My tenth read in the Ender’s Game series, and with all the prequels and sequels, I’m not exactly sure where I am in the “Enderverse.” Anyway, this is one of the shorter novels, and involves Beane hurtling through space at near light speed with three of his children, searching for a cure to the gigantism that will kill them by age 20. I enjoyed it well enough, especially the flashes of that same brilliant imagination present in most of these books. However, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know all the backstory.
The story is standard Card excellence, except that it is only half a story. At the end Card himself admits that this was an "experiment" with a new length: half a novel length as an impulse buy. (Too bad we can't spend half a credit)
The result is that just when a typical story is really ramping up for the "best part" this story is winding down to start tying up the loose ends. When I saw there was only an hour left on my iPhone I went to download part 2 - only to discover there was no part 2. So this is a great setup for the next book but a bit light for a stand alone read.
Performance wise two of the readers were great, but the third had such a low voice it sounded like a bad impression. It was so bass filled that it was distracting from the content. Not sure why anyone would think a 5 year old child should be read by such a voice.
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.
The Performers for Scotts works are always stellar. I never get lost.
Yes. Overall I enjoy Scotts books and have listened to all the Endervers except for the prequel with another writer.
All these people are top notch and I get comfort listening to their voices on the road.
I was disappointed that Scott admitted in interviews that the book was shortened to get into multiple publications for the almighty dollar. It seemed a bit weak. But I would not have failed to listen. In earlier statements this book was supposed to tie together all the other story lines and I don't feel it did, at least to my satisfaction. I do hope he continues the story line.
Oh most certainly yes!
I'd like to avoid spoilers but the end kinda left thinking "oh, ok and now we continue on" only to suddenly have Mr. Card telling his afterward.
again.. this just seems to be asking for spoilers!
I think it was a great story and a must read for fans of the series, but even the author pointed out it was a short book in the afterward and that his goal was to make a short book to make it more affordable. Unfortunately, 1 credit is one credit and I probably should have just read physical book for this one.
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.
According to the author in the prolog of this book states the next book will solve all the problems. What caused the descolata? Who was behind this? Originally this book was supposed to answer this questions. However, when one gets less book for the same amount those promises are left for another day. Maybe another half book.
This book is about half the length of the average audiobook. The author clearly states he is looking for the best price point. In a bookstore one can see it is getting half a book, downloading it from Audible until you might not look at the length.
It is good material but I disliked the author's motive - to find a price point. To translate how much would one pay for a "baby" book? I guess I will live without every knowing the answers to the questions I listed in the first paragraph. I live without paying full price for a "mini" book.
Didn't answer questions it promised to answer.
I would add a bunch more.
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.