I finished reading the Ender Quartet.
the last 2 books are awful!
Back when I first started writing fanfics, I used to throw in random bits of Japanese. Words here and there that really didn’t add anything to the stories other than “LOOKIE! I know THIS word!” and that’s what the last several books of the Ender’s series seemed like. It was mildly annoying to have long paragraphs of Portuguese thrown in for apparently no other reason than to annoy readers with stuff they don’t understand and that Card often didn’t bother to translate. It ended up that I simply didn’t understand about one third of the dialogue. WHY? Why bother putting in something like that when you’re going to have to translate it? Why not just have a tag “Miro switched to Portuguese and said blah blah blah”?
At least the language issue didn’t make me put the books down; although the characters and stupidity of the plotline nearly did. By the end I was just reading the books because I wanted to know how it ended rather than because I gave a crap about the characters. I was reading for the sake of “this is what NOT to do”.
What not to do:
There’s a difference between having objectionable characters and having characters that are so static that they annoy the piss out of the reader. Ender’s wife for example. She’s 60 years old and acting like a little kid! If she can’t have things her way, she throws a temper tantrum and locks everyone out of important files so that if SHE isn’t there, NO ONE can get anything done, regardless of the fact that Starways Congress is sending a doomsday device to destroy the world, the virus is mutating and getting past all the human’s defenses against it, the piggies are pissed off and crazy, the humans are going nuts from fear – and SHE wants to throw a juvenile pitty party because Ender isn’t giving her his full attention. And then he DOES give her his full attention – joining a monastery when he doesn’t really believe in god, and when he’s got plenty of other things he could be doing…
And how Card killed Ender off was just AWFUL!
I don’t think it was in character at all. I’m not sure how Ender would have died otherwise, but the way he was forced out of the picture and then killed off was just… not right. Okay, so maybe Card got bored of writing Ender? I dunno, but the solution didn’t seem right at all. He died doing NOTHING and that’s just…wrong.
Honestly, from the end of book 2, I think the whole series could have gone a different direction and been a lot better off.
The plotline itself was a cop-out. The whole OUTSPACE thing – ok, maybe when Card wrote these, the OUTSPACE bit was new and different, but the way he did it would make anyone who ever went into OUTSPACE a God. It solved too many problems too easily. Miro’s crippleness, the virus, Ender’s inability to get away from his wife because he’s too in love with pain and being in pain. And then having everything flow back to Jane the way it did was also too convenient.
It was obvious he stopped writing because he had a neat story to tell and had started taking his reader’s suggestions. I’ve done it before, I know what it looks like (which allows me to avoid it as much as I can). It looks like weird and stupid left field solutions to problems that end up too easy and make the characters look like Mary Sues.