The book I read is called Xenocide by Orson Scott Card. This book is the third in a quartet that chronicles the life of a man called Ender and his sister Valentine. In this book, both Ender and Valentine are over 3000 years old thanks to faster-than-light-travel and Einstein's theory of relativity. Ender is known through out the universe as Ender the Xenocide for destroying the Bugger race 3000 years earlier. His sister Valentine is equally famous for her writings under the name Demonsthes.
Both are assumed dead for more than obvious reasons. Though soon enough a world in trouble will find out the truth and learn that they are more than lucky these two extraordinary people are still alive to help them through possible annihilation. The book begins with Ender all ready on Lusitania and married to the most prominent scientist there. Valentine is on a distant planet also married and with kids when she finds out that Ender needs her to help and she must come to Lusitania right away. Now this would have to be a most serious problem to uproot a family from there home and travel to a distant world, wasting years through the theory of relativity and close to light speed travel. And it is a very serious problem.
Lusitania is a new colony planet that contains the only other sentient life forms every found by humans. The other being the Buggers, though they were destroyed 3000 years before. Therefore strict rules were placed upon the colonist not to associate with these life forms. They broke these laws. This was not the largest threat though. The problem was that the sentient life forms contain a virus in their genetic code that is deadly to all humans who come in contact with it.
Even worse, there is no cure. Therefore, Starways Congress has decided to destroy the entire planet with the Dr. D device. This device is a molecular disrupter.
Therefore, Valentine leaves right away, knowing she would beat the Congress fleet and help stop the destruction of Lusitania. The trip for Valentine is but weeks in length to her, though 30 years passes on Lusitania before she arrives to the planet. They have made little progress on a cure and the populace is starting to become restless with their impending destruction. So right away they start trying to find a cure and other ways of defeating the virus in order to save the planet from destruction. They must also deal with personal problems caused by the ties between their jobs on the planet. Ender's wife is the head scientist on the project to find a cure for the disease or the as they call it.
Also, her daughter is second in command of this project and her other children have ties with the project. Most of them being scientist also. Some problems faced are the hiding of results because ones views on destroying the are different then another's. This wouldn't be so except that the virus might be the a new form of sentient life and they would be committing if they found a cure and used it to save the planet.
However, again, a moral dilemma arises. If they don't find a cure or disable the virus, it will spread throughout the universe annihilating the human race. The lives inside the piggies, the original inhabitants of the planet. They want to leave the planet to escape destruction. They do not have the technology to do this, except that we now find out that the buggers, who were not destroyed, are building a ship for the piggies.
The twist and turns in this book only get worse as the story progresses. While all this is going on at Lusitania, on a distant planet called the Way, a young girl is growing up under the title of a god spoken child. This race, which is Japanese, is under the impression that their gods talk to certain people of their race who they call the god spoken. Anyway, we are shown a girl called Qing Jao who has just discovered she is god spoken. The god spoken experience cleansing's at times when they think they have been impure. They are a complaisant race, one that follows the Starways Congress' rules, but is technically a separate colony.
As Qing Jao is struggling to find herself, she stumbles upon the answer to the Lusitania Fleet disappearance. Before now, the fleet had been missing because of Ender and his associate Jane. Now here is where it becomes complicated, Jane is the next sentient life form to be discovered. Though Jane is only known of to a select few.
The problem is that Jane is inside their communication system which transports information instantly to anywhere in the universe. Qing Jao discovers that Demonsthes is part of the reason the fleet disappears. She also discovers Jane, though she believes it is no more than a program that has been given human traits. This is all going on as the people on Lusitania are struggling to save themselves. This cause is hurt by Qing Jao who tells Starways Congress where the fleet is and helps get it back on track to Lusitania. Qing Jao did this for two reasons: one, she was under the impression that the gods wanted her to find the fleet; two, she was angered by Jane when Jane discovered that she was not really god spoken but a sufferer of a special kind of Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Worse yet, it was Congress that did it to her and her people. Now trough all this, Jane had the power to stop Qing Jao from doing this. She can control the communication system at will. Jane chose not to stop Qing Jao with possibly fatal results. Jane exists inside the system. The Starways Congress, to get rid of Jane, have organized the temporary shut down of the entire system.
This would basically kill Jane because it would destroy all records of her existence. So now they must hurry to find a cure for the virus, find a cure for the Obsessive compulsive disorder the Japanese suffer from, a way to save Jane, and a way to get all inhabitants of Lusitania off the planet before it is destroyed. Back on Lusitania, to try to stop the piggies from leaving Lusitania and spreading the, one of Ender's kids, Father Estavo goes out to the pig gie faction that is leading this movement. This ends with the death of Father Estavo and starts with new problems in Ender's family.
Ender must try to heal his family's wounds so that they can save the planet. In the lab, they do not make any progress until Ender's wife releases her information on the virus and allows them to find out things they did not know. Not soon enough though. Father Estavo's brother starts a riot, which leads to the death of many piggies and now the planet is falling apart.
Everyone is scared and knows not what to do. They realize they must pull together if they are to survive this ordeal. Back in the lab, they have discovered that the virus is man-made and has built in defenses against outside intruders. Though, eventually they get around the defenses and find a way to disable the virus enough to make it safe for humans while not killing the piggies.
Also, they have found a cure for the Obsessive compulsive disorder for the Japanese people. The only problem is that they cannot get there fast enough. If they are to get the cure to the Way and save all of Lusitania, they need to achieve faster-than-light-travel. And with Jane becoming more disabled by the day, their hopes are failing. Until they discover that Jane was created through Ender all those 3000 years ago. She is part of him and vise versa.
This is significant in that it leads to the discovery of faster-than-light-travel. It is based on the communication system that can send info at light speed. However, it requires Jane to navigate the trip. This trip is so complicated because it requires them leaving normal space and entering a dimension that does not follow the rules of nature. On the first trip, everything goes well except that Ender unwillingly create a copy of his evil older brother and a clone of Valentine, only much younger.
Now life is ridiculously complicated for Ender. But they have found the answers to all of their problems and have helped the race of the planet, The Way. Refusing to go back into the dimension, Ender must send his brother to give the cure to the people of The Way. He does, but has underlying reasons for going on the trip and after giving the the people of The Way their cure, he takes the Housemaid of Qing Jao and goes to places unknown to overthrow the Starways Congress. The story ends explaining the fate of Qing Jao.
However, leaving open what happens to Lusitania. If the author had not, it would not be a quartet. Overall, the book was very good. Though some parts bored me, air-go the lower score for rating.
The scientific theories intrigued me, which was mostly why I liked the book enough to finish it. To be truthful, it took me 3 years to finish this book. Probably, I could not fully respect it when I was 13, but I more than respect it now. I would be hard-pressed to recommend this book to anyone though. Even though it is a good read, it is much more than complicated to the average person and they would never finish for that reason alone. They would not understand most of it.
However, they should be willing to try. I gave it a 6 out of 10.