Sunday, March 21, 2010

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

This unabridged edition of the New York Times bestseller is the direct sequel to the classic Ender's Game from Orson Scott Card, winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards. In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening ... again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery ... and the truth. Orson Scott Card infuses this tale with intellect by casting his characters in social, religious and cultural contexts.
That is the only word I can think of to describe my experience while reading 'Speaker for the Dead'.
Mr. Card doesn't waste any words while writing this book. Every word, sentence or person moves the story forward.
Ender Wiggins wants to redeem himself after killing thousands of aliens. Only after killing did he realize the aliens or 'buggers' weren't trying to hurt Earth. And Ender was used as a killing machine to kill them, but he didn't know he was a tool until after. Ironically, most humans hate him, calling him a murderer.
But no one knows that he saved one alien and will make penitance when he is able to find a new home for the bugger queen.
By this time travel among the stars is a way of life. On another planet, a repected scientist is killed by aliens he is studying. Speaker for the Dead is called and Ender responds.
This story has twists and turns and strange worlds to explore. All the characters are flawed which made it easy for me to identify with their stories and love them.
I even cried. A sacrifice made for another was moving.

Taffy's rating:
Death, a few swear words, deep themes, strange words and names

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