Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Book Review: Ender in Exile

Orson Scott Card's new book, Ender in Exile, was an entertaining read. He said it was probably his best book in the series, but of course, he was wrong, because his best book was Ender's Game.

The story picks up near the end of Ender's Game, before Ender heads off to colonize another world. The story is in Card's easy-to-read conversational style (he calls it "American Plain Style", and apparently it's an actual literary style; but being an engineer, I wouldn't know), and the characters are faithful to the other books in the series. I enjoyed the quick tempo of the book, but I wish it was just a little slower. I wish the book had been a little richer, with more challenges for the characters. For example, Ender's conflict with the starship captain could have gotten far more interesting than it did. I felt like the climax of the book was about 80 pages too early, and then Card told a second story at the end. They were both entertaining, but they didn't flow together very well, and both of them could have been fleshed out into separate books.

So while I enjoyed the book, and recommend it to anyone who enjoys Card's stuff (it's closer in tone to Ender's Game than Xenocide), it wasn't his Opus. This book made me want to go back and read the rest of the series.

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