Summary: A near retirement age Ender has to deal with another attempt at Xenocide, this time against two alien species and all of Ender’s family may die in the process.
I always warn people when I talk about my love of Ender’s Game that the rest of the series is very different from the first book.
Ender’s Game is young adult book But Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind are not. They are fairly serious adult oriented science fiction book that are as much about the ideas as the story line.
Which is I think the point of the xkcd comic about Xenocide being a lesser book.
After re-reading Ender’s Game I wanted to read more of the series again. I skipped Speaker for the Dead, because I have read it nearly as many times as Ender’s Game.
Xenocide picks up right after Speaker for the Dead, or at least a spaceship ride after Speaker for the Dead. That one ride ends up being 30 years for Ender and the world he is on and only a few weeks for Milo (Ender’s step son).
The central government has sent ships to destroy the world that Ender is on. That world is home to the first new species discovered since the Formics. And unknown to anyone else, it is the new home to the Formics as well.
Xenocide is brings up all kinds of philosophical issues, what it means to be sentient, ethics of protection, utilitarianism, research ethics, issues of class and privilege, religious motivations, and more. And the real problem with the book is that it tries to do too much.
I am going to read Children of the Mind again, but my memory of the book is that it gets even more ridiculous.
That being said, it is still worth reading, especially if you like philosophical science fiction. It is just not as good as it could be.
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Book and Movie Review) (bookwi.se)
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Comparing Versions) (bookwi.se)
- Ender’s Game Alive (Full Cast Audioplay) (bookwi.se)
- Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card (Ender #4) (bookwi.se)