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Ender's Shadow: Book 1 of The Shadow Saga Hardcover – 2 Dec 1999

4.2 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2 Dec 1999
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First Edition edition (2 Dec. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857239555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857239553
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 0.3 x 0.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,827,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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,


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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
There are very few examples of "parallel novels," and I must confess that when I think of such things it is Tom Stoppard's play "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," which parallel's "Hamlet," that first comes to mind. Anne McCaffrey plays around with it to a limited extent in several of her Pern novels and there is a book out about Ahab's wife, but neither of those is trying to do what Orson Scott Card attempts in "Ender's Shadow." It is rare indeed when the original author decides to go back and cover old ground from a new perspective. But then as most of us well know by now, Uncle Orson does not disappoint his legion of readers.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I loved "Ender's Game" when I read it as a girl - and then reading "Ender's Shadow" 15 years later, I am amazed at how brilliant it supplements Ender's Game.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Having read some reviews about this book before reading it, I came to it with mixed feelings. I didnt want a re-hash of Ender's Game which is one of my favourite books ever. And I'm glad to say you don't get any of that.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Ender's shadow is a book about ender's game but from "Beans" perspective. But it isn't ender's game! It does not detract from the origianl nor pay homage to it. Ender's shadow stands out as a brilliant, inspired, inspirational and riveting read all on it's own, via it's own merit.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
Just when I had finally accepted the fact that my favorite series of books was actually over I happen upon a preview of Ender's Shadow. The giddy feeling I had when I finished reading Ender's Game has thankfully returned! Yet again Card masterfully manages to physically bring forth the empathy and compassion from within you. We are once again allowed to see the world through young and brilliant eyes, this time through Ender's right hand man Bean. Two totally brilliant minds with two totally different starts to life. Both travel down separate paths only to end up at the same destination, the Battle School. Read the preview to Ender's Shadow and come and grow with Bean.
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