on April 29, 2006
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.
on July 6, 2004
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!
on June 18, 2004
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. She gathered him put onto her lap and held him tight, her tears flowing into his hair. He hoped her nose wasn't running. But he clung to her as long as she clung to him, letting go when she let go of him. It was what she wanted from him, the only payment that she had ever asked of him. For all the meals, the lessons, the books, the language, for his future, he owed her no less than to join her in this game of Let's Pretend.'
You see, Bean is not exacly normal, and that's what makes him SO interesting. If you do not read ENDER'S SHADOW you are really missing out!
on June 8, 2004
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.
on May 28, 2004
Enders Shadow is the reflection of Enders Game. Except in this book, it shows the perspective of Beans life. The author did an excellent job of Paralelling the two books
Enders Shadow shows the perspective of Bean, wherein this book, Bean living off the streets of Rotterdam, joins a group lead by Poke. From the beginning Bean is an astonishingly bright kid compared only to Ender while in battle school. All is well when Bean joins Enders team. Until he and the rest of Dragon army is split up into different teams pitting them against each other. While Bean commands Rabit Army, he also has the hefty task of finding out all of the information that the teachers are hiding from them. Unfortenatly Bean has an encounter with a well-known enemy from the streets of Rotterdam. Bean must out-smart his enemy before the enemy outsmarts him.
This book is much better to Enders Game. For this book explains why everything that was hidden in Enders Game happend. Bean is one of the brightest kids in battle school. He has the reactions of a fox and the reasorcefulness of... well ender yet better. Bean is able to find things out about battle school that ender didnt learn till it was all over. This book shows the relationship between Ender and Bean while still giving you a brilliant yet understandable reason of it all.
Most Enders Game readers that i have talked with, don't end up reading Enders Shadow, thinking that it would be the entire story over again just writen in a different expression. But that is not true. Enders Shadow explains the unsolved mysteries that leave you hanging and annoyed.
No other author could of writen this as good and as brilliant as Orson Scott Card, KUDOS!!!!
on May 11, 2004
When I first started reading this book, I did not have very high hopes that it would be as good as Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Card has done a wonderful job writing from both character's points of veiw and the book had its own plot line. Ender's Shadow is about a boy who is raised on the streets of Rotterdam. He does not know where he came from but he does know that he has been on the streets since he was 2 years old. He is recognized as being extremly smart and having the qualities of a leader. A school in space called 'Batter School' enrolls him when he is still about 3 years younger than the others first entering the school. There he is compared to another boy who came to school early named Ender. Both Bean and Ender are child geniuses and are smart enough to be aware of the upcoming war with the Alien enemies. Ender is the chosen pick by the teachers to lead this war and have assigned Bean as the back up in case Ender can not do it. Bean studies Ender and the way he works while also studying the ways of the other children. The streets of Rotterdam made him constantly alert and always analyzing people for threats against him. A child from his past comes up to Battle School to haunt Bean's time there. Although Ender's Shadow has almost the same general plot as Ender's Game, this one has more side plots and more feelings. You really get to understand the way that Bean veiws the world, and also how others veiw the infamous Ender. This book is excellent and I would reccomend it to anyone who likes a good science fiction tale. I would say to read Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card first though so that way you will get a better understanding of the way Ender feels before you can compare him to Bean. This book lets you tap into the mind of children who are forced to grow up but in a way of playing war games.
on April 15, 2004
It is a sorry state of affairs indeed when the best portion of a Science-Fiction novel is the part that is almost completely grounded in reality. Such was the case in Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow, a parallel novel to Ender's Game. The first fifty pages describe the rival criminal gangs in the ghettos of Rotterdam, and they sadly represent the pinnacle of the novel. After that...everything begins to tumble.
Ender's Shadow follows the life of "Bean," (his name is revealed in the latter part of the novel but it's fairly irrelevant) an extremely intelligent young child who, as the book opens, is on the brink of starvation in the streets of Rotterdam. He cunningly manipulates people to feed himself, and eventually gets out of the ghetto. Through the help of a nun, Sister Carlotta, he goes to Battle School (an orbital in the sky devised to train children to be officers in the 3rd Alien-Human War) and then the plot adapts to Ender's Game, Card's superior, albeit flawed 1977 entry.
Although "Shadow" was far from boring, and I would certainly reccomend it to someone on a long plane or train ride, it is too flawed to trully reccomend as a good book. For one thing, the main character is not a likeable character, and spending 400 pages with him is not an enviable sitation: he is a sullen loner bent on success, and he quickly grows irratating. Secondly, the subplot on Earth of Sister Carlotta attempting to see if Bean was a clone or a victim of genetic adaptation is irrelevant and brings the narrative to a screeching halt. The conclusion, although better than Card's attempt at profound philosophy evidenced in "Game," still leaves much to be desired.
Card's biggest acheivement in "Shadow" is acheving the rare paradox of managing to alienate both people who read his other works and those who havent. He gives too little backround information on Battle School and all the peripheral settings for the novice to be entertained, and does not show much of Battle School that one who has read "Game" does not alrady know, so someone who was looking for more will not get what he or she wished.
I would not reccomend to book to anyone aside from someone who needs easy entertainment...novices will likely be confused and Ender's Game fans will be dissapointed.
on April 15, 2004
I really really liked Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card. It is hard to say if I like it better than Ender's Game, also by Orson Scott Card. Ender's Shadow is more of a tag along to the first book, it really just shows another point of view in the same situation. In this book it tells of Bean's struggles when he lived in Rotterdam, and because Bean was so little he had to use tactics, which caught the eyes of the battle school recruits. Bean was eyed by the recruits and then was brought up to battle school where he first met Ender. He and Ender became good friends and Bean was Ender's's right hand. It was different from the first book, this book seemed, to me, to have more feeling, deepness, and more realness to it. Ender's seemed to not know how to feel and Bean wore his emotions more on his sleeve, that's why I think I liked Bean better than Ender's sometimes. Bean was a little boy who packed a big punch, so to speak, and he was a little ruffian and I really enjoyed reading this book.
on April 12, 2004
Ender's Game is my favorite book of all time and I was very excited when this book came out. I would have been happy if this novel were half as good as Ender's Game... and it was more than that. This was fantastic, a real page turner that you can't put down. If you loved Ender's Game, you'll love Ender's Shadow.
This is a parallel novel (not a sequel) to Ender's Game. It is the same story only told from the perspective of Ender's right-hand-man, Bean. Only it isn't the same story because there is a lot about Bean that Ender (and therefore us) don't know about. Where did Bean come from? Who is he? Why is he so smart? These questions and even more are answered in this story as we find out that Bean had more influence that we had thought by only reading Ender's Game.
If you have not read Ender's Game I would suggest reading it first. The real story is about Ender, and while Bean is just as interesting a story, the story is best seen through the eyes of Ender Wiggin first. But if you love Ender's Game, pick this one up and read it. This only adds more life to the story.
Orson Scott Card, the master at creating loveable, believable, and fantastic characters, does an incredible job of bringing Bean to life.
on April 8, 2004
Ender¡¯s Shadow is like a parallax of Ender¡¯s Game. This book is another telling of the same tale, with many of the same characters and setting, only from the perspective of another character. Bean, the one who was Ender¡¯s right hand, his strategist, and his friend, is the main character of this book instead of Andrew ¡°Ender¡± Wiggin, the best of the best in Battle School, who is the main focus of the Ender¡¯s series.
I have already read the first original book, Ender¡¯s Game and it became my all-time favorite book. I have read it several times, and never got tired of the story. I had an immediate interest in reading Ender's Shadow when I found it. Although I knew Ender¡¯s Game inside and out, Ender¡¯s Shadow gave a different, but as intriguing taste.
The starting of the book was what really caught my interest. It starts out in a whole different perspective from Ender¡¯s Game. They introduce the main character, Bean, in the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind of perfect memory, with no known past. Starting with the very significant setting, and character, the book holds my attention with the telling of Bean¡¯s desperate struggle, and his astonishing success. Not only telling one story of Bean¡¯s ingenious mind and his struggle of life in Rotterdam, there is also another side of the story that Bean doesn¡¯t know of, the conversations of the IF and Sister Carlotta. The showing of Bean¡¯s incredible talent and his strategic mind brings my attention to the book and 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. The behind of scenes of his Bean¡¯s life, knowledge, his inside thoughts, and reasons of action while he¡¯s on the streets of Rotterdam and in Battle School, the points that you can¡¯t know in Ender¡¯s Game, is what really kept me reading this book.
Ender¡¯s Shadow was an incredibly captivating book. Its different sides, and conversations of the story keeps the reader fascinated. Although being a retelling of Ender¡¯s Game, a book in which I¡¯m very familiar with, I was absorbed in its new, yet spellbinding taste. Orson Scott Card, the author of the Ender¡¯s series and many other best-selling science fiction and fantasy novels, did a very nice job telling same story twice, but differently. Both books draw on the same memories of childhood, but from a different perspective. Ender and Bean, standing a little ways apart as they move through the same events, create the parallax. The new flavors of the book are the reasons why I enjoyed this book as much as Ender¡¯s Game.