Xenocide continues where Speaker for the Dead leaves off in the Ender's Saga and meets and exceeds all expectations. I read these books after reading the Ender's Shadow series and they are not quite as good on that aspect but Orson wrote these 15 or 20 years ago and has only gotten better as an author. Where in Shadow(Bean's Saga) is about more war and the politics of the future and trying to unite the people of Earth before the third most devastating world war breaks out. This is more sacred addressing the religions of the future and what religions aliens might have.
Ender comes to the planet with the only other aliens human's have encountered other than the formic buggers which we wiped out long ago to try and stop another xenocide from occurring when this new alien's religion leads to what humans would call murder. The mystery unfolds in greater more complicated ways in this book and old technology is explained in new ways to create a new technology to solve all of the planet's problems. It's not a light read, and it's a bit complicated but I highly recommend it for the hard core sci fi fan.
This is the sequel to "Speaker for the Dead". The Ender Wiggin story just gets better and better. Ender is reunited with Valentine. The mystery of Jane's origins is uncovered. Starways Congress is also unveiled for what it has become. New characters of great depth and interest are introduced. Now I can't wait to read the next book in the series!
The third book in the Ender Quartet, the story continues right on from book 2 (no more 3000 year gap!) The Starways Congress fleet is looming above the planet of Lusitania, a deadly virus is threatening to wipe our species, straining the relationship between mankind and his alien neighbor, the pequeninos. Note: to follow the story, you have to read the preceding two Ender books first.
On Lusitania, Ender found a world where humans and pequininos and the Hive Queen could all live together; where three very different intelligent species could find common ground at last. Or so he thought.
This third installment in what is apparently the "Ender quartet" moves much slower than Speaker for the Dead, with none of the increased character exploration that accompanied Speaker's comparative slowdown over Ender's Game. The sub-story involving world of Path was intriguing, but it was not enough to hold my interest in an otherwise ponderous narrative. And the ending...wow. Most obvious deus ex machina I've ever seen in fiction. Way to write yourself into a corner and then invent solutions out of thin air, Card - and yet still leave the major crisis of the story unresolved! The fleet of ships headed to destroy Lusitania at the beginning of the novel are still on their way at its close.
I have to say, I didn't think a writer who cared enough about science to show time dilation in close-to-light-speed travel would then suggest that FTL travel was possible just by *wishing* for it hard enough.
I don't think I'll be reading Children of the Mind.