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)
This is a fantastic piece of literature. While I didn't find it as enlightening as Ender's Game, Card has a way of crafting an incredible story-within-a-story in the world of Ender's Game from Bean's perspective. The whole series is fantastic, and is worth picking up, but this one in particular was my favorite. I love how Bean is able to verbally bully teachers into giving him what he wants, and how his brilliant mind solves problems before he even knows they are there. Great read!
I have not read the print version but would find it hard to believe there would be anything to gain from it. The narration is superb.
Bean is easily my favorite character. He is brilliant beyond what his contemporaries or even the adults over him can even begin to understand and while offering no false modesty he is not vain. Just when you start to think that this makes him cold and mechanical he shows just enough emotion to give you a small glimpse into his soul.
The narrators did an outstanding job of portraying the emotion or lack of emotion present in a scene. The multiple narrators gave a good feel to the books allowing you to quickly distinquish between age and gender. At no point did you not understand who was speaking or what they were feeling.
Yes. It was extremely difficult to pause the book or even to divide my attention between it and daily activities.
Orson Scott Card continues his examination of personal exceptionalism, leadership, loyalty and self-sacrifice through a compelling story that shadows "Ender's Game" with such depth and mastery that you will not want to put it down and will run to get the next installment.
The unfolding of Bean's character within the framework established by "Ender's Game" fits remarkable well and adds an interesting dimensionality to it.
The reader's are uniformly excellent and embody their parts wonderfully with perfect pacing.
All a listener can ask for is more.
Not better, but its a great presentation of a book.
Even though this is Bean's book, I still can help but feel that Ender is still my favorite character.
The variety of the voices and the use of them with the different characters was good.
It's a great book. I definitely find myself laughing at times...looking at the world from the perspective of a super-genious, it definitely makes you crack up at times.
Like Ender's Game I also read this book before I listened to it, granted it was many years ago, but I still have the book on a shelf in my home. I feel that yes the ability to listen to this book rather then being tied to the book itself enhanced the feel of the book.
Well Bean. Scott Card did an amazing example of bring Bean to live in this novel. The story of his life, and the reasons as to why Bean works the way he does is clearly put out for all to know and understand.
The Narrators like those in many of the Ender Series have the ability to bring the listener into the story through their tone of voice. The ability to be a single person but have a distinct tone for each character is amazing.
I am worth no more than one Bean.
I would like to thank Scott Card the narrators and the editors for taking time time to commit this book to an audio file for all to hear and love.
This book is a fantastic parallel to Ender's Game. We see two very different characters develop as they face the challenges of their survival and the survival of the human race.
The narrators of this story are very well balanced and draw you right in.
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
I really enjoyed this story as a supplement to Ender's Game. Here we explore roughly the same timeline, but through the eyes of Bean. This book added to my overall positive feeling of Ender's Game, and it was satisfying enough that I don't feel compelled to continue in this series, but I feel invited to do so. I like that balance.
Performance was great, this team really makes the story come to life!
If you already read (and liked) Ender's game, you will love this book. Probably more than Ender's game itself. It adds so much to the story.
I urge you to read this after Ender's Game, and not before!
I listened to Ender's Game first and then this book. It was great listening to them back to back so you can see (hear) the story from both sides.
I really enjoyed the story being told from the perspective of Bean in a first person narrative. It lets you know the thoughts behind the characters, not just their actions.
"A Return to Battle School."
This book takes us back to the Battle School events in Ender's Game, but retold from the perspective of a secondary character, Bean. You may wonder why you would want to read the same story again, but the manner in which it is written is excellent and at no point did I feel like I was going over old material. The back-story of Bean is gone into in detail which introduces new, interesting characters. The story from when he arrives at Battle School is very much Bean's and the author has ensured that Bean develops his own identity in the school and his own story before even meeting Ender.
This is the first in the "Shadow" series and of the five Enders books I have now listened to, this is just behind Ender's Game which is firmly the best. OSC uses his monumental skills to tell another great story, with great character, plot and dialogue. The narration team are as always exemplary.
You do not need to have read the Ender's series first, but I would strongly recommend it.
I didn't particularly enjoy this book when I read it. But this is an example of how excellent narration can improve the whole audiobook experience. The different voices are excellent and work well together, adding an extra dimension to the book and making me wish my commute home from work took longer. I don't know how this was recorded but the quick interchange between voices at times sounds very real as though they were having a direct conversation. The occasional use of music adds to the atmosphere.
This book is a perfect example of what an audio book should be and I hope that the same excellent production is in place for the rest of the Ender series of books.
"A "parallax" novel of Ender's Game"
Story: This is an interesting story, basically retelling Ender's Game from one of the supporting character's view. Bean is by far my fave from Ender's Game, so a whole book devoted to him? I'm in there :) His back story is fleshed out, and Bean is far more aware of the whole political dynamic, which gives a whole new flavour to the story. So whilst you know exactly what happens, there's enough new material for those who are familar with Ender's game; but for those who haven't read it; it's self contained enough that it shouldn't need the knowledge of what's coming to make sense.
Audio: The full cast recording, was more like "three cast parts". But it really worked: the dialogue between Graff and Sister Carlotta was excellent, in particular. I had a bit of a flub at the end, where the audio seemed to skip back half a chapter, but then it carried on without any issues. Excellent narration.
"Bean's Story is a compelling aternative to Enders"
Pretty high. If you like Enders game, this will be an interesting book.
Bean and then Petra. Its good to see Bean again having liked his character in the original Enders Game.
"Good story but not as good as Enders Game"
The desperate struggle of a boy who feels totally abandoned and alone to stay alive and win at everything he does.
No, not as gripping as Ender's Game
"Could of been better."
The best things I like is the new look at the story outside of Enders point of view, quite often something that only films can do, so it is well worth listening to Ender's Game and then this book.
The bad parts are the religious links as I found them irritating, at first I only thought that they were there because of a Nun character and was willing to accept this as she was a part of the development with the story, but then as time went on the book started to drop links in all over the place more often, taking you away from the story and more in to religious philosophy from time to time. Even characters that showed no religious views in Ender's Game started to drop in quotes from the bible, thus making no sense from a character development point of view.
Hard to answer without, spoilers :) but needless to say I felt it undermines the ending of "Ender's Game"...
Funny in this case, but the stars of Ender's Game.
I feel, I have more negative to say than good, maybe the reason for the 3 stars I think, but I would still like to add that even with the bad points I still really enjoyed the book, I nearly gave it 4 stars, but couldn't as to top it off the recording did not match the chapter selection in my audible app for windows 8 and edits were clearly noticeable.
"I liked it but..."
I would have liked to see much less of the religious connections and bible quotes. Occasionally they moved the story on but at times - for me- they got in the way.
Beans back story was interesting. I enjoyed matching the back stories of Ender and Bean and seeing how they form the boys and the resulting outcomes of nurture and nature translate into them as commanders.
I would have defiantly miss the fun and excitement of following Bean, He is such a good character
worth listening too and relaxing .
The three stars is because of two things one was that the recording switched back half a chapter towards the end of the book, Not sure what happened but it certainly interrupted the 'flow' of the story .
The second was the religious links that I found irritating because they were happening along far too often and took me out of the story. Im not sure I will read/buy another of his books as i do not want to experience that again. This is a shame for me as I enjoyed most of his writing, pace, good ideas and character development.
"Read Ender's Game? Read this too!"
I read Ender's Game, then read through all of the books with Ender's character. It was so refreshing to go back to the beginning, but have the story told by a new character. Ender's Shadow fills in all the gaps you never new were there. Bean is a very interesting character and the books that carry on after this are just as entertaining as Ender's books.
Bean. Bean actually trumps Ender in this book, in my opinion.
The narrators are consistent throughout the entire Ender-verse catalogue.
Yes, Bean's story is very deep.
All the books in Ender and Bean's respective series are works in their own right. While some are based on intelligent children learning to fight, others are very philosophical and less action packed. All of the books are thought provoking. While this book is fun and action packed. Don't expect the series to be entirely the same.
"Detracts (slightly) from Ender's Game"
I really enjoyed seeing the story from another perspective and to get more insight into Battle School. There were some parts of the book that really added and improved Ender's game. However, overall I felt the book detracted from the original Ender's game.
Bean's character comes across too similar to Ender's especially when he enters Battle School. The main differences are that Ender is empathetic and has leadership skills, whereas Bean is more intelligent but finds it difficult to relate to others - these differences don't come across with enough impact, certainly not in how the characters think or (largely) act. Many of the key themes and challenges that both characters face are very similar; coping with being judged by their size and age, their need to survive at any cost, their battle against the teachers and facing a tormentor from their youth who haunts them throughout their time in battle school. The way they deal with these issues feels too similar, the outcomes are often the same, the thought process of the characters: way too similar. When you hear Bean's story it almost feels like a rehash of Ender's - not a story about a distinctly different character. The closeness of the narrative makes it feel like Ender's outlook and the challenges he faces are less unique and less special. Ender's eventual "triumph" in the war feels less of a feat - because it feels like Bean could have done it had he been a little bit older with better social skills.
The other major flaw is Bean's and Ender's relationship - the relationship feels very different in this book - and only so much can be attributed to a different view point. Some of the dialogue between Bean and Ender is atrociously retrofitted - Bean who comes across as naive in comparison to Ender in Ender's game, is actually revealed to have far more information of the inner workings of the school. So when they talk to each other what was once a sincere conversation in Ender's game, we discover - in Ender's Shadow - was the result of Bean being sarcastic or tongue tied "Can't he tell I'm being sarcastic?", "Does he think I don't know that?". I found that very annoying - in Ender's game Bean is one of the few people who Ender actually confides in - and these special moments are somewhat spoilt by the revelation that where Bean appears earnest and sincere - he's actually being told things he knows already or is acting flippant and sarcastic. If Bean's personality was slightly different in Ender's Shadow we could have had an alternative interesting and plausible viewpoint on their conversations, but Bean's personality (in Ender's Shadow) is just incompatible with those conversations. It doesn't work.
With all that said, I would still recommend this book - I really enjoyed revisiting Battle School and parts of Bean's storyline are very interesting.
"Let your own imagination roll before the movie"
An equal to the original Ender's Game that provides the pairing of perspectives which enabled the Movie production, due for release in late 2013.
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