Ender's Shadow - Ender Author:Orson Scott Card Orson Scott Card brings us back to the very beginning of his brilliant Ender Quartet, with a novel that allows us to reenter that world anew. — With all the power of his original creation, Card has created a parallel volume to Ender's Game, a book that expands and compliments the first, enhancing its power, illuminating its events and its ... more »powerful conclusion.
The human race is at War with the "Buggers", an insect-like alien race. The first battles went badly, and now as Earth prepares to defend itself against the imminent threat of total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable alien enemy, all focus is on the development and training of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win.
The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth--they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging then into an irresisible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School.
Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this new book, card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean--the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers.
Bean's past was a battle just to survive. He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else's. He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others. He civilized them, and lived to grow older.
Bean's desperate struggle to live, and his success, brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender....« less
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I actually preferred "Ender's Shadow" to the original "Ender's Game". While I relate better to the character of Ender, Bean's experience was far more interesting due to his larger emotional range in comparison.
Anybody who is looking to read this book should be made aware that this isn't just a rehashing of the original book. Card seems to have put a lot of thought into it. What Ender experiences in comparison to Bean is different, despite the fact that they go through the same rigorous training. Bean has a different point of view on it all, since he isn't as innocent as Ender.
This book would probably stand well on its own, if the one has not read the original.
Andres "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. Here is the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean--the one who became Ender's right hand, his strategist and his friend. Neat Sci-Fi!
Revisit the best for enders game with a new perspective. I have read the whole ender series and liked Enders Shadow more then any other book in the series, short of the original. The book is so good it ends up being a short read.
Orson Scott Card delves headfirst into character development in this parallel novel to "Ender's Game". Excitement & reflection intertwine to create a psychological book that calls into question the status quo. A different perspective on the same story makes this an excellent read.
The plot is similar to Ender's Game naturally. However, the plot twist in Ender's Game is written plainly in Ender's Shadow, making it have less of an impact. While I did enjoy this book as much as, if not more than, Ender's Game, I would recommend reading Ender's Game first due to the mentioned difference in perspective on the story.
Fans of Ender's Game who couldn't follow with the increasingly (for me anyway) strung out series will love Ender's Shadow. It's a great companion piece to the original, although it doesn't quite have the lingering power of the original.
Once again, Orson Scott Card shows his depth of understanding of the human heart and psyche. While not as moving as Speaker for the Dead, Enders Shadow still contained several poignant moments. Pretty soon, we are rocketing up to Battle School with Bean who has to learn a whole new way of life, including friendship and trust. Even though I already knew the outcome of the many confrontations from reading Enders Game, it was still nail biting suspense to see them through Beans eyes. Of course, there were a number of events that happened in Beans life that are not in Enders Game, keeping the reader interested even though the books ending is known.
My one complaint with this novel is that cleverness and knowledge seem to by accentuated in Beans character, even beyond what I would allow for a genious kid. Without spoiling anything, there is a scene where Baby Bean hides in a small thing of water for several hours. Now, putting aside the brain power and knowledge necessary to do so successfully, a hairless being that small needs to be concerned about hypothermia. These instances were few and small, but still I feel they detracted a bit from the overall novel, especially since I know what Card is capable of in Speaker for the Dead.
The audio production and narration was superb. The same crew played a role in this novel and that helps greatly in enjoying such a large branching series in audio format. Stefan Rudnicki, always a favorite, was Graff and he plays him so very well. It was great to have Gabrielle de Cuir and Scott Brick along for the read also.