Orson Scott Card brings us back to the very beginning of his brilliant Ender Quartet, with the novel that begins The Shadow Series and allows us to reenter Ender's world anew.
With all the power of his original creation, Ender's Shadow is Card's parallel volume to Ender's Game, a book that expands and complements the first, enhancing its power, illuminating its events and its 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 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 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....
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind
Ender’s Shadow series
Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight
Children of the Fleet
The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens
The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)
The Swarm /The Hive
A War of Gifts /First Meetings
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
You can't step into the same river twice, but Card has gracefully dipped twice into the same inkwell--once 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 themselves--and 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 Buggers--the smallest kid ever to do so. Bean is not as perfect as Ender Wiggin--hero of the Ender Quartet, begun with Ender's Game and concluded with Children of the Mind--but 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is rivaled only by Enders Game. As I said in My review of Enders Game, if Hollywood screws up the movie, I'm burning something down.
This is one of the best books ive ever read. Such a page turner! Read this book now!!!
Exceptional story telling
I love the Ender series and the companion Shadow series. The imagery of the universe is vast and vivid (alliteration anyone?) and the perspective wholesale unique, yet not dark and obtuse like many modern story lines are, both in literature and film. There is a sense of hope that permeates the entire story that, although isn't entirely embraced by the main character because of the strength of his other characteristics, causes great satisfaction without feeling overdone or anywhere near gratuitous. I highly recommend this book (and the rest in the series) to any who like only the best story telling coupled with fantastic science fiction.