Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

Ender in ExileSummary: The follow up to Ender’s Game set right before the last chapter of Ender’s Game with ideas from the Shadow Series and before the Xenocide and later books.

Last week I was browsing through Audible.com for a new book and saw that Orson Scott Card had released a new book last week that tells the story of the first Formic War (Earth Unaware).  It is getting fairly mixed reviews right now.  But I will probably still get around to reading it soon.

That led me to looking around to see if there were others Orson Scott Card books that I have not read.  I found Ender in Exile in my library.  By description I did not remember reading it.  I remembered it within minutes of starting it.  But it was good so I re-read (re-listened?) to it.

Again many people did not like it.  And I get some of the point.  It is a bit disjointed.  There are really three or four different short stories that are tied together here.  There is a main theme.  But that theme is really about what makes life important.  If you have read Card before you will know that what makes life important for him is children.

So throughout this book are children that are sacrificed for.  Children that are beneath the thumbs of their parents.  Children that are lied to and manipulated into believing that those that raise them are their parents.  And the adults that have chosen all of humanity to be surrogate children instead of having their own.

Space travel and the relativistic speeds of flying faster than light creates all kinds of issues for humanity and the individuals that must leave family behind forever if they are going to fly into space is an interesting concept.  And Card milks it well.

My impression is that this is one of the books where Card’s Mormon faith is strongly influencing the philosophy and ideas behind the book.  But I just do not know enough about Mormon faith to be sure.

Card is clearly conservative in outlook.  His very pro-family.  Supportive of the military.  Interested in institutions (but wary of them). Understanding of human weakness (and sin, although he does not use that word).

So because I like idea books, I really like this book.  But if you like action books, skip this one.  If you like the Shadow Series but didn’t like any of the books in the Ender series after Ender’s Game, skip this one.  But if you enjoy the ideas in Cards book you will probably like this one (even though it feels like a collection of short stories.)

Card has a note at the end of this book where he admits that there are discontinuities between this book and Ender’s Game and some of the other books. After all Ender’s Game was originally a short story that was expanded into a full novel.  And now there are well over a dozen books in the series.

Ender in Exile Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook

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