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)
I just love these books; the "Ender" series and now the "Shadow" series, with Bean and Petra and Peter...I devour them!
Don't read this book if you haven't read "Shadow of the Hegemon" (which is preceded by "Ender's Shadow"). And if you haven't read "Ender's Game" yet, stop here and buy that instead!
Two things to point out, though:
1) This book does not end the "Shadow" series, and so far as I can tell the next book hasn't been published yet! So, while this book doesn't exactly leave you hanging, it doesn't resolve the story, either.
2) My only real complaint with these books are the love stories. I bought into the concept of battle school kids easily enough, and if you forget how old the characters are the story moves along fine. But I found that every time I remembered they're not yet 15, I recoiled a wee bit. I also note, however, that Card seems to realize this, and doesn't remind the reader about age very often.
Definitely another great addition to the "Ender" series - I can't wait for the next one!
I was really concerned by the customer reviews here, as I so enjoyed the other books. I must have different standards (different, not better) but this was an excellent book! All the questions rasied by the first books are answered and the story is "fleshed out". Any preaching was minimal, yet the moral aspects were very well presented. I don't enjoy having any sermon pushed at me - all the years of political correctness on TV and the media have made me a rebel - and yet the parts that touched on religon and morals were among the most interesting. This is a "must have" part of the series, in my opinion.
The two-person reading is excellent, bringing out the story's drama, romance, and intrigue. I highly recommend this to anyone who has read the other Ender books, even, if like me, they found those uneven.
What I know about customer reviews is that they all have to be taken with a grain of salt. No matter how good something is, the complaints outweigh the praise because being unhappy about something motivates people.
So I am going to weigh in here on the positive side, even though I never review books. I really enjoyed this audio book. I haven't read anything in the Ender series in a long time but I can't wait for the obvious sequel to this one.
I did find the banter between Peter and his parents and Petra and Bean annoying and almost identical. But the story is compelling and not completely transparent as some can be.
Unlike what "kwimalar" and others wrote, this is a very good book. It does *not* recount events from the previous books, but brings them to the necessary conclusion. I almost didn't buy this book given these reviews, I'm so glad I did because the story would be incomplete without this book. PLEASE, if you like the Bean/Peter/Petra storyline, buy this book. You will *not* be disappointed.
Overall, this was another excellent book by Orson Scott Card. I am steadily moving through the Ender's Game Series, starting with the Shadow stories (after Ender's Game of course) and this was another positive addition to the story. It is nothing like Ender's Game or Shadow again, but if you liked Shadow of the Hegemon this is formatted very similarly as a continuation of that story. It is admittedly less interesting than Ender's Shadow by a fair margin, and more predictable than Hegemon, but still worth reading. It focuses a LOT on military strategy.
Before I downloaded it, I saw a review that was extremely critical of the supposed anti-homosexual commentary and was expecting it to be much worse. Realistically there is about a 5 minute conversation where one character in the book expresses his opinion that even though he is of the homosexual persuasion, he believes that every human's desire to have children with a woman transcends that. So basically, don't let the easily offended reviewer deter you and make you think that this is an anti-gay book by any means.
Bean is my favorite character in the Ender universe and in this story, which is really a Stratego game within which our favorite characters operate, Bean finally gets the girl, Petra Arcanian. Petra is my second favorite character and I disagree with the reviewer that said there is too much dialogue and that Card can't write dialogue. He is a playwright first and I find his words magical, especially how he voices Petra, Bean, and the indomitable Colonal Graph. If there is one thing missing from this series, it is the maturity of Peter: we missed the transformation. In "Ender's Game" Peter seems like he could easily become a killer like Achilles, but the focus instead is on his continued insecurity. I would like "The lost year of Peter maturing" as a novella.
For much of my life I have liked Card's sci fi, but these will be the last of his books I read. I do not want to support the type of homophobic prosthelytizing present in this book. I have known for a number of years that Card was a Mormon and although I disagree with many teachings of that church, I do not mind having a difference of opinion with someone as long as they don't shove it down my throat. This book crosses the line. It's not just a distaste for same-sex attraction - he very clearly endorses the ex-gay movement wherein gay people are reformed to live a "normal" heterosexual lifestyle (a pseudo-therapy which has been proven to be extremely psychologically damaging). One male character even admits to having been attracted to men and then reveals that his life has been made worthwhile because he has turned away from his "perversion" and married a woman with whom he will try to have children to redeem his life. I'm not reading between the lines and this is not just the viewpoint of one character in the book - the message is presented as inescapable fact that all of the characters must embrace in order to have fulfilling lives. Again and again Card speaks of how every man should find a woman and life is without value unless you have children to pass on your genetic material. It is a major plot point. Meanwhile, two teenagers well below the age of consent (I believe they're 13 or 14) marry and have children, which seems to be not just fine, but desirable in Card's universe.
I can't believe that Card took a sci fi (not a religion) book in such a strongly religious direction, potentially alienating a large fan base. I can't believe that the publisher let him do it. If Card wants to write essays or novels on religious doctrine, by all means, he should do so, but he should not embed them in a totally unrelated book, one whose characters we've grown to care so he hopes we'll keep reading. It's akin to a friend suddenly asking if you have a moment to talk about Jesus Christ and when you say no he tells you anyway. The repeated assertions that gay is bad and only through heterosexual marriage and lots of kids can your life be worthwhile is offensive to me and even if it weren't, it is unnecessary and distracting to the story. I hope that potential readers notice, as I did not, the reviews discussing the strongly homophobic agenda in this book before buying it. (Incidentally, several reviews have referred to the book as anti-gay-marriage... Card's message is more encompassing than a discussion of equal rights, he preaches the perversion of any same-sex attraction, period.)
Potential readers - I understand the desire to know what happens to these characters you've come to know over the past several books and if you absolutely must find out what happens in the rest of the Ender series, I suggest you borrow the books or try to buy them somewhere used or even read a summary. Don't buy the books new or on audio and give more money directly to Card and this publisher because that implies we're okay with the prosthelytizing Card has taken to injecting where it does not belong.
This is my seventh book in the Ender saga (Speaker for the Dead is my favorite) and although I haven't loved all of them, this book is by far the worst. I don't believe in judging works based on the author's belief but this book just seems like a platform for Orson Scott Card to advertise the Mormon Church. He so vehemently argues that marriage is only between a man and a women and that having children is the most important thing in life. Shadow Puppets does not fit gracefully into the series and this book is barely sci-fiction. Card is an activist for the prevention of same-sex marriage. There would be no reason for me to know that if his writing in this book didn't prompt me to look it up.
Audible listener since the late 1990s. I mostly listen to science fiction, fantasy, history, and science.
For a big fan of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, this book was a pretty miserable experience. Scott's typical supersmart kids just seem over the top here, and the plot is both maudlin and rather dull. The emotional scenes are unbelievable, and the action is awkward. I listened to half before I gave up, so I suppose it could have gotten better...
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