Sunday, August 10, 2008

BOOK: Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card

Book Awards II: Hugo and Nebula 1987 ; cardathon; in a series

Last year I read Ender's Game and liked it enough to read the next book. It's a summer read as I can take them from my school library. I would recommend this series even to people who don't like science fiction, as I am one of them. But the writing and the characters are so likable and conceivable that it makes it easy to read. Also, Card has a lot of things to say about forgiveness, and getting along with different people.

Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin has grown up and now is called to speak for the dead, to tell the dead person's story and let people know who they really were. Card has said this was his original story, but he had to write Ender's Game first to set up Ender as the Speaker for the Dead. He is called to a planet that humans have inhabited along with another species, the piggies. I was really intrigued by the piggies and how they lived. Humans judge everything based on themselves and the piggies were so different that it took Ender to figure out what was going on. Ender is a grown up now, but three thousand years have gone by since the Bugger War; travelling at the speed of light does some wonky things to aging.

Speaker for the Dead sets up the next book, but was stand alone as well and had a great ending. I'm not sure if you could read it without Ender's Game, but that is a really good book anyway.


  1. A couple of months ago I read Ender's Game aloud to my husband (during car trips) and we both really enjoyed it. He went on a mad frenzy searching for the next couple of books in the series, but he won't read them by himself and I haven't been all that interested. I tried to read this one to him, but got really bogged down in the language (it's exhausting to read all of those unfamiliar words!). I'm not even sure we made it through the first chapter. Maybe I'll have to give it another shot, though.

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed this one, I was completely blown away by both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, both which I read in the period between December-January this past year. I too think Speaker is better with the background of having read Ender's Game even though it could be read as a stand alone book. One of these days I need to pick up the next book, Xenocide, and give it a read. Both books were so emotionally powerful!

    I recommend the short Christmas story, War of Gifts, that Card wrote which is of an episode during the events of Ender's Game. It is a really enjoyable story.

  3. I'd really like to read Ender's Game, and I guess that will decide whether or not I make it to Speaker of the Dead. I'm a science fiction fan, and Orson Scott Card seems like an author that I need to get around to reading. Thanks for your review.

  4. My husband is reading this right now. He's never read a lot of sci fi, but I convinced him to read Ender's Game and so far he's really enjoying the series. I think he likes Speaker even better than Ender's Game.

  5. trish - my book had a whole section on how to pronounce the Portugese names. i couldn't imagine reading that outloud. I just skim right over names when I read. It's a great book though.

    carl v - they kept surprising me, because I really don't like those kinds of books, but they are both so powerful, and I will probably read Xenocide too, because the set up for the 3rd book looks great.

    charley - if you are a sf fan, you definitely need to read Ender's Game.

    jeane - I think I liked Speaker better too.

  6. I've heard that book 3 and 4 essentially were written to be one book but it got to be too much, so once we both commit to Xenocide we'll probably have to keep on going.

    I truly believe that there is science fiction for everyone, so even if a person doesn't think the genre is for them there are books out there that they would like.


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