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Ender's Shadow [Mass Market Paperback]

Orson Scott Card
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (567 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 15 2000 Ender's Shadow (Book 1)
The novel that launched the bestselling Ender's Shadow series.
 
The human race is at War with the "Buggers," an insect-like alien race. As Earth prepares to defend itself from total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable enemy, all focus is on the development 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 them into an irresistible 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 Ender's Shadow, 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. 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....

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From Amazon

Ender's Shadow is being dubbed as a parallel novel to Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ender's Game. By "parallel," Card means that Shadow begins and ends at roughly the same time as Game, and it chronicles many of the same events. In fact, the two books tell an almost identical story of brilliant children being trained in the orbiting Battle School to lead humanity's fleets in the final war against alien invaders known as the Buggers. The most brilliant of these young recruits is Ender Wiggin, an unparalleled commander and tactician who can surely defeat the Buggers if only he can overcome his own inner turmoil.

Second among the children is Bean, who becomes Ender's lieutenant despite the fact that he is the smallest and youngest of the Battle School students. Bean is the central character of Shadow, and we pick up his story when he is just a 2-year-old starving on the streets of a future Rotterdam that has become a hell on earth. Bean is unnaturally intelligent for his age, which is the only thing that allows him to escape--though not unscathed--the streets and eventually end up in Battle School. Despite his brilliance, however, Bean is doomed to live his life as an also-ran to the more famous and in many ways more brilliant Ender. Nonetheless, Bean learns things that Ender cannot or will not understand, and it falls to this once pathetic street urchin to carry the weight of a terrible burden that Ender must not be allowed to know.

Although it may seem like Shadow is merely an attempt by Card to cash in on the success of his justly famous Ender's Game, that suspicion will dissipate once you turn the first few pages of this engrossing novel. It's clear that Bean has a story worth telling, and that Card (who started the project with a cowriter but later decided he wanted it all to himself) is driven to tell it. And though much of Ender's Game hinges on a surprise ending that Card fans are likely well acquainted with, Shadow manages to capitalize on that same surprise and even turn the table on readers. In the end, it seems a shame that Shadow, like Bean himself, will forever be eclipsed by the myth of Ender, because this is a novel that can easily stand on its own. Luckily for readers, Card has left plenty of room for a sequel, so we may well be seeing more of Bean in the near future. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

You can't step into the same river twice, but Card has gracefully dipped twice into the same inkwellAonce for Ender's Game and again for this stand-alone "parallel novel." The course readers will follow this time is of the superhuman child Bean. Raised on streets ruled by starving children's gangs, he was too weak, at age four, to hold peanuts in his hand, but ingenious enough to trick the other children into civilizing themselvesAand to keep himself alive. When his genius and uncanny understanding of individuals' motivations are discovered, he is sent to Battle School, where children learn to command fleets for the war with the alien BuggersAthe smallest kid ever to do so. Bean is not as perfect as Ender WigginAhero of the Ender Quartet, begun with Ender's Game and concluded with Children of the MindAbut he becomes Ender's ally. Though Bean is cold at first, the kind of child who weighs the costs of hugging the nun who saved him from the streets, he wants to understand the respect and love that Ender wields. Thus, Bean's story is twofold: he learns to be a soldier, and to be human. Devotees of the Ender saga will delight in the revelations about the formation of Ender's Dragon army and about the last of Ender's games. Though newcomers to the series may miss many of the novel's points, the wonders of Battle School and flashsuits and children's armies should keep them turning pages. As always, everyone will be struck by the power of Card's children, always more and less than human, perfect yet struggling, tragic yet hopeful, wondrous and strange. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As good if not better than Ender's game.
It explores the same story as the original but from the perspective of Bean.
If you're familiar with Ender's Game then there's not really anything I can tell you about the story, but you should read Shadow. You won't regret it.
If you're not familiar with either then you're in for a treat. I wish I could live the journey that is this book (and Ender's game) again.

This is another one of those books that I will not give a summary to. Just read it without knowing anything. You really don't want anything about this adventure spoiled.

Both this and Ender's Game are excellent and I could not recommend them more. Don't be reluctant that it shares it's plot with Ender's Game, it will not bore you in any way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, AFTER Ender's Game. Oct. 20 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Orson wrote this book after Enders Game as a way to see events through the eyes of others. He starts the book by saying it doesn't matter if you read it before or after Ender's Game but I think it should absolutely be after. This book is far more "complete", it reveals many angles that I think would spoil Ender's Game for anyone that hasn't read it. If you have read it this adds a rich layer of understanding on top, it makes you feel like a part of that world.

Absolutely amazing, one of the best books I've ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As good as Enders Game Feb. 15 2014
By ET
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hesitated once I read some reviews that it was the same story as the original, but from a different perspective. Well I should not have because it was as good even almost better. The story is from a different angle and character and was brilliantly told. The intelligence behind characters combined with the main character of Bean is simply brilliant and entertaining. Glad that I picked up this book and will continue reading the others.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bean has emotions? March 19 2013
By anick
Format:Kindle Edition
I find it strange that Poke took so much importance in Beans mind...the author did not make me feel this in the beginning of the book.

Very well constructed story. Events flow well. Keeps you turning the pages faster and faster. Just found out it is not the first of the series...uukh! But good to find out there is more to read....Next!
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By Cookie,
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just as the title says... this book does incredible justice to it's namesake, forget that it's set in a parallel world to Ender. Bean is my Ender...
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Format:Audio CD
I have just finished listening to the Audio Book of Ender's Shadow and I was completely impressed with the professionalism of the production and the quality of the writing.
Ender's Shadow is not a sequel or a prequel. It's the same story as Ender's Game but told from the viewpoint of a different charactor, Bean. I was so amazed at the new insight into the original story that I found myself rereading passages of Ender's Game.
The quality of the production on the audio book is amazing. The producers wisely decided to use a full cast to read the story. When the story switched viewpoints and during certain dialogue pieces, it helped to keep the charactors straight and the audio book lively.
Orson Scott Card decided to add a special treat at the end of the audio book. On the final CD, there is a passage where he explains what has been holding up the Ender's Game move. (Yes, there will be an Ender's Game movie) He tells you of the obsticles that had to be overcome, how he overcame them, and why there will be an Ender's Game movie out soon. The insight that he provided is amazing and surprising.
If you are wanting to read Ender's Shadow, I challenge you to listen to it on audio book instead. I listened to it on at the gym and in the car. I'm sure that you will feel the same way I did; that it was well worth the unique experience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book...nice parallel to Ender's Game June 4 2005
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've always enjoyed Bean's character in Ender's Game and I was excited to learn more about Bean's past, his thoughts, etc. This book offered a different perspective of the Battle School, the games and the war. Overall, it was a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable July 19 2004
Format:Hardcover
I enjoyed this book, though I'm fairly particular about what science fiction I will read. If you liked Ender's Game, I suspect you'll like this book too.
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