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Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series) Paperback – September 17, 2013
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A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
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.
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.
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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Top customer reviews
Bottom line is if you haven't gotten this book yet, you are missing out on all the magic that made Ender's Game great and Ender's Shadow even better. Pick it up, you won't regret it!
15 years later this is still one of my most favorite books. As I have progressed as a reader, I find more and more depth in Card's writing and the book appeals on levels deeper than it did when I was in 7th grade. While still entertaining as it was then, the depth into the characters deepens and the similarities between the story-line and real life resonate with the reader and bring the story to life.
I plan to still be reading this book in another 15 years from now.
- Ripping the CD's takes a long time, and the titles didn't order correctly by default. It put them in order of track 1 from all cd's followed by track 2 from all cd's, not track 1, 2, 3 of cd 1... etc. It's annoying, and Windows media player fights you the whole time, if you're trying to modify anything about the 'song' data. This is relatively common among the audio books, at least, it is from my limited experience.
- Achilles, a fairly major character for those who haven't read it yet, is apparently pronounced A-sheel. Which makes no sense to me, as I've always heard Achilles tendon, Achilles heel, and Achilles the greek hero, demigod... all pronounced as A-kill-ees. On top of that, he's named after Achilles because of his bad leg, an obvious reference to the greek story, and he fights with Ulysses (the Roman name for Odysseus, another character from the Odyssey). Let's just say it bugged me quite a bit when I realized who they were referencing. I'd look over it, if his name wasn't mentioned so many times in the story.