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Book Review: Children Of The Fleet By Orson Scott Card
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Children of the Fleet header Orson Scott Card

Children Of The Fleet
Fleet School Series
Hardcover | Kindle
By Orson Scott Card
Audiobook narrated by Stefan Rudnicki from Macmillan Audio
Publisher: Tor Books | Macmillan
Release Date: October 10, 2017

Just when you thought you would never see another book from the Enderverse, author Orson Scott Card surprises us all with not just a new book, but one with a definitive twist. Children of the Fleet is more than a spin-off or a sequel, it is a completely different perspective of events that unfolded in a previous novel.

The similarities are still there, of course that is to be expected. An exceptional child displaced, but amazing. This one, however, takes a turn for the unexpected, again and again. Our new protagonist is Dabeet Ochoa. He’s a headstrong boy of about ten who is exceptional in every way, including his massive ego. And while the Battle School from previous stories, beginning with 1985’s Ender’s Game, has morphed into the newly minted Fleet School, much has remained the same, including having one Hyrum Graff involved at every level.

My largest takeaway from this novel is that it is one of growth. It is not just Dabeet’s abilities that expand, but also his humanity, his humility, and his self-reliance. As much as this story is about how the Fleet has changed with respect to its public goals, much of the structure still remains focused on protecting and defending the people. And while Ender literally turned the tide of the last war, those in power understand that war is ever a possibility and they must be prepared.

But when outside forces try to force Dabeet into treasonous actions, what will be the endgame? Even with his vast intellect, can he manage to avoid doing something that could cause the end of the Interstellar Fleet and possibly doom both himself and his world? Events cycle quickly in this brand new tale and nothing is as it seems for our young hero who just might be in over his head.

Card does for this new series what he did for its predecessor: he creates a series of characters that you might not always like, but with whom you empathize, chapter after chapter. The reading level is typical of all the other books, as it bridges the young adult to adult science fiction gap easily and painlessly. Well planned and executed, this book drew me in quickly and will be the beginning of a great new series, if Card decides to continue down this path. A great buy for teens and adults alike, especially if they are fans of the Ender books.

Children of the Fleet is a new angle on Card’s bestselling series, telling the story of the Fleet in space, parallel to the story on Earth told in the Ender’s Shadow series.

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

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