Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

Title: Ender in Exile
Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: 2008
Overall Rating: 3/5
Writing: 4/5
SF Coolness Factor: 2/5
Story: 3/5To submit a detailed article, click here!

It’s decent. It’s moderately interesting. And only those who are already fanatical Ender fans should read it.

The novel takes place in the time between “Ender’s Game” and “Speaker for the Dead.” Ender and ever lovable, ever annoying Valantine voyage to the first Earth colony. We get to see a much savvier, slightly less bitter Ender than we left in Earth’s solar system.

It’s all about Ender overcoming political, social, interspecies, and personal angst, so you can’t help but love this story in many ways, but there are some serious flaws.

Flat out, it reads like a blog. “Stardate 17.002.01.9: I Ender, saviour of humanity, managed to flamboozle idiotic ship captain. Stardate 17.003.28.4: I Ender, scourge of buggers, made contact with semi-sentient extra-terrestrial. Stardate 17.007.14.12: I, Ender, eternally tormented, saved Bean’s lost son from self-annihilation… ho hum.”

There are two, possibly three, antagonists, none of whom are the least bit interesting or pose any real threat. On top of that, the book is cut into two utterly separate sections that are in no real way connected. Basically it seems like Card couldn’t figure out how to create two whole novels and so just smooshed these story lines together.

This all adds up to a total lack of tension. Without tension, there is no suspense, and without suspense you have a … blog.

Overall, it was a fun read. I felt like I was visiting some old friends, getting updated on their doings, but certainly nothing that would get my heart racing or my head thinking. Comfortable and cozy, not what one normally seeks in SF.

WARNING: Usual Cardian rewriting of history. Please disregard and pretend to not notice!

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