First of all, it goes without saying that if you like any of the Ender books, you must read this one. The neat thing is, you could really read it anytime. If you just read ENDER’S GAME, this would be a great sequel. But it sort of continues the SHADOW OF THE GIANT timeline too. Or if you’ve already read them all, this is a wonderful way to get to visit the Enderverse again. (I’ve already read the series a few times, so a new book was a welcome gift to me).
Now I’ll get to the review. This picks up right after the war. Most of the children are going back home. But Ender, savior of the world, could end up being a pawn to anyone who gets their hands on him, so rather than be in danger on Earth, he’s sent to govern a new colony in space. Valentine knows she’ll never see him again on Earth, so she decides to join him. Peter had originally wanted him home, so he could use him for his own purposes, but realizes that he’ll be better off without Ender overshadowing him.
This novel tells the story of Ender at that first colony then follows him to another colony where his life is seriously threatened. But it’s really about a boy of thirteen figuring out how to live with the guilt of what he’s done. Several good people try to convince him along the way to forgive himself and move on (Graff, Valentine). However, he is the only one who can do that. It doesn’t matter how many people tell him to do it, he must find a way that works for him.
He finally does find a way. Or at least something that gives him great relief. I was hoping this would be the book where he found the Hive Queen. I loved hearing the story behind the writing of The Hive Queen & The Hegemon. I also enjoyed immensely seeing the interactions and relationship build between Ender & Valentine. I always loved the two of them together (almost as much as Ender & Jane).
One event that I wanted to know more about was how Ender went from "Ender - Savior of the World" to "Ender the Xenocide." It was mentioned in other books, but here we see step-by-step how the public opinion was manipulated. It’s actually pretty scary how easily that type of thing can happen.
This was an enjoyable trip, indeed. In fact, I feel like I want to go back and read more from the series.
If you’re a fan, you won’t need my prompting to read this one. If you’re not yet a fan, begin the journey with ENDER’S GAME and you’ll quickly become one.
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