Thursday, February 17, 2011



Xenocide / Orson Scott Card
New York : Tor, 1992
538 p.
Orig. published: 1991

Haha so followers of my blog (all zero of you) will notice that I haven't written in 5 months. Know why? Because that's how long it took me to read this book! I wish I were kidding, but this is the only thing I have read from October when my boyfriend told me to (I have a boyfriend now) until last night when I finally trudged through the last 10 pages.

he novel takes place in two locations: the Chinese world of Path and Lusitania where Ender and his stilted plot line live. It became obvious early on that the Path novel held Card's strongest concept, and the Ender stuff was there because -- I dunno -- he knew he could monetize it?

Every character in Ender's world has one personality trait that dictates their arc, and nothing they do seems human at all. Every believable moment is smothered by the zealous application of LIFE QUESTIONS! People with staunch opinions for hundreds of pages have their minds changed in one paragraph. The same happens with scientific breakthroughs. You can bookmark all the turning points in this novel because it divides it into discrete sections: "Here's the part where they figure out the soul." "This is where they magically solve a millennium-old problem and talk about it for 50 pages."

If Card had kept this story as a 250-page novel on Path, it would have worked, but he crammed so much in here that he splintered his vision, lost control, and could only rein it in with a novel where the blocking and outline are too obvious. It damaged both his Path story, filled with potential, and the Ender saga that was off to such a great start.

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