This book takes place on Earth after the Bugger War and per the author himself this book was inspired by a favorite board game from his childhood: Risk. This book presents to the listener a global game of Risk where the main players are Achilles and Peter Wiggen along with a few of the Battle School kids from Ender's Game. Political and Military maneuvering form the core of this story and Orson Scott Card has clearly put some thought into the geo-political scenarios he presents.
This book also flushes out the back stories of both Bean and Petra and the relationship between them. Bean winds up learning many key things about his own background as the story progresses and the way you view him will fundamentally change. I found Bean's backstory to be more interesting than I expected and for me this was the better part of the story.
Be warned that the recording is pretty poorly done. The readers are good but it is obvious that certain words like Hegemon were mispronounced during the recording. The solution deployed here was to edit in a different reader saying the word correctly after the fact and this makes for a pretty poor listening experience.
So if you can tolerate the poor recording and are interested in learning more about Bean and Petra then give this one a go but if you are looking for more space based Sci-Fi then you should look elsewhere.
I found the overall story good, but the audio presentation of it was mediocre at best. Not for the voices used, but for the ridiculous music used in between chapters which did not even remotely match the feel and mood of the book. I was also distracted by the obvious overlay of a certain word over and over for some reason. Was it not pronounced correctly? Was it a last second change for some reason? Whatever the reason, the immersion in the book and the story are completely lost when it happens.
Say something about yourself!
I liked the story and the complexities of the political parts of the book. I'd give the book 5 stars, but this was one of the poorer audio productions I've heard on audible. Improper leveling of music, words that were spliced into the audio with a different voice, tone, and volume; all of these things distracted from the story and are things that are easily edited by 12 year olds on youtube. Maybe OSC should have taken a page from his own book, and had kids do the audio production.
I've read the entire Ender Series and was glued to the story. I couldnt stop listening. Then I started the Shadow series. Enders Shadow was great. but Shadow of the Hegemon is soo slow. I found myself fast forwarding to get over the drawn out parts. And I almost stopped listening compleatly because of the narrators. If you have listened to Enders Shadow they explained all about "Achilles" name. Its spelled Achilles but pronounced Asheel. They story line made a big joke about it. Now in this book aparently everyone but us (the reader) forgot about it.
The narrators keep going back and forth between pronunciations. Its sooo annoying.It took me several chapters to figure out who they were talking about. I thought Card brought in a new character. It's so bad that they switched pronunciations in mid sentence. Now come on!! Cant the narrators hear what they are saying. Dont they have editors check anything before they publish the book on tape. Isnt Card one of the narrators in this book. Your telling me he cant remember how to pronouce his own characters name?????? I hope that they dont continue to do this in Shadow Puppets. I dont know if I can take anymore.
As with all of the “Ender” books, I liked this story and if I were rating the book, would probably give it 4 stars. However this is a review of the audiobook and there were elements to the reading that made it awful. One of the main character’s names was often mispronounced by all of the readers. The name, Achilles pronounced as in French “a-SHEEL” because the character is Belgian, is pronounced correctly in the beginning. Then in chapter 7, which happens to be mostly about Achilles, the name is pronounced as in English “a-KIL-ees”. After that it’s back and forth, often pronounced both ways by the same reader in the same chapter. What makes this especially annoying is that the pronunciation of the name is discussed in the book! Also the word “hegemon” is pronounced in two different ways, though thankfully it’s not used that often. At one point two Pakistani characters are described as “having no accent” but their dialogue was read with an accent. Finally some of the musical interludes between chapters were too long. Overall a disappointing reading.
The writing style of "Ender's Game" sort of petered out of the latter three books -- for the most part -- but it comes back in full force in "Shadow of the Hegemon".
I enjoyed the entire Ender series, but I know others who didn't even finish "Speaker for the Dead" -- never mind "Xenocide" or "Children of the Mind". If you're a member of that group, THIS is definitely the book for you!!!
"Shadow of the Hegemon" takes us right back to the end of the war with the buggers, which was a little weird having finished the Ender series because it's quite a jump back in time. If I had it to do over again, I don't know that I'd listen to this book before "Speaker for the Dead"...but I might try to listen to the two concurrently.
I can't wait to start "Shadow Puppets" (the next Bean book)!
As mentioned in other reviews, the editing and narration is absolutely terrible in this book. Names are pronounced incorrectly and edits of the word "Hegemon" are so bad, I wonder if the person editing the audio was drunk.
The story takes a life of it's own and goes a different direction than Ender's Shadow. This book reads more like modern day political fiction than a sci-fi novel. Achille's rise to power just seemed to convenient to me. Specifically, he went from street thug to modern day Hitler after only been in battle school for a few days. It was just to big of a stretch for me to accept this.
I loved Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, however the story has gone such a different direction, I doubt I will continue the Shadow series.
The editing of the audio version of this book was very bad. It was obvious there were mispronounced works that they added later. It didn't match well at all.
The Shadow series is a terrific storyline, a true classic. This production almost ruined it. This truly needs redone. The voice actors are fine, for the most part, but the instrumental interludes are annoying in the extreme - untuneful, unrelated, interrupting, and overlong. However, the story is strong enough to overcome the production's flaws.
Yes, I find the story compelling, but the narration leaves much to be desired
the pronunciation of Achilles (akilles or asheel) is a fairly big plot point, and even after saying that it is one versus the other various narrators never use the right one, and one narrator even switches between pronunciations in the same chapter. couple this with the fact that no one properly said the word Hegamon (which is in the title), so they have to go back and dub over all of the mistakes, and i really with i had just read this myself instead of getting the audio version.