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Avg. Rating: 3.68
Epitomizes the law of diminishing returns.
Talk about pretentious -- in the afterword to Children of the Mind, Orson Scott Card compares himself to Nobel Prize winning author Kenzaburo Oe. And that really illustrates the problems not only with this latest novel, but the problem of the Ender series, in general.
Card is so taken with moral and character dilemmas that he gives short shrift to the actual plot of the story. It might be acceptable if Card had the craft and skill of good "mainstream" author, but he is so heavy-handed that his attempts at literary depth are embarassing.
Ender's Game was a great novel because Card did a magnificent job of compression; the result was a taut, gripping and moving story. Speaker For The Dead was a very good novel because the main plot involving the mystery of piggy culture and biology was strong enough to carry the reader past the bland soap opera of the Portugese biologist's family.
But the third novel, Xenocide, completely collapsed under its weight, and C! hildren of the Mind -- after starting with what is admittedly a touching scene with Ender and his wife in the monastery -- dissolves into a mess. Any interesting plot flow that might have moved the book forward stops dead every time -- and there are many of them -- Mr. Card yields to his didactic side and inserts a boring, almost expository, conversation about the meaning of reality.
Mr. Card also continues another unfortunate trend that began in Speaker For the Dead, as he again speculates on how different ethnic cultures might handle space colonization. No doubt the author is exploring his own well-intentioned curiosity about other people, but his literary clumsiness again betrays him and the results are parodies, such as Japanese wisemen spouting Lotus wisdom and Pacific Islanders who have the wherewithal for space travel but still row on bamboo craft to speak to primitive prophets. It's as annoying as the Catholic Portugese stereotypes that populated Speaker and as insul! ting as Xenocide's Chinese Geniuses-Who-Speak-Like-Confuciu! s.
Children of the Mind tries to give us a cliffhanger ending with an interesting mystery to be explored, but although the sci-fi concept itself does have its intrigue, I just can't take any more of these characters.
no sLeEp for me
i read it. in one night. and i read slowish. i have never read a more passionate (albeit rushed) book in my life. the deep dialouge, the character completion, just the mental images and scenes. the use of many cultures throughout the series....just beautiful.
The final tale is all you could have hoped for.
Ender's Game entertained me, Speaker for the Dead educated me, Xenocide enthralled me, and finally Children of the Mind absolutely immersed me. I think by far this book beholds the best character development out of all of the books. Establishing great characters from Xenocide, you truly get to know, feel, and grow with the focused characters in the fourth book as they develop relationships both brutally and beautifully, confront the final fears that the series has built up to while also producing an amazing end to the Ender Wiggin Saga. The many sides of the tale are so well intertwined, that connecting with the characters and their emotions become so much more easier than what Card did previously. All the profound touches on religion and culture are all here, fantastically written by Card yet again. If the first three books have kept you enraptured, do yourself a favor and finish the amazing saga with Children of the Mind.
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