Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Speaker for the Dead

So I haven't been painting, what have I been doing?  Reading.  Lots and lot of reading.  I cancelled my World of Warcraft subscription a while back and decided to get back to my real love; books.

So somewhere in the maelstrom of books that I've been churning through I read (re-read) Ender's Game just prior to the movie coming out.  As usual I forgot how awesome the book was, and I was very pleasantly surprised with the movie.

So, the book was good but I had never read the sequel, albeit it's so far removed from the first one it can stand alone no problemo.

I absolutely loved it.  It hit close to home on several counts.  There's an incredibly strong religious theme running throughout, there's an even stronger anthropological component, and of course it's still good ole science fiction.

The bugs, humanity's dire enemy, were wiped out to extinction.  The ramifications of this weren't fully felt until after the war; Humanity, Ender, wiped out an entire civilization.  After colonizing the stars, three thousand years later, humanity finally found their second sentient alien, the 'piggies'.  The Piggies are a primitive, forest-dwelling tribe that were found in the backwoods of a colonized backwater world.  The world being governed by Hispanic Catholic dictate that is now host to an outpost of xenologers (anthropologists who study aliens).

Those are the ingredients, the end result was a nice mixture of philosophy, tension, action, and some smarts to boot.  Is it a sequel to Ender's Game?  Not really, Ender's in it, there's mention of the 'buggers' but the story has moved on (and grown) so much they're not in the same boat really.  Plus, Orson Scott Card ain't no hack, the style of books one and two are completely different too.  If you loved the first book, and who didn't, you may not neccessarily love the second, though I enjoyed this Ender 'sequel' even more than the first.

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