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Children of the Mind (Ender, Book 4) by…
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Children of the Mind (Ender, Book 4) (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Orson Scott Card

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7,65165792 (3.54)154
The adventures of space warriors in a world where technology has abolished the light-speed limit and one's consciousness can be placed in other bodies. By the author of Ender's Game.
Member:dharding
Title:Children of the Mind (Ender, Book 4)
Authors:Orson Scott Card
Info:Tor Science Fiction (1997), Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card (1996)

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» See also 154 mentions

English (63)  French (2)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
There are already those who say that we've wasted enough starship space on trees and bugs. Trees referred, of course, to the pequeninos, who were not, in fact, transporting fathertrees and mothertrees, and bugs referred to the Hive Queen, who was also not wasting space sending a lot of workers. But every world they were settling did have a large contingent of pequeninos and at least one hive Queen and a handful of workers to help her get started. Never mind that it was the hive queen on every world that quickly produced workers who were doing the bulk of the labor getting agriculture started, never mind that because they weren't taking trees with them, at least one male and one female in every group of pequeninos had to be planted - had to die slowly and painfully , so that a fathertree and mothertree could take root. They all knew that under the polite surface was an undercurrent of competition between species. Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
  taurus27 | Nov 30, 2019 |
As are many books, this book is hard to rate. Do I criticize the continued deus ex machina from the previous book, or do I accept it because it plays by consistent rules? For that matter, what's the difference between my perceived deus ex machina and a (perceived) legitimate magic system in a fantasy novel? Why is near-lightspeed travel acceptable and the other thing (which I will not spoil here) not? Is it just because the rest of the series is (somewhat) realistic?

Well, the story is well-written and interesting (although it feels a lot more like [b:Xenocide|8648|Xenocide (The Ender Quintet, #3)|Orson Scott Card|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1386924577s/8648.jpg|1150594], part two, than an independant book, which makes sense, since the story was originally intended to take place within Xenocide, and was only later moved to its own book). The characters are well-written, if sometimes slightly irritating, and consistent. Even those who are inherently hard to understand (like Jane) react in believable ways to new circumstances, and to each other.

The world is familiar by now, and the new places fit in very well, everything seems plausible enough, and people from different cultures actually behave differently. All in all, I am satisfied with the worldbuilding.

The ending makes sense in the context of the story. It may feel a bit too open to some, but I liked it. I also liked that the Author finally decided to put his thoughts on the novel at the end of the book, and not into the foreword (although, for some reason, he mostly refrained from referring to important elements of the story this time, as opposed to the spoiler-heavy forewords he wrote for the previous books).

All in all, I liked both the book and the series, and would recommend it. The book did not quite feel like a five-star-book, for some reason, but don't let that discourage you. It's still a very good book.
( )
  malexmave | Oct 3, 2019 |
OK, I'll admit it: I was liking this book by the end. Very satisfying conclusion. But I never could quite accept all the different facets of the book's weirdness, so I couldn't connect with the story fully. ( )
  AngelClaw | May 15, 2019 |
At a certain point in the previous book, Xenocide, Card crossed from credible, philosophically inspired science fiction into the realm of magic and feelings. I personally do not care for this transition.

By magic I mean the less than credible science about "going outside" to travel faster than the speed of light and Ender's ability to inadvertently create living flesh offspring while outside. This offspring, the so called children of the mind, ghosts of the past from Ender's childhood in the form of his older brother and sister Peter and Valentine as he remembers them from teenage years, is the subject of this book.

Both young Val and Peter are trying to save the colony of Lusitania and the three sentient species living there. Each has their own angle - Peter and Wang-Mu are travelling around the galaxy trying to persuade influential people to lean on Starway Congress and stop the fleet that is on its way to obliterate the colony, while Val and Miro are trying to find habitable planets to ensure the survival of the species. Perhaps they can find the creators of the descolada virus as well and see why they've made it and what they are like. Meanwhile, Ender is deciding what role his own life should play now that his soul is inhabiting two other beings...

Now all this, coupled with the impending doom of the colony and the possible demise of Jane, is fairly interesting, hence the three stars. Unfortunately, however, Card focuses more on romantic relationships between these couples, feelings, family history and domestic problems, obscuring the political and philosophical implications of what is going on. It is why it was curious to me that in the afterword he called Children of the Mind his most philosophical book of all. Perhaps I missed something. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Really wish Card had done more with the Descoladores. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 30, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chambon, Jean-MarcTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salwowski, MarkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Barbara Bova, whose toughness, wisdom and empathy make her a great agent and an even better friend
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Si Wang-mu stepped forward.
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