Oct 13, 2008

Children of the Mind

by Orson Scott Card

My attempts at reading this book have been on hold because A. has been carrying it with him to read during his commute to work. This weekend when it was in the house I tried again. And felt frustrated because I just could not get back into it. It's almost pathetic that I was even trying, because there was only one part of the story that still interested me, and it just wasn't enough to carry me through the whole book. If you're planning to read the entire series, skip the following spoiler.

--- SPOILER --- Near the end of the previous book Xenocide, there was a fascinating scene where Ender unintentionally brought to life two new people who embodied his strongest, subconscious emotions. They were his greatest love and his worst nemesis: a younger memory of his sister Valentine, and Peter in his prime. So suddenly a duplicate copy of his sister and his brother come back to life were wandering around. The curious dynamics this created interested me more than any other part of the story. Especially the premise that the resurrected Peter and young Valentine weren't true individuals, but fed off of Ender's energy; reflecting his current desires and interests even as they went about their own activities. I was really curious to see how their presence in the story was resolved. -- -- END SPOILER -- --

But I just couldn't slog my way through the invented politics and history. I had just said to myself: I think I'm going to like this book, it feels more personal like Ender's Game, when I ran into the first explanation of a complex political situation steeped in asian cultures and futuristic history. It was so boring I skipped ten pages. I tried a bit more but finally gave up on Children of the Mind at page 132. It just got too tedious. I'm almost ashamed to say this, but I'm going to go read a full-length summary to find out what happened to those two characters mentioned above, satisfy my curiosity about that one thread of the story, and call it quits.

Abandoned ....0/5.. 370 pages, 1996

5 comments:

Chain Reader said...

I've been waiting and wating for a used copy of Xenocide to pop up at our library store because the library doesn't have it, so I can continue with the series. But I'm wondering if it's even worth it if the following books aren't very compelling? Did your husband like this one?

Jeane said...

My husband has liked all these books more than I did. He's still reading Children of the Mind and I'm really curious to hear what he thought of the ending when he's done. (I cheated and read it on the wiki summary; I didn't like what Card did with the characters tho I can't really judge.)

janet said...

I've only read 'Ender's Game' by Card, but something has kept me from reading any of the sequels. I think it was that I was exhausted by the end, even though I really liked it...

Jeane said...

My husband just finished reading this book yesterday. He liked it, said it was even better than Xenocide. After listening to him tell me all about it, I think I might go back and finish it someday. But not for a while.

Chain Reader said...

Good to know--I'm in the middle of Xenocide right now and was wondering if I would continue. I'm enjoying Xenocide, but I'm not getting into it as much as Speaker for the Dead.