seemed that OSC had made up a story for the sake of his philosophy, instead of the other way around. Although the writing was par with what I expect from him (very excellent) and the characters were just as well drawn, sometimes all that talk just got in the way. It is a very good book, very well written and obviously from an intelligent man with a lot of ideas. But sometimes the story suffered, or at least slowed down because of it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
berneal
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead were two of the best books that I have ever read, science fiction or otherwise. While I don't think Xenocode quite lives up to that standard, it is still a very interesting book. I thought that it was a bit long and dragged at times, but never for long enough for me to get frustrated with it. This is a good follow-up to Speaker for the Dead and maintains a lot of the interesting characters and cultures contained in that story, and also introduces some new ones. If you've read the other books in the series, you'll want to read this one as well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jeff cramer
Here's the deal with Xenocide. The Lusitania / Star Fleet, etc. part of the story is typical, really good (maybe great) Card writing. It is perhaps a bit philosophical and maybe a little preachy for my personal taste, but I can appreciate the message. I just did not care for the whole Path angle. Xenocide really could have been a 500 page book, instead of 700, with most of Path eliminated. It is a somewhat interesting story, but it just doesn't fit in with the goings-on of Ender et al, on Lusitania. Of course, the story is woven to make it fit, but it isn't necessary. Also, until Children of the Mind came out, I always hated the ending. It just seemed to not fit in with anything else in the series. I suppose it served as a good lead in to 'Children,' but whether that was intended, or forced due to criticism, I don't know. Obviously, this is a great series, and I absolutely recommend it. I just expected a little, well LESS, from this installment.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
linda lennon
Reviewers of the five star kind seem to think that this book was a philosophical masterpiece- if you want that, read something else. Card never really convinces us that these arguments have any real value. He never really convinces us to be interested in any of the characters. Ender's wife is unbearable. Always unbearable. You are never convinced that they have a real relationship, let alone one worth sacrificing Ender's attention span over (when the planet is supposedly in peril). Anyway, blah blah blah, bottom line, Orson got caught up in his interest with religion and Chinese culture that he ended up writing a story about that as opposed to a continuation of Speaker for the Dead (which was philosophical enough and good). Oh and maybe its something about living in China, but the parts about the Path -half the book- made me want to strangle myself. Reading it was a practice in masochism. It had all the trappings of an author that would refer to China as the Orient. If you don't know what I mean then forget about it.

PS. a Deus ex Machina is a Deus ex Machina, and that was the worst one in literary history.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lisa dachuk
I don't give poor reviews lightly, but this book was honestly a disappointing continuation of one of my favorite stories. It fails to stand anywhere near where "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" rose. I admit that "Speaker" required a sequel, but this is not what I was hoping for. This book is too drawn out and far to slow to develop. Imagine taking the amount of plot content in "Speaker" and then spread that across three separate story lines. Then you have "Xenocide". Card's direction may have required some support from these other story lines, but the complexity that was beneficial to the previous novels causes this book to become slow and convoluted.

I give credit only because there are individual points of brilliance that dot this novel's landscape, but they are overshadowed by the fact that this story is meant to follow such excellent predecessors.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
farzad
This series is much deeper than any sci-fi fantasy book that come a dime a dozen. I actually thought this third installment was much better developped than both "Speaker for the Dead" and "Ender's Game", and I have to agree with some of the other reviewers, "Ender's Game" was much more simplistic in style and content. The remainder of the series deals with deeper issues, philosophical and ethical issues, society as a group issues, family values and the like. I'm very much looking forward to see how the series ends.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jausten
The part of the novel dealing with the people of Path, some of whom have a strange condition which combines genius with obsessive-compulsive disorder, are brilliant: everything you want from science fiction. Five stars for that. The rest of the book consists of excruciating arguments between annoying people in space. Two stars for that, and that's being generous.

The Path story was originally published as a stand-alone novella called "Gloriously Bright." It should have stayed that way.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
volker neumann
This book had me up until the ending. As usual, Card did a masterful job with describing the piggies and the buggers. The plotline about Path and Gloriously Bright was engaging and, I thought, freshly original.

Everything was going good until the the concept of auias (sp?) were introduced. Upon reading about them I realized that they completely defied even the most radical laws of physics, but I figured I would keep reading anyways. Xenocide had so far been a wonderful book.

Then Ender takes a trip outside of the universe... and the book completely falls apart. A new Valentine and a new Peter are just randomly created out of nowhere. One of the characters manages to hold the image of the entire molecular structure of a virus within her head, and by doing so-- poof!-- the virus appears in her lap.

In short, this was a thought-provoking, well-drawn book with an absolutely terrible ending.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kylee smith
WARNING: Slight spoilers to Speaker for the Dead and Xencide.

I started Ender's Game right before the movie came out. I was blown away. It was simply amazing! I had a little issue with the language, but really? It's not THAT big of a deal. I loved how conflicted Ender was. His problems with violence, Peter's legacy of violence, and his cold, calculating brilliance all made for a stellar read.

When the ending was unresolved and I heard there was a second book, I dived right in. Speaker for the Dead wasn't even close to being as wonderful as Ender's Game; far from it. It was a letdown, but still enjoyable. The storyline was interesting and engaging. There was language, of course, but that didn't bother me unduly.
I was majorly confused, however, when Mr. Card would prattle on about ramen and varsle and Demothenes' theory of whatever. And don't even get me started on the 'x' words. Xenocide, xenobiology... ugh!
It got religious, you know, with the story taking place on a Catholic colony world, and the Bishop declaring that the Speaker is the Devil. Ender wasn't even a boy anymore: he was thousands of years old! Plus, there were WAY too many new characters for my taste.

When I finally started Xenocide, it was only because Speaker for the Dead was unresolved. I was already sick of the series. This book was SOOO tedious. I wasn't even able to finish it. Of what I read, it was mostly dialogue between the hive queen, Ender, and the piggies. It is so confusing because the hive queen's words are inside < >, and Ender doesn't have quotation marks or anything to separate his words from the hive queen's. There are ocasional untranslated Portugese lines, which is confusing also. Then there are the aforementioned 'x' words, ramen, varsle, and odd terms like that.
There are sexual references in Ender's Game, but they are few enough to ignore. In Speaker for the Dead there are more, becuse Novihina is an adultress, and Oanda and Miro kiss all the time, but it's bearable. In Xenocide, there are WAY too many. That's about 75% of why I walked away from this book.

The science. Only a person with a PhD in Imaginary Science could possibly read this book with an ounce of understanding. Faster-than-light travel, ansibles, philotic collections... It's PhD level science and it doesn't even exist in our world. That's the other 25%. It just got too confusing.

And finally the people of the Path. This half of the story was slightly disturbing. OCD peope who try and bash their heads in and wash their hands until they bleed? Why? Again: WAY TOO MANY NEW CHARACTERS!!!!

There are so many problems with this book. I gave it one star. If I could have given it lower, I would have. It should never have been written. Mr. Card should have written a complete Ending(pun pun pun pun) to Ender's Game and never even drafted Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and whatever comes after.

My advice? Buy Ender's Game, read it, and make your own ending for it. Because honestly? All the books after are not worth reading and will only taint your image of an amazing book.

I apologize for any mistakes in grammer, spelling, or punctuation. I hope you find this review, scathing though it is, helpful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
verbeeke
The first thing you notice about "Xenocide" is the difference in sheer size compared to the rest of the Ender Series. There's a reason for that, and it's the sheer complexity of the story Card is telling here. This novel is a return to the style Card used in "Ender's Game." By that I mean, he's telling two stories at once that will some how come together in the end. In "Ender's Game" the stories were that of Ender in battle school, and of Valentine and Peter's actions on Earth. "Speaker for the Dead" was a much more focused book taking place in one locale. With "Xenocide" we have the still unfolding story on Lusitania, as well as occurences on a new colony called Path. To be honest, for awhile it seems as though the story on Path and the continuing story on Lusitania could be two seperate novels. Perhaps the weak point of this novel is that when it does become clear how the two are tied together, it does not turn out to be a very strong correlation. It could even be said that "Xenocide" would remain much the same novel without the story of Path. A lot of people compalined about the preachy nature of this novel, and admitedly it is rather heavy on the metaphysical philosophy. However, the basic themes of the series, such as mankind's struggle with their exagerated fear of foreigness, still ring true throughout "Xenocide."
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
anish
I wanted so badly to like the "next Ender novel", but just couldn't get through this, about half way and had to switch to an audio version to finish it. Unfortunately, the gobbledegook gets worse in Children of the Mind to such an extent that I couldn't finish that one either and was sad to have run out of Ender stories. Fortunately, soon after, Ender's Shadow came out, and the series was back on track!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sam shipley
This book is the longest of the quartet. As a stand-alone I would not recommend it, however it is a very important part of the Ender series. It serves as the link between Speaker for the Dead and Children of the Mind. Probably the weekest of the four books and too lengthy. However, Card says that Xenocide and Children of the Mind are actually one longer novel that he had to publish as two novels. The Ender quartet receives 5 stars. Its the best reading experiance of my life and spanned 9 years before I completed it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stacie
This book is equally as surprising and invigorating as the first two in the series...it delves even more deeply into metaphysics and theology than the others. Very intriguing. It stays interesting throughout it's near 600 page length, except for everything on the Path world. Is it just me or did absolutely none of that have to be included? That would've cut the book down a good 200 pages, and more could've been added about the more interesting main plot. All and all, I consider Orson Scott Card one of the literary gods and did love this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ghazal jabbari
The book Xenocide is an excellant sequel to the novel Speaker for the Dead. Though in many ways it is much more of heavy read than the other books, if you ask me, there are some strange parts, it really continues a story where you thought there was none. At the end of Speaker for the Dead, Ouanda and Miro were supposed to be sent to another planet in the Starways Congress to be judged. This is thirty years later. The fleet continues to aproach and then Jane takes it upon herself to save them all. A girl can find out what happened, but when she does, her deciscion will either destroy Lusitania or save it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cassandra moore
Orson Scott Card has become one of my favorite authors, since his book Ender's Game is my favorite book i've taken a liking to much of his material. Xenocide may not be the best of his work but it shows just how strong and creative that he can be. Xenocide is full of plot twists, compelling characters both old and new, and philosophical Ideas incorperated beautifully in. Though its hard to imagine that that same Ender is the same Ender we see in Ender's Game, its clear that those events taht took place those many years ago have crafted him into what he is. The Gods of Path make the most interesting build up and plot twist later on. The new characters, like Qui- Ho, and Wang Mu are compelling enough that you want to learn more about them and there loyalty to the gods. Though Xenocide is not as strong as Ender's Game and Speaker for The Dead its still an amazing book that any Sci fi fan should read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
afua
I loved Ender's Game, certainly it is one of my favorite books. Speaker for the Dead, which introduced the piggies an Ender's post-xenocide life, was good but at times a little slow. I think Xenocide is second best of the three. I love the philosophical and scientific discussion of philotic threads, which often spans several pages. The parts with the Path, i.e. a Chinese colony highly involved with Starways Congress, were extremely dull at the beginning, but picked up speed later on. The chapters on Lusitania were overall better though. The main thing that I didn't like about the book was the seperation of Ender and Valentine and the way that Ender becomes more a part of his new family. I don't find Novinha's family (can't remember last name...) very interesting. I always liked the relationship between the Wiggin siblings, and this kills it a little. Oh well, good book, hope to read Children of the Mind soon and then on to the Bean series!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
anxhela cikopano
Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are good, but Xenocide disappoints; in fact, Card could've ended on Speaker. Instead he takes the worn path of Lusitania for his setting again. In Xenocide, Ender must deal with numerous impossible tasks such as solving faster than light travel, averting the destruction of Lusitania by Starways Congress, stopping a war between the humans, piggies and formics, and saving the life of an electrically based lifeform, all the while contending with his messed up adopted family of geniuses.

And Card solves all these problems neatly. What annoyed me most was Card's sudden use of italics to gain emphasis in speaking parts. With such overuse of this device, I found myself giggling at the melodrama - and taken out of the story.

Oh well. Card, you've got talent, and I love Ender, but 'cide should've taken Ender to a new place.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
yoguul
I was hooked by Ender's Game.
The book took a bizarre twist with a Chinese colony of "god spoken", and what seemed to be a diminimus nod to our hero. The transitions were awkward. Having read three I may continue with Scott. I read another review saying that the fifth book was the true sequel. Good way to kill a series...no?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
frank callaghan
Ender's Game was cool, Speaker for the Dead gave some interesting views into the problems with studying an alien race without changing them, but Xenocide tops them all. I am most impressed with this book because of the amount of work Card must have put into thinking of all the philosopy behind this. I myself spend much time thinking of things just like this, and I was amasingly impressed by this. I can't wait to finnish the saga, and I hope the rumored movie is as good as the series. Kudos to you Card.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
omarhesham
You know the saying "inside every fat person is a thinperson waiting to get out"? Well, this is a wonderful 250 page story trapped in a nearly 600 page book. The first two novels of the series were delightful because of a trait that Card, unlike SO many other sci-fi writers, posseses: his ability to create diverse, multidimensional, characters. But in this attempt, all the characters devolve painfully into nothing more than various mouthpieces for different trains of Card's philosophical musings. Musings which go on. And on. And on. And on. Even then it wouldn't be so bad if they were at least original or profound musings, but no, they are pretty much complete drivel. I will, no doubt, be accused of having a "closed mind" for this conclusion by the credulous faithful. Another nice thing about Ender's Game and Speaker were that they were SCIENCE fiction. No faster than light travel, with all the social and personal ramifications that entailed - fertile ground usually ignored by sci-fi writers, for some reason. Now Card has abandoned this formula to create what is certainly the silliest pretext for a warp drive this reader has ever encountered: An empty shell that is WILLED through "Out-space" by a sentient computer. Yeah, and reverse the polarity on the matter-antimatter transplookifier while your at it, Scotty. To make it even worse, this device, and several more of the plot variety, are inserted at the last minute, very deus ex machina, to solve problems that have been building into unsolvable dilemmas through the book. A crisis of imagination that is dramatically very disappointing; It also leaves us with promise of worse to come in the fourth book which will certainly try to stagger on from here. After Ender's Game and Speaker For The Dead, this book was a letdown. There IS a subplot on the planet Path which was up to Card's previous standards as far as creativity and character development go. If we could have had that without the rest, it would have been good read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lbacall
The resolution of the problems in the book are only slightly more satisfying than "then he woke up and found it was all a dream!" While it did offer interesting philosophical views and detailed characters, it felt like Card switched gears and decided on new plot directions arbitrarily (particularly in the Qing-jao/Wang-mu plotline). The final solution that Grego and Olhando devise is a real groaner.
I liked Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but now I'm not sure if I want to keep going through the rest of the Ender books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anacristina silva
Continue to be drawn into this series...The writing is great. The concepts quite interesting. I have only one issue and that relates to the plot twist near the end...My hope is that this is "fixed" in the next book but that is just me.
Great story that I should have read a long time ago!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lama
Firstly, let me state that I am a big fan of Ender's Game. I never intended to read the books that followed because the students that I teach all felt that they were never as good as the original. Naturally my students must all be complete morons and clearly are all incapable of understanding the deeper philosophical issues in both Speaker For The Dead and Xenocide. I really enjoyed Speaker For The Dead. Xenocide took a lot longer to get into and I sometimes found myself bogged down by the science. I was not a fan of the 'Obsessive Compulsive people of Path' storyline and while Card made his point and wove them in nicely, I was once again more intrigued with the original characters. Thus said, I am not a big fan of an adult Ender. I think that he becomes rather wimpy. He seems to be far outclassed by characters like Miro. Even Ender's horrible wife, Novinha, seems to have more strength of character than he does. Maybe the surprise ending is meant to rectify this. I did enjoy this book but I would imagine that only a hard-core science fiction fan would find the guts to plow through it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sarah severson
Xenocide suffers from not being as consistent as the first two books; the first half in particular is very pedestrian, and it sometimes gets bogged down under the weight of its own ideas. Once it gets going, however, it reaches the heights of the first two books - even surpasses them on occasion. If you didn't like "Speaker for the Dead" you probably won't like this one either; in which case I would advise you read Ender's Shadow and leave it at that.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alex angelico
Xenocide is one of Card's best works, and also is one of the best science fiction works of all time. Within the contents of this novel, readers can't help but to become involved with the story, the characters and the unique dilemma's that Card creates so well. With a plethora of philosophical contrasts and fantastic views of society , it is easy to understand, and hard to dismiss, that Xenocide contains issues that society commonly faces. Card has created profound concepts and situations within Xenocide, and has proven once more that he can get people thinking, and he does this with panache.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
nikky
I hate myself for writing these words, but they must be written: Xenocide is a major disappointment.
In all honesty, ANY sequel to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead would probably be something of a disappointment. Those two books did a superb job of telling an excellent story in an extremely detailed universe. It's a miracle the Card managed to follow them up at all, given their scope, but, sadly, the follow-up will leave even the most faithful Ender fan let down.
Card clearly likes to write. That's why he's written so many books. But he must have REALLY wanted to write this time around, because every single conversation is long beyond belief. Every character has something to say concerning some ethical or philosophical issue, but then some other character who has a different take on that issue shoots down the points made by the first person. And then the first person goes and shoots down the shoot-down. Except then the second person shoots down the shoot-down of the shoot-down, and that soon gets shot down as well. I am NOT exaggerating.
This is the root of all problems in Xenocide. Card writes too much when it comes to everything, especially all the trivial, boring points, and as a result, everything else gets bogged down too. The story is good, but you can only get bits and pieces at one time because there's so much dialogue shoved in between.
All of this is encompassed in the single, biggest flaw in the entire series: Orson Scott Card only wrote half a book. Everything is left unfulfilled because the author decided to leave the end to the saga until Children of the Mind. It's a shame, too, because this book had so much potential. I'm sorry for writing this, Mr. Card; just put the whole story in one package next time, and shut up about philosophy already.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
karen mcconville
Why you should read this.

People who can't get enough of Ender Wiggin will indulge themselves and enjoy this book. They will be disappointed and will likely not re-read it a second time but they will not regret the purchase. People easily fascinated with metaphysical issues but don't want to have to think about them too hard will end up liking some of the bits about Path but again won't be doing any re-reading. People doing critical research about "Good Authors Gone Bad" will find this book a singularly instructive performance.

Why you should pass.

Don't pick this book as an introduction to Orson Scott Card. Instead, take Ender's Game or Pastwatch. Perhaps even The Worthing Saga. There are many, many readers who liked Ender's Game a great deal but were only marginally interested in Speaker. If you were one of those readers, do not read this book. It's not more Ender; it is more Speaker. Don't pick up this book thinking it's a quick read: it's not. It is longer and more didactic as Publisher's Weekly correctly pointed out, without any of the pacing that was so exhilarating in Ender's Game.

READ MORE AT INCHOATUS.COM
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie valenti
The book I read was called Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. This book was a sequel to my favorite book, Ender's Game. Before I read this book I had a basic idea of what the setting, characters, and background information was. I like how the author would, in different parts of the book, refresh my memory of how or what certain things were. For example on p.53 it says, "Plikt had been a student of Ender's when he was on Trondheim as a speaker for the dead. She had figured out, quite independently, that Andrew Wiggin was the Speaker for the Dead and that he was also the Ender Wiggin." In many parts of the book it amazed me in how much I would read because of the tension and conflict which would make me read on and on. When Miro stretched out his arms and went in front of the pequininos and faced the crowd yelling out, "You want to kill? Kill me!"(p.343), just to save the pequininos made me even fear for Miro's life. When Ela or her family came up with new ideas, it made me put down the book and think how great the author made each of the characters' personalities. Some parts, however, that I disliked were when there would be complex words and sentences that would be difficult to understand.
The author's theme for this book is: The way to solve a problem(s), dont fight, and start to work together with eachother's ideas. I agree with this because when you need to solve a problem, people usually get mad and get out of control. This could lead to more problems for that person and also many others. If you fight, it will not help out at all. In the book, many times there are problems being faced, and sometimes a fight breaks out. When this happened, there was a very big consequent, but they solved this problem by teamwork instead of rage. This connects with my life as well. When I face a problem, I try to slow down and see what is wrong. When I get stuck on it, I can just ask my siblings and parents or my friends and teachers. At the end, everything is solved and I feel good about it.
I would recommend this book to others because of how well the content is displayed. When you read this book, you really don't want to put it down. There are so many problems that are faced in this book, you couldn't imagine how they all could get solved. But Orson Scott Card did a wonderful job concluding this book as well as writing the whole thing. If you like reading about Science Fiction and Fantasy, this is your book. However, you need to read Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead to fully understand this wonderful piece.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bismarck
This is an amazing book! My favorite character was Han Qing-jau who is a very religious person. On the planet Path, congress has created genetically altered people that are much smarter than average. They cover this up by creating an OCD virus that makes people think that they are forced to do tasks to "purify" themselves by the gods. Ender and Jane try to find a way for the god spoken to be relieved and a way to stop the xenocide of the buggers and the piggies.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sara rodriguez
This book is a let down. It took a while for me to finish, probably because I have the audio version. It was very hard to get past the terrible fake accents and the "voice acting". There are way too many voices. Scott Brick is good and Gabrielle de Cuir is tolerable, but it was a bit much. I get that they're trying to add to the characters but it ruined the book for me. One read is enough.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
vito delsante
"Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" are modern classics of SF, well-written novels with an emphasis on characters that is often lacking in the genre. Even a spectactular novel would be hard-pressed to follow these two. But "Xenocide" is not a spectacular novel at all. Instead, "Xenocide" is talky and implausible. The Ender books are not all about action. But not much happens at all in "Xenocide." Contrast "Speaker for the Dead," which is not by any means an action/adventure novel, but which is chock full of character-driven actions. I can sum up the problems with "Xenocide" in one phrase, a howler uttered by the superintelligent Jane entity after being made aware of a huge plot hole (one she obviously should have noticed) - "Now that you mention it..."

Fans of the series should simply stop at "Speaker for the Dead."
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kinga
If you read and enjoyed Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead (as I did), do yourself a favor and stop right there. Yes, I know there are two more books in that series and another whole four-book series. Trust me. Stop.

Those first two books are masterpieces in my mind. I've recently reread both of them (after slogging through the other six) and was recaptivated by Ender, young and old. And that's really the pull of both books: Ender. He is a bit of a superman character, but sometimes that's a fun character to read.

The problem with all the subsequent books (including the "Ender's Shadow" quartet) is that they destroy the legend of Ender. Problems that were solved (or on the way to being solved) by the end of Speaker were reopened for dramatic value in Xenocide and Children of the Mind. That was bad enough.

But worse yet is what happened to Ender. Like I said, Ender is the superman character. But in the sequels he is reduced to nothing--literally. He is reduced to some whimpering old fool with no reason to live. This isn't the same Speaker who came and singlehandedly subdued his future stepchildren or probed to the heart of the pequeninos or gave such a masterful speaking for the dead.

And one additional complaint about these two books: time. No kidding, this all takes place over the time frame of days and weeks. This is a point that Card seems to lose sight of, to the detriment of the story.

Avoid.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
luigi antonio
Xenocide is more on Card's philosophical side, but nonetheless is a highly entertaining and powerful addition to the Ender Saga. Learn what happens to the three senitent species of Lusitania, and the ongoing attempts to neutralize the descolada virus. Find out how Miro deals with his devastating handicap. For a third time, Orson Scott Card has managed to capture the feelings and emotions of his charecters in such a way that the reader can hardly put the book down
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
madi williams
I don't understand why people dislike Xenocide or say it doesn't measure up to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. Each of the intertwined storylines in the book forces the reader to think in new ways and open his or her mind to all of the possibilities. It's a break from the style of the first two books, but the characters are still three-dimensional and their problems are thought-provoking and make for fascinating reading. The best of the four books.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
nagla
What a let down after the 1st 2 excellent books. Ridiculous science fiction that turns into a laughable, "Jump the Shark" moment. Tedious book with tedious characters, Ender married into a horrible family. The people of Path are excruciatingly stubborn. All the fake science that is already barely hanging by a logical thread is thrown out the window at the end and, *poof*, Harry Potter waves his wand and Fonzi jumps the shark and we end up with a ridiculous piece of science fiction. I don't know how I could possibly read the last book, very disappointing 3rd book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elouise
This book took me a while to get through, not because of the length of the of the book, but instead because of the pace. The chapters are really slow because orson card really goes into detail of the ideas he is trying to illustrate in your mind. I loved the book, but it did lack in the action department, but I was so AMAZED by the content that although it took me a while to compete I enjoyed the book in its entirety
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amy karaban
In the last half of the book there is someone crying on every other page. I heard that Xenocide and Children of the mind were supposed to be only one book. Hard to imagine that Card could not cut out at least two hundred pages from Xenocide. The same things (family problems) are repeated over and over.

That being said, it was very good. I specially like the stories on Path.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kathleen vella
Honestly, this book was excellent. It makes you think a lot more than the other novels though. It's not exactly written in the same spirit as the other two but still very well written. Good book, probably the worst of the series, but that's still saying quite a bit considering the company it's in. Keep reading the series. Children of the Mind may have a slow start, but well paid off with the rest of the book. Overall, awesome series!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
melanie jacobson
I read the first book and thought it was excellent. As the author explored the possibility of having minds that were analytically superior to computers (though the characters had to have a certain amount of abstract thinking capability to carry out some of the missions, wich is probably not possible for a kid close to autism) he accompanied it with a plot that was rich and exciting. By the third book, the well had dried up.
A questionable plot with characters who were all too formulated and familiar approached an indecisive ending that would result in the fourth book in the series. There was nothing in the book that made me want to stay up for a few more minutes to finish the chapter. In my opinion, the author got too good at putting the reader in philosophical positions that were irrelevent to life or the book in general. I would not suggest reading it or the good attitude one might have towards the author would be permanently marred. After reading that book, I did not continue on to the fourth, in fact I never read another book by the author again.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nick martin
I have to agree that it starts slow and the beginning drags a little because it touches topics that initially don't seem to have a lot do with the ending of the Speaker of the Dead but slowly it all makes sense and reading it becomes as addictive as the first two books in the series! I actually like the books with a mature Ender much more than the Ender's game book.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
amy e
I have just finished reading Ender's Shadow, the first of the Bean quartet novels and I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed the original book. There's something about the way Card presents characters that captures you into reading the book non-stop. So you can imagine my disappointment when I started reading Xenocide.

Judging from the other reviews, I realized that Xenocide is a kind of a book that you either love as you loved Ender's Game (and everyone loves that one) or hate it because of the way it progresses, portrays characters and overall plot involved.

Frankly, I think I'm in the later category. I was so tired of reading this book that I couldn't force myself to finish it.

Not only the characters were completely unbelieavable, but I thought trying to mix cultures and jump from one to another every chapter was quite pointless. I admit, it was daring on Card's part to try to attempt it, but he just couldn't handle it, I think. The same way as he couldn't handle brining too much fiction into sci-fi realm.

Some of the plot twists were completely outrageous even for sci-fi standards. And mixing so many philosophical topics in under-300 pages book is simply wrong. You can't expect to try to find a solution to life, death, soul, humanity and everythign else he tried to mention using nothing but a bunch of unbeliavable 'wanna-be' genius characters. And to add to all this disappointment is the sheer normality of Ender Wiggin. It's as if he's in this book just to remind us that it's part of the series. He really was not needed in this novel at all.

In conclusion, I thought the book lacked progression, pace, presentation and believable characters. Overall, it was a pretty poor novel, but I guess every writer gets one of those once in a while (some more so than others).

It's worth reading, but don't feel like you're betraying the series if you suddenly have an urge to throw the book away. it just happens to be poorly written.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lucie
I bought "Enders Game" and loved it.
I bought "Speaker For the Dead" and liked it more that Enders Game.
I bought this volume expecting more great things from this author.
This is one of the worst Sci-Fi book I ever tried to read. Most of the people of Path suffer from OCD (obcessive Compulsive Disorder, but are extremely intelegent, and they have discovered Jane (the AI program Ender created in Battle school, and they are working to destroy her.
Jane warns the people of Lusitania of the threat to her, and the poeple of Lusitania have discovered a way to release a virus on Path to cure the people of Path of their OCD, and in the process lower their intelegence giving them time to work with the hegemony and explain Jane was no threat and showing how that people could travel lightyears in seconds instead of taking decades at speeds close to the speed of light to go between planets, and to prove the Descolada virus was no longer a threat.
However; this book is so slow and tedious; I do not recommend it, and I never bought another book in this series.
Wah doh Ogedoda (We give thanks Great Spirit)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
adrienna
Xenocide is a brilliant piece of work. After "Ender's Game" and "Speaker For The Dead", Mr. Card shows us that he is still able to take the plot and thicken it. After all, it's hard to take Sci-Fi story, and cover it with philosophic dilemas and moral cross roads. Mr. Card takes us again thru the path of Ender Wiggin while throwing more charcters and more information and enables us to imagine a world on all it's aspects. The decription's are so full and rich in details, and the charcters seems so alive that by the end of he book you feel as if you had known them. It is recommended to read the previos books before reading Xenocide in order to get familiar with the charcters. There is one thing that disturbs the full enjoyment of the book: the fact that the characters haven't grown up! even though it's been 30 years since the last book, they behaviour remained as if they are still little kids. But besides this little thing, Xenocide brings the serious to new hights. Well Done again, Mr. Card!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
duarte
I found this book somewhat disappointing. It was no where on a par with Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead. Perhaps that was because Ender played just a supporting role and did not appear as strong as in the other two books. The premise of the storyline was provoking and the narration was complex. The end came quickly and I was not expecting it. To me it was not satisfying. In Ender's Game the end was quick but totally engaging.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kenneth rankin
The thing I like most about Card's writing is that he gives you something to think about after you've put the book down. I think this is true with "Xenocide". Of course the book is a little lengthy, and I would have liked to see more focus on some issues. Card has so many ideas going on at the end of this book, that hopefully the sequel can tie them all together. I would recommend this and the previous 2 books of the series to not only science fiction fans, but fans of an interesting story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
inpassant
......................................................................................................................................................................................??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THAT WAS AMAZING!!! That's all I have to say. Really, no joke. It was THAT good. Trust me, Ender's Game was good, Speaker for the Dead was better, and Xenocide was the BEST!!! (So far, haven't read Children of the Mind yet). So I STRONGLY suggest to get this book after the previous two.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
angela filion
I thought that Xenocide was an all right book, but it wasn't nearly as good as Ender's Game or Soeaker For the Dead. I think that most people would find this book pretty boring. It has a lot of theology and philosophy and hardly any action. Although what the book lacks in action it makes up for in plot and character development. The book developed a very complicated and detailed plot with many characters of equal importance. While the plot is developed the reader is immersed into a world of theology and philosophy. The book talks a lot about things called philotes. Phillotes are little unbreakable parts of an atom. There is an entire strange universe of them' it's extremely complicated and a little to advanced for me. While I got through it I didn't understand all of the theology and philosophy.
I loved all of the unexpected twists and turns of this book. I was always completely suprised by all of the peculiar events that unfolded in this book. I found the ending of the book especially suprising.
Over all I thought that this book was fairly good, but like I said before it wasn't as good as its predisesors.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cassandra mickelson
This was a very disapointing read. The first two books of the Ender series are some of my favorite books of all times so its easy to see that I would have high expectations for this one. Instead of the suspense, excitement, and novelty of the first two books, this one basically sinks into complicated (and fantastical) philosophical debates over everything from the meaning of life to instantaneous travel and everything in between.. While those might seem like pretty interesting topics, Card definitely spends way too much time and serious thought into them only to have them all solved by a simple answer that doesn't really make any sense anyway. It seemed that Card was really trying to show his readers how much of a genious and deep thinker he is.

The whole book is spent on Lusitania with Ender and his friends trying to figure out a way to replace the descolada while keeping the pequininos alive and to find a way to get all the people off the planet before the fleet from Starways Congress lets loose with the Little Doctor molecular disruptor cannon. I did somewhat enjoy the tangent of the Godspoken of Path and their Congressionally induced brain defects that makes them into some kind of think-tank for the government while imprisoning them with their redardation.

Overall, the book had a lot more potential than it lived up to. The plot stayed mainly on focus but got really bogged down in extra heavy philosophy, making for a pretty boring overall read. I will say that the book left off with great possibilities for the next (and last) book of the series. With most of the philosophising out of the way (I hope) and with the uncovering of the evils of Congress, the introduction of young Peter, and the freedom of the Lusitanians from the descolada virus, the next book should hold some pretty exciting scenarios.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ben donahue
Orson Scott Card is probably one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time, rivaled only by Isaac Asimov, Timothy Zahn, Michael Crichton and Arthur C. Clarke. His use of the English language is both eloquent and elegant. His use of verbal imagery is astounding. I was captivated by Ender's Game, Speaker caught me but did not keep me the way Ender did. Now, with Xenocide, I was captured again. In a tribute to Card's style, he had me about to cry and then bursting my sides laughing in the same fifty pages. Not only is his verbal imagery astounding, he is also in touch with a little human psychology. His revelations at how people think, especially in a crowd and mob situation, shocked me beyond all belief. The book deserves more than four stars, but I do not give out perfect reviews. For more information, contact me. My information is listed above. This truly is a wonderful book, and Orson Scott Card is an amazing author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
cyrus
This is a good sequel to the other Ender books. It can only be faulted for the massive amount of conversation that propels the story forward. You will either be very patient or skim through parts. The story is well worth the effort though.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sanjeev
I was into this book until the last part of the book when Ender "creates" his Peter and Val homunculi. Re-introducing these characters, especially the Peter "character" was simple hackery to try to bring unneeded tension into a story already brimming with it. Allowing the Peter character to go off into the galaxy to wreak havoc was also a very out-of-character move for what Card had established for Ender. I quickly found myself skipping any parts with either "new" character in it, which means most of the rest of the book. Surprisingly, it didn't seem to matter to the rest of the story, which supports my feeling that neither character was necessary. I received the first four Ender books as a gift, but I don't think I'll be reading the last one (Children of the Mind. The whole "Peter/Valentine as building blocks for Ender's personality" never made any sense to me in the first book and seemed to be excessive characterization just to pad pages in the transition from the most excellent "Ender's Game" to the full-length novel. The little "surprise" at the end about the "God of Path" was also no surprise, as anyone could see that was going to happen the first time Gloriously Bright mentions it. For me, the series is complete with "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead." I'll admit that I can't judge the fourth book, but the third book with all of it's soap opera story lines, juvenile "philosphies" and poor characterizations of the people of Lusitania is completely non-essential. However, it does make me see why this series is in the Young Adult section of the Public Libraries. It is far from Adult level Science Fiction.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nancy
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".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ette
Orsin Scott Card has a way of zooming in on all the details at once, making everything crystal clear, while still holding the element of surprise.
There are twists and turns throughout the entire book, it feels that the answer is in the back of your head, and yet the conclusion is spectacualr, making you say, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Qing-Jao is a brillant mind, and although she has the ability to come up with intelligent conclusions, she has a tendancy to use the gods to explain the things that she doesn't understand, and again to make the things that others disagreed on sway in their favor. it is up to Jane, the self aware computer to show her the light. Leave it to Orsin to weave a web of confusion and ethical problems.
Great book, the best one yet!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david garrison
Ignore all the negative reviews about this book being far-fetched. It's science fiction... it's supposed to be far-fetched. Card's representation about souls and alternate universes are his way of showing what one of his theories entails. Aren't the stories told in the bible far-fetched? People are so quick to refute Card's ideas based on the fact that they are inconceivable but many people are sold that a person can heal by touch, walk on water, etc. no questions asked. Have an open mind and you will enjoy the book.

Orson Scott Card is a great author and presents his ideas in an intriguing manner. This book was awesome. While these other people are upset about the fact that Peter and Valentine are spawned by Ender's sub-consious, I was fascinated. As the story progressed I became more and more intrigued and wanted to know more and more and more. I found myself predicting what I thought might happen with Ender's "children" and hoping that the plot would turn take certain turns. Great reading!

This book, in combination with the rest of the Ender saga, was amazing and tells a fascinating story!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
offbalance
I picked it up, I put it down, I tried again. Considering the first two books, which were quite good, I think he had this ghost written by something long dead, or maybe taught his dog to bang on a typewriter. I never did get beyond chapter two.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzierussell
I think many people who read this book will not do so carefully enough to appreciate the way Card sets up not only a novel about Ender but an entire theory of reality that I found facinating. Persons with an interest in metaphysics will really love the mental exercises this book inspires. People without that appreciation will find that part of the book boring, confusing, or both.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tinab48
Frankly, I would have to say I enjoyed this book. In my opinion Card has out done himself yet again with this novel. Card's main setback in this story is that, at points the book can get a tad.....wordy. I know what your thinking, "All of Cards books are wordy" which is true, but at points in the novel it can get a little slow. If you are just planning to get this book and i have turned you away, dont get the wrong idea!, this is a fantastic book, and if you enjoyed ANY of Card's work you will enjoy reading and re-reading Xenocide as i have. Xenocide differs from the other Ender saga books is that it really doesnt have a diffined storyline, it has multiple plots going on that become intertwined at some point or another, which i thought was a fresh new turn for Card's writing style and gave Xenocide a " New book" feeling,if you know what i mean...(you probably don't, but thats ok!) Card adds may a surprise in the end, dealing with the "godspoken" of path and the pequino race, but i wont ruin the story. You will have to find out what happens on your own ( dont you just hate it when people do that!) Bottom Line: Read and be merry! ~Locke
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
miriam hathaway
Overly long and mostly dull :\ I think this book could have easily been combined with the next book in the series (as was the original plan). The bulk of this book consists of the different characters talking in far too much length about things that do not warrant or serve anywhere near so many words and pages. That isn't to say there aren't cool and interesting ideas here. Card is always good at infusing his books with great philosophical, theological, and ethical depth. This time it's just lost in about 300 pages worth of excess material that detracts from the experience (the edition I read was just over 600 pages long).
I absolutely loved Speaker for the Dead, Ender's Shadow, and Ender's Game. Shadow of the Hegemon was also more enjoyable than this
Please Rate Xenocide: Volume Three of the Ender Quintet
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