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Xenocide (Ender, Book 3) (Ender Wiggin Saga)…

Xenocide (Ender, Book 3) (Ender Wiggin Saga) (original 1991; edition 1996)

by Orson Scott Card

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8,11964391 (3.63)120
Title:Xenocide (Ender, Book 3) (Ender Wiggin Saga)
Authors:Orson Scott Card
Info:Tor Books (1996), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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Xenocide by Orson Scott Card (1991)

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Some curious and very creative ideas. Diving into the second half (Book four - Children of the Mind) I want to see where he takes it! ( )
  learn2laugh | Sep 14, 2014 |
As the third installment of the Ender series, this book does not disappoint. At times the philosophical dialogues feel cumbersome, but they still prove thought-provoking. The highlight of this book is its ability to keep the reader in suspense until the end, and the plot twists are very enjoyable. I recommend avoiding the synopsis of the book before reading; once you know the Ender series it is a better journey to "discover" the book's plot on your own. ( )
  Meghanista | Sep 8, 2014 |
While the majority of this book was as intriguing as ever in its exploration of ethics and personalities, the deus ex machina that tied it all together definitely did not work for me. Yet this is only the third book in the Ender Quintet. Should I continue, or should I try something else by Card? He certainly seems prolific. ( )
  drardavis | Aug 3, 2014 |
I don't know how to feel about this book. The problems it set up, the conflicts it presented, the questions it raised, the people it introduced...they were all brilliant and fascinating and thoroughly engrossing. Riveting, mind-expanding, so many delicious adjectives. Five-star adjectives, without question. Diverse, real, complex characters that deal with problems every bit as grand.

But then...everything just got tied up with such infuriating neatness. Deus ex machina that couldn't get more blatant if Zeus himself had descended from Olympus and manipulated things to their neat ends. All of the most crucial solutions - in addition to what will surely be the backbone of sequels - quite literally conjured out of nothingness. In fact, one could probably argue that things were tied up quickly and neatly in order to make way for the hastily-introduced seeds of the coming conflict.

I can't give it less than four stars because the majority of this book was just so strong, and the people you're introduced to, and the added depth to those you already knew, are entirely worth the journey. But the conclusions did little justice to the myriad complexities and richness of the problems that they solved. And that makes me sad. I'll just say that if you find yourself skimming once you hit 450 or 500, and completely giving up around 550...I'm not gonna argue with how you choose to spend your time.

All the same, this book and the people, peoples, and problems it introduced me to will remain with me long after I've forgotten how it ended. I loved this book. I just wish it could have had the conclusion it deserved. ( )
  cincodenada | May 8, 2014 |
Originally published at Fantasy Literature.

Xenocide is the third book in Orson Scott Card’s award-winning ENDER WIGGEN saga. In the first book, Ender’s Game, the child Ender Wiggen was trained to wipe out the alien “buggers” who were planning to destroy the earth. The second novel, Speaker for the Dead, takes place years later when Ender visits the planet Lusitania where Xenologists are studying two non-human species: the pequininos, who have an unusual life cycle, and the descolada virus, which is fatal for humans but necessary to the pequininos. In addition, Ender has brought the buggers’ hive queen to Lusitania so she can rebuild her species. When the human Starways Congress finds out what’s happening on Lustinania, it sends its fleets to blow up the planet. Speaker for the Dead ends with Ender’s sister Valentine, who writes propaganda under the name Demosthenes, traveling to Lusitania to support her brother. Both Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards. Ender’s Game is being made into a movie for release in spring 2013.

As Xenocide opens, Valentine is arriving on Lusitania after traveling for many years to get there. So far, her propaganda hasn’t worked and the fleet is still on its way to destroy the planet. So Jane, a Neuromanceresque artificial intelligence who lives in the connected computers all over the universe, cuts off the fleet’s communications so they can’t get the final “destroy” command from Congress. When Congress can’t figure out what happened to its fleet, a young Chinese girl on the planet Path is asked to use her superior intellect to solve the mystery.

Meanwhile, on Lusitania, Ender’s family is desperately trying to find a way to recode the descolada virus’s DNA so it will do what it needs to do for the pequininos without killing humans. If they can prove that it’s no longer harmful to humans — and get in contact with the fleet before it acts — they can stop the destruction of the planet. If they can’t, not only will the humans on Lusitania be killed, but two species, the pequininos and the buggers, will be completely wiped out. And make that three if you want to count the descolada as a species — the more they study it, the more they think it may be sentient. There’s a lot to get done before the fleet arrives…

Like its predecessors, Xenocide is an intense, emotional, and thought-provoking novel. Most of the text doesn’t actually deal with the action that the plot implies (e.g., the nearing of the fleet, the tests on the virus’s DNA, etc.) but it mostly revolves around all of the ethical and psychological issues that arise, and there are a lot of them. I can’t tell you about some of the most interesting ones because it would give away plot twists, but in generalities I can say that Xenocide had me thinking about the genetics of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), the relationship between compulsive behavior and religiosity, the nature of fatherhood, God, the big bang, the possibility of traveling faster than the speed of light, time-travel paradoxes, guilt and forgiveness, sentience, language, artificial intelligence, loyalty, and death.

The subject matter in Xenocide is pretty heavy, but Card accompanies this with lots of psychological drama, too. Almost every conversation is emotionally intense. The characters are constantly challenging each other’s beliefs, psychoanalyzing each other, and attributing motives to each other. They often go back and forth — analyzing, interpreting, questioning, denying. I found this to be emotionally draining and it increased the page count beyond what I thought was necessary. In fact, Card explains in his author’s note that eventually Xenocide got too long and the story had to be continued in the next novel, Children of the Mind. From what I’ve heard (not having read it yet), Children of the Mind rehashes much of the plot of Xenocide. I would have preferred for most of the overwrought dialogue to be written out of Xenocide so the story could be told in one volume as originally planned.

But that’s my only real complaint about Xenocide. I think some readers will find the ending too bizarre, but I’m feeling mostly generous toward the novel. Other than the overdose of drama, Xenocide is a well-crafted and thought-provoking story. It works beautifully with its award-winning predecessors and, though it’s more than 20 years old, its science and technology feel surprisingly current. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodgers, NickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sigaud, BernardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Clark and Kathy Kidd:
for the freedom, for the haven,
and for frolics all over America
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Han Fei-tzu sat in lotus position on the bare wooden floor beside his wife's sickbed.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812509250, Mass Market Paperback)

Orson Scott Card's Xenocide is a space opera with verve. In this continuation of Ender Wiggin's story, the Starways Congress has sent a fleet to immolate the rebellious planet of Lusitania, home to the alien race of pequeninos, and home to Ender Wiggin and his family. Concealed on Lusitania is the only remaining Hive Queen, who holds a secret that may save or destroy humanity throughout the galaxy. Familiar characters from the previous novels continue to grapple with religious conflicts and family squabbles while inventing faster-than-light travel and miraculous virus treatments. Throw into the mix an entire planet of mad geniuses and a self-aware computer who wants to be a martyr, and it's hard to guess who will topple the first domino. Due to the densely woven and melodramatic nature of the story, newcomers to Ender's tale will want to start reading this series with the first books, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead. --Brooks Peck

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:31 -0400)

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The Starways Congress decides that the deadly virus on Lusitania must be wiped out and sends a fleet to destroy it. After the fleet disappears, Gloriously Bright is selected to solve the mystery.

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