Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
In this fourth and final novel in the Nebula Award-winning series that began with Ender's Game (1985), Ender races to save his planet from destruction. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
The first two volumes of Card's Ender saga, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, each won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. This adept fifth volume in the series (after Xenocide, 1991) continues the story of Ender Wiggin, hero, social conscience and unwitting mass murderer. Here, however, Ender, feeling the weight of his years, plays only a limited role in the desperate attempt to avert the destruction by the Starways Congress of the planet Lusitania and its three intelligent races. Foremost among those at center stage are Peter and Young Valentine, Ender's children of the mind, copies of his brother and sister whom he accidentally created on his trip Outside the universe in Xenocide. Also central is Jane, the prickly Artificial Intelligence whose unique ability to use the Outside to transcend the light-speed barrier is key to all attempts to save Ender's adopted world. Peter, Val, Jane and their companions must crisscross the galaxy to find new planets for Lusitania's refugees while trying to influence the politicians and philosophers who have the power to stop the Congress's approaching war fleet. Readers unfamiliar with earlier Ender novels may have trouble picking up some plot threads. But Card's prose is powerful here, as is his consideration of mystical and quasi-religious themes. Though billed as the final Ender novel, this story leaves enough mysteries unexplored to justify another entry; and Card fans should find that possibility, like this novel, very welcome indeed. Major ad/promo; 200-copy limited leather-bound edition, $200, ISBN 0-312-86191-5. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
YAThis final installment in the series is also the end of Ender himself. A small child in Ender's Game (1985), a young man in Speaker for the Dead (1986), and increasingly world-weary in Xenocide (1992, all Tor), he is finally able to put down the burdens he has carried for humanity. It is this struggle to accept and resolve the problems of maturity that is at the heart of this story. All of the characters and, indeed, the worlds of the previous books, must either evolve or die. Ender, having made the longest journey, both within himself and in space and time, turns out to be the least able or willing to do so. Card writes with his usual flair. The characters give life to the thematic conflicts and the plot involves the fate of humankind, but the concerns are adult in a way that the previous books have not been. This book will not disappoint the author's adult audience; indeed, he has pulled off that most difficult of tricks, a satisfying conclusion to a great series. But YAs may find themselves at a loss to understand what all the fuss is about or dismayed by a resolution that may not meet their more idealistic needs. Buy a single copy and see how your readers respond.Cathy Chauvette, Fairfax County Public Library, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
At the beginning of this conclusion to the Ender Cycle, Ender Wiggin has placed part of his consciousness and memory in two other bodies, one named after his brother Peter, the other after his sister Valentine. His own body is literally crumbling, and that is not the only problem. A human fleet is on the way to the planet of Lusitania to stop the deadly descolada virus by destroying the planet; meanwhile, the powers that be are also shutting down Ender's friend Jane, the sentient interstellar computer network who makes faster-than-light travel--and, therewith, discovery of the planet of origin of the descolada virus--possible. After a considerable amount of effort, some of it recorded in overly long passages of dialogue, most of the problems are solved, including saving Lusitania and giving Jane a human body (young Valentine's). This fourth tale of Ender is more a melange of scenes than a single coherent story, but most of those scenes are well up to Card's high standards and so are the characterizations. All things considered, this is a worthy ending to what might be styled a saga of the ethical evolution of humanity, a concept seldom attempted before and never realized with the success Card achieves here. (Reviewed June 1 & 15, 1996)0312853955Roland Green
Kirkus Book Review
Fourth in the series about former child warrior Ender Wiggin (Xenocide, 1991, etc.) and his long search for redemption. Series readers will recall--or perhaps not--that Jane, the computer intelligence born of a multi-planet computer network connected by instantaneous ansible communicators, has discovered how to move ships and people instantly through hyperspace. But now the Starways Congress, unaware of Jane's existence and wary of rogue programs, intends to shut down the net, thus killing Jane. Also, a decision has been taken to blast planet Lusitania, home to Ender Wiggin, a human colony, the piglike alien pequeninos and their sentient trees, and the social insectlike alien hive queens, because Starways fears the deadly endemic DNA-wrecking descolada virus. Just coming on the scene are young, re-created versions of Ender's siblings of 3,000 years ago, Peter and Valentine (don't ask). With young Chinese genius Wang-mu, Peter must unravel and then halt the philosophical impetus behind the decision to destroy Lusitania. Meanwhile, various scientists, together with assorted mystics, tackle the problem of Jane's survival once the computer net goes down. Yet another group of scientists are tracking the descolada virus--an alien artifact, part probe, part message--back to its source planet, where they will find an alien civilization as enigmatic as any yet encountered. A bizarre and poorly planned mixture of dazzling ideas and preachy philosophizing: At present Card simply is juggling too many projects at once, and here he's just overextended himself.