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Old January 5 2013, 04:08 PM   #1
Sgt. Sacrament
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Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEASE)

Hello,

I've got a question about reading the Ender's Game book series (or is it more than one series?). I heard that the film is coming out this year, so I figured I'd best finish it. I've read the first book, "Ender's Game", and it's great. I think that "Speaker for the Dead" is the direct sequel. But it seems that there is also a book called "Enders Shadow" that is part of another series? Apparently the film has been drawn from "Ender's Game" and "Ender's Shadow"?

As you may be able to tell, I'm allergic to spoilers and hate to be spoiled. Can anyone give me a suggestion on what is the best order to read these books?

And please, no spoilers beyond titles of books. I don't often post, and in the past I would often ask questions while requesting no spoilers, but I've mostly given up... every time I ask for no spoilers, it seems like that request is disregarded.

Thanks in advance!
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Old January 5 2013, 04:14 PM   #2
The Wormhole
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Wikipedia has a list of the series here, listed both in publication order and chronological order. I'd recommend reading the series in publication order. I've only read the first book, so I don't know how much of a difference it makes, but generally I find publication order is the best way to read a series.
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Old January 5 2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Ender's Shadow is basically a "retell the same events from a different character's perspective" kind of sequel, revealing parts of the saga we didn't see in the first series -- but I didn't think it was nearly as good as the original book. As for Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind, they're essentially a trilogy taking place decades after the original book and telling a somewhat different story.
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Old January 5 2013, 08:03 PM   #4
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Sgt. Sacrament wrote: View Post
As you may be able to tell, I'm allergic to spoilers and hate to be spoiled. Can anyone give me a suggestion on what is the best order to read these books?
I would recommend publication order. The later (chronologically) books (Speaker onward) aren't going to spoil events in the Bean books.
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Old January 5 2013, 08:30 PM   #5
RoJoHen
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

There are basically two different series within the Ender saga: There is the Ender Series, and there is the Bean Series.

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow tell the same story from the perspective of two different characters (Ender and Bean). The movie is supposedly bridging these two books together.

Ender's Game is the first novel in the Ender series, though it is almost like The Hobbit in that its story is basically a prequel to a more tightly connected trilogy:

Speaker for the Dead
Xenocide
Children of the Mind


Ender's Shadow is the first book of the "Bean Series," which follows up with...

Shadow of the Hegemon
Shadow Puppets
Shadow of the Giant


Now, if you're still reading the series after all of this...

Ender in Exile is a more recent novel that takes place in between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, but I would still recommend reading it after you've read all the other Ender books.

Shadows in Flight is like an epilogue to the Bean saga. It is a story very disconnected from the main series of Bean books and takes place several years later, but I found it a very fitting ending to the series.

And NOW the most recent book in the series is called Earth Unaware, which is a prequel to everything. I haven't started it yet, but it is sitting on my shelf. It is supposedly the story of the first Formic (Bugger) War.
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Old January 5 2013, 08:52 PM   #6
Scout101
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Earth Unaware wasn't bad, an interesting prequel. It's just Part 1, though, so while it's a nice read, feels kinda unsatisfying without the rest to finish the payoff...
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Old January 5 2013, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Yeah, that's kind of why I'm holding off reading it. Plenty of other books to read in the meantime.
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Old January 5 2013, 09:42 PM   #8
Gaith
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

And I'd recommend getting said books from your library or buying 'em used rather than purchasing new/digital versions, because screw Card.

For my own part, I read Ender's Game a long time ago, and enjoyed it well enough as a small, clever little story. Had no compulsion to follow the characters elsewhere.
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Old January 5 2013, 09:45 PM   #9
Christopher
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

My feeling, which I gather is pretty similar to the view of a lot of people, is that Ender's Game is the best of the bunch, the trilogy that follows is reasonably good but essentially very different, and the whole Bean series... well, I think I gave up on it after the first book, which I found pretty implausible and not engaging enough to be worth it. It was trying to tell a parallel story to Ender's Game, but that just threw its own inadequacies in comparison to EG into sharp relief. It was pretty well-named -- a mere shadow of the original.
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Old January 5 2013, 09:56 PM   #10
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Christopher wrote: View Post
My feeling, which I gather is pretty similar to the view of a lot of people, is that Ender's Game is the best of the bunch, the trilogy that follows is reasonably good but essentially very different, and the whole Bean series... well, I think I gave up on it after the first book, which I found pretty implausible and not engaging enough to be worth it. It was trying to tell a parallel story to Ender's Game, but that just threw its own inadequacies in comparison to EG into sharp relief. It was pretty well-named -- a mere shadow of the original.
That pretty much sums it up for me.
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Old January 5 2013, 09:57 PM   #11
RoJoHen
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Yeah, the books all range in quality, but I still enjoy them all. The whole thing remains my favorite novel series.
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Old January 5 2013, 10:08 PM   #12
Takeru
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Sgt. Sacrament wrote: View Post
Hello,

I've got a question about reading the Ender's Game book series ...
Don't, Ender's Game is the only truly good book Orson Scott Card has written, he's the one hit wonder of SF literature, you already read everything that's worth reading.

He's also a homophobic POS, so that may cloud my opinion.
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Old January 5 2013, 10:10 PM   #13
JoeZhang
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Scout101 wrote: View Post
Earth Unaware wasn't bad, an interesting prequel. It's just Part 1, though, so while it's a nice read, feels kinda unsatisfying without the rest to finish the payoff...
It seems to be the series he has already written as comic books for marvel? Looking at the plot summary, the comic series is further along than the prequel books in terms of advancing the plot. I also see that he is doing another sequel.
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Old January 5 2013, 11:12 PM   #14
Allyn Gibson
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

Christopher wrote: View Post
My feeling, which I gather is pretty similar to the view of a lot of people, is that Ender's Game is the best of the bunch, the trilogy that follows is reasonably good but essentially very different, and the whole Bean series... well, I think I gave up on it after the first book, which I found pretty implausible and not engaging enough to be worth it. It was trying to tell a parallel story to Ender's Game, but that just threw its own inadequacies in comparison to EG into sharp relief. It was pretty well-named -- a mere shadow of the original.
Among people I know, opinion is pretty evenly split on whether Ender's Game or Speaker for the Dead is the best book in the series.

Personally, I prefer Speaker to Ender's Game. (Speaker is also one of two OSC books to bring me to tears at the climax; the other is Lost Boys.) I like Xenocide but I don't love it. Children of the Mind is just there. I think those two books would have been better (and stronger) if published as a single book at half the length.

I didn't like Ender's Shadow, and I dropped the series until I was asked to review War of the Gifts (a missing story set at Christmas during Ender's Game) which was utterly and irredeemably awful.
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Old January 6 2013, 12:13 AM   #15
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Re: Question about "Ender's Game" book series(s)(?) (NO SPOILERS PLEAS

I liked Shadow a lot, but I found that each sequel was worse than the one before, and they got awful super-fast.
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