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on 26 January 2016
I enjoyed Orson Scott Card's books much more before I found out that he was a racist homophobe. But if you're one too or don't care about the author's subtext then read away!
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on 21 June 2013
Yet another reasonable book in the series and quite readable/enjoyable even if not in the class of Ender's Shadow which was superb.
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on 22 June 2015
A great read as usual from this author
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on 24 October 2011
I found this novel good but not excellent. The book is set in a future Earth (about 300 years in the future) and is mainly about political intrigue, warfare strategy and wars conducted by people who were in Battle School with Ender in Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow (especially the members of Ender's `jeesh', the team of then children who supported Ender (then also a child) in the final battle with the buggers) on behalf of the nations that they are from. It has very little science fiction in it. And there are very few twists or surprises in the plot. There is also an unresolved plot strand involving one of main characters Petra and Bean's children. (Maybe to be resolved in a future book?) An okay read but hardly the `stunning conclusion to the Shadow saga' as it says on the cover of the paperback version of the book. Still, read if you want to know how the Shadow saga ends.
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on 11 March 2006
The front cover of this book describes the "Shadow of the Giant" as "the stunning conclusion to the shadow saga" and thus must be interpreted as the last book in this series. If it is the last Bean book I feel extrememly cheated. The book is written with normal Shadow Saga style, lots of action plus political questioning and young love so no problems there. The ending of the book left me feeling cheated as it ends without resolving Bean's rather large problem. It does not conclude Bean's life and is rather an easy way out of avoid what is undoubtedly a complicated plot line with Bean. All in all rather disappointed. However, if this is not the last we'll see of Bean then it is a very good cliff hanger. I will await another book!
7 people found this helpful
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on 12 February 2007
On his good days Orson Scott Card is one of the best science fiction authors out there - interesting thoughtful stories and realistic characters with believable motives and flaws. Even on his bad days his work is better than most of the science fiction out there.

Ender's Game has to be one of the classic science fiction works and I was very happy to see OSC write more books in the same universe. After Ender's Game OSC wrote 3 more books following Ender Wiggan after then Bugger War when he is no longer remembered as a hero but instead the man responsible for the death of an entire species (this is not entirely fair since Ender was unaware at the time that he was doing anything more than participating in a strategy game).

The Shadow Saga follows on from Ender's Game but does not feature Ender at all, instead OSC explores what happens to some of the other major characters, particularly "Bean" the boy genius instrumental in Ender's victory over the buggers. I have to say that I prefer the books that feature Ender as some parts of the Shadow series do drag a little and do tend to harp on about the amazing tactical skills of the Battle School graduates (Book 3: Shadow Puppets was one of the least impressive IMO).

OSC has set himself a challenge since he has to describe the campaigns fought by military geniuses while not (presumably) being one himself.

Worth reading if you enjoyed the Ender books.
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on 16 August 2006
I bought this latest (and last?) volume in the Ender related Bean saga in the hope that I would enjoy it more than the preceding volume. I did not. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead were amongst the most enjoyable books I ever did read. The first volume in the Bean Series was very good as well. As the volumes went on though plots became more and more convoluted, global politics too much of a feature and I enjoyed the tales less an less.

I hope Orson Scott Card will return to form soon. It's science fiction rather than political fiction I would like to see and more personal stories.
7 people found this helpful
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on 15 March 2006
Given the haphazard chronological writing order of the post-Ender books, tying up all the loose ends was always going to be tricky. OSC has managed to keep a strong and coherent narrative that fills in many gaps, fleshes out some pivotal relationships, and still has his hallmark strengths of thoroughly-believable dialogue and emotionally-charged developments.
Yes, the ending is perhaps both a bit pat and also a tad inconclusive, but this is the end of a huge series. As the titles have acknowledged, all of the books have suffered from being in the shadow of Ender's Game, and yet along the journey (and especially in this book) we now understand far more about the other pivotal figure, Peter.
Frankly, if you've come this far, you'd be mad to miss this.
One person found this helpful
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on 10 August 2005
Shadow of the Giant is a fitting conclusion to the Shadow/Bean Saga and I look forward to the fortcoming Ender novels -- Shadows in Flight which links the two sagas together and an untitled Ender story. Like the previous three novels in the series, this book is mostly Earth-based but doesn't lack for interest. As always, there are political plots galore and stunning double-crosses. This may not be the best novel by Orson Scott Card but it is certaianly better than most contemporary SF.
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VINE VOICEon 24 July 2004
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. 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.
20 people found this helpful
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