Time has passed for Ender. In the years that have followed, the name Ender Wiggin has been vilified and denounced. He has been called a mass murderer and much worse. His book, The Hive Queen and the Hegemon, has sparked a new religion and a whole crop of individuals who call themselves “Speakers for the Dead.” No one is aware that the Speaker for the Dead and the greatest murderer of all time are one and the same, or that he lives to this day. Thanks to near constant space travel, Ender, now going by his birth name “Andrew,” has spent the last twenty years or so Speaking for the Dead, while two hundred years have passed for the rest of the world since Ender blew up the Bugger’s planet. At 35 he travels the universe Speaking for the Dead and searching for a new home for the hive queen and her eggs. As the story opens, settlers on the new world of Lusitania are trying to study the indigenous life on the planet. These xenobiologists and xenoanthropologists are told to interfere as little as possible with the only sentient race on the planet, nicknamed the “Piggies”, but to learn as much as they can. When the settlement’s xenoanthropologist, Pipo, is brutally murdered by the creatures, the human network is reminded of the Buggers and their violent invasions all those years ago and those in power are starting to liken the Piggies to humanity’s long dead alien foe. Ender is called to the planet to Speak for the fallen man, though it will take twenty years to arrive, only a couple weeks will have passed for him. Along the way, he receives two more calls to Speak for the Dead on that planet, one for the son of the fallen xenoanthropologist, Lebo, and one for a man named Marcao. Once he arrives, he finds much has changed. The young idealistic xenobiologist Novinha, who first called him to speak, has grown to a bitter, sullen woman who spends more time in her lab than with her children. The new xenoanthropologists are eager to learn as much from their friends, the Piggies, as possible and will defy the rules to do it. As Ender learns the truth about the three men, he finds that their lives are intricately interwoven. Take the first man, Pipo: a xenoanthropologer who’s greatest discovery cost him his life. His son, Lebo: love of Novinha’s life, yet married to another, who succeeded his father as xenoanthropologist, only to meet a similar end. And the third man, Marcao: hated by all for his violent temper, reviled at home by his wife, the xenobiologist, and his children. As each secret in the men’s lives is revealed, Ender becomes closer to Novinha, and her family. He discovers that her secrets are also those of the planet Lusitania and the Piggies. Things begin to come to a head and Ender, Novinha and all the Lusitanian settlers must make a desperate choice in an effort to save themselves and the Piggies... even if it means starting an all out war. This second book in the Ender Saga focuses on the very definition of humanity and also of redemption. Although more philosophical than its predecessor, Speaker for the Dead offers readers a look into an alien race and leaves with the promise of more adventure to come. 410 pages Ages 13 and up
Recommended by Jamequa Summerall, Librarian.