Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ender in Exile

I just finished the "interquel" Ender in Exile, the direct sequel to Ender's Game. Ender's Game is one of my favorite books and Ender in Exile was an excellent followup. It does a great job of bridging the gap between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, between Ender of the first book and Andrew of the later books, a gap that was wide enough that it felt like they were two different people. What always bothered me was there was such a significant amount of time between the first two books that I never really got a sense of how Ender evolved into Andrew and I always wanted to know how he came to terms with what he did at the end of the game. I mean I know that he discovers the hive queen and all but there was so much more than that and I was curious about the missing years.
Most of the events of this novel have been discussed or hinted at in other novels in the series, but here we get a complete picture of Ender's travels after winning the war to governing the first off-Earth colony to his first trip of many to other planets. Starting where Ender's Game left off, Ender in Exile finds Ender still on Eros awaiting his fate after his victory over the formics or "buggers." Valentine and Peter are highly influential people on the nets and, while Peter is figuring out how to use Ender for his own end, Valentine is working on what is best for Ender and what is best for herself. Of course, Ender is made into the governor for a colony and Valentine goes with him. There is a power struggle aboard the ship and Ender becomes involved with a young girl. It was nice to see him act like a teenager even for a few seconds. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now what to go back a re-read the rest of the Ender series.