Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Speaker for the Dead - by Orson Scott Card

I really like the audiobook production of Orson Scott Card's books. They have probably 6 or 8 different readers, and it alternates between them depending on whose perspective the story is being told from at the time, and it has the effect of giving real voices in my mind to the different characters. No cheesy sound effects, and unabridged, and read very appropriately without overexcitement, and yet without monotone.

As far as the story, this is heavier science fiction than Ender's Game - I like to tell my kids that the aliens in it are called buggars and piggies. They think that's pretty funny. Though it is a sequel, it is a completely different story, more removed than, for example, the Lord of the Rings is removed from the Hobbit. Still, no laser guns, no sex with aliens, no green goo, none of the things that science fiction is made fun of for, it's more like historical fiction set in the future, and involving aliens. What I like about the book is that it is about discovery - the discovery of a family's secrets that have been causing pain until they get exposed and dealt with, and the discovery of the thought and culture of an alien species that was not understood at all, not because the information wasn't there, but because viewed through our human perspective and forced to fit into our way of thinking, it made no sense at all. If you want gun battles and explosions, this book is not for you. But I find it intrigueing and interesting, and it sets the stage for the books that come afterwards, which I find even more so.

10 points for the audiobook production, 8 points for story, for 9 overall.

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