Hatrack River
 
Hatrack.com   The Internet  
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
Print this page E-mail this page RSS FeedsRSS Feeds
What's New?
Reviews of Orson Scott Card
Publishers Weekly - June 24, 1996


TREASURE BOX
        Reviewed June 24, 1996
        Orson Scott Card. HarperCollins, $24
        (320p) ISBN 0-06-017654-7

When naive computer-nerd and millionaire Quentin Fears meets the woman of his dreams at a posh Washington, D.C., party and then marries her, he thinks his life is complete. But in this low-key horror novel, appearances can't be trusted and people aren't always in control of their actions. Although Madeleine seems quite sophisticated, there are deficits in her memory and her background is vague. She claims a large, well-to-do family but invites no relatives to the wedding. When Quentin finally meets his in-laws at their palatial Upstate New York mansion, they strike him as eccentric, almost as cartoons of real people. The domineering grandmother, whom Madeleine hates, sits in a trance, eyes closed, refusing to speak. There are hints of past child abuse -- and of the possibility that a young boy may have been murdered. Why do so many of Madeleine's relatives have names identical to those buried in the family cemetery? And why doesn't Madeleine leave any footprints in the snow? Although the story moves toward a powerful climax, its primary pleasures are more subtle: strong character development and complex motivations, a mystery to solve, the discovery of wheels within wheels. It's rare that Card, renowned for his science fiction (see the review of his Children of the Mind, below), switches genres. But when he does, here as in his Lost Boys (1992), there's little lost and a rare pleasure gained.
$50,000 ad/promo; author tour; U.K., translation, first serial and dramatic rights: Barbara Bova. (Aug.)


CHILDREN OF THE MIND
        Reviewed June 24, 1996
        Orson Scott Card. Tor, $23.95
        (352p) ISBN 0-312-85395-5

The first two volumes of Card's Ender saga, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, each won the Hugo and Nebula awards for best novel. This adept fourth volume in the series (after Xenocide, 1991) continues the story of Ender Wiggin, hero, social conscience and unwitting mass murderer. Here, however, Ender, feeling the weight of his years, plays only a limited role in the desperate attempt to avert the destruction by the Starways Congress of the planet Lusitania and its three intelligent races. Foremost among those at center stage are Peter and Young Valentine, Ender's children of the mind, copies of his brother and sister whom he accidentally created on his trip Outside the universe in Xenocide. Also central is Jane, the prickly Artificial Intelligence whose unique ability to use the Outside to transcend the light-speed barrier is key to all attempts to save Ender's adopted world. Peter, Val, Jane and their companions must crisscross the galaxy to find new planets for Lusitania's refugees while trying to influence the politicians and philosophers who have the power to stop the Congress's approaching war fleet. Readers unfamiliar with earlier Ender novels may have trouble picking up some plot threads. But Card's prose is powerful here, as is his consideration of mystical and quasi-religious themes. Though billed as the final Ender novel, this story leaves enough mysteries unexplored to justify another entry; and Card fans should find that possibility, like this novel, very welcome indeed.
Major ad/promo; 200-copy limited leather-bound edition, $200. (Aug.)


E-mail this page
Copyright © 2014 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.