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Ender's Shadow: Book 1 of The Shadow Saga Paperback – 3 Aug 2000
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|Paperback, 3 Aug 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 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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)
Top customer reviews
It's not quite as interesting, and it's a bit more thoughtful than the original.
In fact,there are many places in the book where it seems the author has really over-thought things, and having this level of explanation is slightly boring and can slow down the story.
However, with all that said, I quite enjoyed it. It's interesting to see Battle School and Bean from a different point of view, and it's nice to see some of the other things that go on at the same time.
The preface says this can be read first and Ender's Game second if the reader is new to these books, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND reading Ender's Game FIRST.
There are lots of spoilers in this book which take away lots of the fun of Ender's Game. Also, a lot of the content is only interesting if you've read EG first.
A good book, but it really is in the shadow of Ender's Game.
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. As always, Card wants to explore this issue in terms of actions and behaviors rather than physical forms and structures.
In his forward Card tells us that he wanted to write "Ender's Shadow" so that it would not matter to the reader which of the two parallel works they read first. In the abstract he has certainly succeeded in this regard, but of course they should be read in the "proper" order simply because it is this newer novel that better informs us of what happened in the first rather than the other way around. When Card actually does cover a scene from "Ender's Game" one of the things I really appreciated was how he could give added significance to dialogue from the first novel (the best example of this is Bean's "The gate is down" during the battle at the Bugger's Homeworld). For those who always liked "Ender's Game" as the first and best of the Ender novels, this one is certain to be their next favorite work in the series.
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'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.
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 !
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Its nice a parralax book on Beans perspective on Enders Game which makes it a very interesting...Read more
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