Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Book Review: Xenocide

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

Xenocide is… odd. I am not, really, fully certain of what I think of the book. As anyone who’s read my reviews knows, I loved Ender’s Game and thought Speaker for the Dead was even better. Naturally, despite the fact that I’d heard it was not as good, I picked up the next book in the series and it is, frankly, rather average. This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, it had an interesting enough plot and still concerned the lives of characters that I had come to care about over the course of the first two books, but nothing about it made it stand above the crowd.

Of course, none of this would have made Xenocide odd, it is certain events later in the story, building off some weird mix of string theory and Mormonism described earlier in the book, that lead to the incredible strangeness of the book. Orson Scott Card is himself a Mormon, and he has every right to create a universe consistent with his beliefs, I would do the same, but this nevertheless makes the story take some very weird turns. Unfortunately, I can’t really talk about these events without major spoilers, so I’ll just leave it at that.

If you’re a fan of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, I’d recommend picking this up just to follow the stories of the characters from those books, but be prepared for some bizarre events later in the story.