Speaker For The Dead by Orson Scott Card

“You killed more people than anybody in history.”

“Be the best at whatever you do, that’s what my mother always told me.”

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.

 

Summary:

In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered, but again the aliens’ ways are strange and frightening … again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery … and the truth.

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