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Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card
Review by Tom Easton
Tor Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765304964
Date: 11 November 2008 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Review by Sam Lubell / Show Official Info /

With Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card created the sort of situation that writers dream of. Readers loved his 1977 Analog novelette and 1985 novel of a child, taken from his parents to be trained as a warrior while being told it's all just a game, who gets supremely good at his task and winds up, still thinking it's just a game, destroying an alien species. They demanded more, and over the next three decades, he obliged with a steady stream of Ender books (as well as comics; a movie and a video game are in the works). Ender in Exile is the tenth book.

Is it any good? Well…

The time is immediately after the defeat and eradication of the alien buggers. His fellows from Battle School are returning to Earth to be fought over by governments. Ender himself is a prize and a threat, tainted by his reputation as a killer of other children. When he is offered the chance to travel to the stars and be the (very young) governor of Shakespeare Colony, he takes it. His sister Valentine joins him, leaving Earth to the tender mercies of their brother Peter, once known as Locke. On the voyage, she will write the history of Battle School, while Ender deals with an ambitious ship captain and a woman who wants her daughter to marry a young man with prospects, wins over his fellow passengers, and gets to know the colony's situation and needs. On arrival, he plays the people around him like the master manipulator he is. In due time, he moves on to another colony world, where he finds something that will shape his ensuing career, much of which has already been covered in previous novels.

There is some nice characterization here. There is some gap-filling and some much-belated foreshadowing. There is also an immense amount of talk-talk-talk. If you are an Ender fan, you'll love it. If you're new to the series, it will make you say, "Eh!" I doubt it will create new fans.

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