Card returns to the highly popular, award-winning story of Andrew ``Ender'' Wiggin, the boy wonder who saved humanity from alien invasion and, guilt-ridden over his near-total destruction of the alien species, has now become a sort of traveling conscience. This third Ender novel picks up where Speaker for the Dead left off: on the planet Lusitania, Ender and the other human colonists strive to neutralize the ``descolada,'' a possibly sentient virus that adapts itself rapidly to every attack. Meanwhile, tensions are rising between the colonists and the indigenous ``pequeninos,'' who rely on the descolada for their survival; and the fleet sent by Starways Congress to destroy the rebellious colony closes in with its doomsday weapon. With the help of their family, their pequenino friends, and Jane (an artificial intelligence living in the galactic computer network), Ender and his sister Valentine race against time to resolve these crises. The plot is sometimes compelling, but the novel's many flaws make the book more often dull and irritating. Card's style is openly didactic, and when his characters do veer away from lengthy philosophical and scientific ruminations, they venture into contrived personality conflicts and endless self-deprecation. Some, notably Ender, Valentine and the wonderchild Wang-mu, are simply too good to be true--too smart, too reasonable, too kind and generous. The reader quickly tires of such impossible perfection. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991 Release date: 08/01/1991 Genre: Fiction
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