Ender in Exile

Not sure if this one is on the shelves here in Oz, but I picked up my copy from Amazon. Continues the Ender cycle and wraps up a bit of the Bean cycle. I liked the first book in the Bean cycle (Ender’s Shadow) – but felt that the latter books didn’t come together as well as they should have. I also found that Achillies was a bit to contrived as a villain – he was implausibly ahead of the main character who was supposed to be to tactics and strategy what Mozart was to music.

Ender in Exile meanders along at about the same pace. Card doesn’t reach the heights he hit with the original Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Ender’s Shadow (I found Children of the Mind also a bit lacking) – and this fits more into the Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets and Shadow of the Giant level of fiction. Which is perfectly fine for a throwaway read – but won’t knock your socks off like Ian McDonald’s River of Gods.

The story takes us from the end of Ender’s Game through the first few years of Ender’s post war life (though due to relativity effects several decades pass). The story saunters, never really reaching a climax. The second part of the novel, Ender’s encounter with one of Bean’s children (subverted by Achilles) is over almost before it began. Card indicates in a postscript that there was meant to be a whole lot more going on here, but that the first part of the novel (Ender as governor of Earth’s first colony) took over. Which is fine, except that Card spends more time getting Ender to the colony and some shipboard shenanigans than he does presenting Ender as leader of the colony where nothing really happens.

It looks as though we are going to get more of these “filler” Ender stories. The brand works and it is a comfortable read. If you are an enderphile you can wait for the paperback of this one while you seek out and devour River of Gods.

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8 Responses to “Ender in Exile”

  1. drej Says:

    Reckon I’ll give it a miss. Read Enders Game in school, and the following 3 in the series only a couple of years ago, which I enjoyed, but I’m kind of Ender’d out now,specially as the last one pretty much concluded the saga. Never did get around to the Bean or the Hegemon ones either.
    But I have got RoG on order from Dymocks…woohoo!

  2. 0r1n Says:

    Ender’s Shadow is really worth a look – it runs parallel to Ender’s Game and really enhances the earlier book. I just wish that the other books had been as clever.

    You’re lucky with RoG – because soon after you read it a sequel (of sorts) will be published. I can’t wait for Cyberabad Days.

  3. Guru Bob Says:

    Have you had a look at Scott Card’s blogsite/s ??? he has a couple – take a gander at this one:

    http://www.ornery.org/

  4. 0r1n Says:

    He does rather seem to be falling down the Michael Crichton “I’m getting more shrill all the time” hole.

    I remember hearing an interview with Tony Bennett where he said that he didn’t let his audience know his politics because the moment you did that, you’ve lost half of them.

    Now I can see the point where “it doesn’t matter what the writer’s politics are” especially if the writer doesn’t make a point of foghorn leghorning their politics. But when they do – like Crichton and Card and a whole mess of others do, they lose half their audience.

    The surprising thing about Card is that he’s complained about it. Says it shouldn’t matter what his political views are. In the best of all worlds it shouldn’t – but that’s not the one we live in – which is why smarter entertainers like Bennett know not to give the game away – because if you don’t make a point of it, the audience doesn’t give a rats arse.

  5. paulboylan Says:

    I will find a copy and give it a try. I read just about anything Card pumps out in reference to the Enderverse.

    I feel that most of the Ender cycle (Speaker for the Dead through Children of the Mind) rarely matched the excellence of Ender’s Game and, by the time Children of the Mind finished, a wonderful story with exciting possibilities had become, well, silly.

    This causes me to doubt Card’s talent – which in term causes concern for the on-again off-again film version of Ender’s Game, with Card acting as the screenwriter. I am not confident he knows why Ender’s Game was so wonderful and if he doesn’t then he is unlikely to know how to translate that wonderfulness to the screen.

  6. 0r1n Says:

    Did you read Ender’s Shadow Paul? What did you think of that?

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