‘Children of the Fleet’ Review

children of the fleetBy Cassandra

Children of the Fleet’ by Orson Scott Card begins approximately eight years after the Battle School is retrofitted into a school for potential explorers and colonizers.

The novel centers on Dabeet Ochoa, a shrewd and socially inept 11-year-old boy, whose arrogance prevents him from befriending the easy going Fleet School students. Early in the novel, Dabeet finds himself involved in a dangerous plot that puts the life of the only he person he loves (and several others) at risk. Can he unravel the mysteries of Fleet School in time to save them?

Although the premise sounds thrilling, I had doubts about the uniqueness of Dabeet’s character. Do we really need another genius boy like Ender, Bean and Bingwen to revolutionize some aspect of the International Fleet? Although the novel touts that Dabeet is smarter than Ender, his glaring social problems (read: complete obliviousness) give him enough character flaws to differentiate him a true hero like Ender or Bean. Dabeet is the refreshing antihero I never knew the Enderverse needed.

Comparing ‘Children of the Fleet’ to the rest of the Enderverse, readers will find the novel less sophisticated than the Speaker Series and slower-paced than both Formic War trilogies and the Shadow Series.

This slow pace reflects the relatively peaceful state the IF relishes post-war. The end of the Third Invasion means that the IF is no longer in the business of developing child soldiers and commanders. Instead, Fleet School is the place were CEOs, IF soldiers and notable free miner families send their children to study how to become bureaucratic leaders and valuable members of future colonies.

The battle room and its pretty amazing upgrades remain a part of the school’s curriculum, but the game is not valued nearly as much to these students. Overall, Fleet School is too different from Battle School to satisfy the want for more intense battles like those in ‘Ender’s Game’ and ‘Ender’s Shadow’. However, the mystery of who’s behind the dangerous plot and who are Dabeet’s parents are will send readers racing to finish ‘Children of the Fleet’. I was pleasantly surprised to learn these answers.


The biggest highlight of this novel is Hyrum Graff’s return as Minister of Colonization, or MinCol for short. Graff’s verbal sparring with Dabeet is every bit as great as his verbal sparring with Ender or Bean. It’s really lovely how Graff can cut a student with both harsh words and unexpected softness. I particularly loved this line:

“Are you saying I’m not nice?” asked Dabeet. “There’s now a niceness test for getting into Battle School?”

“There always was,” said Graff.

I also loved how strongly ‘Children of the Fleet’ ties together the rest of the Enderverse. The novel neatly nestles itself between the plots of ‘Ender in Exile’ and the Shadow Series with several nods to the Formic War trilogies. During this time, Ender is on his way to govern Shakespeare colony and Bean and the rest of the Battle School students are raging a war on Earth.

The only problem I can find here is that this further complicates the question, “Which book should I read after ‘Ender’s Game’?” A reader could choose either ‘Ender is Exile’, ‘Speaker for the Dead’, ‘Ender’s Shadow’, ‘War of Gifts’, ‘Earth Unaware’, and now ‘Children of the Fleet’.

For anyone wondering what the answer is, Card says that the reading order doesn’t matter so long as ‘Xenocide’ is read just before ‘Children of the Mind’. I always recommend reading the novels in publication order to avoid spoiling certain plots. For example, ‘Children of the Fleet’ provides a few spoilers to the Formic War trilogies. However, in this case I think that the spoilers are so minor that most readers would overlook them. It would be harmless to read the Formic War trilogies before or after ‘Children of the Fleet’.

Truthfully, ‘Fleet School’ isn’t one of my favorite books in the Enderverse, but I did enjoy it much more than Card’s last solo adventure in the Enderverse (‘Shadows in Flight’). I think this novel and the other novels to be published in the Fleet School series are much more suited to a younger audience, which was Card’s intention from the start. I still plan on reading the rest of the Fleet School series because I’m hooked on knowing who Dabeet’s other parent is.

‘Children of the Fleet’ is available for purchase on Amazon or at your local bookstore. Lastly, I’d like to remind readers that a sequel to ‘Children of the Fleet’, called Renegat, will be published in a short story anthology on October 17.

Two New Enderverse Short Stories to be Published

51WIDaMxQBLOrson Scott Card has written two new Enderverse short stories called Renegat and Governor Wiggin.

Both short stories were first previewed in Uncle Orson on the Fly, an online subscription service of Card’s writings. Renegat appeared in February 2017 and Governor Wiggin appeared in June 2017. Currently, the only way to read these short stories is to purchase a $24 yearly subscription to Uncle Orson on the Fly.

However, Renegat will be published later this month in a space opera anthology by David Weber, called ‘Infinite Stars’. ‘Infinite Stars’ will be published on October 17; pre-order it here.

Renegat is a novella-length short story following the events of Card’s upcoming novel, ‘Children of the Fleet’. ‘Children of the Fleet’ will be published on October 10.

At approximately 9,000 words, Governor Wiggin is a short story following the later years of Ender’s term as governor of Shakespeare colony. This short story is set during the events of ‘Ender in Exile’. It is unconfirmed if or when Governor Wiggin will be published outside of Uncle Orson.

Thank you so much to my readers who helped me research these short stories, especially reader ibid11962. I updated this information on the new and improved Enderverse page, but beware that many of the individual pages still need updating.


Special Offer: Free Fleet School Patch with Pre-Order (Updated)

Fleet School PatchTor Books is offering fans who pre-order ‘Children of the Fleet’ by Orson Scott Card a chance to receive a limited edition Fleet School patch.

Fans who submit their pre-order receipt for a print or digital copy of ‘Children of the Fleet’ will receive the patch pictured to the left and a backer card while supplies last. This promotion ends of October 17 and is only available to residents of the United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

The patch was designed by graphic designer and ‘Ender’s Game’ fan Darian Robbins.

‘Children of the Fleet’ ‘ is the first novel in a new Enderverse spin-off series. The series will tell the tale of what happens to the battle school after the Third Formic War.

‘Children of the Fleet’ will be published on October 10. Pre-order the book on Amazon.

Edited to add that the patch was designed by Darian.


Read a Preview of ‘Children of the Fleet’

children of the fleetToday Tor Books published the first chapter of the ‘Children of the Fleet’ by Orson Scott Card on their blog.

‘Children of the Fleet’ is the first novel in a new ‘Ender’s Game’ spin-off series featuring Colonel Graff and a Fleet School student named Dabeet Ochoa.

Read the novel’s description below or skip to the good stuff and read the first chapter, here.

Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.

Dabeet Ochoa is a very smart kid. Top of his class in every school. But he doesn’t think he has a chance at Fleet School, because he has no connections to the Fleet. That he knows of. At least until the day that Colonel Graff arrives at his school for an interview.

‘Children of the Fleet’ will be published on October 10.Purchase it at your local bookstore or pre-order it on Amazon.


‘Children of the Fleet’ is available for pre-order

children of the fleet‘Children of the Fleet’ by Orson Scott Card will be published later this year on October 10, 2017. It is available for pre-order on Amazon.

‘Children of the Fleet’ is expected to be the first novel in a new Enderverse spinoff series. According to Amazon, it is a parallel novel to the shadow series.

Read the novel’s description below.

Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.

Dabeet Ochoa is a very smart kid. Top of his class in every school. But he doesn’t think he has a chance at Fleet School, because he has no connections to the Fleet. That he knows of. At least until the day that Colonel Graff arrives at his school for an interview.

Amazon lists the page count as 304 pages. For comparison, ‘Earth Unaware’ is longer by about 60 pages.

Pre-order on Amazon here.

‘The Swarm’ Review

By Cassandra

‘The Swarm’ by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston is the first novel in the Second Formic War Trilogy and a sequel to the First Formic War Trilogy (‘Earth Unaware’; ‘Earth Afire’; ‘Earth Awakens’).

Following the First Formic War, ‘The Swam’ revisits the altered lives of Mazer Rackham, Bingwen, Lem Jukes and Victor Delgado. Earth’s faint success after The Scourging of China left humanity in a nervous state. Likewise, the pace of the novel leaves readers sweating with the mounting pressure of the anticipated second invasion.

Can the Hegemon pull humanity together long enough to fund an interplanetary war with adequate cash and soldiers? Can the International Fleet recognize the uselessness of career bureaucrats in the face of an intelligent enemy? Can Juke Limited arm the world’s military with technology sophisticated enough to defeat the Hive Queen and her swarm?

Desperate for survival, humanity is willing to win this war at all costs. For this reason, ‘The Swarm’ is more similar to ‘Ender’s Game’ than any of the three other prequel novels. To my delight, ‘The Swarm’ mimics signature ‘Ender’s Game’ elements such as resistance against authority, creative problem solving and childish wit.

Fans will enjoy the subtle development of the Battle School’s foundation, including zero-gravity training, flash guns, battle suits, armies, stars in the battle room, and even the ansible.

I love ‘The Swarm’ so much that I plan to recommend the prequel trilogies to younger ‘Ender’s Game’ fans over the Shadow Series. It’s easily my favorite novel Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston have collaborated on.

As a fan of the Enderverse, I appreciate that Card and Johnston have constructed the story in a way that unifies parts of ‘The Gold Bug’, ‘Mazer in Prison’, ‘Speaker for the Dead’, ‘Shadows in Flight’ and film canon. It’s quite impressive.

For readers less familiar with the entire Enderverse, I must recommend reading at least the First Formic War trilogy beforehand. Any of the other novels or short stories, including ‘Ender’s Game’, are unnecessary to understand the plot.

I only have two grievances against ‘The Swarm’. Firstly, the physics and biochemistry explanations behind some of technologies seems slightly misguided regarding the laws of thermodynamics. I won’t give any spoilers in this review, but I’m pointing at you, chapters 18 and 25!  My second grievance is that ‘The Swarm’ had to end at all.

On a final note, I think it’s endearing that this novel is sweetly dedicated to our amazing ‘Ender’s Game’ film producer, Lynn Hendee.

‘The Swarm’ will be released tomorrow, August 2. Purchase it at your local bookstore or buy it on Amazon.

Disclaimer: A special thanks to Tor Books for providing ‘The Swarm’ for review. All opinions are my own.

‘Ender’s Game’ battle room recreated in Halo 5

Check it out! A Reddit user, /u/Aurelien-131, has recreated an ‘Ender’s Game’ battle scene in Halo 5. For more information about how he created this masterpiece, including a map variant and accompanying game type, click here.

‘The Swarm’ is now available for pre-order

49304In a flood of news for ‘The Swarm’ by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston, the novel’s cover image, description, page length and release date have been revealed.

‘The Swarm’ will be the first novel in the Second Formic War Trilogy, which is also a prequel trilogy to the original ‘Ender’s Game’ novel. The novel will be available for purchase in bookstores on August 2, 2016, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon now.

The description reads:

The first invasion of Earth was beaten back by a coalition of corporate and international military forces. China has been devastated by the Formic’s efforts to eradicate Earth’s life forms and prepare the ground for their own settlement. The Scouring of China struck fear into the other nations of the planet; that fear blossomed into drastic action when scientists determined that the single ship that wreaked such damage was merely a scout ship.

There is a mothership out beyond the Solar System’s Kuiper Belt, and it’s heading into the system, unstoppable by any weapons that Earth can muster.

Card’s Ender’s Game is one of the bestselling and most beloved science fiction novels of all time. It is set on an Earth where society and governments have been radically altered in the face of alien invasion. Readers will discover the past of Ender’s world, feel the desperation of Earth that drove humans to make the changes they did, and meet the heroes who fought off the tide of invasion until Ender could decisively end the wars.

According to Amazon, ‘The Swarm’ is 464 pages. For reference, this is the same length as ‘Earth Unaware’, which is the first novel in the First Formic War Trilogy.

Click the jump to see the cover in it’s full glory. Continue reading

Centipede Press confirms new Ender novella (UPDATED)

endersgamespread1Centipede Press will publish a new Enderverse novella written by Orson Scott Card in conjunction with the publication of an Enderverse short story anthology.

In October, the company published an illustrated edition of ‘Ender’s Game’. Fan enthusiasm for the publication inspired new Ender projects, but developments have been quiet since December.

In a newsletter sent on Sunday, Centipede Press wrote that they acquired the rights to ‘Speaker for the Dead’ and a “massive collection” of short stories including a new novella. No details were given about this novella or where it would fall on the complicated Enderverse timeline.

“This is still a ways off from being done, but we wanted to pass on the good news,” the newsletter states.

There is no release date for either publication, but until then Centipede Press would like fans’ help. They would like to hire a illustrator for the projects and they are open to fans’ suggestions.

Please send your suggestions to jerad@centipedepress.com.

Update: We have confirmed with Centipede Press that ‘Speaker for the Dead’ and the short story collection will be two separate volumes to be published at roughly the same time. The yet untitled short story collection will include all the short stories and novellas to date and one new novella, which is also still untitled.

Giveaway: ‘Ender’s Game’ Props

In anticipation of their auction, Prop Store decided to giveaway a small batch of ‘Ender’s Game’ film props via tested.com.

The items include a Dragon Army patch set, a ground school beret, and tags for producer Lynn Hendee and extra Larry Kramer.



To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post before March 20. Good luck!