Soldier, Teacher, Avid reader, Writer, Christian, Gamer, Geek, and very demanding of my audio experience.
After reading the books as a young adult and the 're-reading' them through these audio books, I can say that the best experiance by far has been having them read to me by these excellent performers.
Both David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki are excellent pics for this book, as well as the entire Shadow series, their consistent style and varying tones for each of the characters whom they speak for really bring the book alive.
The Story itself is very well written, with a wide range of emotions and several different ways of interpreting the emotions and events involved in the story though the eyes of the various characters. While listening to this book in public i have gotten some very odd looks because some of the humor and jokes would cause me to burst out laughing.
For me as a military person, many of the observations of the characters reflected on how I would see the events. The banter felt like something I might hear among my own Military buddies. The characters felt real and solid.
For much of my life I have liked Card's sci fi, but these will be the last of his books I read. I do not want to support the type of homophobic prosthelytizing present in this book. I have known for a number of years that Card was a Mormon and although I disagree with many teachings of that church, I do not mind having a difference of opinion with someone as long as they don't shove it down my throat. This book crosses the line. It's not just a distaste for same-sex attraction - he very clearly endorses the ex-gay movement wherein gay people are reformed to live a "normal" heterosexual lifestyle (a pseudo-therapy which has been proven to be extremely psychologically damaging). One male character even admits to having been attracted to men and then reveals that his life has been made worthwhile because he has turned away from his "perversion" and married a woman with whom he will try to have children to redeem his life. I'm not reading between the lines and this is not just the viewpoint of one character in the book - the message is presented as inescapable fact that all of the characters must embrace in order to have fulfilling lives. Again and again Card speaks of how every man should find a woman and life is without value unless you have children to pass on your genetic material. It is a major plot point. Meanwhile, two teenagers well below the age of consent (I believe they're 13 or 14) marry and have children, which seems to be not just fine, but desirable in Card's universe.
I can't believe that Card took a sci fi (not a religion) book in such a strongly religious direction, potentially alienating a large fan base. I can't believe that the publisher let him do it. If Card wants to write essays or novels on religious doctrine, by all means, he should do so, but he should not embed them in a totally unrelated book, one whose characters we've grown to care so he hopes we'll keep reading. It's akin to a friend suddenly asking if you have a moment to talk about Jesus Christ and when you say no he tells you anyway. The repeated assertions that gay is bad and only through heterosexual marriage and lots of kids can your life be worthwhile is offensive to me and even if it weren't, it is unnecessary and distracting to the story. I hope that potential readers notice, as I did not, the reviews discussing the strongly homophobic agenda in this book before buying it. (Incidentally, several reviews have referred to the book as anti-gay-marriage... Card's message is more encompassing than a discussion of equal rights, he preaches the perversion of any same-sex attraction, period.)
Potential readers - I understand the desire to know what happens to these characters you've come to know over the past several books and if you absolutely must find out what happens in the rest of the Ender series, I suggest you borrow the books or try to buy them somewhere used or even read a summary. Don't buy the books new or on audio and give more money directly to Card and this publisher because that implies we're okay with the prosthelytizing Card has taken to injecting where it does not belong.
I have read Enders game,E Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon which were great. This one was no where near the others. One disk would have told this whole story. There are some interesting parts but they are imbeded in tons of filler. Am on to Shadow of the Giant. Hopefully that will be the old Card. This is no where near his best. The end picks up otherwise this would have been a complete waste.
You continue with Bean's story, and the positive here is that Card develops the character quite nicely.
However, the premise of the world going to war based on advice from 10 and 12 year olds is simply not believable in this one.
I was able to suspend disbelief in Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, but he simply missed the mark with the story.
Overall, I recommend and will be moving on to Shadow of the Hegemon.
I've read all books in the Ender Series. I was hoping that this last one would give closure to Bean and describe how Peter became "The Hegemon". I was disappointed. This book dealt so much with reminding us what happened in the previous books. Doesn't Mr. Card know that readers won't read this book unless they've read the previous books? Like most in the Ender series, this has a hanging ending. Is Mr. Card wishing to capitalize on another Ender book? I hope not. He made the characters so boring this time. It's like rushing to get this book done and over. If you're a fan, I would still read this one since it's still part of the storyline. But, don't expect much.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
For a big fan of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, this book was a pretty miserable experience. Scott's typical supersmart kids just seem over the top here, and the plot is both maudlin and rather dull. The emotional scenes are unbelievable, and the action is awkward. I listened to half before I gave up, so I suppose it could have gotten better...
I have enjoyed all of the previous books in this series, however this one seems like Card was phoning it in. Just when I thought it couldn?t get any worse, it did...he gets so preachy! One of the things I find interesting about all of Orson Scott Card's books (in addition to the usually great characters, plots...) is analyzing how his religious beliefs help shape his (usually) excellent science fiction. So much of this book however was an undisguised sermon! and a boring one at that.
If you already read all of the previous books in the Ender series, you will probably buy this one, and its not all bad. - but don't say I didn?t warn you.
If Card had just told his story. This is where his politics start to read their ugly heads and interfere with the characters that he crated in his more liberal younger days.
Intelligent, Gripping, Speculative
The Whole shadow series is amazing
might have expanded the cast a bit more the number of characters exceeded the voice capabilities a it making it difficult at times to folllow who's sayng what unless intently listening.
Overall I found this book engaging and entertaining. My only criticism of this book is a production note, and this is true for most of OSC's books. Why must they put crappy synth muzak in between the chapters do us all a favor and skip the music in the future.