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Publisher's Summary

The human race is at war with the "Buggers", an insect-like alien race. As Earth prepares to defend itself from total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable enemy, all focus is on the development of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win. The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth, they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School.

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean, the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender.

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.
©1999 Orson Scott Card; (P)2005 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC

Critic Reviews

  • Alex Award Winner, 2000

"An exceptional work." (School Library Journal)
"An absorbing, near-flawless performance." (Kirkus)
"As always, everyone will be struck by the power of Card's children, always more and less than human, perfect yet struggling, tragic, yet hopeful, wondrous and strange." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Orson Scott Strikes Again

I only read Ender's game and not any other in the series and was recommended to this one. It reads as a stand alone but I highly recommend Ender's game before this because it compliments it so well. This book brings understanding to a lot of things left in mystery In Ender's game. I cannot really say which book I enjoyed more but I can say that I will always remember both. The narrating staff also deserves just as much credit as their performance was brilliant. I recommend these books.... Like, if you haven't added this to your cart you are wasting valuable listening time.... Go... Now!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 09-22-13

A five star book--across the board!

I listened to Ender's Game way back, maybe as my first Audible book. Then I listened to it a second time somewhat later. Recently, I was preparing to go on a road trip and really felt Ender's Shadow was a good choice, particularly after reading the reviews. Well, we were rivited to our seats over may miles of driving the Pacific Northwest, and in the evenings, I kept thinking of Bean and his adventures, wanting to get back to the book as soon as I could.

I also feel that you should read Ender's Game first. As I listened to the "Shadow" book, things kept coming back to me that I had forgotten. It all fit together so nicely. You realize just how much "mindwork" Card puts into his stories (incredible) and how in depth he takes his characters. This book was very intense for its entirety. It was enjoyable all the way through with a very satisfying ending. I had tears of joy in my eyes at the close. If you loved Ender's Game, I predict you will love this one just as much. I heartily recommend it.

And--words from the author, at the end of the book, discuss the upcoming movie called Ender's Game. Turns out it is a combination of both of these books. Upon further research, I learned it will be released in a month or too. Really, just can't wait to see Ender and Bean on film. The second best thing after the awesome listening experience!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Better than I expected.

This book pulls you into the story from the start. No long explanations about who the buggers are, no back stories to review, no long chapters dedicated to creating the world. Right into a story. In my opinion that shows real talent and an author that knows how to engage the reader. Character development takes precedence over describing the environment. I enjoyed the book enough to finish it in two days. The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is a few things that seemed improbable and some repetition of the story during battle school. I’ve already recommended it to some friends.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 09-13-12

Definitely worth a listen!

I LOVED Ender's Game, and had this story recommended to me. I hesitated, preferring to move on in the series rather than listen to a retelling of EG from a different perspective. I am very glad that I decided to give it a try!
Not only is Bean a very interesting character in his own right, but observing Ender and his world through Bean's eyes made the original story much more complete. EG is virtually entirely through Ender's point of view, the center of the storm. It's difficult to see and grasp some of the manipulation and politicking of the adults, but this story is much more of a bird's eye view on EG. An excellent companion to Ender's Game, and if you reread EG after this, it's fun to now know what Bean is actually thinking when reading from Ender's pov.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome story

Would you listen to Ender's Shadow again? Why?

Yes, I've listened to Ender's Game already, and after listening to Ender's Shadow, I can really see different sides of the characters that I hadn't seen in Ender's Game. Now I need to re read Ender's Game and then give another listen to Ender's Shadow.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

The narrators are just great, emotions and everything. It's like watching a movie with your eyes closed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Late to this great party

Ender's Game is that rare work that can be enjoyed by adolescents and retirees. Great writing of an extraordinary story. This has been around a long time and I'm glad I finally found the time to enjoy OSC's signature work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Alan
  • st george, UT, United States
  • 08-06-11

Must have

This and the original Ender's Game are a must have. You can't stop listening. However don't waste your money on the books that follow. This book is absolutely amazing and is worth every penny.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing done again

I read Ender's game when I was in middle school and liked it and then I read this book as a adult and LOVED it. I thought this book might be childish and that my taste in books were superior to when I was 14. Boy! was I wrong this book has to be one of the better books I have EVER read/ listened to. Card's writing ability can reach adolescent minds as well as adults. Must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anne
  • Lake Worth, FL, USA
  • 09-17-09

Loved as much as Ender's Game

This was a GREAT book. I loved it as much as Ender's Game. I liked it so much I listened to all the rest of the Bean saga.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Montclair, NJ, United States
  • 04-16-09

Ender's Shadow

At first i wasn't sure i would like "Ender's Game" being told from Bean's perspective. Once i was about one third of the way in i was in love with it! The truth is we all see diffeent things in life through out own eyes. and Orson Scott Card has truley captured that here.
Some of the narration is a bit stilted. You frequently get tehe feeling they are reading a script. But this is easily overlooked by the wonderful story.
The conflicted characters, the emotions and personal interactions are so real you forget you are reading fiction.
I am not sure if i will continue through all of this saga but i highly recommed "Ender's Shadow" to anyone who liked "Ender's Game".

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Colin A. Mcgee
  • 12-27-13

I liked it but...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I would have liked to see much less of the religious connections and bible quotes. Occasionally they moved the story on but at times - for me- they got in the way.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Beans back story was interesting. I enjoyed matching the back stories of Ender and Bean and seeing how they form the boys and the resulting outcomes of nurture and nature translate into them as commanders.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I would have defiantly miss the fun and excitement of following Bean, He is such a good character

Was Ender's Shadow worth the listening time?

worth listening too and relaxing .

Any additional comments?

The three stars is because of two things one was that the recording switched back half a chapter towards the end of the book, Not sure what happened but it certainly interrupted the 'flow' of the story .
The second was the religious links that I found irritating because they were happening along far too often and took me out of the story. Im not sure I will read/buy another of his books as i do not want to experience that again. This is a shame for me as I enjoyed most of his writing, pace, good ideas and character development.

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  • Liam
  • 12-13-13

Read Ender's Game? Read this too!

What made the experience of listening to Ender's Shadow the most enjoyable?

I read Ender's Game, then read through all of the books with Ender's character. It was so refreshing to go back to the beginning, but have the story told by a new character. Ender's Shadow fills in all the gaps you never new were there. Bean is a very interesting character and the books that carry on after this are just as entertaining as Ender's books.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Bean. Bean actually trumps Ender in this book, in my opinion.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The narrators are consistent throughout the entire Ender-verse catalogue.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes, Bean's story is very deep.

Any additional comments?

All the books in Ender and Bean's respective series are works in their own right. While some are based on intelligent children learning to fight, others are very philosophical and less action packed. All of the books are thought provoking. While this book is fun and action packed. Don't expect the series to be entirely the same.

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  • Sebastian
  • 09-10-13

Detracts (slightly) from Ender's Game

I really enjoyed seeing the story from another perspective and to get more insight into Battle School. There were some parts of the book that really added and improved Ender's game. However, overall I felt the book detracted from the original Ender's game.

Bean's character comes across too similar to Ender's especially when he enters Battle School. The main differences are that Ender is empathetic and has leadership skills, whereas Bean is more intelligent but finds it difficult to relate to others - these differences don't come across with enough impact, certainly not in how the characters think or (largely) act. Many of the key themes and challenges that both characters face are very similar; coping with being judged by their size and age, their need to survive at any cost, their battle against the teachers and facing a tormentor from their youth who haunts them throughout their time in battle school. The way they deal with these issues feels too similar, the outcomes are often the same, the thought process of the characters: way too similar. When you hear Bean's story it almost feels like a rehash of Ender's - not a story about a distinctly different character. The closeness of the narrative makes it feel like Ender's outlook and the challenges he faces are less unique and less special. Ender's eventual "triumph" in the war feels less of a feat - because it feels like Bean could have done it had he been a little bit older with better social skills.

The other major flaw is Bean's and Ender's relationship - the relationship feels very different in this book - and only so much can be attributed to a different view point. Some of the dialogue between Bean and Ender is atrociously retrofitted - Bean who comes across as naive in comparison to Ender in Ender's game, is actually revealed to have far more information of the inner workings of the school. So when they talk to each other what was once a sincere conversation in Ender's game, we discover - in Ender's Shadow - was the result of Bean being sarcastic or tongue tied "Can't he tell I'm being sarcastic?", "Does he think I don't know that?". I found that very annoying - in Ender's game Bean is one of the few people who Ender actually confides in - and these special moments are somewhat spoilt by the revelation that where Bean appears earnest and sincere - he's actually being told things he knows already or is acting flippant and sarcastic. If Bean's personality was slightly different in Ender's Shadow we could have had an alternative interesting and plausible viewpoint on their conversations, but Bean's personality (in Ender's Shadow) is just incompatible with those conversations. It doesn't work.

With all that said, I would still recommend this book - I really enjoyed revisiting Battle School and parts of Bean's storyline are very interesting.

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  • Animar
  • 08-02-13

Let your own imagination roll before the movie

An equal to the original Ender's Game that provides the pairing of perspectives which enabled the Movie production, due for release in late 2013.

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  • Joshua
  • 12-30-12

Brilliant

This was really my first audiobook and whilst initially it took a little getting used to the style I really enjoy it. It is a fantastic listen for anyone that has heard or read Ender's Game, and is a brilliant book both as a companion and in its own right. The voice acting did its job well and was dynamic enough to keep you listening throughout, being suited for the wide range of emotions and situations in the book. I loved it and this has made me want to get the rest in the series in audiobook form (even though I already have the hard copies!). The convinience was brilliant and it was fantastic to be able to effectively 'read a book' whilst doing something else physically. I would wholeheartedly recommend this for people who like their science fiction with philosophical questions that are not proposed to the reader in an abstract manner but rather are fundamental questions whether fighting a war in space or living in the 21st century, and who like science fiction that is clear but still complex though never needlessly so - the complexity is to a level appropriate for the characters, never unbelievably so in the universe Card had established. It is fantastic!

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  • Simon
  • 12-23-12

Great book

This was a fantastic start to the whole ender series. Excellent quality with a number of narrators speaking different parts. Orson is a terrific writer. Recommend listening to ender's shadow after this. I was amazed that the same events could be so different. Listen out for Orson himself

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  • M. Sullivan
  • 12-23-12

Both and excellent read and listen

The Ender series is one of my favorites and Ender's Shadow is a worthy entry. The audiobook brings the title to life with strong narration, but make sure you read/listen to Ender's Game first.

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  • Gustav
  • 08-20-12

Bean is just as interesting as Ender

I was worried about reading this book. I loved the Ender series so much, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go back to the space station and relieve the story in case it was ruined. I did not have to fear. The story is just as thrilling, if not more so, from Bean's point of view.

This isn't a retelling of Ender's Game. This is fresh new material. You won't be bored and you will still be surprised when the cards fall. It also reveals a whole new nemesis who is just as terrifying as the buggers.