Ender's Shadow: Book 1 of The Shadow Saga Hardcover – 2 Dec 1999
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Ender's Shadow is being dubbed as a parallel novel to Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning book 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 two-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 co-writer 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 capitalise 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, Amazon.com
The emotional punch is still as powerful as ever. Excellent. (SFX)
Haunting, compulsive, urgently readable...Story-telling genius (INTERZONE)
Certain to be one of the most sought-after books of the year (LOCUS)
Full of surprises...Intense is the word for Orson Scott Card's ENDER'S GAME (NEW YORK TIMES)
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Top Customer Reviews
The title character is Bean, who was introduced in the original novel as even younger and smaller than Ender Wiggin when he first arrived at the Battle School. The Bean of "Ender's Shadow" does not conflict with the character as originally presented in "Ender's Game," but certainly there is little to suggest in the first book of the true extent of Bean's abilities. There was the definite notion that Bean was closest to Ender in terms of being the chosen one, but it was a sketchy idea at best. The strength of this book is how Card expands Bean's character, developing the idea that Bean, the production of an illegal genetics experiment, is the main competition for Ender and perhaps the only viable alternative. It becomes clear early on that Bean is smarter than Ender, maybe smarter than anybody else in the world. However, what is in doubt is whether that awesome intelligence is enough to make him the best choice to lead the Earth's forces against the Buggers. Again, as in the entire Ender series, the question of "humanness" comes into play because of the genetic experiment that resulted in Bean's birth.Read more ›
It's the same story, but with a very different angle. We follow Bean and learn of his childhood as an urchin in Amsterdam and how he is recruited to Battle School and fight alone, side by side with Ender - against the buggers, Battle School and himself.
Card succeeds in giving a thorough and interesting insight of the "backstage" life of Battle School and the mechanics - and not least of Bean pulling strings and trying to survive and save the world in his own way.
The story is just as envolving second time around, as it was in Ender's Game. Orson scott card is one of the elite few science fiction writers who can do brilliant characterisation. I was hooked from the first page and couldnt put it down. I was glad to be on holiday while reading it, so i didnt have to stop.
At the Beginning of the book I didn't like Bean, I hadn't liked him from Enders game. But through the book his character grew on me, as a seperate entity, not at all detracting from Ender's accoumplishment. If anything he helped me appreciate Ender more.
This book could easily be read on its own. but if you read Ender's game first you will understand some of the mystique that Bean feels towards Ender.
This book in some ways felt like a flashback scene in a movie. Adding to the original story unconvering information you wished for in the original.
Fantastic gripping novel. It leaves you wanting more.
Only hope the next one in the series ("Shadow of the Hegenmon"), justifies my anticipation.
It doesn't matter if you've read ender's game or not, you will still love this book. I personally raved about ender's game, but in it's subtle ways I prefer this one. I started reading it at 10am and was still doing so at 4.30am, it was so captivating and spellbinding that i just did not want to put it down until I had finished it.
In all honesty this is probably one of the best books I have ever had the pleasure to read. It is emotional, inspired, enthralling, astounding, spellbinding, a true unmitigated work of art. It is obviously well researched and well loved by the author and deservedly so.
IF YOU ONLY READ ONE BOOK THIS YEAR READ THIS ONE! YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED !
Most Recent Customer Reviews
500-odd pages of brilliant science-fiction! It was engaging, exciting and full of enough action to stay interested throughout. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Nicola
Slow to start, but improves to fit in nicely with Enders GamePublished 14 months ago by Mr. Sr Kershaw
Thought I enjoyed the original Enders tale, but this had to read again straight away, excellantPublished 18 months ago by Keith
Ender's Shadow is a great follow-up to Ender's Game. Ender's Shadow take the events from Ender's Game and gives them a new prospective, to be more specific it shows the events... Read morePublished on 9 Jun. 2014 by Christopher J. Cowen
This book is a must read, it entwine's so well with Enders game bringing a whole new perspective to the saga.Published on 5 Jun. 2014 by Max
I never read this kind of book and all i can say is PERFECT!!! What a story! Definitely one that i look forward to read over and over again! Read morePublished on 1 May 2014 by Kiko
Definitely not Enders Game - dont buy this thinking its Enders Game #2
Its nice a parralax book on Beans perspective on Enders Game which makes it a very interesting... Read more
I get very upset when "some people" portray Bean as the better human in books and reviews and make out that Bean is the more intelligent, I mean Ender is so much more than... Read morePublished on 11 April 2014 by Amazon Customer