The book closes the chapter on Bean's life, but again leaves the door open for his legacy, his children, to explore a brave new world and shape history for their new race, so the saga must continue....
There was no real eureka moment for me as in previous OSC books, rather a well thought out storyline that tied up loose ends from previous adventures and sets up the landscape for new ones. I liked the legacy angle and look forward to what the offspring might get up to in future.
All of the OSC books are well narrated by the same team, they feel like family by now.
Great way of escaping monotony for two hours of commuting every day.
Be warned, this book is shorter than normal, yet not a short story, but entertaining if you accept it for what it is. Probably more for OSC die hard fans like me.
It is obvious that Orson Scott Card loves his characters, and what is not to love and respect about Bean? He grew up as a feral child and without his own abilities and the love of a few he would have died as an infant. While I loved Enders Game and the subsequent books in that series Enders Shadow was equal in the quality of story telling and the quality of the characters. Bean, Petra, Peter, and the others of Ender's tribe that are portrayed in the Shadow series are complex and interesting people. There is not always a happy ending,
no spoiler here with this book by the way. Ender has his struggles as does Bean, but this is life. I liked this book, it continued the story, a little short for sure. I love nothing more than a good 20 hour audible listen ! and I have bought enough of Card's books to realize that he is as prolific as they get. I think it is a combination of his obvious bottomless well of story's to tell mixed with some business. lets not forget Orson Scott Card's forerunners like Clarke, Asimov, Heinlein and the like cranked out some short books and some of dubious quality to pay the mortgage. So I took this as it was, a nice continuation of the Bean saga with interesting characters, a good solid story that lives in and expands the Ender universe. I will certainly buy the next book in this series which will apparently connect the two threads, that of the Ender's Game story line and the Ender's Shadow..
So, I first I thought Scott Card had run out of characters, Bean's kids seem to be Ender, Peter and Valentina all over again, but in the end they developed personalities of their own and then it was interesting.
Other than that, it is good to know what happened to Bean, because we love Bean, right? And like all Scott Card books this one is very worth reading.
I like sci-fi and fantasy as well as an occasional good mystery.
I would recommend this to all who have been waiting for a "conclusion" to Bean's story.
It was an interesting concept. I do not want to ruin the plot for anyone. It had me wanting to listen continuously.
This is on par with all other books produced by Blackstone Audio. I haven't heard one of their narrators I did not like.
Definitely... and with this book length I could.
I wish it was a full novel.
I have loved Bean's story from the start, and I was thrilled when Ender's Shadow started the Shadow series. I had felt left hanging for years at the end of Shadow of the Giant, when Bean and three of the kids took off for deep space. Petra and Peter got some wrap up but not Bean.
Here it is. Other reviewers have complained about the three kids comunication style. As a mother of three I felt that Mr. Card captured real sibling "stuff" that was authentic and believable. Of course it is anoying to listen to at times. That was part of the point.
With the shorter format Mr. Card used for this story there was not as much oportunity to be in Bean's head as he dealt with his briliant trio, but his love for them still came through loud and clear. It was absolutely clear the lengths he was willing to put himself through to stay alive long enough to know his kids would be okay. Yes, I was a sobbing mess at the end. I think that just demonstrates how well writen a story it was.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
I am a pretty big Orson Scott Card fan. I have read almost everything he has written, and he has written a lot over the last 35 or so years.
Any author that has written as much as Card has, has some uneven work.
The Shadow series, which is a complete series that is ancillary to the Ender series, has been particularly uneven. I love the characters of Bean and Petra. But the series as a whole has been far less satisfying than I would have liked. There have been plenty of books but they haven’t moved as much as I would have liked them too.
Shadows in Flight feels like a re-start to the series. Bean has left earth with his children. The story line that Card had to interact with because it covered ground that was mentioned in the Ender series is now over. Bean is in his early 20s, his children are 6. And Bean is near death. He has grown to about 25 ft tall and can only live in the cargo hold. His body is shutting down, but living at near zero G has helped him live a couple years past his life expectancy. He has tried, to the best of his ability, to raise his children well. Preparing them for life without them.
The children of course are as gifted as Bean is. They are brilliant far beyond their years, but they are still innocent, still children, and they do not know what they do not know.
I will not reveal the major plot point. But it seems appropriate and is handled well. And at the end of the book, I can see this going several books if Card has enough ideas. This felt more like a young adult book than any of the rest of the series, in fact more than any other book except Ender’s Game. I am not sure if that is because the main characters were 6 (albeit incredibly intelligent and gifted 6 year olds) or because of the length of the book.
What is a bit frustrating is that Card at the end of the book (I listened to it). He has a short section about how this book is just over half of the length of what his standard books are. I am all for authors telling a story, and expanding a book to meet a length usually kills the story. I think that this has been the problem with the Shadow series as a whole. Card should have edited down most of the books to about 2/3 of their published length.
But the length, according to Card, is not about better telling the story, it is about lowering the price point of the book. If he writes a shorter book, he can charge less for it. But the price of the Kindle book is $9.99 and $11.99 (there are two editions. One is an abridgment with 7 additional paragraphs for $11.99, and the other is the full book without the 7 additional paragraphs but it is a pre-order for Feb 2013 and is $9.99.) The Audiobook is a bit cheaper, but it is range of the price of some of his older books. The Hardcover is about the price of most hardcovers that have been out for about a year. So if his point was to produce a cheaper book, that didn’t make it to the ears of the publisher.
Digital publishing should make it easier for authors and publishers to experiment. Change the length, the style, the format, but make sure the story is worth reading or it does not really matter.
Also don’t piss off your readers. The Kindle Edition of this book is currently only available in the abridged form. The longer version is on pre-order. Amazon has the reviews all bundled so it is hard to tell what you are getting and more than a few people purchased the abridged book and felt cheated. Because it was a the price of a full book, but they only got a novella (around 140 pages). The description says 240 pages, but that is the full printed version of the book.
So my advice, if you are going to get this book, get the paper or audio versions.
Possibly because I am a huge fan of the whole Enderverse and even though this seems uncomplete to me it is stll apart of that.
I went in thinking this would be an answer or completion of Bean's and Petra's story but was left with even more questions at the end then when I had started with, different question now but more. I don't know if there will be a sequel to this but if so, I think it should have been part of this book. The ending for me was too abrupt.
Having said that.... The performance was excellent and true to form for the series and was enjoyable just the same.
After listening to most of the other stories in the Andrew "Ender" Wiggin universe I found this book fell flat. Mr. Card said it best in the post-book interview: he and Tor were testing the idea of a half-sized book.
In my opinion it did not work, I would say calling this is sequel is generous; it does come off as a short story. To me it feels rushed at the end which is ironic because much of the time I was listening I had to ask myself "why does this matter in the big picture?"
The performance was ok, not because of the actors themselves... Scott Brick has always been a favorite of mine from the Dune series; and the other actors did equally well. But there did seem to be some, shall we say quirks from production that prevented me from getting utterly absorbed.
Ultimately, this was the first book of many I every went to the trouble of returning. However, I am ready to move on to the next in hopes of a better listening experience.
I have read many of Orson Scott Cards books and all of the shadow series. I am used to a fairly consistent level of detail in the stories but I felt like this one was an outlier. At the end of the book Orson talks about the shorter format and states it was somewhat of an experiment to see if a story could fit into a cheaper book but I would say the results are negative.
It was difficult to connect with the story in such a short time frame and I am quite certain that it could have been a meaningful book had it been developed deeply.
If I had realized that this was a short book, I wouldn't have bought it. I feel like I was ripped off. Was this a ploy for more money and less work? It costs the same on Audible, no matter how long it is. I LOVE the Ender stories and Bean, but this was not up to Card's standard. I kept waiting for the real story and characters to develop and then suddenly it ended. What? The narrators were terrific as usual.