I've listened to this about 5 times (yeah, I love the whole Bean story and visit it whenever I can). Each time, I swear I'll write a review and complain about the sloppy, sloppy performance. This is it. First, the book is read by several people, which is great because it relieves some of the monotony. However ... "The office of THE HEGEMON was now powerless." Why the caps? Because that part of the sentence was spoken by A DIFFERENT FRIGGIN' PERSON!! Instead of asking each narrator to re-read the sentence, they had one person say THE HEGEMON and then dubbed it in throughout the book. You jump every time and lose the story for a few seconds. Totally frustrating. Secondly, Card clearly explains in Chapter 2 that Achilles is pronounced "a-sheel" and yet several of the narrators (not all) pronounce it "a-kill-ees." It's irritating to hear a character say "a-sheel" in one chapter and "a-kill-ees" in the next because the narrator changed.This was produced by Stefan Rudnicki. Come on, Stefan! Have some pride in your work and fix it!
Orson's themes and characters dealing with theme's of child versus parents, Heros and Nemisies, love and feelings despit genius and sheer natural talent. There are many personal views I disagree with with SC as a citizen (i.e. LGBT marraige and rights) but I don't believe this should make you more than pause before picking up this book after you read the Ender quartet.
Every complaint you will read about this audio book is well deserved, but it's still a great story. I purchased it hoping that it by downloading the higher quality download option it would help, but it didn't. Best way to describe it, is it sounds like you are listening through a really cheap set of headphones, almost like the old walkman days. The other issue is some of the words cut in and out in between sentences during the dialogue, I am very familliar with the recording process in studios, and it sounds like whoever did the editing was really sloppy with the noise reduction gate on their digital sound editing program. but whatever, still an awesome book, just gotta deal with extremely poor sound.
Just about every time the words "The Hedgemon", the narrators voice cuts out and another voice says "The Hedgemon" but the other voice sounds nothing like the original voice and it is played at a twice the speed. It's really poorly done.
I have listened to many books by Orson Scott Card, and they have all been highly entertaining.
The music at the chapter ends is so freakishly out of place in this book that it makes you want to kick a puppy. The ineptitude displayed in its choosing should be punishable by a court of law.
Aside from the “music,” the recording is full of spliced inserts which make the production massively unprofessional. The performers themselves are great; I always enjoy their work very much. However, this production and the music are so incomprehensibly bad, that a drunken horse on acid could have done a better job.
Yes, if only for the story. This recording is in dire need of a reproduction.
I'm maybe half way through this book, having recently read the 20th Anniversary edition of Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and then Speaker for the Dead. I would give it 5 stars but for the exceptionally poor editing. There are errors in all publications, but the patched-in corrections in this book are atrociously obvious. MacMillon Audio should be embarrassed. I found the philosophizing rather tedious and soapboxish from the author in Speaker for the Dead. Yes, this book is less complex, but there's something about the internal dialog of Bean and Petra that I find much more palateable. The story moves along.
I can't say enough for Scott Brick's voice art. I think I'd read stuff I wasn't genuinely interested in just to hear him read. He's got a gift. Too many voice artists act like they're on stage (one particularly disappointing such artist was involved in the David Eddings' series), which just turns me off when descriptions are being read - my brain likes to paint its own pictures, thank you very much.Gabrielle de Cuir, too, is gifted in her readings.
Enders game and Enders Shadow are a couple of the best books ever written.
Hated changes on plot line to move the story forward. I couldn't get past the meeting between Bean and Ender's mom in which they both act completely outside of the established story and their characters.
I'm returning the other books I bought in this series. I can't get past this one.
I've been binging on the Enderverse. First with Ender's Game, then Speaker for the Dead, then Xinocide. I found it weird that the so called sequels to Ender's Game were so far removed from the original in tone and chronology, though. I was getting a little Ender fatigued, but luckily found the Shadow series with Ender's Shadow, which brought back everything I loved about Ender's Game. But after reading the reviews about the "performance" issues with Shadow of the Hegemon and the story summery which had a favorite character teaming up with a villain from the previous books, I was considering bailing. I'm so glad I didn't bail on the series and got this one, because it's now one of my favorite audiobooks. I don't often repeat listen, but I definitely will revisit this one in the future.
Ironically, although this is ostensibly science fiction, there is very little science fiction in it. There are no mind-bending concepts or imaginative world building. Both the people and the world they live in are very familiar even if they supposedly live in the future. It's the humanity of the characters that make this story so great. You find yourself caring so much about them and caring about the things they care about. If you cry easily, keep the Kleenex close with this one.
I think this book combines the best things about Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow(exciting plot, memorable characters) with the best of Speaker for the Dead and Xinocide(existential, meaning of life philosophical reflections). I found myself thinking about what makes life worth living. And although I don't necessary share the conclusions the characters come to as far as finding meaning in life. I love that he acknowledges the need for the individual search for that meaning.
The Ender series is awesome and this book is still pretty good. But beware, You will not see spaceships, or cool new inventions. If you like political intrigue, then you will love it!. I likd it well enough I just was expecting Science Fiction and did not get that.
I might recommended it to a hard core End's Game fan or someone who REALLY like Shadow of Ender.
I think I am done with the Shadow series.
The narration is great.