Reviews of Xenocide (1991)
Xenocide continues in the line of Speaker of the Dead. People who enjoyed Ender's Game might be disappointed with the rest of the series.
Anyway, this is a very good book: many moral stalemates are considered from many points of view, and the plot becomes very intricate. After a while, I just couldn't stop reading the book.
However... the way almost everything is solved is just plain "duh!". I enjoyed imagining many solutions to the various conflicts, however I was very disappointed with what happens in the end. For instance, yeah right, it would be soo useful if we could have faster-than-light travel... and of course, once one of Ender's friends (in prison) starts to think of it, he comes up with a new physics theory in just one week that's just plain absurd and everything is solved.
I know this is science fiction, but I can't enjoy a story when a great plot is created and then everything is solved with fantastic new technology. It could as well have been God coming from the sky and solving everything... at least this is how I felt.
I would consider this a better book than Speaker for the Dead or Children of the Mind, though.
Review by mrdude (2005-02-15)
Xenocide, The Third book in the Ender Wiggin Series, by Orson Scott Card starts off were the previous book in the series, speaker for the dead, left off.
Starways congress has sent a fleet of ships to Lusitania which has the capability of destroying not only the colony but the entire pequinino and bugger species. Valentine and her family have decided to go to Lusitania to help ender with the new problems that keeps unfolding before him. Meanwhile we are also given a new story line to follow in this book, the story of the godspoken people of path.
So far this is my least favorite of the three books I have read in the ender wiggin series. There are far more religious overtones in this novel than the previous two, and Card seems to work so hard on having very real characters that the storyline seems to be drowned out. The problems he creates for everyone are so insurmountable that he forces himself to make crazy and obscure solutions. I also often felt as though the author ran out of ideas in this novel so instead reiterated a lot of development that happened in the previous two books.
The writing style is very similar to the last two books in the series. Card starts every chapter with a conversation between two somewhat unidentified characters, who analyse human behavior, often foreshadowing events or filling in some of the gaps from a previous chapter. He uses these characters as though they are removed from the story entirely, when in fact they are integral parts of it. The rest of novel is written in a third person narrative, which changes point of view usually at breaks in the chapters.
I don't want this to review to imply that there was no redeemable qualities in this novel. Far from it, the book was enjoyable. The story had many surprises and although some of them were so far fetch that one never could have predicted them, the plot line was obviously well thought out. It is also very good writing, despite its strict stylistic rules it seems to follow. All in all it was a very good read and captivating enough that I will undoubtedly finish the series.
(Review also posted at the IBDoF)
Review by darkkilala (2005-01-31)
This book was amazing. Never read one like it. It was a thriller, a mystery and a romantic book all rolled into one. Plus, this book has aliens and space stuff in it. Not to mention the fact that Card did an amazing job writing the book. It was the probably the best well written book, I have ever read.
Review by q11001 (2004-02-26)
Good book altogether. a little slow for the first 520 pages but that last 70 pages really tie it all together. worth the wait and a must read if you have already read Enders Game and Speaker for the Dead.O and the people who gave this book a bad review are scumbums
Review by sqbr (2003-07-07)
To give a somewhat less extreme opinion- I loved "Enders Game" and quite liked "Speaker for the dead", but while "Xenocide" is an ok book it's definitely a step downwards. If you liked the first two give it a go, otherwise don't. The series has begun to lose momentum, though it doesn't die and stagnate until "Children of the mind". (Which is allll pain)
Review by lovell (2003-05-29)
I can't stand this novel, nor the watery SciFi(tm) schlock it represents.
This novel did inspire me to read the rest of the series, which were likewise terrible, out of respect for those who claim that this series is profound, important, or somehow significant. It's not, I promise.
Sadly, although Card's work is seemingly tailored to those who would rather vegg out and watch some cheezeball movie about comets destroying earth than read real science fiction, none of his work would even make a decent screeenplay.
Review by benna (2003-03-08)
This is the best book I have ever read. In this masterpiece Card not only introduces string theory before it was considered practical in physics but he also examines the workings of human (and non-human) relationships on a most basic level.