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.
I personally don't prefer Scott Brick as a narrator for any book as he over-dramatises nearly everthing, and even brings drama into non-fiction when reading it. I did like Ender's Shadow immensely to my surprise as I didn't expect to be able to re-enter easily into the setting. Shadow of the Hegemon is also easy to get into. The downsides of the story to me are mostly to do with the Achilles character.
I couldn't believe that the mispronunciation of the name of the main antagonist was really throughout the second half of the book. What the H...? It was kind of hard to get past that misstep and enjoy the book without thinking every time it was said how dumb it seemed.
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)!
Very interesting spin on the "Ender's Game" story. Highly recommended as a follow-on to that book. Exciting, I found it hard to leave the car (ie, stop listening).
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.