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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2001
Where do I start? Ah yes, I first of all read the totally amazing Ender's Game and, after being so astounded by the brilliance of the book, decided to read the rest of the Ender Saga. This was the last book of the Saga which I read.
This book, while gripping in places, is in no way an essential chapter of the Saga. Don't get me wrong, it was OK, it was interesting reading about Peter's gradual rise to Hegemony, the sub-plot with Bean was good, but overall I don't think I would have been too upset had I not read this book...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 February 2001
As I liked Ender's Game the best out of the 4-part Saga, I loved this return to the Battle School times. The book developes the story of Bean and his arch nemesis Achilles as set out in the previous book, Ender's Shadow. This is set in the backdrop of Battle School grads being vied over by nations in a bid for world dominance, after the fragile global alliance forged in the face of war has shattered. It's all strategy, wits and gambling on the tables again, and a fantastic return to the beginnings.
What can i say, as usual an inspiring read--Card is a great writer who can create this kind of magic about his characters. I waited so long for the paperback till a friend took pity and bought this for me, and i finished it in three go's. It's a jewel of a story, and everyone should read the whole saga!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2001
I have been thinking a lot of what is wrong with this book. Finally, I conclude that the problem is the basic startingpoint. The book is a follow-up on "Enders Shaddow" and - of course - "Enders Game". In these books the idea of teaching brilliant children the rules of tactical decisions is taken to the limit, and that is very well done. But the problem with this book is that the children also is assumed to be strategic geniuses. And here it all fall to pieces, because the author does not know his way around Asia and the world.
By hart, Orson Scott Card is American, as is clearly stated in his afterword - and he doesn't like the Democrats (esp. Clinton). OK, but why do I as a European wish to know that?
Also, Scott Card has perhaps been to Asia, and he might even have visited Thailand - but obviously not that much time! The description of downtown Bangkok is pathetic and simply bad writing. And as to the description of how China, India and Pakistan rally against each other - no, that is not good enough.
Back to the attic again, mr. Scott Card - this book is not one of your best!
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on 9 June 2011
This might be obvious, but I should firstly point out that this is the second of a series of four books (with another one planned apparently). This "Shadow Series" of books (starting with "Ender's Shadow") runs in parallel, at least at the beginning, to the "Ender Series" (starting with "Ender's Game"). Don't read this book unless you have read "Ender's Shadow" as it won't make much sense. I had difficulty remembering what was going on myself. In fact, I would start with the Ender Series personally.

This book follows Bean in the aftermath of the war with the Formics. All the former Battle School graduates return to Earth and are welcomed as military geniuses by their respective countries. It appears that the removal of the alien threat is leading to the disintegration of peace on Earth, and countries are beginning to prepare for the war for power on Earth that everyone is expecting. The Battle School graduates, although still mostly children, are seen as a valuable resource and they become targets for kidnapping, or elimination if that is not possible.

Against this backdrop, Bean must face his old nemesis from Battle School, and before that Rotterdam, Achilles. Achilles is scheming behind the scenes to get influence with various high ranking officials and get himself an army that he can use to gain personal power. Simultanously, Peter Wiggin is still trying to gain power through the office of Hegemon, supposedly to restore peace on Earth permanently.

This is a decent enough book in itself, but you need to be familiar with the background and characters from at least two other books (the first book in each series). It's mainly about Bean, Achilles and Peter trying to influence global politics in various ways, although there is some action and a couple of side plots too. A completely different type of book from the previous ones, but enjoyable in its own right.
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on 2 May 2011
Book two of Orson Scott Card's Shadow saga. The fragile global alliance forged whilst mankind fought against the Buggers is beginning to disintegrate and in the wars to come between various nations and groups of nations seeking hegemony in the world the military genius children trained in Battle School will be the greatest resource that any nation can have. Against this backdrop the megalomaniac Achilles (our protagonist Bean's nemesis) kidnaps most of Ender's `jeesh' - the group of Battle School graduates that supported Ender in the final battles against the Buggers in Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow - and has them taken to Russia to aid in Russia's bid to become the superpower of the world. But Achilles doesn't attempt to capture Bean but instead tries to kill him and his family to get vengeance on Bean for what Bean did to him in Battle School and before that on the streets of Rotterdam when Bean and Achilles were homeless orphans (see `Ender's Shadow'). But he fails to kill Bean because when Bean and his family hear that members of the jeesh are being targeted, they get away (they were on holiday at the time) and escape from their holiday villa before it is blown up by a missile attack. The Greek military then come to the aid of Bean and his family and they go into hiding. But soon their new location is discovered by Achilles. Graff - the former head of Battle School and now Minister of Colonization - and Sister Carlotta - the Catholic nun who recruited Bean for Battle School in Ender's Shadow and who became Bean's mentor - get them out of their confinement and the family is split up: Bean and Sister Carlotta go one way and the rest of Bean's family go another way, so that neither group can ever be found by Achilles and his people. But Bean and Carlotta are now on the run.

Whilst on the run, by utilizing new ally Locke - Peter Wiggin, Ender's older brother and the world's most influential demagogue - Bean has all but one of the captured jeesh released by revealing to the world that Achilles is a murderous psychopath. The only member of the jeesh that is not released is Petra, who Achilles has decided is the best of Ender's jeesh and so wants to hold onto. When the rest of the jeesh is released, Achilles sees to it that he recaptures Petra by killing the people setting her free. He then takes her to India, where along with some Indian Battle School graduates she finds herself caught up in events that will lead to war and the creation of a new world power via one man's treachery. Meanwhile Achilles is now aware of Locke so Peter Wiggin and Achilles are destined to become future rivals. As for Bean, he means to rescue his friend Petra from the clutches of Achilles, and so following Peter's advice allies himself with Thailand - the natural resistance to Achilles and India as the historic leader of southeast Asia - so that he can get himself an army to train, join in the fight against Achilles' aggression and rescue his friend Petra. But can he rescue Petra without getting himself and Petra killed? And can anyone fathom what Achilles is really up to?

Comments: this book was mainly about international war and politics set in the near future. Although Orson Scott Card is a science fiction writer there was not much science fiction in the book (indeed the writer himself describes the book as `historical fiction'). The book starts off a bit slowly but this doesn't last and it soon becomes very engrossing, with its intrigues about politics, military operations, military tactics and world affairs. All the main characters - Bean, Sister Carlotta, Petra, Peter Wiggin, Suriyawong and Achilles - are very interesting and hold your attention. At one other point in the book it becomes a little dull but, again, this doesn't last and we are soon once again back to the action. Any fans of Ender's Game and / or Ender's Shadow will enjoy these new tales of Orson Scott Card's Battle School graduates. Above all I enjoyed seeing Bean's brilliance and what a master military commander he really was. I read this book very quickly. Recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2001
I liked Shadow of the Hegemon just fine. It is not on a par with Ender's Shadow or with Ender's Game, but as someone else pointed out: the story needed telling, and it is great to read.
However, I was disappointed in the way Peter ascends to the position of Hegemon. The title suggests that we learn about this in detail, but really it just more or less happens at some point in the book.
Maybe Card is setting up an angle to write another series of books about Peter, but that would seem strange, because in this book sometimes the focus shifts away from Bean and to Peter's own thoughts and experiences. How can Card build on that for another series?
My conclusion: The book is more than worth your while. There are a lot of cliffhangers to anticipate the next two announced books and the story itself captured me completely. This is however by no means the best book of the series, and more of an in-between than a seperate work. You might want to wait reading it until the third Shadow book goes on sale.
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on 11 February 2001
As I liked Ender's Game the best out of the 4-part Saga, I loved this return to the Battle School times. The book developes the story of Bean and his arch nemesis Achilles as set out in the previous book, Ender's Shadow. This is set in the backdrop of Battle School grads being vied over by nations in a bid for world dominance, after the fragile global alliance forged in the face of war has shattered. It's all strategy, wits and gambling on the tables again, and a fantastic return to the beginnings.
What can i say, as usual an inspiring read--Card is a great writer who can create this kind of magic about his characters. I waited so long for the paperback till a friend took pity and bought this for me, and i finished it in three go's. It's a jewel of a story, and everyone should read the whole saga!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2001
We can all agree the book's not as great as Ender's Game - but when you start the comparing game, your views get totally screwed up. OF COURSE it wasn't as great as Ender's Game. But compared to OTHER books, Shadow of the Hegemon is superior. Lovely book, deep, and intruiging. A must-read for all avid Ender fans.
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on 29 July 2012
Yeah, ok. After a very enjoyable first book, this is turgid and frankly quite boring. Its tough to care about Ender or anyone he encounters in this intergalactic snore-fest.

Not for me
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This time the battlefield is set firmly on terra firma, Earth! Ender and his sister, Valentine are not around. The intelligent children from Battle School were trying to blend back into life on Earth when they were kidnapped, except for Bean. He, his family, and his neighbors were bombed! Bean went into hiding with Sister Carlotta. Ender's brother, Peter Wiggin, was their only hope.
Peter may only have been a teen, but his intelligence at politics and pulling strings were as great as any of the Battle School Grads were at commanding! He held two names on the nets. Both were well known and had much influence. He was "Locke", known as a peacemaker, and he was "Demosthene". He would help retrieve the brilliant children. But Petra was the most important and she was held prisoner by Achilles! Peter intended to rule the world...and soon. He would become the Hegemon. But first, he and Bean must become alliances to defeat Achilles, before he manages to destroy all the nations!
***** Orson Scott Card's deep thinking strategies on national and global politics, as well as, on national and global military tactics are proven once again to the Sci-Fi reading public!
The story mainly follows Bean, with Petra and Peter as secondary characters. But my vanity makes me like Petra the most. After all, change the P in her name to D and you have MY name! But more than that, I enjoyed watching her (as a 14 year old) using logic against grown men who trained in psychiatry. Petra has a way of seeing things more clearly than most. Here is a story that will hit the best seller lists almost immediately! It is not only excellent, it is awesome!
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