I've listened to everything in publishing order so far. All of the flaws in the earlier books are amplified in this one. The story should be good and the characters are mostly interesting up until this book.
I've thought for a most of the story (the series so far), that Card was writing a book to be used in an English Lit class to introduce philosophy and maybe even comparative religion. Up to this point, the books are a good conversation starter. Then suddenly the characters changed.
Bean just changes, he doesn't evolve. He doesn't really struggle through anything other than tough situation. Petra becomes obsessed with "making babies." I get it, they are supposed to be horny teenagers, but Petra was annoying, and Bean was just better than the mediocrity around him. Peter was rather uncomplicated for a person who was known to the world as two different people.
The story is supposed to be about extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. Unfortunately it is a story about rather boring people caught up in rather uninteresting situations.
I did want to like it. The characters have interesting backstories. They are all geniuses reshaping history.
Even more frustrating was Card treating the readers like idiots. He had to explain every allusion to Achilles. Yes, we know about about the heal, and the arrow. This also makes the characters seem stupid.
So overall, disappointing, but it didn't suck so bad that I didn't finish.
Fun to read, if you like the Enderverse. Not so much if you like good characterization. Peter Wiggin, in particular, is completely abandoned and wasted in this story.
As usual, Orson Scott Card tells a great story. The audio sucks and there are weird, very bad edits that steal the show away from an otherwise fantastic performance.
And Buffalo George
This book is about the battle school alumni making good or bad things happen in the world. The first part of this book deals mainly with the character’s relationships-- the second half is more political/military. I kept looking for Dr Evil and Mini-me to pop out. Thankfully, they did not. The series is about Bean, but the reader does not identify with him as well as in previous books...even though he and Petra are making un/ethical decisions about child bearing. This book is definitely not as intriguing sci-fi as some of the others in the Ender Game series. It's more like a romantic cop book crossed with a dash of Clancy.
The antagonist isn't realistic, and really makes it difficult to Wade through this book. It would be better to have a military officer of the IFF or a rogue leader from one country be the antagonist.