Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean, the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender.
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©1999 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
"An exceptional work." (School Library Journal)
"An absorbing, near-flawless performance." (Kirkus)
"As always, everyone will be struck by the power of Card's children, always more and less than human, perfect yet struggling, tragic, yet hopeful, wondrous and strange." (Publishers Weekly)
Definitely darker than Enders Game but a very compelling story. Narration was spot on... Truly not a sequel but a retelling.
Despite my political disagreements with Card, I can't deny that I love his writing. It would be trite to say that this is Ender's Game from Bean's perspective, because it isn't. It's so much more. It's about growing up weak and in poverty, about studying people you can't ever understand, and about what it really means to be human.
In a way, I think Bean is a much more interesting character than Ender. While both Ender and Bean have superhuman abilities, Bean is the emotionally-immature outsider who has to fight for everything he gets. Ender, who let's face it, is beloved not as a real, distinct character and but because he's a symbol of the smart kid winning against the bullies.
Read Ender's Game first. Speaker and the Dead and Xenocide are also great. Shadow of the Hegemon is okay. The other Bean and Ender books are pretty missable, especially the third in the Bean series, which spends an inordinate amount of time talking about how important it is to have kids. That one feels pretty much like Orson Scott Card shaking his cane at all the irresponsible youngsters.
Kudos to the narrator. I always get excited when I see Scott Brick's name on a book.He adds just the right touch of pathos to his characters and makes even terrible books almost tolerable.
absolutely loved the book and readers, especially stephan rudnicki! even if you have already read ender's game, this is a completely different perspective of the same tale.
This was awesome. Audio cast did great. If you haven't read the book in awhile, prepare to get sucked back into the world of the Formic War and the international termoil churning for release planetside. Might as well buy some extra credits for the rest of the series now.
I had already read the book, but it was really nice to hear it. I really enjoyed the fact of listening to the different voices. It had been a while since I read Enders Shadow, so it was great to relive the story again.
World history teacher and philosophy guru
freaking great,loved it....keeps you in step with the movie. great book, can't wait to read the next one
"You are exactly my brand of heroin."
amazing performance and such a great book. I didn't know Bean was so interesting. can't wait to read the rest
First, here's some bonus info. You can play this book at 1.5 speed and it sounds almost the same as regular speed.
Ender's Game is a famous book, and rightfully so. But I feel that this is a much better book in many ways. The writing is tighter. The universe is already fleshed out, so the focus lays more on character development. I was very pleased with it and intend to read the rest of the series. Bean is a more street-smart version of Ender. I think I appreciate that a little more.
Bean was named by Poke, a girl barely surviving as a street urchin in charge of younger children. The size of a two year old but actually four, and starving, Bean gives Poke a way to live better, and in turn becomes a part of that group. The benefit is that he’s eating better than he has since he lived in the clean place, but the drawback is that one of the pivotal keys to their dietary improvement is the evil Achilles who Bean knows wants to kill both him and Poke. But the change in the lives of the children on the street, and not just Achilles’ group now (Poke is no longer in charge), thanks to Bean’s savvy, garners the attention of adults, including Sister Carlotta who works for others and is on the lookout for a brilliant child who may end up going to Battle School where Ender Wiggins, whom we know from Ender’s Game, a parallel novel written first, is. Anyone who has read the first book or the back of this knows that Bean ends up there, but the question is how and when and what the mysteries are surrounding his life on the streets at such a young age, how he got there and why.
Just as with Ender’s Game, I started first with the audio recording, which is very well done, but since I am listening to it with my son, I read ahead in the book and finished it. The book isn’t better than Ender’s Game in some ways, but it is in others, and again this is one time where there are certain scenes where the different voices make it easier to keep track of who is who. My son is at the edge of his seat when we listen, but so far he’s heard only the first two disks, and still don’t know Bean’s origins, how he makes it to flight school, whether or not Achilles manages to kill Poke, whether or not Bean is truly an orphan or even if Bean is the same as any other living child. But I do, and if you want to know, you’ll have to listen to this or read this yourself, because I’m not going to make it easy for you by giving you any spoilers. If you have read Ender’s Game but not this book, I highly recommend reading this because it will shed more light on the situation and while it is a parallel novel, it is not a rehash of what you’ve read before.
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