Speaker for the Dead is a follow up to Orson Scott Card's “Enders Game”. It is the story of how Andrew “Ender” Wiggin learned to cooperate with alien life, rather than destroy it. In the first book, Ender learns to play a computer game that eventually wipes out an entire alien race, and now in the sequel, Ender must deal with the guilt and pain of causing that race to disappear. Taking place 3,000 or so years after “Enders Game”, Andrew Wiggin has taken a new role as speaker for the dead, and his role as Ender the Xenocide has been forgotten with time. On planet Lusitania a second Alien race has been discovered, but their ways are deemed odd and mysterious deaths start to occur. It is up to Ender the Xenocide to find the truth, and to not make the same mistake again. In my opinion, this is the perfect sequel to “Enders Game”, and a great addition to the Enderverse. There is never a dull moment in this novel, and though it is more philosophical than all out alien warfare this time around, it proves to be just as enjoyable if not more than its predecessor. 5/5
- @ANIMAL279 of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library
Speaker for the Dead is the second book in the Ender’s Game quartet. After many years of travelling at relativistic speeds, Ender may have found the perfect planet to for the new hive queen, a colony planet called Lusitania. However, the colonists have long since discovered that they aren’t the only sentient beings on the planet. Ender must defuse the tension between the two races before another Great War breaks out, resulting in xenocide. This book is much more of a think-piece than an action novel, looking into various big philosophical questions and exploring many mature and complex themes. The book is written beautifully and the characters are both memorable and interesting. The story has some great and unexpected twists and a satisfying ending, leaving you ready for the next entry in the series. 5/5 Stars
- @Fulton of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library
I loved this so much. Ender, adult, hasn't changed one bit and the mystery and discovery of the whole story kept me reading. I know people say this isn't like Ender's Game and etc but if you don't expect action scenes over a mystery and family redemption then you'll love this
What I love most about this book is that the aliens are ALIEN. A lot of authors write aliens as humans with a coat of paint, or funny protuberances, but the biology - and hence, the philosophy - of the pequeninos is bizarre. That's where the central mystery of this book comes from. What made the tribe of pequeninos kill the anthropologist assigned to study them? It's a compelling mystery, and I really enjoyed how solving it revealed so much the characters and the world they live in.
When I attempted Speaker for the Dead for the first time back in 6th grade, shortly after finishing Ender's Game, I'll admit that most of it went over my head. I understood the basics of the Lusitanian colony life, the interactions among the Piggies and the external threats all were facing, but I simply didn't have the life experience to appreciate the bigger themes. I knew what a Speaker for the Dead did; I did not understand what a Speaker for the Dead was for. It would take two more attempts before I "got it." And now—some decades and countless philosophical discussions later—I can claim that Speaker has affected me in profound ways that would have been impossible when I was younger.
To change things up I listened to the audiobook on this last re-read, and at the end Card gives this interview where he provides a little background on how the story came about. He relates an anecdote about when he was a Mormon missionary in Brazil attending a funeral for a man who was an abusive husband, and how his victimized wife openly and unabashedly mourns upon his coffin. You'll have to hear it. It wasn't that this story was particularly sad, but I'm nearly moved to tears by the end. There was a part about "To understand someone, even one who has done wrong to you, is to love them." It's arguably THE central theme of both Ender's Game and Speaker. Have you ever been exposed to an idea that your heart understood right away but would take your mind days, months or even years to grasp?
The irony is that in the past few years Orson Scott Card has earned public derision for being intolerant of homosexuality and for espousing a slew of bigoted ideas—ideas I certainly do not share. Meanwhile, I've been a committed atheist/agnostic for over almost two decades. And yet here we are, meeting in the middle on the shakiest of common ground, able to share this one enlightened idea.
One of the best books I have read in years. I enjoyed it even more than "Ender's Game"
Very, very, very different from Ender's Game. More of an adult book. Could be considered a philosophical book.
I agree with several of the comments by previous reviewers. This book is very complicated, it started slow and it slowly picks up. The use of Portuguese and the lengthy and unfamiliar names at times further complicated the book. The transformation a Piggie goes through in their several lives is so foreign that it is hard to grasp. The very special relationship between Ender and Human, one of the key Piggies, was very well done. Senior Doctor-at-Bass! D. A.
Great book, it made me think a lot. Novinha and her children are unnecessarily mean, though, and the piggies creep me out.
This book was even better than the first book. Some of the philosophy and scientific ideas are exceedingly interesting.
‘Speaker for the Dead’ - Ender Book 2: great sequel to Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game. I’d like to recommend to my contemporaries, other teenage readers, two of Card’s teenage rated released books: ‘Pathfinder’ (2010) and its sequel ‘Ruins’ (2012); great reading. Visitors (2014) – Sequel to Ruins is on order at the Ottawa Public Library. Doctor-at-Bass! Taylor A.
I enjoyed the relationship between Ender and Human so much - they were by far the best pairing in the book. And I absolutely balled when Human was telling him "to come and sit in my shade and see the sunlight through my leaves, and rest your back against my trunk." So much of this book was moving and touching. I was not a fan of Novinha, and still am not, but her children provided really interesting dialogue for the Speaker - Olhado, Grego and Quara were my favorite of the six.
The last 150 pages of SftD was what made the book great, versus in EG, the entire book was a masterpiece. I enjoyed each though.
Purely awesome. My favorite of the Ender's series so far. (Not including shadow books)
Wow. I just finished this, and I have to say that this is one of the most emotionally-engaging books I have ever read. I liked Ender's Game, but this book is on a whole different level.
Fantastic, smart read, the plot twists are masterfully timed. A very enjoyable and cerebral extension to the Ender series.
Powerful, engaging follow up to Ender's Game, in fact I think I actually enjoyed this novel more, maybe due to a more mature cast of characters. Some interesting food for thought on paradigms etc. Fantastic book.
I agree with other commenters, the plot was quite complex and, Unusyally, I had to read the last chapter so I could pick up the threads of the story to enjoy the book. It might have been better written if there was a prologue which gave the reader a better grasp of what had happened between Ender's Game and Speaker of the Dead. That said, I enjoyed the story and the ethical dilemmas it presents.
An amazing read! The mysteries and revelations about the planet the story is set on are both interesting, and moving. This book focuses a lot more on the relationships between characters than the first book did.
This was a more complex read than Ender's game but still a very good novel that starts slowly but ends in a satisfying manner. I've read somewhere that people could read this without reading Ender's Game which I wouldnt recommend.
I dunno, this is starting to get strange. I was mildly annoyed about the constant "So and so figured out the secret. Have you, reader? Have you? Have you? No? Well I'm not going to tell you yet."
I find it difficult to reconcile how Card could come up with such a highly imaginative, deeply engrossing and scientifically thrilling story about human life 3000 years in the future … and yet still believe that religion is going to be a predominant force in that future as if it has never suffered a decline. I say that this is the author’s belief, because you could take out the entire religious aspect of Speaker For The Dead and the story would not lose anything.
Entire Catholic planets – who would want to go out to the stars if that’s what was out there?
If you can sit through the sermon, the book overall is engrossing and difficult to put down. Ender still has his captivating god-like understanding to get him through the difficult circumstances that other characters wrestle with for twenty years. This time he also has a god-like computer intelligence helping him out, and, like in Ender’s Game, brief encounters with his sister Valentine and her alter ego Demosthenes that all seem dropped in to feed another sequel. A sequel that I will inevitably read.
I enjoyed this second book in the Ender series more than the first. The first had some ethical issues for me, where it implied that acts that most people would agree are evil could be seen as good if the person who performed the act did so with good intentions and motives. Speaker for the Dead, however, deals with different issues (or maybe with similar issues, but with outcomes that are less obviously evil). It's about learning who someone _really_ is, underneath and behind the public facade we project and the secrets we keep. It's about the fact that we are all human, and that on that basis alone each of us deserves enormous respect. It's about dealing with "the other", someone so alien to us that their actions seem evil only because we don't understand their frame of reference. This is a compelling read, with better-drawn characters and more relatable plot than Ender's Game. This is, ultimately, a more mature novel by a maturing writer.
This book did have a pretty slow start for me. It was hard to follow some of the characters but just after the middle of the book it got really interesting and the characters really expand. Was a good book glad I kept reading. Cant wait to read the next one in the series!