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
The voice actors mispronounced and inconsistently pronounced important names like "Achilles", which should have been pronounced "A-SHEEL", but even Bean's voice actor sometimes refers to him as Achilles, then A-SHEEL, haphazardly. "Hegemon" is another one that vocal talent couldn't get right, so a different actor is dubbed over saying the word "Hegemon" in a completely jarring way. Frankly, though, I wish they'd done it with A-SHEEL because I had to stop listening. It was that frustrating.
Coaching on pronunciation needed badly.
The story itself is amazing. It was actually worse that the audio was so terrible because the story deserved more respect and a better producer than it had.
Of the many audiobooks I've enjoyed from Audible, Shadow of the Hegemon ranks dead last.
The narration of this book is mostly great, with just enough scattered bits of terrible to completely pull the listener out of the story. There are numerous edits which are so poorly done that it's painfully obvious where they occur. What's worse is that sometimes these inserted words or sentences aren't even done by the same narrator! The designated voice for Peter Wiggin, a teenager, sounds as though he is in his sixties.
My reaction to this audiobook is disappointment. Not in the story, but in the shoddy production.
None of the previous audiobooks in the Ender Series I've listened to had music worth noting, which is fine. This book has lots of music, and it's all beyond terrible. These are the sorts of tunes I used to hear with the story records I listened to as a child in the 70's. Better no music at all than this distracting trash.
It's a good story and I love the Bean series much more than the Ender's series. My complaint with this audio book is the horrible production. Every time "hegemon" is said it's cut to some other narrator, very distracting. It took me the first two hours to get over the tinny sound. I don't like how they switched between the pronunciation of Achilles through the book. But at least I didn't have to repeat 30 minutes of the book this time.
The readers mispronounced Hegemon through the entire books (with the exception of Gabrielle de Cuir) and instead of re-recording those sections with the same person's voice, the person who edited this book merely inserted another person's voice saying it correctly.
This mispronunciation and correction was used only 3/4ths of the way through and then it seems that they just scrapped even correcting it. It made for a very disjointed listening experience.
The book, yes. This audio production, no.
Cast was fine, it just needed a better director and/or editor.
Disappointed with this performance.
In general, this was a good book and the series is overall good. The continued and extensive inner monologues of the characters sometimes gets a little old and tedious. The intellectual discovery process as the story progresses a bit slow at times too. The geopolitical commentary of the story is interesting and there is enough going on to keep you on the hook to see what happens next.
In general, the narration was good, but in a few places there were some strange voice overs that were a little weird and distracting. There seemed to be some trouble pronouncing the word Hegemon.
If you are a fan of strategy games like Risk, you will probably enjoy this book. If, like me, you are more drawn to true sci-fi, this will probably disappoint you.
I'm a big fan of Orson Scott Card, and Ender's Shadow is one of my favorite books of all time. I was disappointed with this follow up, and it made me give up on finishing the Ender's Shadow series. It follows Bean as he returns to Earth, where he and the other former Battle School kids become strategic keystones in the wars between countries. The story and performance are fine, if the story happens to be something you are interested in... I wasn't.
I don't know who would enjoy it more, if, presumably the people buying this enjoyed Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow (like myself). This is terrible, I'm sorry. VERY disappointing, I can't even finish listening to it.
Gee, where to start. The story is boring. Too much blathering on about nonsense, that we really don't care about. That might be enough for me to dump this thing (and ultimately it is) BUT there is still the HUGE issue of lousy narration choices and just plain amateur production. Mr. Card should be infuriated.
Narrator??? Which narrator? THERE ARE TOO MANY NARRATORS. WHY are there so many??? I can think of NO reason. Its not like even the same narrator is assigned to a certain character - no -- a new person just pops in and does a chapter and narrates Bean and Peter or Petra - and then, OH, next chapter a TOTALLY different narrator narrates Bean and Peter and Petra....
its ridiculous. Has no rhyme or reason, no continuity whatsoever.
So now on TOP of that -- here is the most annoying thing of all. Apparently one of these narrators weren't coached or trained correctly in the correct pronunciation of certain words, ie " the Hegemon". Pretty important since its in the title, but... as you're listening to the section that this narrator is doing - all of a sudden a totally DIFFERENT VOICE, a different person's - voice is overdubbed everytime they say "the Hegemon".
It is ridiculous! It is very annoying!! Some producer -- you allowed one of your (multitude of) narrators completely bungle the title words and then later overdub it with a different person (SO OBVIOUS!) with the quality I would expect from an 8th grader doing it with a tape recorder???
Horrible. Boring story, ruined the whole series for me, wish I'd never bought it. Wasted my credit. And the narration quality would be laughable if it weren't so darned annoying.
I certainly wouldn't have overdubbed the words "the Hegemon" smack dab in the middle of a narrative, that sounded completely different from what was going on.
Segments are broken up by the most annoying music ever. It's so distracting. Fake harpsicord and cheap royalty free music jars you from the story.
The narrator for Peter stutters and adds an extra element of uncertainty that doesn't match the confidence the character would show to the world, even if those thoughts did occur within his mind.
This is one of my favorite books from a favorite series. However, the narration is abysmal. There are three narrators but they are inconsistent and only read particular chapters. Worse, there were apparently errors in the pronunciation that were jarringly "corrected" in a later revision. This is possibly the worst narrated book I've ever downloaded from Audible.
There was lots of person to person struggle like in the first book, but a lot like Foundation, conflict between countries where wars are fought, dancer to the undercurrent of the cleverness of individual and restrained by the truths of human nature proven by time.
This section is the reason why I am bothering to write a review. What you wouldn't get from reading the book is the extreme compulsion to punch the audio engineer in the face. At least 50 times throughout the audio book every time one of the male narrators would go to say "Hegemon" a foreign voice, cutting in at a slightly different volume and with different background noise would cut in and say... "Hegemon". I could not even tell if it was the same person speaking or not since there were to many other differences. I would not even have commented but it happened so many times. It felt like the whole audio book had been recorded with the narrator reading a completely random word and at the last minute they had to go back in and try to implant the correct one.
I really did like the book.
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