Earth and its society have been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin's victory over the Formics. The unity forced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School.
But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Ender's older, more ruthless brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistible call on the loyalty of Earth's young warriors. With Bean at his side, he will reshape our future.
Here is the continuing saga of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army, as they take their places in the new government of Earth.
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©2002 Orson Scott Card; (P)2002 Fantastic Audio; Fantastic Audio Is an Imprint of Audio Literature
"Fans will enjoy an exciting, fast-paced plot and a suspense-filled conclusion." (Amazon.com)
"Once again, Card keeps the action, danger, and intrigue levels high." (Booklist)
This book has none of the luster or intriguing insight of the other books in the series. It is a shame to taint such a fantastic series of writing and story telling with a book of this caliber. The Shadow Puppet is preachy, unrealistic, forced and mostly uninteresting. The idea that these children are geniuses, and the Bean is the smartest person alive is used to put forth a lot of plot lines and resolutions to situations that left me feeling I had been force fed a conclusion without adequate story line to support it. I am a mother and love my family and children more than anything, which goes along very much with the sermon in the story, yet even I felt resistance to the books "message" because it was done in a preachy and forced way.
This production house is typically amazing, but there are some strange issues with this reading. I think the readers must have been mispronouncing "hegemon" because the word is dubbed over in a really jarring way throughout the production. There were places were they couldn't agree on how to pronounce Achilles. The audio quality also seemed of compared to previous entries in the series.
I enjoyed more time with these characters very much. A few times I had to roll my eyes because the author's personal political evolution is shining through in ways unseen in previous works. Bean's exploration of the morality of abortion as an example. Didn't stop me from enjoying the story. Anyone who made it this far in the series has no reason to stop here.
If Card had just told his story. This is where his politics start to read their ugly heads and interfere with the characters that he crated in his more liberal younger days.
Intelligent, Gripping, Speculative
The Whole shadow series is amazing
might have expanded the cast a bit more the number of characters exceeded the voice capabilities a it making it difficult at times to folllow who's sayng what unless intently listening.
Overall I found this book engaging and entertaining. My only criticism of this book is a production note, and this is true for most of OSC's books. Why must they put crappy synth muzak in between the chapters do us all a favor and skip the music in the future.
I've very much enjoyed the Ender series, however, this book takes a detour from the fun and entertaining geopolitical/psychological/science fiction of Ender's Game and mopes along through a whiny, melodramatic love story that turns into a thinly veiled homophobic screed. At first I dismissed the homophobia angle, thinking, "What does gay marriage have to do with the aftermath of Ender's war with the buggers?" Much to my chagrin--and despite the clear answer being "nothing"-- there it was though. It only took a quick google search to note that I was far from the first to notice this unfortunate bent (and that the author Card is on the board of a rather gnarly anti-gay propaganda group to boot).
Thus, I'm afraid the Ender series has been a bit tainted for me. I will admit that I have moved on to Shadow of the Giant (and noticed so far at least a brief continuation of the same anti-gay storyline), but I suspect it will be my last Ender book. Up until now, I had rather enjoyed the Ender-verse as a pleasant summer distraction. Though the series had gone down hill a bit since the original Ender's Game, I have to say that I'm very disappointed to have had an otherwise fun series marred by such an irksome blemish.
Some other reviewers touched on it already but this is the weakest of the Ender/Bean series by far. The story is boring and the characters as young adults are acting like they would if they were "normal" 5 year olds. There is no person that wins your favor like Ender did. I found the narration whiny but that is largely because the characters are written that way.
All that said, it is important to read this to understand the next book in the series which is a vast improvement.
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