Reviews of Speaker for the Dead (1986)
Review by mmrobins (2007-07-02)
I read this as a Spanish translation which is not my native language, so perhaps I lost some of the telling of this story in the translation. I liked it, but was a little let down after just reading Ender's Game for the first time. The story and characters are more mature and complex than Ender's game, as is Ender's character, and the ideas presented are definitely interesting, but it doesn't have the same magic for me that Ender's Game did.
(This review refers to the 1991 version titled “Speaker for the Dead”)
Review by mrdude (2005-02-15)
Speaker For the Dead, The Second book in the Ender Wiggin Series, by Orson Scott Card starts 3000 years after it's predecessor story, Ender's Game, on a distant planet named Lusitania that has been colonized by a Catholics. Sentient alien lifeforms are found on the planet, this being the only sentient life found since the buggers.
I am afraid that is all the synopsis you will get from me. I received less information than above and am quite glad. With that out of the way though I have nothing but good remarks for this book. This is the second Orson Scott Card novel I've had the pleasure of reading and I can see why both books hove won the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards. The language is wonderful, the story is wonderful, the character development is outstanding! Card writes science fiction that just baffles me in its literary value. How does one proclaim the greatness of a book without ruining the plot line while doing so?
Well I'll try to go into some specifics. Cards style of writing in this book is very similar to Ender's game but also different in many ways. He starts off each chapter, like the previous book, with a short passage written in the first person point of view. Unlike the last book though, the person speaking is known quite well because he presents each chapter opening in this book as a letter or memo written by different characters throughout the novel. This really serves as a way to give the reader various insights that would otherwise be nearly impossible to unveil. I myself was less at a loss while reading this book. In the previous novel the reader constantly asks themselves "whats going on?". This novel provides plenty of intrigue but I simply found it to be more straightforward.
The copy I read had an introduction by the author that was also enjoyable. I would however refrain from reading it before reading the book because it reveals major portions of the plot line, in fact I did not read it entirely because it started talking too much about the next book in the series. Interestingly enough though, the author describes his process of writing this book, as well as the previous.
So all and all this was a wonderful sequel. I myself feel that it could even stand quite well on its own, although I enjoyed the previous novel so much that find it hard not to recommend that one read them both.
(Review also posted at the IBDoF)
Review by darkkilala (2005-01-31)
This book was absolutely the best book I have ever read. Card did a spectacular job on discribing the specific special effects in this book. He wrote the book so well, that I couldn't believe that what he said wasn't real. But this book was awesome, just astonishing how amazing this book was. Just lovely.
Review by Corleone (2004-05-09)
One of the best science fiction books I've ever read. There is a great love of life that's expressed through Ender and the way he deals with and learns from the new alien species, and it's done with great compassion. The book also works as a mystery and as a book of a true sci-fi "what if" scenario.
Review by q11001 (2004-02-26)
Great book it didnt bring you in like the first one but i cant complain. by introducing a new alien speicies like the piggies it gave the whole series a better feel. i really like this book and recomending that you all read it. if the other people reviewing this book gave it a bad review then they deserve to be shot with a harpoon gun
Review by empathy (2003-03-16)
First, let me get soemthing straight: this book is not like enders game
I doubt there could be a much bigger difference between the two books, Enders game was all about the action, whilst speaker for the dead is much deeper and emotional. In my opinion at least, this book is better than its predecessor, but will probably never be as popular as Enders game, which is a shame really.. It has stronger themes, and is much better at communicating its message, and getting the reader to actually think rather than coast along with the story.
Review by lockeender (2003-03-07)
A lot of people don't like this as well because it's not the action adventure that its predecessor _Ender's Game_ is. however this is a much richer work, thematically and structurally. Just because it doesn't have violence guns or space battles doesn't mean its not a good book. In fact as I grow older and continue to reread this and _Ender's Game_ I find that enjoy Speaker more and more--that it continues to resonate with me no matter how much I change--in that respect this novel is much more similar to a masterpiece such as _Dune_ or _Stranger in a Strange Land_ than _Ender's Game_ (which is still one of the greatest books ever written).