Unlike what some other authors do when using the theory of relativity in their stories, this author doesn’t use it as a crutch, but rather uses it as a means to pass time between events. He uses common reference points to allow the reader to understand how it applies to the characters.
Ender’s special ‘package’ is somewhat of a mystery as you are reading, and where he got it does cross your mind more often than you might think, especially once you understand the package. It seems to us like we need to go back and read the previous novel in the series, “Ender’s Game”, to get our answers.
Overall, this is a good read with a unique perspective into how many might cope with other intelligent species of beings once we finally encounter them…
The environments that are depicted in the novel are described well, and you are able to easily envision and relate to them.
The core characters are dealt with very realistically and are given personalities by the author’s use of interactions with other components of the storyline.
The piggies are a sentient race, and although you clearly ‘see’ them as piglets in your mind’s eye, you are able to give them the intelligence that the author is trying to convey without any difficulty.
The author dips into the theory of relativity and applies it in several of the plotlines. He does a good job explaining how it affects the people and passage of time within the character’s frame of reference.
Where or how Ender obtained the ‘package’ that he has with him wherever he travels is not explained to us leaving a question mark about it as you are reading. We must assume he must have somehow ‘rescued’ it in a previous novel, but some sort of reference to the ‘rescue’ would have certainly been helpful.
There is some disconnect when trying to picture an organic life form that dies, and then resurrects as a tree. It was explained as one of three stages of life, but it was still not all that convincing. We’re still not sure that an animal can morph into a plant after death.
A marriage occurs in the novel, on a colony that has a Catholic charter. The marriage isn’t so odd, but the woman that is getting married had been cheating on her husband for over ten years, had children by her lover, and was recently widowed. Oh, and did we mention it seems that no one really cared about it. ‘Nuf said.