Review of 'Ender in Exile'

Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card

Untitled-1 This book is intended as a sequel to “Ender's Game” and takes place roughly at the same time as Speaker for the Dead (and later books).

Ender is a war hero having eliminated the formic (bugger) threat to earth but due to the political climate there he cannot return. Colonies have formed on many former formic planets. Ender is forced to take up the role of the governor of a colony many years travel distant. On the way he locks horns with Admiral Morgan, the captain of the ship who has delusions of seizing control of the colony for himself. Ender is far more occupied by the feeling that the formics were too easily destroyed: Why did they have all of their queen's in the one place, an easy target for destruction? He is accompanied on the ship by his sister, Valentine, formerly the political pundit “Demosthenes” while his brother Peter continues his quest to be Hegemon of Earth. Thrown into the mix are the political machinations of a mother, Dorabella, who seeks to have the 15 year old Ender marry her daughter, Alessandra. Ender, easily a supreme leader of men, is at a loss to deal with this…

This is obviously a bit of a “fill in the gaps” book telling a story that has never been told before of Ender's exile following his great victory and it really shows with a lot of the book seemingly devoted to dotting the i's and crossing the t's. Indeed, Card's afterwards makes this entirely clear and demonstrates the levels he has gone to in order to ensure all of the details correctly fit in with the other novels of the series. Even with this there does seem to be a distinctive lack of action and “will he - won't he” on-going story threads throughout meaning that a lot of the book is quite, frankly, boring (the tedious voyage on board the colony ship being one case in point). Even the climaxes of the various threads are somewhat anti-climatic and dealt with in quite an off-hand way even when one of the greatest post-formic threats, Achilles (or, rather, his son), makes an appearance. All in all, somewhat unsatisfying.

Don't get me wrong, as a fan of the series, I found a lot of the book very interesting in the context of the rest of the stories but this is most definitely one for the die-hard fans only. Read other books in the series if you want action…

Simply put: Stay clear if you are not a fan of the series.

Rating: “Not great, but not the worse”

Review Date: 2016-01-04

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: 2008

ISBN: 9781841492278

Other reviewed books by Orson Scott Card: