SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 1226 Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card Book Review | SFReader.com

Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card cover image

Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Published: 2008
Review Posted: 11/24/2008
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 8 out of 10

Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card

Book Review by Lyndon Perry

Have you read this book?

I like Orson Scott Card. On a number of different levels. First (and maybe foremost, I'm not sure since the levels are interrelated) for his inclusion of religion, spiritual themes, and discussion of God as a natural and integral part of his writings in general, and the Ender universe in particular. "Most scientists believe in God," states one of the xenobiologists in Ender in Exhile (p. 184) -- and reading Card you accept it at face value. Thank you! So much of SF is devoid of even a hint of theological pondering that one gets the impression some authors are either simply clueless or too skittish to engage the subject. I admire Card for his candor, and while at times his Mormonism seeps through, his themes are, by and large, universal in scope and therefore applicable to theists and non-theists alike.

Of course, the Ender canon lends itself quite nicely to big ideas, which must needs include the spiritual. And this too is why I enjoy Card's books. He deals with weighty matters like war and its result (genocide/xenocide); guilt and redemption (Ender's eternal quest vis--vis the Hive Queen larva); and broken relationships and reconciliation (especially in the familial context). This latest addition to the Ender saga tackles these issues (and others) and does a fine job exploring and even resolving some of them.

Ender in Exile (Tor Books, 2008) is marketed as "The All-New Direct Sequel to Ender's Game" and while that is true, it's also (and possibly better understood as) a summary review of the series as a whole. It ties up a number of loose ends -- or gives context to so many end strings -- that were left dangling (or were simply incomprehensible) in the two earlier sequels, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide. If you enjoyed Ender's Game but felt lost as the series progressed, then Ender in Exile is a satisfying missing-link to the overall narrative. I wouldn't recommend it, however, unless you are familiar with that initial story and its attendant science (ansible communication!), characters (the Wiggins children), and plot (the war games, of course).

Finally, I enjoy Card -- and enjoyed this book -- for its writing. Ender in Exile is a plain good read and Card is a plain good writer. He may not approve of the comparison (nor will SF purists) but I think of him as the John Grisham of science fiction. His sometimes staccato style, snappy dialog, and surprise twists make for a quick and entertaining read while at the same time imparting eternal values that could very well overwhelm the reader if attempted by a less deft hand. In my view, Card excels at combining wit and wisdom into a profound story; which is, or should be, the hallmark of this genre.
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Comments on Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card
Posted by Natalis on 9/2/2010
Courtney H., you have no idea how I agreed on your last point. I wanted to accept the chapter and scene and the dialog in that final confrontation but I simply couldn't. Because it just wasn't how it was pictured and deeply understood by us fans. Or well, personally me.

Bean, like possibly all human beings who have encountered Ender, fell for him. Not vice versa. If somehow Ender was able to work out more feelings and respect for Bean or Petra or whoever than what Card described in his book then maybe I would've understood. But Card didn't tell.

I enjoyed the book, yes I did, more than some of the Shadow quartet, just having read the last sentence of the afterword 5 minutes ago, but yeah...
Posted by Rob on 12/16/2009
One more thing I forgot to mention. I found this response on a website and I think that this is what most people think about 'Ender In Exile' :

"While it could never take the place in my heart for Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, it certainly belongs there with the others.
Posted by Rob on 12/16/2009
I would rather compare Card to John Irving than to Grisham. Orson Scott Card put much much much more emotion in his work than I have ever read in a Grisham novel.
Posted by Eric on 6/7/2009
The only thing wrong with this review is calling Card a plain good writer, and comparing him to Grisham (which is ludicrous). Card is a two time Hugo-Nebula award winner for the best Sci-Fi of the year. He won at a very strong period for Sci-Fi. I and many of my friends were reading Grisham in 5th grade. Philosophically, intellectually, and in many other ways Card is far more than just a plain good writer. Some of his books are don't reach the levels of his others, but in general he is great.
Posted by J. Morales on 3/22/2009
I read the book and thought it was good but not great. Maybe I'm being cynical but this book really just seems an attempt to cash in on Ender fame. There is no overarching theme or plot to the book. Most of it retells a story that I don't think really needs to be retold, I'd thought it would be more about the conflict on Ganges but it's mostly a fleshing out of the end of Ender's Game. The "climax" at the end was pretty disappointing. Scott Card's style is still good and his characters are still pretty interesting. However, the book seems uninspired and not necessary to the Ender universe. Leaving a few loose threads is okay, it provides fodder for the future. Sequelitis however, can ruin a legacy. That's my opinion at least.
Posted by Tim on 2/13/2009
I've read the whole series through, and they're great books. I can't remember if I was lost when the book transitioned into the other sequels, but I will be looking forward to gobbling this one up.

Card is a beast when it comes to Sci Fi, he deserves all the respect he can get!
Posted by Kris on 2/12/2009
I also hand out copies of Ender's Game. To date I've gotten at least four people hooked on OSC.

Ender in Exile is a wonderful book. The first couple of chapters were difficult to get through, perhaps because I had already read them as part of the "Ender's World" stories in the Intergalactic Medicine Show Magazine. However, I thought the characters in the first couple of chapters all had the same voice. (If that makes any sense.) After those chapters, the story really takes off and the writing gets a lot better. I read it twice in a row.

Thank You.
Posted by Card Fan on 2/9/2009
I really like Orson Scott Card and the way he can present social/spiritual dilemmas to get you really thinking and challenging your own assumptions. Through his characters, he might be making a point with which you agree, then dash that viewpoint with another perspective. In the inner conflicts of his characters he causes the reader to evaluate his own internal inconsistencies.
Posted by jovan on 1/27/2009
go go go go...........Ender in Exile, by Orson Scott Card
Posted by P-Rick on 1/24/2009
the enders quartet should be read by more people than it has been. it should be right up there with harry potter in my opinion. orson scott card is simply an amazing author. im looking forward to reading this book and hope its as good as the rest of the series!
Posted by Howard Hurley on 1/11/2009
Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite writers. Many of us, when encountering a challenging situation in life, think of a movie or book or conversation that provides an answer. Card visits often.

I feel every writer should be allowed to have an opinion about anything. Political correctness is not in OSC's value system. For someone to call him a bigot just doesn't get it. He chooses not to change his belief structure to wrap around your wishes. Instead of crucifying him, celebrate someone that has the integrity to say what he believes, not changing for every whim of society.

Good on you, Orson. Keep the books coming and train the new generation to fill your shoes when you're gone.
Posted by Ford on 1/10/2009
I haven`t read the newest book yet, but this is my favorite series...very powerful and moving.
Posted by Orsons Shadow on 1/9/2009
I loved Ender's Game, and felt very dissatisfied with the next two. I wil have to read Ender in Exile, just to see if this is the same curious, open minded, sense-of-wonder Orson who wrote Ender's Game and The Abyss, or the close-minded, bigoted old man he seems to have become. I don't know how to reconcile the two.
Posted by Nathan Tolman on 12/14/2008
I have found few stories to be as profoundly touching as those of these children who won a war without knowing, thier leaders, friends, and the rest of the world at large. Ender in Exile is by no means an exception. It accents the entire series and stirs what one might claim to be understanding of Ender and his life. One cannot help but read these books and be inspired, moved, and in all other ways affected. It is life-changing. The concepts here are those of deepest meaning and creativity. To have failed to take some message away from these books seems only possible with a blatant negligence on the reader's part. Orson Scott Card is indeed among my list of preferred authors. Most of all, it seems to me, he knows how to apply these truths which he knows. For what do we gain if we know all things yet do nothing?