Ender's game? no. impressive? definitely.
I went through various stages of opinion while reading this book... first was, "hey- why is this nothing like ender's game? drats!" then, "what is with all this portuguese stuff, and religious garbage?" and "why is ender some kind of space-detective?" and so i began trudging through this book with a lack of enthusiasm. then slowly but steadily, this story pulls you in. you don't mind the lack of game's glorious action. this is a very mature piece. i doubt that anyone will be able to read ender's game and stop there. you want more. speaker for the dead is where you have to go. i find it extremely hard to consider this a sequel, because never have i seen an author switch his style this drastically within one series. card forces you to accept all of his changes, but those who adapt to this book are highly rewarded! i found myself involved with card's characters quite alarmingly, and touched by his themes on so many levels. one thing that really impressed me- card takes our first intelligent contact with aliens and compares it with 16th century european explorers encountering the natives of south america. it shows the barriers of language, technology, religion, and misunderstandings -as well as mankind's need to control or dominate any new race it meets. this book is like a history lesson that teaches us not to make the same mistakes when we reach this point of our future. very interesting. there is no doubt i will be continuing this series.