I usually hate "Companion Series" books, they usually seem to decline in entertainment value after the original book (Enders Game, in this case), espe..Show More »cially when the original book seems to neatly end with no loose ends to warrant another book.
The Ender series is MUCH different, the "follow-up" books just keep getting better... The characters are well fleshed out (sometimes it seems a little too much time is wasted fleshing out a character, but it ends up being just the right amount of information you needed to know to keep up with the character's motivations further along in the book, or series).
If you liked Ender's Game, then the follow-up books are a "Must have", even if you think "How could they be better than the original"?
The unabridged versions are a bit long winded at times, but you get details that you NEED to have to keep up with the complex stories being woven.
Card says, "hearing" the books are the way he wanted them presented, and having several narrators in each book makes the audio books MUCH better.
I found myself downloading the next book in the series before I finished the one I was listening to so there wouldn't be a gap where I wasn't caught up in the stories.
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..Show More »'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!
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 b..Show More »ook 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!
This is my favorite science fiction series. The characters are easy to identify with, and you will find yourself sucked in..Show More »to this imaginary universe, nick named the Enderverse by fans.
Recommended order of reading (in my opinion): Ender?s Game, Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind. Reading the books in this order will keep you interested and keep the story moving more naturally.
If after reading all of these wonderful books you are still itching for an Enderverse fix then read First Meetings. The list above is sorted by the Enderverse timeline. Meaning that the flow of events in the stories are uninterrupted. If you were to read the books in the order they were published, you would bounce back and forth in between time and few of the plot twists in future books would be revealed before you wanted them to be known. First Meetings, however contains short stories that occur both before and in between the list above within the Enderverse.