Ender's Game told the story of the boy "Ender" Wiggin and his hard-won victory over an alien race that would have destroyed the Earth and all of humanity. But Ender was not the only child in the Battle School. He was just the best of the best. In Ender's Shadow, Orson Scott Card told the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean - the one who became Ender's right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
And now Card continues Bean's story, and finally tells a tale long awaited by millions of fans. At last we learn what happened on Earth after the destruction of the Hive Queen's worlds, after humanity no longer had a single enemy to unify the warring nations. This is the story of how Bean turned away from his first friend, Ender, and became the tactical genius who won the Earth for Ender's brother, Peter, who became the Hegemon.
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Recording (P) 2001 by Audio Literature; Copyright ©2001 by TOR
I really like Orson Scott Card. All of the books are really well written. I thought this one was more dramatic than others. I certainly recommend listening to Enders Game before listening to this one. Based on Enders Game, I expected Peter to be a little bit more vicious than he was, but overall, very entertaining. Very political.
I've decided that I like one narrator for a book. This switching off doesn't impress me. A good narrator can carry the whole book. I don't need a female to read female parts. I don't need a male to read male parts. A good narrator can change their tone and be male or female.
I loved Enders Game. I was so glad I could continue the series. It was nice to get a different view of Peter.
Shadow of the Giant was really good too. I loved the depth we get of all the characters.
It was a good solid story. I enjoy Orson Scott Card a lot. I think Shadow of the Giant was my next favorite after Enders Game.
I'm a horror nut! Zombies in particular! Epidemics, end of all things! Also enjoyed Game of thrones very much!
The overall Story keeps me wanting to know what's next, I can almost immerse myself into this fictional view of what is a believable possible future for or planet!
All the usual suspects!
This is where my only issue comes into play, throughout the book it's as if the reader maybe pronounced Hegemon incorrectly and the did a cheap cut and paste of another voice to say it correctly and it sounds horrible almost Comical really! Made it hard to listen to and really sink into because those cut and paste audio issues become like a smack in the forehead after the first few times! And it must happen a good 20/30 tea throughout maybe more!
No it's not a emotional book
Fire whoever is responsible for those audio issues because it completely ruins the listening experence!
Captivating, Brilliant, eloquent
Sister Carlotta, She had a sense of herself and reality throughout her journey through the story that never wavered. She was a rock for Bean and definately one of if not the major shapers of his development. A powerful character
Sister Carlotta's post mortum letter to Bean
A wrothy addition to the Ender's Game world
You won't be disappointed by the story or voice acting. You will be saddened by the sound quality, and absolutely appalled at the transition music. But wait, there's more: sound edits that sound...words fail me here...picture buying a book, finding words and phrases--such as "hegemon"--blackened out, and the proper text inserted at the bottom of the page on a pink sticky note. And who is the blasted fool that thought two people carrying on a conversation would sound better if one, only one, sounded as if he were speaking out of a well? Amazon--keep this book available, but you, Mr. Card, his agent, the voice actors, the original producers all deserve better post-post production. So do we. People, buy it anyway, but get indignant.
Another of Orson Scott Card's Enderverse books, Shadow of the Hegemon chronicles the strategic nation warring and politicking after the Formic War (Formics are an insectoid alien species).
The book picks up after the Battle School children return to Earth, having successfully and ruthlessly defended our planet from the invasion of the Formics. Now that Earth's common enemy has been exterminated (documented in Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow), Earth's nations begin to carve up the world in a great battle for complete human hegemony.
About three quarters of the way through the book I said to myself, "This book reads like one long, involved game of Risk." I chuckled aloud when Card said in the audiobook's postlude that his love for Risk games influenced his interest in international strategic politics as a child - and eventually his decision to write this book.
The mechanics of the audiobook were very good, if you can forgive the transition music (a mix between Thomas the Tank Engine and an 80's-era MIDI video game soundtrack). There were several different readers, giving distinction to the character's voices and personalities. I didn't like Petra's actor so much, but I'm nitpicking at this point. In the postlude, Card stated that he writes his books to be read aloud - in fact, he wished all his readers could hear his books before or in place of reading them.
I listened to it at normal speed, and never had the desire to speed it up. In fact, I found myself sitting in the car listening to it after I had arrived home on multiple occasions. I've decided I'll eventually listen to/read all of the Enderverse books and short stories.
The Enderverse just... entertains, and Shadow of the Hegemon is no exception.
The story, as stated by others, is phenomenal. It is much more cerebral and political than Shadow, but context is provided throughout so a reader is not lost. The music is not good, but the weird upbeat music is only used between chapters and is not a distraction. The strange one is the dub of characters stating "Hegemon." We say it as
He-j-emon while i think the undub, which slips through is He-g-emon. It is inexplicable but it DOES NOT ruin the experience of the book.
There was some discussion of Achille's name in other posts. There is a rationale for it. Bean and characters who knew him before call him A-Sheel. Petra, who is another narrator, calls him Achilles. There is a story reason for the difference and not a production reason.
All in all this is a very good book, with some questionable production decisions that don't detract from the story so much.
Card keeps the entertainment flowing however plots seem to be getting thinner and characters more predictable. Maybe they're growing up.... A good listen as always. I always hate to come to the end.
... if you have the rest of the series ... much better than speaker for the dead but somewhat predictable and repetitive at times ... kept interesting by the very excellent narrators who do an outstanding job for every book in this series ... buy it for that alone if you enjoy audio books ...
"Excellent Audio rendition of an excellent book"
First the Audio - this is a top-notch production, well voiced, with multiple readers, each giving a different voice to the primary characters. In fact, it is closer to a performance than a reading. A set of closing comments by Scott Card mention that his novels are meant to be read aloud. You can understand why as this makes for a truly gripping listen.
The story is also excellent. It centres primarily about Bean and Petra as they struggle to prevent Achilles from making a play for world domination in the political chaos following the conclusion of the Formic wars. Several Battle school graduates play important roles and it is quite suspenseful, the lives of the characters, not to mention global domination, hang in the balance. The plot also offers some interesting views on how nations may jockey with each other for global dominance. Card refers to this book as a book about 'the great game', and while you may not agree that some of the scenarios he spins are plausible, I found them to be so. In fact, I found some of the geopolitical subplots a somewhat scary prediction on the next 50 years.
I had not read Ender's Shadow in a while (the previous book dealing with the character of Bean) and I did not remember most of it. I do not think it is necessary to have read it to enjoy this book. I do however recommend reading (or re-reading) Ender's Game before this one, as it increases the understanding of the background and increases the emotional investment in the main characters. There is an excellent audio version of Ender's Game on Audible.
"Excellent but spoiled by some awful overdubbing"
This is the first audiobook I've listened to where I hadn't already read the story and I found it very enjoyable. I find the narration of the Ender series very well done with the voice talent very effective at getting across the different aspects of the story. For some reason, tho, this particular audio book has the word 'Hegemon' overdubbed - by the same actor, true, but so obviously that the word is sometimes shouted, the sound quality varies and it is very distracting. The other books in this series haven't had that fault and I'm really hoping none of the others do as it had the effect of completely affecting the mood.
"Amazing book... weird choices on the performance"
Although the performance in general is very good, I dont know why the hell they decided to change the narrator everytime the word Hegemon was spoken. They changed the narrator for one word and come back to the currenty narrator. It felt very weird.
"Poor performance ruins a good book"
As many other reviewers have mentioned, the over dubbed 'Hegemon' is bad enough however I found the mispronunciation of Achilles, (should be pronounced ah-SHEEL) the most annoying of all. Achilles is one of the main characters in this story and not the first time this character has appeared so there really is no excuse for this.
Apart from that, this is a great story and should not put off anyone following the Ender series.
I really liked Ender's Game and quite liked Ender's Shadow, but this really didn't do it for me and as a result I'm not intending to continue with the Bean saga. The plot lacked direction and focus. The book was just a sequence of scrapes between Bean and Achilles and attempts from Achilles to take power - I didn't feel any momentum and the outcome to every encounter felt very predictable. The narrative just didn't develop; I'm not sure what this book added to the saga.
I'm the kind of person who would love to read about territorial conflicts in a "Risk" like manner (something that OSC was aspiring to) - but it didn't deliver. Achilles is pretty much the only player with the occasional minor interference from Peter and Bean. Everyone else compliantly goes along with whatever Achilles wants (how he manages to ensnare so many world powers goes beyond belief). It doesn't feel like a clash of Super Powers - it lacks intrigue, subtlety, betrayal and espionage - with Achilles being pretty much the only real agent it lacks that complexity that you get in a book like Game of Thrones; I wanted a twist, I wanted a surprise and I just didn't get it.
The performance is pretty good, but the odd dubbing around the word Hegemon makes the production feel very cheap - I have no idea what happened there - or why the lines weren't rerecorded.
"Fresh groundwork but lacks an engaging premise"
Whilst I would not hesitate to recommend Enders game and the sequels that follow Ender into an imaginative future, the philosophies and character tensions are rather lost back on earth where the story evolves like a shallow game of risk.
The quality of this recording is below par with some obvious editing issues around the word "Hegemon". Okay for the curious but not Scott at his best.
"Just as good as the first Bean book"
The story of Bean continues in this book where the child geniuses find themselves facing the consequences of a power vacuum. This book continues to describe Bean, a fascinating character, but the real star of this book is his nemesis. This is a nerve wrecking political battle that will keep your attention from the first to the last minute.
"Satisfactory continuation of the Shadow Series"
The Ender's Shadow books, although very enjoyable, are not up to the standards of the Enders series. They match them in the quality of the narration and the depth of story, but they always feel like they are the poor cousin. Also, the intellect of the character Bean does to some degree detract from the achievements and wonder of Ender and Peter Wiggin. The Ender series left a very strong mental impression of the greatness of Ender and the hegemonic but sadistic nature of Peter. Both were amazing characters in the first series, but as I read the Shadow books, I start to get the impression that Bean was turning the real cogs of power in the background. Also, the character of Peter has gone quite weak and whiney when confronted by Bean. I think OSC has tweaked their characters to fit the new series' storyline.
Nevertheless, this is a very enjoyable book and I fully intend to complete the series. Excellently narrated.
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