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Shadow of the Giant (The Shadow Series) Mass Market Paperback – March 7, 2006

254 customer reviews
Book 4 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Card's latest installment in his Shadow subseries (Ender's Shadow, etc.), which parallels the overarching series that began with Ender's Game (1985), does a superlative job of dramatically portraying the maturing process of child into adult. The imminent death of Bean, a superhuman 20-something Battle School graduate who suffers from uncontrolled growth due to a genetic disorder, leaves little time for Peter the Hegemon, Ender's older brother, to set up a single world government and for Bean and his wife and former classmate, Petra, to reclaim all their stolen children. When Card's focus strays from his characters into pure politics, the story loses power, but it's recharged as soon as he returns to the well-drawn interactions among Bean's Battle School classmates whose decisions will determine Earth's fate. They were trained to fight a (literally) single-minded alien enemy, but that war is over. Now, as young adults in command of human armies pitted against each other in messy conflicts with no clear solutions, Bean's old cohorts must help create a peaceful future for Earth after they're gone. Card makes the important point that there's always more than one side to every issue. Fans will marvel at how subtly he has prepared for the clever resolution.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Shadow Series (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (March 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812571398
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812571394
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,759 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

83 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Billy Hollis VINE VOICE on May 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perhaps it's because Card knew exactly where he needed to be at the end of this book, but it just worked for me better than the last two. There's less outright war, and more political manuveuring than the last two books. The political machinations are more complex, yet somehow more believable this time around.

That plausibility might be a result of seeing the Battle School characters as human and therefore potentially flawed. In previous "Shadow" series books, the Battle School kids were all good guys, except for the cardboard cutout villian of Achilles. It fell to the other characters, mostly politicians, to display human fallibility.

This time, the Battle School grads have serious character flaws of their own, and these flaws lead them into big mistakes. They also get into more and better conflicts with each other, which enriches the dynamic of the book.

Characters are nicely done - a particular strength throughout Card's books. The tragic Bean, the acerbic Petra, the enigmatic Alai, the dashing Han Tzu - all are crisply drawn. I never, ever get characters confused with one another in Card's books, and certainly not in this one.

The character development of Peter Wiggin is especially well handled. We already know from the very first Ender book (Ender's Game) that Peter becomes a beloved leader, and that Ender writes Peter's "obituary" as the second part of the his book The Hive Queen and the Hegemon. Now we get to see the other side of that story, including what Peter did to arrive at that point and how he was induced to get Ender (of all people!) to write his unvarnished life story.

Not everything is tied up into a neat little package. The matter of Bean and Petra's children is handled well, but I wouldn't call the end result "neat".
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Stevens VINE VOICE on December 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike the Ender trilogy, which finished with more of a whimper than a bang, the Bean trilogy ends on a high note. Card wisely returns his main focus to the characters the reader has come to know and love, letting the individuals set the pace of the story instead abandoning character development for geopolitics. Even though the ultimate outcome (spoiler: a Hegemon-controlled Earth) is known to anyone who's read the Ender trilogy, Shadow of the Giant is still surprisingly suspenseful. The fates of characters such as Bean, Alai, and Virlomi are not resolved until near the end of the book, and Card keeps the reader guessing as to who will live and who will die. This is a smart strategy, as Card is at his best when he focuses his attention on the engaging characters he has created: the brilliant, passionate, and yet somehow quite innocent young adults formerly of Battle School. I can't help but think that the Ender trilogy would have been much more satisfying if Card had kept the focus on Ender instead of neglecting him for talk of aiua, alternate universes, and "children of the mind."

Shadow of the Giant closes the door on one chapter of the Ender saga and opens the door to another. For what is most interesting about this book is the ending: Card has left the options for further books in the series wide open. Will Bean be cured? Will Ender return to the series? What will happen with the children? For the first time since Ender's Shadow I find myself truly looking forward to the next edition in the Ender saga.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By James D. DeWitt VINE VOICE on June 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Shadow of the Giant" is the latest Card novel in the "Ender" universe. Not all readers know that "Ender's Game," the first novel, started from a short story. That short story still remains arguably Card's best single piece of writing. But after four novels in the "Ender" arc, and now another four novels in the "Shadow" arc, as well as a few short stories along the way, Card and the Ender universe are starting to run out of gas.

Card's first problem is that we know exactly how it is going to come out. Let's call this the Lucas Problem. Anyone who carefully read the first book knows what is going to happen. Card has to make the process interesting enough to hold our attention. He nearly succeeds, but is hampered by some other issues.

Card's second problem is that he knocked off the arch-villain Achilles at the end of the previous book. Since E. E. "Doc" Smith's "Skylark" series, thoughtful science fiction writers have known it's always a mistake to kill the bad guy early. "Giant" misses Achilles.

Card's third problem is that the series' most compelling character, Ender - Andrew Wiggins, the protagonist of the first four books - has long since left the scene. The primary protagonist of the "Shadow" series, Julian "Bean" Delphiki - a minor character in "Ender's Game" - is still dying of the same disease we have known about from the start.

So all that is left for readers is the problem described at the end of "Ender's Game" - a half a dozen or so teenage military geniuses loose on a deeply divided earth. As we watch them succumb, variously, to gene-meddling, megalomania, naivete and ennui, it turns out that the adults, the teachers, those same folks that trained Ender and the other children, had the solution all along.
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