Ender's Shadow Mass Market Paperback – Dec 15 2000
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
'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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
A simple good book. A bit redundant in terms of character development.Published 1 month ago by Olivire Gauvreau
I liked the book a lot. it followed the same story line perfectly.Published 5 months ago by Henry Spanjers
They say you could read this book without reading the first one and I guess you could. I just think you would be missing a lot of background.
I really liked this series. Read more
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
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 morePublished on Feb. 15 2014 by ET
Got one for my younger brother and one for myself.
First of all, I can't believe how cheap these are. Read more
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 morePublished on Oct. 20 2013 by Deep Gill