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Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series) Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 2000

1,286 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Shadow Saga Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.


Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.

The following Ender's Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Game, Ender In Exile, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind.

Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.

The following Ender's Shadow Series titles are listed in order: Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Shadows in Flight.

The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.

Earth Unaware, Earth Afire.

Ender Novellas

A War of Gifts, First Meetings.

The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe. Review

Ender's Shadow is being dubbed as a parallel novel to Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning 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 2-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 cowriter 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 capitalize 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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Shadow Series (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 Reprint edition (December 15, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812575717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812575712
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,286 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Orson Scott Card is the bestselling author best known for the classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and other novels in the Ender universe. Most recently, he was awarded the 2008 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in Young Adult literature, from the American Library Association. Card has written sixty-one books, assorted plays, comics, and essays and newspaper columns. His work has won multiple awards, including back-to-back wins of the Hugo and the Nebula Awards-the only author to have done so in consecutive years. His titles have also landed on 'best of' lists and been adopted by cities, universities and libraries for reading programs. The Ender novels have inspired a Marvel Comics series, a forthcoming video game from Chair Entertainment, and pre-production on a film version. A highly anticipated The Authorized Ender Companion, written by Jake Black, is also forthcoming.Card offers writing workshops from time to time and occasionally teaches writing and literature at universities.Orson Scott Card currently lives with his family in Greensboro, NC.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 154 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Every few years, a book comes along that burns into the very core of the reader, leaving memory of the book for many, many years to come. When ENDER'S GAME first appeared in the mid-80's, the groundbreaking novel did more to turn legions of "mainstream" readers into sci-fi fans. The gripping human drama in that Hugo & Nebula winning book left many of us stunned and wowed.
While some many have followed Mr. Card's foray into the further adventures of Ender Wiggins through the sequels, I personally couldn't get through SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD and decided to abandon the further life story of Ender. And when I saw that a "parallel" novel of ENDER'S GAME was published, I thought to myself, "Well, Mr. Card is selling himself out. Talk about rehashing."
Then as fate would have it, I picked up ENDER'S SHADOW anyway about a week ago and began reading a few days ago. By page 2, I was hopelessly lost in the world of Rotterdamn, where the 2-year old Bean begins his political maneuvering, leading to murder, lies and powerplay by various memorable characters. Forget SURVIORS. The truth about human nature and its various social manifestations are in ENDER'S SHADOW. The reason why ENDER'S GAME was so successful was that, despite its background as a SF story, it was really about believable characters that you cared about. ENDER'S SHADOW does that, too, and by the end of the book, you're sad that you'll have to say goodbye to your imaginary friends.
From the backstreets of Rotterdam, through the Battle School, then to the final simulation game that signals the end of the war between human and buggers, we see the transformation of Bean, from the secretive, emotionless, distrusting schemer to a full-fledged leader of soldiers.
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132 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Vanhouten on May 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Card, in the acknowledgements, voices his wish to have named the book Urchin, only to be trumped by the marketability of the name "Ender". So in a desire to sell books, his publishers convinced him to force everyone to look at Bean, and at this novel, through the eyes of their love for Ender and Ender's Game. That was a mistake.
It seems that the Ender aficionadoes out there judge Card a standard by which he himself set. For them, every other book must meet or at least approach meeting the acclaim of Ender's Game, otherwise it is a dismal failure. To anyone fitting this description, please read Card's masterpiece, "The Worthing Saga". I think you may finally be able to tear yourselves free from your Ender obsession and be able to recognize that Card is a very talented and engaging writer even when he is not writing about Ender Wiggin. Then perhaps you can return to "Ender's Shadow" with an open mind.
"Ender's Shadow" is a well-written, substantial book in it's own right. The development of Bean through his precocious street life to the final battle reveals a depth and complexity beyond even his hyper-brilliant mind. This is not a novel about a "superkid" as a reader below says. This novel dives into a child's psyche to discover what lies bare at the center of all of us. There is no question as to Bean's ability. His infallibility of mind leaves no excuse for any fallibility of character. Card is hopeful about human nature and exemplifies with Bean the possibility of benevolence even in a world of vacuous and deceptive morality. Card's little urchin from Rotterdam stands tall enough on his own and casts a shadow so large that a comparison to his commander is not necessary. And so it is with this book and its "parallel".
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By randy on August 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The book is worth reading. I'd read all ender books so decided to take my chances with this one. It wasn't disappointing. This time the central character id Beam, whom you may remember as one of ender's companions from battle school. We learn about his origins as street urchin from Rotterdam until his genius is discovered and sent to training. The book is well presented and gives much wanted detail on battle school itself and it's teachers. However and without giving away the book, it pained me to see how OSC had to manage to convince us that Bean was way, way smarter than Ender even though none of his interactions with Ender in Ender's game showed it. All the conversations obviously replayed in this book though from a different perspective seemed strained. But the obvious flaw of the series is the improbability of it all. I mean I could accept that Ender (and perhaps Bean) is so unique and exceptional that his training must be rushed to command the battle. He is one of a kind, the best. But how come none of the graduates of battle school are there in the final showdown? All those generations of graduates that had a normal training through tactical and command school (opposed to a few months) never produced any good commander??? That's hard to swallow. You could argue that they were chosen because they'd obey Ender but if the ship captains put their lives on the line surely an adult can take a few command orders from ender. However this is a critique both for Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. Apart from those annoying (though really unimportant) gaffes it's a good parallel novel and certainly worth reading.
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