Book Review: Speaker For The Dead

Sequels are complicated because some books are set up for sequels while others aren’t. And sequels can ruin a perfectly good book (looking at you The Maze Runner) but other times, they can build upon established characters and world or worlds in this case. We will be reviewing the sequel to Ender’s Game, the Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card.

After the ending of Ender’s Game, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin and his sister travel from planet to planet and try to find the perfect place to revive the Hive Queen and her alien race. They have settled on a planet and Valentine is about to give birth. But another planet has requested a Speaker for the Dead and Ender has decided to travel to this faraway planet to help someone that reminds him of his former self.

On Lusitania, the humans exist along with the Pequeninos, an alien race that is pig-like and the inhibitors of the planet. Pipo, his thirteen-year-old son Libo, and Novinha, a thirteen-year-old xenobiologist study the Pequeninos to try to understand them. They are however not allowed to interfere with them or show them human technology.

After Pipo realizes something big, he heads to the Pequeninos to ask them questions. He is found dead later on and Novinha blames herself for his death. Ender arrives 22 year-year later do to space travel and tries to fix Novinha’s family and the root of the problem while preventing another massacre of an alien race.

This book series is pretty confusing because this book actually starts at the end of the first novel. Card republished his first novel in 1985 and added more stuff which let him connect the first and second book. It works perfectly and is easily able to carry over to this novel. I could see Card adding it in the beginning of this novel but it would ruin the momentum because it would feel out of place.

Now, let’s talk about whether the sequel was good or not. The beauty of Speaker for the Dead is that while it is a redemption novel for Ender, it isn’t about him really. Card focuses on the new aliens called Pequeninos and the people that interact with them such as Novinha and her family. And it works beautifully.

The book revolves around family, community, and the bonds that tie them together. We see exactly how a Speaker for the Dead is supposed to heal a community torn by secrets, lies, and looking the other way. Scott makes the adults in the novel take responsibility for their action and inaction.

If you have read Ender’s World, then you have to read this novel and see the growth by Ender. And if you haven’t read it, then you are in luck because Card wrote this novel so it could be a stand-alone novel. And I definitely think this is a must read book!

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