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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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Ender's Shadow + Ender's Game
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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: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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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although the reviews now indicate how I feel about the book. But at first many probably doubted that card could essentially tell the same story twice. However, the story while similar to Ender's Game, does a brilliant job in its own right in becoming a separate book from it's original predecessor. The storyline of Bean from his struggles on the streets of Rotterdam to his acceptance and difficulties in Battle School , is extremely compelling. If you loved Ender's Game, you might like Ender's Shadow even more. What makes it unique is the fact that not only does it tell some of the events but besides the plot of the Bugger War (Called Formics in Ender's Shadow) and Bean's original struggle to stay alive, is the subplot of his origins. Without giving too much away (POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD), Bean is not a normal child in any sense of the word normal. The source of Bean's intelligence is gradually unraveled throughout the book by the International Fleet and Sister Carlotta (Bean's mentor and protector during his time on Earth before Battle School). I found this subplot to perhaps be the most exciting of all. It gave the original Ender's Game a new dimension to look at. Ender's Shadow not only gives the reader some of the events that the reader read about in Ender's Game but fills in alot of the gaps as well that are told from the standpoint of the people on the "other" side of the equation.
Bottom line is if you haven't gotten this book yet, you are missing out on all the magic that made Ender's Game great and Ender's Shadow even better. Pick it up, you won't regret it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ULTIMATE must-read!!!! June 18 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
You ask: Why would ENDER'S SHADOW be such a must-read? And I would answer: because the plot is AWESOME! OK, a little shrimpy four-year-old who taught himself who to live on the streets, talk, and read? And then his little midget goes into space to Battle School, a school for military genius children to fight in a war against the invading aliens? How is that not awesome? ENDER'S SHADOW is about Ender's shadow: Bean. Bean is a complete genius, but does not understand normal human affecsionism. Here's an example from the book:
'Like the games of Let's Pretend that Sister Carlotta tried to play with him a couple of times. Harking back to her own childhood, no doubt, growing up in a house where there was always enough food. Bean didn't have to pretend things in order to exercise his imagination when he was on the street. Instead he had to imagine his plans for how to get food, for how to insinuate himself into a gang, for how to survive when he knew he seemed useless to everyone. He had to imagine how and when his leader, Achilles would decide to act against him for having advocated that Poke kill him. He had to imagine danger around every corner, a bully ready to seize every scrap of food. Oh, he had plenty of imagination. But he had NO interest at all in playing Let's Pretend.
That was HER game. She played it all the time. Let's pretend that Bean is a good little boy. Let's pretend that Bean is the son that this nun can never have for real. Let's pretend that when Bean leaves, he'll cry---that he's not crying now because he's too afraid of this new school, this journey into space, to let his emotions show. Let's pretend that Bean loves me.
So Bean slid off his chair, walked around the table to Sister Carlotta, and put his arms as far around her as they would reach.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enders shadow review June 8 2004
Format:Hardcover
The Buggers are coming! The Buggers are coming! The Buggers are a hostile, alien race coming to attack Earth. An army is needed to fight the buggers. That's where battle school comes in.Beanis a boy who is small for his age, but is very smart because he was a genetically science expieriment. The stoy begins when Bean was only four years old and was living on the streets of Rotterdam. He was tested for battle school and got the highest scores in history. Once at battle school, he meets Nikolai, who becomes his best friend and later turns out to be his brother. The battle school is taken the best, smartest kids and training them hard. They have a game for training where there are commanders of armies of about 40 soldiers each (the armies are the teams and the soldiers are the players of the game). The armies battle each other. They wear flash suits that get stiff when shot with the game weapons.
The commander of Bean's team, Ender, has the second highest test scores at the battle school. He is also the best army commander in the training game. When the teachers give him an army and figure out that he is such a good commander, they get really tough on him and his army to see if he has any weaknesses. They make the opposing teams' suits able to unstiffen after five minutes, but Ender's army's suits do not unstiffen (they are all supposed to stay stiff). They also put Ender's army against two other armies are once. They are only supposed to have a battle once every few days, but the teachers give Ender's army two battles a day plus practices. Even with all those battles, they never lost a single one.
Though the story jumps around a lot and parts of this book sound like the Bible, I really liked it. It is an exciting science fiction story. I would recommend Ender's Shadow to anyone who can keep up with a complicated, hard-to-follow storyline.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading no matter if you've read Ender's game or not.
As good if not better than Ender's game.
It explores the same story as the original but from the perspective of Bean. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Andres Consumer
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as Enders Game
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. Read more
Published 6 months ago by ET
5.0 out of 5 stars I ordered 2 of these!
Got one for my younger brother and one for myself.

First of all, I can't believe how cheap these are. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Bobby
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, AFTER Ender's Game.
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... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Deep Gill
5.0 out of 5 stars Bean has emotions?
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. Read more
Published 17 months ago by anick
5.0 out of 5 stars One o the greatest novels I've ever read, forget it's a d*mn...
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...
Published on July 5 2012 by Cookie,
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book...nice parallel to Ender's Game
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. Read more
Published on June 3 2005
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
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.
Published on July 19 2004 by Hugo Calendar
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Wonderful Orson Scott Card Book
Many people see this book as just a rewritten version of Ender's Game except from bean's view. That is true in part, but the story tells of bean's past, his thoughts, hopes and... Read more
Published on July 3 2004 by tamara
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to the haters...
Don't listen to those who say this book pales in comparison to Ender's Game. Sure, you don't get the surprise ending you got in the first book, but you know that before you even... Read more
Published on June 28 2004 by opy666
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