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Speaker for the Dead: Book Review

(The Verge) – Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight: these big book series became box office hits. So what’s the next big series to hit the screen? If you want to get a head start, then it might be a good time for you to get into the Ender’s Game series (Orson Scott Card) now before the long-awaited movie hits theaters this November. Many students
have read this novel in middle or high school for required reading and found it to be possibly the only book they enjoyed in school. Speaker for the Dead is an indirect sequel to the well-known sci-fi classic, Ender’s Game and it continues to grip readers as they follow Ender Wiggin on his lonely quest through the universe.

Orson Scott Card, author of the Ender’s Game series. His books are being made into a movie that will be released this November. Image Taken From: locusmag.com

It is now 3000 years after the events of Ender’s Game, and the human race has dispersed amongst the stars to inhabit new planets. One planet in particular holds a special place for the humans because a primitive alien race has been discovered inhabiting it. Humanity still suffers guilt from the infamous xenocide of the bugger race committed 3000 years ago (Ender’s Game.) They now see this new developing race as a way to make amends for their wrongdoing. The alien race, called the piggies because of their pig-like resemblance, is studied from a colony on their home world known as Lustania. The top xenologists observe and interact with this peculiar race although everything they do is strictly monitored to make sure that the humans do not interfere with their development. Everything seems peaceful and friendly at first, but when two of the researchers discover a secret of the piggies, they are found murdered outside of the colony.
Now, the humans fear what lies ahead. Will this race advance and wind up engaging them in war just like their former enemies had? Meanwhile, a Speaker for the Dead (somewhat similar to a eulogizer at a funeral) is summoned to the colony to speak the deaths of the murder victims. The Speaker is none other than the Xenocide himself, Ender, who goes by a different alias now. Ender comes to the colony to speak the deaths of the victims, but he also comes to discover the mystery of the piggies.
While Ender’s Game was filled with action,war and unforgettable battles, Speaker for the Dead is a far different novel. This book has a more philosophical style as it examines the relationships between the humans and the piggies, life, religion and government. Although there is more depth and though-provoking questions in Speaker for the Dead, Card continues to tell his story with a similar writing style that produces another successful, entertaining, and edge-of-your-seat novel.

I only recently became an Ender fan when a friend introduced the series to me a few months ago. I was looking at a book when my friend Josh had found out I never read the Ender’s Game series, and dragged me to the sci-fi section. He quickly found the book and thrust it in my hands and said “You’re reading this now.” What followed next was my newest obsession.

After reading Ender’s Game, I could not wait to get the next book. While there are many sequels to the Ender’s Game series, I was told to read Speaker for the Dead next. Although the author took a completely different route with this novel, as it lacked the same action moments as its predecessor, I still enjoyed every second of it and was not once disappointed.

In fact, my desire to continue the series was further enhanced upon completing Speaker for the Dead. While it might be hard for some people to handle an author’s approach changing so drastically and becoming so philosophical, I actually really admired and even appreciated it. I think it makes the author a much better writer that he can continue the same story, in a different light, and still have the reader react the same way. Speaker for the Dead may not be for everyone because of its depth, but if you haven’t already read Ender’s Game then I highly suggest you do so!

Fans of Ender’s Game will absolutely love Speaker for the Dead, although, as stated earlier, it does require some more thinking. The story of Ender continues to grip readers as they tag along with what could be the loneliest person in the human race’s existence.