Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ender in Exile

Well here is my first review of something so I hope it will read well.

Ender in Exile is the fourth book written in the Ender's Game Series however, it takes place as book two chronologically. The book starts shortly after the attempted take over of the I.F. by the Warsaw Pact. The children of Battle School are still in flux about what is happening and when/if they will be going home.

The book tracks the life primarily of Ender Wiggin and his sister Valentine as they pass though close to sixty years of Earth based time. Very little time passes for them as they spend most of their time at relativistic speeds and thus only see about four of their own years pass.

Hyrum Graff is also followed in this book from his departure from the Military to other duties and finally retirement. He keeps Ender up to date over time to the goings on of Earth and other political events that he may want to know of.

The other Wiggins are also talked about in the book as well. For those that have read "Shadow of the Hegemon" you also get to have updates to the events as they transpire. There is a lot of overlap of the Bean Series as they both cover the same time span. If you haven't read the Bean Series you will find a few spoilers in here as some events are revealed, I haven't read "Shadow of the Giant" so there were some spoilers that I expected.

Overall this brings nothing new to the series that couldn't be guessed at before. The only enlightening thing that happened was the finding of the Chrysalis in great detail. Before it was always cited that "he found it exactly where the game said he would" but after that nothing. To wait until chapter 18 to find out so little seemed to be a bit of a let down for me.

Characters get introduced that seem to be discarded halfway through the book as if they were just filler. There are some characters that seem to last a chapter or two and then they are left by the way side creating plot lines that aren't needed to actually propel the story forward in any way.

Humor in the book is rare but worth a good laugh when it does happen. A good snippet is:

   ...."Has anyone ever mentioned that when you smile,
it would melt steel?"
"Inconvenient, in a spaceship. I'll smile less."

Overall I would rank this book as a "skip it" but not as bad as a "beating a dead horse for more money". I guess that means it gets two out of five stars.