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Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series) Mass Market Paperback – December 15, 2000
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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.
“You can't step into the same river twice, but Card has gracefully dipped twice into the same inkwell--once for Ender's Game, and again for his stand-alone ‘parallel novel.' As always, everyone will be struck by the power of Card's children, always more and less than human, perfect yet struggling, tragic, yet hopeful, wondrous and strange.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Ender's Shadow
“An absorbing, near-flawless performance.” ―Kirkus
“The wonders of Battleschool and flashsuits and children's armies should keep readers turning pages.” ―Publisher's Weekly (starred review)
“An exceptional work.” ―School Library Journal
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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.
Card's ability to analyze and calculate various situations and the human mind and behavior is quite uncanny. He finds a balance for these child-soldiers--between their advanced intelligence and childlike mannerisms--to make the story and characters believable. His own analyses of situations woven in the story are also believable, and one marvels at the detail and understanding that Card must possess to complete this particular novel.
Though 'Ender's Game' is a complete novel in itself, 'Ender's Shadow' gives a broader view of the entire story. It allows the reader to understand that this fictional world does not revolve solely on Ender, and that in fact, as brilliant as Ender is, he would not have made it without Bean.
Not only is it Bean's story, but it takes Bean from before and into Battle School. It's his own perspective of how he deals with Ender. It's a smart, deep, well-written book... and I truely enjoyed it enough thta I read it in 3 days, and immediately downloaded Shadow of the Hegemon!
My biggest mistake was finishing right before the movie... with all this extra information on the dymanics of the Game, more information on relationships, and more information on backgrounds and information... it simply make the movie and all it's shortcuts unbearable! However, this is the book that has turned me back onto this series!
Apparently Card wrote this book several years after Ender's Game... but it really shows. It's deeper, and fills in gaps... and it's much more emotional! This book is every bit as good as Ender's Game, and in my opinion... I really enjoyed it even more!
I highly recommend it!
The book sets up a competition between the two boys as humanity's savior in the bugger/formic war. Bean's survival of horrific physical conditions and emotional and intellectual deprivation is unquestionably more devastating than Ender's childhood fear of his brother's psychopathic proclivities. Once Bean arrives at Battle School he knows he's smarter, more devious, and quicker at everything than anyone he encounters. He is a superhuman know-it-all and Ender, though brilliant, is petty, mean, neurotic and unstable. None of which is fair to either character. Both Bean's and Ender's accomplishments are diminished in this rehash of the exact same, but slightly skewed, conversations and events from E.G.
E.G. Is a classic that I have read numerous times and will continue to enjoy reading in the future. It's very well written and immediately engaging. E.S. is more of a Y.A. book.