Children of the Mind is the fourth book in Orson Scott Card’s Ender series and is the concluding volume of the quartet. I believe that Card intended to stop writing in the Ender series after this book, as the introduction to the 5th book, Ender’s Shadow, has Card explaining that he was originally going to have someone else write that book, but he enjoyed the prospect of writing it too much. Either way, while I was upset with the ending of Xenocide, this book in the intro explains why, Card had originally planned this book as part of Xenocide, they were not meant to be two books at first, but were later split into the two books that we have now. I read a couple of other books between Xenocide and Children of the Mind, but it still worked well and this book had a fitting end to the Ender series.
4th book in the Ender series, sequel to Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide.
This book is a continuation of Xenocide, and as such contains all of the same characters. Ender himself is actually a fairly small part of this book, but the recreations of his soul that now are in the bodies of Val and Peter play a large part in the book.
The book takes place primarily on Lusitania, as the past two books have. However, we also briefly explore a couple of other planets while Peter and Wing-mu are trying to prevent the destruction of Lusitania. The actual planets really don’t matter, just the characters that they interact with on the planets.
The overall plot of this book is a continuation of Xenocide with everyone working to prevent the destruction of Lusitania. At the end of Xenocide Jane has learned how to move ships at faster than light speeds, as such, she was able to transplant several Hive Queens and Pequeninos to different planets to ensure that the species will survive even if those living on Lusitania do not. This book also deals with Jane being potentially shut down as they try to kill her by removing all of the ansible connections from computers all across the human populated universe.
This book served as a fitting end to the series as a whole, and I really enjoyed how it ended. A very minor complaint that I have is that one of the most climactic moments in the series occurs roughly 2/3 of the way through this book, and the last 1/3 in some ways is just marking time to keep going a little longer, as well as preaching a little with an overall moral to the series. I still enjoyed the book and the series and will highly suggest it to anyone.
Card’s writing is wonderful, and this series shows that he is one of the best authors around at writing believable characters and making you really understand them. An excellent series that everyone should read.
9/10 (for the book)
9/10 (for the series as a whole)
Although I am giving a final series grade here, I am aware that there are several other books in the Ender’s Game universe, and I will continue to read more of these books in the future. I already own Ender’s Shadow and will certainly buy more of these books, as well as other books that Card has written.