Xenocide was… weird. It was a serious letdown after the wonderful storytelling in Ender’s Game, and the insightful mystery that was Speaker for the Dead. The previous books, and most of Xenocide, felt quite firmly grounded in science, and then it got a whole lot more philosophical. And with that it got a whole lot more weird.
So I’ve been putting off writing this for about a week and a half. I always approach these with a bit of reluctance, because sometimes it’s just so hard to express exactly how you feel about a book through words. Each book affects me in such different ways but there’s only so many ways of expressing that you can “love” a book or find it “really good”. Even more so with Cat’s Cradle, or any great literature, as it leaves me feeling a little… lost.
I really don’t know how to review this book. Not because it was bad, mind you, because it was far from bad. More because there is almost too much to say that I can’t even say a fraction of it. Plus it really is such a cleverly constructed book that I feel like I can’t do it justice. I can say something about it being anti-war, because that’s what I’ve heard about Slaughterhouse-Five and I do get a sense of that from the book, but I’m not really qualified to say much about it. I’ve taken a few days to digest Slaughterhouse-Five, and I’ve not gained any more insight towards it.
After Ender’s Game was turned into a movie earlier this year, the Ender series got a lot more coverage. A friend of mine read the whole series in about two weeks, and rhapsodized about how great a concept was that appeared in the third and fourth books. And so I promised, because it was the summer holidays, that I’d race through the series – “oh yeah, it’d only take me like, a week. I can do that”.