Ender's Game Series (Question)

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Hijinks, May 13, 2008.

  1. Hijinks

    Hijinks Registered User

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    I just finished reading Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card and enjoyed it. The book was short but was interesting and an easy read for breaks at work.

    My question is, are the other books in the series worth the time or would I be better off considering it a stand alone book and moving on? If you have read some or the rest of the series I would appreciate your input.
     
  2. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    I actually like the Shadow series more than the first novel. Also Speaker and Xenocide are great books that are almost stand alone anyway.

    With Children of the Mind you're on your own. If any work has mixed reviews it's that one.
     
  3. Fung Koo

    Fung Koo >:|Angry Beaver|: <

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    100% for sure read Ender's Shadow. It follows Bean through the same story arc as Ender's Game. Very cool.

    The others were OK. Nothing I'd really rave about. Not as much to my taste.
     
  4. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    I'll weigh in with I greatly enjoyed Speaker and Xenocide, but Xenocide ends in a cliffhanger. I felt that series could easily have been wrapped up in three books and that Card was just dragging it out. I was so insulted that I didn't finish the series.

    I liked Shadow less than most other people - I found it very derivative and it did not make me want to read more.
     
  5. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    Derivative in that it was based in the same world as Ender's Game? I found the Shadow series did more for Peter than any of the other books. I also enjoyed Bean for more than any other character.
     
  6. randar23rhenn

    randar23rhenn New Member

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    I think the shadow series is better, but the rest of the ender series is definitely well worth reading
     
  7. Hijinks

    Hijinks Registered User

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    Thanks for all the info, I found a person at work who has the entire collection. Soon as he locates the books I will start reading the rest of the series.
     
  8. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    I meant derivative in the sense that he was milking a story that was already told, and to me it felt like he was telling the exact same story with a different name for the main character. It didn't really feel like a parallel tale to me, just a retelling of Ender's game. In the brief gimpses you got of Ender, I would always think "Oh yeah, it was better the first time around"

    I agree with you about Peter, that was the one undeveloped thread I wondered about in the first trilogy and wanted to see more of. I could tell it was coming in Shadow and it almost kept me reading, but not quite.
     
  9. Andols

    Andols I like stories

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    I guess depending on if you prefered Ender over Bean, Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow will have mixed reviews.

    The sequals to Enders's Shadow I found to be much more enjoyable than Speaker/Xenocide. Peter's political dealings and Beans subsequent involvement made for some great scenes and power plays.
     
  10. mirage2101

    mirage2101 Registered User

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    Ender's game was great. Enders shadow and what came after were slightly different books, more political, I enjoyed those in a different way.
    If you like Ender's game then shadow and sequals will be your thing.

    I read speaker for the dead and well... It's a nice book, but it's only related to Ender in name. it could've been a complete standalone book.
     
  11. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    I think OSC has admitted that some of the Ender books only had Ender slotted into them to make them more marketable after he came up with the original idea.
     
  12. azidhak

    azidhak Registered User

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    I liked Ender's Game, and the rest of the original series was from ok to barely readable. I also liked the first two of the Shadow series but he got progressively worse, not least because of his preaching (embryoes are children). The same was of course the problem with the Crystal City (the final part of the Alvin Maker series) where Alvin plays the parts of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and founds Mormon Utopia together with Abraham Lincoln.:mad:
     
  13. WhiteWolf

    WhiteWolf Climate Change Denier

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    ENDER'S GAME is a true classic, and one of the most beloved SF stories of our time, so you are right to enjoy it and inquire about its sequels.

    SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, the first sequels written after ENDER'S GAME, takes place when he is an adult, but not much further along in coping or dealing with the consequences of his actions in ENDER'S GAME. It is a brilliant novel in its own right, nearly the equal of ENDER'S GAME. But it is not a true sequel in that sense, because it begins a largely different tale. It incidentally won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, the only time that a sequel to a book that also won those awards as well has been so honored.

    A post earlier indicated that Card was trying to milk the story, that there was a cliffhanger at the end of XENOCIDE. Actually, XENOCIDE and CHILDREN OF THE MIND were conceived as one book, but were split in two by the publisher. Technically, they should be viewed that way as well, and read back to back to get the best reading experience out of them. The SPEAKER-XENO-CHILDREN sequence is, overall, outstanding, though there is far less action and far more introspection than in ENDER'S GAME.

    ENDER'S SHADOW is likewise a terrific addition to the Ender Wiggin pantheon. A parallel novel, in that it takes place during events of ENDER'S GAME, it actually only overlaps some scenes, but spends more time on the characters of Bean and Achilles, and explains many of the things going on behind the scenes of the first book. It's a lot of fun and sometimes even amazing to learn about how much Bean ahd to do with the events of ENDER'S GAME. It also sets into motion then next three books, all of which are very different from the SPEAKER-XENO-CHILDREN sequence.

    If you liked the plot thread dealing with Peter and Valentine's political manipulations as "Locke & Demosthenes," then you might like these books as well. HEGEMON, PUPPETS, and GIANT all deal heavily wit geopolitical and military maneuvering, at times relying heavily on strategy. Some events actually read like a chess match between geniuses, except that their chess pieces are actual military units. The books also contain some fascinating cultural commentary, and may spark your interest in reading more on some of the subjects they touch on.

    It should also be noted that a forthcoming book, ENDER IN EXILE, will be a direct sequel to ENDER'S GAME, and deal with Ender and Valentine while they are in transit following that novel and well before the events of SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD.
     
  14. mauricejj

    mauricejj New Member

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    OK, let me throw this out to the crowd. I recently read Ender's Game for the first time and found it to be once the best stories I've ever read. Really enjoyed the experience and for once, the end of the book came as a surprise. I then read Speaker for the Dead and while I found it enjoyable, it didn't have the same "push" and Ender's Game. I understand that the two and really quite different and tell stories from different sensibilities.

    My question for the group is this, if I planned on reading the remaining books in the series (and I do) is there a particular order, other than the publishing dates, that they should be read? In other words, in your opinions how should the over all story unfold?
     
  15. WhiteWolf

    WhiteWolf Climate Change Denier

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    Tough call. I can only say that each story arc must be read in order, that being the Shadow arc and the Ender arc.

    ENDER'S GAME is ground zero, and should always be the first book of any to be read. From there, I don't think it really matters if you choose to read ENDER'S SHADOW and the following books next, or SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD and the following books next, as long as you read each of their sequels in order.

    Personally, I read them along the lines of publishing dates, and enjoyed them all immensely that way.

    The actual chronology goes something linke this:

    1. ENDER'S GAME/ENDER'S SHADOW (overlap)
    2. SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON
    3. SHADOW PUPPETS
    4. SHADOW OF THE GIANT

    5. ENDER IN EXILE (forthcoming)

    6. SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD
    7. XENOCIDE
    8. CHILDREN OF THE MIND
     
  16. mauricejj

    mauricejj New Member

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    Wow, thats great. Thanks for the concise reply. I think I'll go with Ender's Shadow next.
     
  17. KVASS

    KVASS kissofkvass.blogspot.com

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    I think Card's biggest mistake was Children of the Mind. I found most of it to be unnecessary, and, despite his claims, I think he could have cut down about half of it and squeezed it into Xenocide to make that book equal in quality to the first two books. But that isn't to say that Xenocide isn't a good book. I think it's a great book, actually -- it's only lessened by the standards set by its elder brethren. A lot of people find it boring and philosophically heavy, or don't like the questionably scientific portions, but those are the aspects of SFF I enjoy most: the speculation, the ideas, the thematic considerations.

    I greatly respect Card for not writing a series of Ender's Games. After writing what now remains one of SF's most widely read book, he realized he had to remake himself or just doom himself to quit. Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide are all completely different books, and in being so, make the series that much better.

    As for the Shadow series, I don't intend to get into it. I read the first book, and, while it is interesting to any fan of Ender's Game, it is ultimately unnecessary. I realize the following books go in totally different directions, but, judging from many reviews and my own bad experiences with some of Card's other series, there are other authors out there worth reading.
     
  18. netghost

    netghost Chill out - it's only me

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    I'd recommend the Speaker for the Dead trilogy higher than the Shadow series. Here's why:

    I'm a traditionalist. It's a personal preference thing, but I'm much more interested in the social intricacies of post-war fiction - fiction that was born in the shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that talk about the characteristics of being human and interacting personally with other humans, rather than the complicated plottings of global politics. I enjoy stories that take place in the future, but are set in the 1950's - mid 1980's; stories about the lunar landing, and the United Soviet States of Russia, and the Vietnam War, and the Holocaust. These are stories about the achievements of humans and civilization, driving along the road of industry. Ultimately, these stories are meant to shake the ideas of technology and its power to change humanity.

    That is why I liked the Speaker for the Dead. I loved the characters, and cared more about the relationships between them I did about the "wow cool a new planet and extra-terrestrial colonies three thousand years in the future omg I love it so much because there's a new planet and extra-terrestrial colonies three thousand years in the future".

    **stories that focus too much on technology and the feats of human kind include anything by Asimov and Starship Troopers, in case anyone is really interested**

    Orson Scott Card is my very favourite writer because he does character so well. I'm a big person for character. A book isn't good if I can't understand the characters, or can't imagine them in front of me. Ender gets under your skin, and so does Bean. Ender's Shadow is a good read, but further than that, it becomes too much about global politics.

    Personally, I think those books were based on evil dream Card had one night of taking over the world, and when he woke up he jotted it down on the closest piece of paper he could find with his wife's lipstick and eyeliner pencils.

    Speaker For The Dead and Xenocide really capture Ender clearly, and you see him grow up. I never cared much for Bean - he was too hollow. I felt more sympathy and empathy than affection for him.

    However, I wouldn't recommend Speaker For The Dead if you read on your breaks. It's not one of those books that easy to put down and remember the subplots four hours later.