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Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

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Book Information  
AuthorOrson Scott Card
GenreScience Fiction
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by James 
(Dec 11, 2009)

I think a lot of people missed the nuances involved. Whilst I could ignore the characters who sought meaning in the dull prose, like poets with their many meanings, I found it interesting that it might contrast the descolada virus to filthiness, that Jane was comparable to God despite the inadequacy, her relationship to human kind, her askance of help, especially for identity, the fact that 3000 years had past and yet technology remained a moot factor (regardless of the bugger technology being the advancing factor so many years ago), travel remains the same, communication is the same. Miro, if he was anyone decent, would have realised Valentines' acting as being that of a retarded child in the first instance of her visit. Not to mention that there has always been, as far as the reader was concerned by the stage in which he had to consider the options that the people of Lusitania could have evacuated, been in quarantine, cleansed and set to join the rest of humanity without a qualm and that the rest of the planet be "torched", so far, nothing has been said of the descolada spreading from being to being despite that it is classed as a virus and even if it had, it wouldn't stop the containment and elimination of the idea of quarantine and escape of the humans, saving at least one part of the planet, whether the other part died or not. Still, most of the philosophy Scott Card sports is highly improbable and mostly ridiculous.

Submitted by Steven Hess 
(Nov 29, 2005)

After years of being a hardcore Clarke and Baxter fan, I decided to go out on a limb and read Card's "Ender's Game" and "Speaker of the Dead". Initally I was stunned to see such excellent writing and decided to read "Xenocide".

To my dismay, Xenocide was a collection of ideas and characters mashed together into a 500+ page high school quality journal w/o any depth, coherence, or true storyline. I was so saddened to see Ender portryed as a shallow character, upset to read that "belief" is the way to travel superluminal speeds, confused on how religion would be so prevalent in a scientifically advanced society, and the poor attempt to write dialogue between characters that should have had really deep and philosophical conversations.

In addition, the Jane character was given a human persona (a major manifestation of OSC's laziness) and appears only as an almost non-person in the story. (Come on OSC, you really botched her character!)

As for the ending, I was stunned that the editors allowed it in the text. It was disjoint, ill thought, and short sighted.

In the end, I want my money back. What a way to kill a stunning character and potential future.

Submitted by Marc Osborn
(Sep 16, 2000)

As different a book as "Speaker of the Dead" was from "Ender's Game", "Xenocide" continues the saga of Ender but in a much more metaphysical direction. Like Speaker, Xenocide takes a couple chapters before you accept that you are about to read a book that's about new character's and not about the characters you've spent a novel getting to know (and love, no doubt- otherwise you wouldn't be reading another sequel). And just like Speaker, you will soon be interested in these characters. Card's greatest skill is characterization and that skill is demonstrated here in abundance. Again we are meeting inhumanly gifted people in unbelievable situations, but Card is still able to keep it VERY readable and interesting (unlike this review).

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