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Xenocide: Volume Three of the Ender Saga (Ender Quintet Book 3) Kindle Edition
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The war for survival of the planet Lusitania will be fought in the heart of a child named Gloriously Bright.
On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought.
Lusitania also harbors the descolada, a virus that kills all humans it infects, but which the pequininos require in order to become adults. The Starways Congress so fears the effects of the descolada, should it escape from Lusitania, that they have ordered the destruction of the entire planet, and all who live there. The Fleet is on its way, a second xenocide seems inevitable.
Xenocide is the third novel in Orson Scott Card's The Ender Saga.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind
Ender’s Shadow series
Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight
Children of the Fleet
The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens
The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm /The Hive
A War of Gifts /First Meetings
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
"The best writer science fiction has to offer.' --The Houston Post
"As a storyteller, Card excels in portraying the quiet drama of wars fought not on battlefields but in the hearts and minds of his characters....This meaty, graceful, and provoking sequel to Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead stands as a brilliant testimony to his thoughtfulness." --Library Journal
"Hugo and Nebula-award winner Orson Scott Card demonstrates again that he belongs in the company of such older masters of science fiction as Isaac Asimov, Frank Herbert and Ursula K. Le Guin." --Magill Book Reviews
"The best science fiction novel of the year." --Nashville Banner
A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.
The following Ender's Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Game, Ender In Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
The following Ender's Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight.
The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.
A War of Gifts, First Meetings.
The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B003H4I41S
- Publisher : Tor Books; Reissue edition (November 30, 2009)
- Publication date : November 30, 2009
- Language : English
- File size : 6837 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 418 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #72,756 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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I did not like SftD and the way Xenocide started it seemed that I would equally dislike it. By the end of Xenocide I marginally appreciated it more than SftD. Xenocide has more science fiction than SftD, which is good... until it wasn't. Orson went too deep with the science fiction. He started dabbling into concepts so far out there and so esoteric that it became cumbersome to read. Orson introduced us to the ansible (instantaneous communications) and relativistic speed (traveling near light speed) in Ender's Game. Both ideas were science fiction, but both concepts he sufficed with stating that not many knew how it worked, they just knew it worked. It was a perfectly acceptable explanation. Most of us don't know how our T.V. works, we just know it works. Well, in Xenocide he attempts to explain many science fiction theories and occurrences, some within the realm of possibility and some not so much so. It was some of those scientific and philosophical conversations that lost me. Maybe that's an indication of my own weak intellect, but I prefer to think not. I toiled to keep up with talk of philotes, philotic connections, InSpace, OutSpace, and other concepts.
All of the scientific talk was centered around rescuing Lusitania from it's dire situation. There was more drama and more conflict in Xenocide than there was in SftD which was a plus. But, again, there was too much. Ender and the Lusitanians were in an impossible situation. The Starways Fleet was coming with the M.D. Device which meant certain annihilation once it arrived. The Piggies wanted to leave the planet with the Descolada virus within them which meant certain annihilation for mankind. The scientists on Lusitania wanted to transform or kill the Descolada virus which would mean certain annihilation for the Piggies. Jane, the omnipresent computer program, was facing being discovered which meant certain annihilation for her. And, as a breather, there were some people on the planet Path that had a genetic defect that needed to be fixed.
Let's recap: annihilation, annihilation, annihilation, genetic defect. Do Piggies die, do humans die, or is Lusitania wiped out? What to choose? It was almost as bad as the movies in which the protagonist is hopelessly doomed. It was at this point that the science fiction became more mysticism.
Xenocide is a 600 page bridge from book two to book four. 600 pages of which at least 150 could have been deleted. Orson tied in another planet and another people that he clumsily connected to the plight of Lusitania. The converging stories, as they would be, eventually connected in the most curious fashion. I got the impression that he wanted to write a separate story but didn't think it could stand on its own so he added it to Xenocide. As boring as the parallel story began, it was somewhat interesting towards the end and far more believable than a lot of other events that were going on. Still, I saw it as largely unnecessary and adding too much undesirable content to a story which I was struggling to like as it was.
Xenocide ultimately brings forth many quandaries that can make for great discussions. The characters are very clearly defined and hold hard and fast positions on various sides of the myriad of issues. Sure, each of them tries too hard to sound wise and prophetic, which only causes me to dislike them more, but whatever opinion you hold about the political, scientific, social and religious conundrums the Lusitanians face there is a character that you will side with. I didn't particularly like any of the characters, Ender included, until the end. But the book isn't readable because of the likeability of characters or even a real deference to their peril. The book is readable because--even though the events take place on a remote planet with a small population of people and aliens, even though I didn't like any of the characters and some I wished would have been summarily executed, even though I didn't like the metaphysical route the book took--"Xenocide" will give you a lot to talk about.
The story is set 3000 years in the future after Ender, still haunted by his decision to destroy the Bugger race in a desperate gambit to avoid Humanity's destruction, has at last settled down upon the planet of, Lusitania, a primitive and strangely barren world. It is here that Ender attempts to atone for his sins by relocating the final surviving Bugger Hive Queen. He must also deal with the Piggies, the indigenous
people of Lusitania. The Piggies are sort of like Ewoks who can speak Human languages fluently and who have a very unusual method of reproduction. The planet is also home to the Descolada, an unbelievably deadly and adaptive mutagenic virus which may or may not be sentient. Unfortunately, because all worlds are linked together the the Ansible system, sort of an instantaneous interstellar Internet, Starways Congress, Humanity's governing body, also knows of the Descolada, and they send a fleet to destroy Lusitania before the Descolada can spread to other planets...In thirty years, the fleet will arrive with the dreaded Little Doctor superweapon and Lusitania will be obliterated...
First of all, let me say that Mr. Card's writing is seriously TIGHT. There are no holes in the plot whatsoever. He paints a fascinating picture of a world wherein people think and plan in terms of decades or even generations. The Ender Universe is kind of an anti-Star-Trek, a world where alien races are extremely rare, and where (initially, at least) interstellar travel is limited by the speed of light. There is little physical action in the story as everything is decided through lengthy intellectual and theological discussions...
The only problem that I have with the story --and it is a relatively minor quibble at best-- is the apparent belief which Mr. Card expresses that language and religion 3000 years from now will be essentially unchanged from what they are today, when most likely, both will be completely unrecognizable from their current forms. Also, every planet in the story has ONE religion and one religion only, not a dominant faith and many minority beliefs. Such a spiritually homogeneous system is somewhat hard to believe in a society where there is free interchange of information to and from worlds. Also, in the story one of the alien races converts to Roman Catholicism, easily and universally. In my opinion, while an alien race may find a lot to agree with among Human faiths, it is more than a bit of a stretch to picture an entire species wholeheartedly embracing a Human religious dogma.
Such matters aside, I cannot recommend this book strongly enough! I am looking forward most intensely to beginning Book Four in the series.
Top reviews from other countries
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!?
Around 70% of this story was taken up with pseudo-philosophical debates that went in circles before going NOWHERE (GAHHHHHHHHH!), arguments between Ender’s step family that went NOWHERE, and normal conversations that went on TOO LONG. e.g:
(Jane and Ender)
Ender: Do it
Jane: I’m not sure I should do it
Ender: Well [reason why you should do it]
Jane: I’m not sure
[See line 1, and repeat for several pages]
Now imaging this formula done with philosophy in EVERY chapter, mixed in with family-feuds in EVERY CHAPTER.
WHERE THE HELL WAS THE EDITOR!? GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!
This piece of crap was around 20% longer than the previous installations, and it had about a quarter of the story!!!! GRRRRRRR!! I am so annoyed!
Much like the second and third Matrix films, it seems as though the author has started believing his own press and tried to add too much philosophy and hidden meanings to the point where an “okay” story has become bloated and irritating.
A favourite quote of mine (after I’d put up with all of this **** for about 75% of the book):
“…my adoptive nephew, it is wild philosophy we need…”
GAHHHH!!! NO… MORE… PHILOSOPHY! STOP MAKING EVERYTHING LONG AND BAD!!!!
This has got to be the first time I have finished a book out of pure spite. I did it because there was a story buried in there, and unlike the second Robin Hobb book, good things did eventually happen, even if they did happen all at once at the very end (*fume*).
Ironically, I AM going to read the next book (having already bought it when I bought book 3). I can only hope that he manages to rescue the series after this monstrosity.
If the book suffers from anything, it's a kind of 'sequel fatigue' - at the end of the third Ender's book, I was ready for the whole thing to be wrapped up. I was somewhat disappointed that it continues onto a fourth book since it seems that it could so easily have been an extremely good trilogy rather than a somewhat stretched out quadrology. A particular 'plot twist' at the end removes any real hope of a satisfactory conclusion and sends the series spiralling off into a direction that veers dangerously into the territory of its own posterior. The final chapter of Xenocide is as poignant as any I've read in science-fiction, and it would have been a fitting capstone for a tremendously well constructed body of work. Whether I still feel that way after Children of the Mind remains to be seen, but I can't say I've started that with anything approaching the enthusiasm with which I started Xenocide.
Set mostly on Lusitania, the strange near-failed human colony with two other sentient species (well, two at the start, anyway) it answers all the threads set up in the narrative arc but seems much more complex and confused. Where Ender's Game was a straightforward clear-as-glass sci-fi novel, Xenocide is a big-canvas. The Chinese-themed colony does have a reason to exist in the novel (two reasons actually - one to comment on the nature of religion, and secondly to throw Starways Congress into sharp relief) but they're not very big ones, and a huge chunk of the text is set on a world getting to know characters that don't really do much.
Where it shines is in continuing the sheer nastiness of Novinha and her children, although it's a bit over the top to think this deeply troubled set of siblings can get over their squabbles after a few chats from the Wigginses (Ender being known to them for over thirty years by this time.) However, the character of Jane gets given more space, becoming more essential than in "Speaker".
That said, OSC's writing remains absorbing and fast-flowing; he knows how to spin a yarn. Talking of yarns, though, the biggest flaw for me was a matter of personal taste: there's too much "magic" in the physics.
The philotics, the Outside, Jane herself: good sci-fi takes today's science as its starting point, and there's no evidence at all to suggest these concepts could ever be real. Any writer who ignores physics is writing Fantasy, not Sci-Fi. So this was the hardest thing for me to accept. After all, OSC had already proven his hard-sci smarts in a very rare manner: by not allowing his starships to use magic (hyperdrive) to get around. With that gone, the universe's solid feel went, too.
I liked the Chinese girl idea, but again the execution became wearysome. By the time we discover faster-than-light flight (by sitting in a cardboard box and rubbing the side of our noses) I've seen visions of Paul as a sandworm - a book I last read over 30 years ago - and remembered the frustration of a legendary saga that hit the ground running and then just started digging until it ran out of steam.
A shame, that...