Audio books not only make driving enjoyable, they can also make it downright dangerous. Many times I find myself driving through the landscape of the book I’m listening to, only to ‘wake up’ in suburban Melbourne.
I’ve not ‘read’ the Ender Series at all, only listened to it on audio, so I can’t compare the experience of reading and listening. What I can do is explain how deeply I invest in this world, and how much I adore Ender and Valentine based on the actors that voice them.
Speaker for the Dead is set 3000 years after the conclusion of Ender’s Game. Ender and Valentine are living on a Scandinavia-like planet called Trondheim, where Valentine has found a partner. Because of a time anomaly, Ender and Valentine are only in their 30s, ready to settle down and stay in one place for the rest of the lives. Until Ender receives a call for a Speaker for the Dead from the Portuguese colony of Lusitania.
There is something about the first request, from Novinha, that impels Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin to answer the call for a Speaker, and he sets out on his journey to Lusitania. Although it takes him only a week, on Lusitania 22 years have passed, and Ender arrives to find the situation has changed dramatically during his journey.
Stefan Rudnicki is the narrator and the voice of Ender in this book, and also in Ender’s Game, and his quietly measured way of speaking matches Ender perfectly. The rest of the cast is very good too. Ignore the reviews that nit-pick the suitability of the cast for each part. As an ensemble piece it works. It just works beautifully.
Next on my list is Xenocide, and then Children of the Mind. I really looking forward to re-entering the Hundred Worlds.