I've read or listened to all of Mr. Card's Ender and Shadow books and this was by far the most disappointing. The weak plot can pretty much be summed up as follows: Bean and his three kids, while out in space, encounter a Formic spaceship. That's about it. Mr. Card claims that he was inspired by Rendezvous with Rama, but this book is a very pale Shadow of that classic. The narrators are good, but would have been much more effective and enjoyable if they had taken on separate roles throughout, instead of taking turns reading chapters.
As some have already noted this is a story that many have waited for, finding out what happened to Bean and his children. It is very well done and also showcases Orson Scott Card's wonderful story telling talent. Some have kind of complained that this story is too short,that it is only a novella, but isn't that the way sci-fi started out? Short, concise, and well done stories. A complete story doesn't have to be 900 pages long to be well done and complete. Mr. Card, goes back to his roots and old school sci-fi writing by masterfully telling this story in such a concise, without any fluff, way. It can be enjoyed in one satisfying sitting (which is such a rarity these days). It brings Bean's storyline to an end and it really wets the appetite for the book that is coming that will finally bring Bean's and Ender's storylines together.
This is a must read that I think will be enjoyed by most.
The story was fine and interesting, but really not substantial enough to be called a book. Technically it's a novella, but substance-wise it seemed more like a short story. In the afterward he says that it was about making a cheaper novel that could "purchased as an impulse" which is a weird goal. Why would somebody buy the fifth book in a series on impulse? I wasn't looking at price when I bought it and I don't think somebody new to the series would start with this book.
Anyway, the overall story was interesting but not detailed enough; I didn't care a lot about the kids and Bean wasn't in it that much. It was very disappointing after waiting for it for so long.
The narration performance was great though.
I absolutely love listening to books as well as reading print. Audible is crucial to getting through my day.
For the time being, what an incredible "conclusion" to the Shadow series (until Shadows Alive comes out). This book brought me to tears. I must read for anyone of the Enderverse.
Bugs, Kids, Death.
Bugger males fortitude over time.
A crop of beans.
I can't wait for the last book in the series.
Orson S. Card is a genius-I love every book of his I've read. Book series that got me into reading:Piers Anthony:Incarnations Of Immortality
I've never been so torn up over a book series ending.. I can't wait until the next one. I hope it's not really the last.
Orson - Can you find a way to stay alive and write forever? Become a lump of Human with a mind, forever writing books - Like Bean in the Cargo-hold... before he went for that last taste of life.. :( I feel like a close friend of mine has died. I've never been so close to a character in a book..
they did great!!!! as usual
Orson Scott Card is a masterful writer - some of his stories are gripping and insightful, while others are merely good reads. This novella fits into the latter category. As usual, anything narrated by Stefan and Gabrielle is well produced and well read.
This one is for serious Bean fans.
The narrators were brilliant, truly stepping into the minds of their characters.
Go back and read Ender's Game again.
This book reveals Bean's true legacy King Lear style. I only wish it were longer.
I highly recommend the Ender series books for both their Science Fiction and social reflection/thought provoking characteristics. He puts us in this totally alien environment and makes us look at ourselves in these characters. Perhaps not for someone who doesn't want to think long and hard about human nature.
Contrasts in one's children. Difficulties children sometimes have in recognizing their love for their parents. The transition in children from being dependent to being independent.
Most of the Ender books have a male and female reader. The transition from one to the other gives you a shift in prespective that you would not get from even a well narrated book.
Next steps in the Human Race.