This is my favorite science fiction series. The characters are easy to identify with, and you will find yourself sucked into this imaginary universe, nick named the Enderverse by fans.
Recommended order of reading (in my opinion): Ender?s Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Reading the books in this order will keep you interested and keep the story moving more naturally.
If after reading all of these wonderful books you are still itching for an Enderverse fix then read First Meetings. The list above is sorted by the Enderverse timeline. Meaning that the flow of events in the stories are uninterrupted. If you were to read the books in the order they were published, you would bounce back and forth in between time and few of the plot twists in future books would be revealed before you wanted them to be known. First Meetings, however contains short stories that occur both before and in between the list above within the Enderverse.
This was a nice addition to the series. The plot developed a little slowly with some distractions along the way that seemed unnecessary at first, but it eventually came together nicely. Keep you guessing how it will turn out! And of course, leaves the door open for more sequels.
The reading uses several narrators, male and female, most of them pretty good. It's often unclear why it switches to a different narrator. There was one odd segment in the middle where a conversation was "enacted" by several narrators, but mostly it's just a single reader per chapter or segment. Accents and personalities came through pretty well.
I usually hate "Companion Series" books, they usually seem to decline in entertainment value after the original book (Enders Game, in this case), especially when the original book seems to neatly end with no loose ends to warrant another book.
The Ender series is MUCH different, the "follow-up" books just keep getting better... The characters are well fleshed out (sometimes it seems a little too much time is wasted fleshing out a character, but it ends up being just the right amount of information you needed to know to keep up with the character's motivations further along in the book, or series).
If you liked Ender's Game, then the follow-up books are a "Must have", even if you think "How could they be better than the original"?
The unabridged versions are a bit long winded at times, but you get details that you NEED to have to keep up with the complex stories being woven.
Card says, "hearing" the books are the way he wanted them presented, and having several narrators in each book makes the audio books MUCH better.
Continues the adventures of Petra and Bean along with closure to the Hegemon story. Excellent performance by all the voices. Leaves the door open to more stories.
Having read Ender's Game, Enders Shadow, Shadow of the Hegman, Shadow of the Puppets (not great)and now Shadow of the Giant in that order, I recomend this as an important and touching part of the series. There are some relegious parts that might not appeal to some;however, this should be read. You will not be disapointed.Am now off to Speaker for the Dead,Zenocide and finaly Children of the Mind. Will miss some of our friends however.
What can I say that hasn't been said about Uncle Orson's ability to capture the soul of his characters? In my opinion, that is the best thing about his work. They are so human and real and often tragic. It is apparent that Card really cares about these characters and lives in their world with them. He deftly brings the reader along for the ride.
This is a grand and beautiful story that stands on it's own even though it is a sequel. The plot is excellent. It is intricate, exciting and very well paced. For fans of the series, this will justify their devotion. But, this volume can be enjoyed by everyone for it's own sake. I couldn't put it down. The narration is excellent too. It adds immensely to the feeling of the story.
I just finished listening and had to voice my opinion. Orson Scott Card has another winner in the Ender series. Giant continues with the characters that we have grown to know and love from the previous books and continues to build possibilities for future novels. The narration is fantastic and keeps you in the story from beginning to end. Worthwhile reading!
SHADOW OF THE GIANT is the incredible finale of the Shadow Quartet (ENDER'S SHADOW, SHADOW OF THE HEGEMON, AND SHADOW PUPPETS). Any fan of science- fiction will love the whole Ender series including this newest addition. Card follows Bean, Petra, and Peter Wiggin as they all try to complete their final goals. Peter attempts to unite the world in peace. Bean and Petra try to find all of their lost children.
What a fantastic book. Almost my favorite of the Shadow series. I hope it is not the last. You have to listen to the previous books to understand what?s going on.