Well, against all odds I actually finished a book: Orson Scott Card’s Xenocide. So what can I say about this book that hasn’t been said a zillion times before? Probably nothing.
OK, backing up, this is the third book in Card’s series about Ender Wiggins. The series started in Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead and ends in Children of the Mind. Then there are the ‘parallel’ books starting with Ender’s Shadow and, gosh, I could go on all day. Just head over to The Official Web Site of Orson Scott Card and click on OSC Library.
So what to say about it. It took me a LONG time to read. I kept putting it down and going on to something else. I’m not sure why that is. Well… I ‘read’ the first two books in audiobook format and I wonder if that caused some kind of ‘culture shock’ when I transitioned to actually reading it myself. Or maybe its because each book gets…deeper? More contemplative? Ender’s Game was flat out fun stuff. Lots of motion. Speaker for the Dead got a bit more…still, but there was still some amazing character development. Xenocide was really compact, and almost sessile. It just felt a bit too long for the story, or something…
But anyway, now I’ve finished it and I have to say, the ending was a dissapointment. There were some rather deus ex machina events that felt like they existed only to give Card an avenue for sequels. And the ending didn’t end. Which is ok for me since Children of the Mind is on my ToBeRead pile, but I wasn’t expecting it. I remember the first two books having a complete ending.
Ah well. None of this is to say I didn’t like the book, and aside from the nits picked above, the second half was good stuff (once I got to about the half-way point, I read the rest straight through). If you haven’t read the first two books, do so. I really, highly, super-ultra recommend Ender’s Game in particular (and I guess they’re finally making a movie version, so hurry and read it before Hollywood rips its soul out). And if you’ve read the first two books, plot them on a graph with ‘fun’ on one axis amd ‘contemplative’ on the other, and understand that Xenocide follows that curve. If the curve is heading in a direction you’re comfortable with, then the book is worth picking up. 🙂