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.