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
Note the word CONTINUES. This is a wonderful book, if you have fallen in love, as I have, with these characters. My suggestion is to read "Ender's Game"...then "Ender's Shadow"...then proceed to this book. "Speaker for the Dead"(my personal favorite), although an amazing book in itself does not need to be read to thoroughly enjoy this one.
What I find so fascinating is, how Card, thru these sequels and/or parallels, takes characters that you thought you understood and knew, and gives them dimension and substance, that of course, you didn't know, because he never told you. I personally have alway enjoyed his characterizations, more than the story, but because Card makes me care about the characters so much, I then care what happens to them, hence the story then becomes important. I always listen twice to each book, because he tends to foreshadow so much that I sometimes "miss" things the first time around.
If you haven't at least read "Ender's Shadow", don't read this! You have to know and love, or know and hate these characters for the full savoring of this amazing "world" that Card has created for us.
Now for me, with excitement and anticipation, it is on to "Shadow Puppets". I can only imagine its delights. I hope your journey is as delicious as mine!
This is an excellent story (as are most by Mr Scott Card), read by extremely talented people. Then the money ran out, or something. It's strange that the sound can be so shabby in this day and age. And the music? SHEESH! The author and actors work hard to create an eerie, nail-biting mood, then in comes happy elevator music made on a kiddie keyboard from the 80's. Gone is the suspence!
Audible usually makes me feel that the books I buy here are well worth the price. Not this one though. I got sorta ripped off.
I still recommend this one though. Just be warned of the tinny, unprofessional production. Five stars for the story. Five stars for the actors. Half a star for the guy who was responsible for the sound and music.
I have read five other books in this series, and Shadow of the Hegemon is yet another great story, that I highly recommend. If you have listened to any of the other books in this series, you will already be familiar with the acting work, as these are the same voices used throughout this series.
What is very disappointing is the work done to transfer the title to the audible format. The title plays very muddy, and I had to set my treble all the way up, and bass all the way down. In addition, there are several places where the tone suddenly shifts to a high pitch, stays that way briefly, then jumps back to the muddy low tone of most of the work. Really, Audible, this recording needs to be recaptured from the source material.
I really enjoy Orson Scott Card's stories but unfortunately I had a science fiction bias when I bought this book. There is in fact little to no science fiction in this book. It's Earth bound and in the future, that's it. Good story though.
The production is poor. Everyone has their own preferences as to how narration is done but I'm sure all agree that the editing of corrections and music are like loud bangs in a quiet room. Clearly it wasn't until the end that someone pointed out the mispronuciations of names and words. The solution of letting some instances slide, warbling others, and dropping in mismatched re-records was just plain BAD. You can get through it but you may feel you didn't get your money's worth.
I'm a huge fan of the Ender series, and I have had the good fortune of listening to the entire series thus far on audiobook (which as Card says is his preferred format). This is another fantastic story involving Bean, who is now living on Earth after the Formic War.
Unfortunately, the production quality of this audiobook is extremely poor compared to the previous books in the series. Initially, the audio was very poor quality and the volume was very low. While the audio levels eventually became normal again, the audio quality was often very poor with certain voice actors.
Multiple mispronunciations plagued this performance, which varied from minor to major distractions. The word Hegemon (being the title of the book, no less) was mispronounced throughout the entire audiobook, and was crudely dubbed over with the correct pronunciation by what sounded to be a different actor.
Finally, the name of the antagonist was severely mispronounced throughout the book, with the exception of a few correct pronunciations strewn intermittently throughout the performance. Achilles, the Battle School failure who later became involved involved in global politics, was pronounced phonetically, instead of with the correct French pronunciation "a-SHEEL". This pronunciation was made very clear in Ender's Shadow, so it was very hard to become accustomed to the mispronounced version. At first, I thought that it was being mispronounced because the character being spoken through did not know the correct pronunciation, but I soon realized that was not the case. The same voice actor would pronounce it correctly in one part of the book, then completely the opposite in a later part of the book.
In summary, I would greatly recommend this book, but do be aware of the audiobook's multiple problems. I am very surprised that this has not been addressed yet, and I hope it is republished in the future.
Note that if you download this book, there is a (possibly confusing) technical flaw. In part I, at around the 3:37:55 mark, the recording seems to pause, then begins repeating the last half-hour or so (picking up at what the listener heard starting at around the 3:09:16 mark). The narrative then continues smoothly through, but can produce odd feelings of deja vu. ;) So, at the 3:37:55 mark, when you think, "Didn't I just hear this part?!" Just fast-forward up to about 4:06 and you'll be fine.
I agree with the main annoyances of the recording previously posted by many others. There were just too many glitches in the production for them to be overlooked. The story was decent, but the audio blunders were very distracting. This book needs to be re-recorded with everyone on the same page and properly edited. A free download of an acceptable recording, for those of us who purchased the original, would also be nice.
I personally don't prefer Scott Brick as a narrator for any book as he over-dramatises nearly everthing, and even brings drama into non-fiction when reading it. I did like Ender's Shadow immensely to my surprise as I didn't expect to be able to re-enter easily into the setting. Shadow of the Hegemon is also easy to get into. The downsides of the story to me are mostly to do with the Achilles character.
I couldn't believe that the mispronunciation of the name of the main antagonist was really throughout the second half of the book. What the H...? It was kind of hard to get past that misstep and enjoy the book without thinking every time it was said how dumb it seemed.
The writing style of "Ender's Game" sort of petered out of the latter three books -- for the most part -- but it comes back in full force in "Shadow of the Hegemon".
I enjoyed the entire Ender series, but I know others who didn't even finish "Speaker for the Dead" -- never mind "Xenocide" or "Children of the Mind". If you're a member of that group, THIS is definitely the book for you!!!
"Shadow of the Hegemon" takes us right back to the end of the war with the buggers, which was a little weird having finished the Ender series because it's quite a jump back in time. If I had it to do over again, I don't know that I'd listen to this book before "Speaker for the Dead"...but I might try to listen to the two concurrently.
I can't wait to start "Shadow Puppets" (the next Bean book)!
Very interesting spin on the "Ender's Game" story. Highly recommended as a follow-on to that book. Exciting, I found it hard to leave the car (ie, stop listening).
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