Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A New Ender Book

It's been KILLING me to pass it by in bookstores, it really has. Finally last evening I found it at the library. I was dropping off a kid and almost didn't go in to see what was new, but then I did, and the new Ender book was there, and I couldn't do anything but read it the rest of the night. And it's good. Entitled Ender in Exile, this one is billed as a "direct sequel to Ender's Game," and it ties together some of the wider context from the Ender's Shadow series with the continuation of the story from the Speaker for the Dead series. I found it so immensely satisfying that, despite what I've said about buying any more books by Orson Scott Card, I'm eventually going to search for a used copy, because I have to own this one, along with all the others in the series.

There aren't too many other living writers who can keep me turning pages like Orson Scott Card. And, against all odds, his talent as a storyteller reasserts itself even in the midst of his attempt to keep all the myriad details of the Ender universe straight. There were moments when I surfaced enough to marvel at the continuity. Mostly, though, I was glued to the story, enjoying being with Ender and Valentine once again, and finding out what happened to Bean and Petra's missing child.

The philosophical undercurrent of the novel, how it is possible to live ethically and fight against evil, seems a little less consistent to me than the details of the various character timelines. Although Ender shows the little colonist, Abra, that it's pointless to be proud of a talent you're born with, he literally trusts his life, at one point, to the idea that a person will live up to the nobility of his genetic heritage, rather than succumb to the venality of the way he was raised.

Still, if you love stories that have multiple endings from various points of view, you'll love seeing the way Ender and his parents and Graff find some resolutions to the problems of "evil in the world, and wickedness, and every brand of stupidity. There's meanness and heartlessness and...." But "the good end happily, and the bad, unhappily. That is what fiction is." At least the page-turner kind.

1 comment:

Ron Griggs said...

You can't stop your husband from buying a new copy, now can you?