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Publisher's Summary

Best selling SF author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth.

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.

Browse more titles in the Ender Wiggin series.
©2002 Orson Scott Card (P)2002 Fantastic Audio

Critic Reviews

"Fans will enjoy an exciting, fast-paced plot and a suspense-filled conclusion." ( "Once again, Card keeps the action, danger, and intrigue levels high." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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The usually exciting Enderverse gets tedious

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I would say that listening was time well spent. But not because the book was great or greatly interesting. I saw it as merely a stepping stone to get to the next book in the Ender's Shadow series. It was a HUGE stretch of my imagination to relate to the characters in this book. The obsession with procreation is thrown at the reader. It almost made me embarassed just to listen to the endless talk of babies. I understand that due to the nature of Bean's condition, his life is a bit rushed, however, I couldn't quite digest how quickly his and Petra's relationship progressed. It almost ruined the story for me. The only break from it is the political and military maneuvering, which bored me.

Would you ever listen to anything by Orson Scott Card again?

Yes, I would listen to Card again. I am very interested in the Enderverse and want to see how everything pans out. I hope my disinterest in this book doesn't interfere with the rest of the series.

Did David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

The narration is good and that's a welcome relief! The mispronunciations and crazy editing heard in the previous book, Shadow of the Hegemon, are absent in Shadow Puppets.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great book!

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!

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent for Ender fans

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Grain of Salt

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.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I hate those little muscial interlueds

Great book, Great Story, Great Reading. Every time the story paused for a little music, I was pulled from my entrancement of the book, and brought back to reality. It doesn't fit, It doesn't work, I wish they would stop doing this in the Enders books.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • westminster, CO, USA
  • 08-25-03

Vital part of the series - excellent.

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.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Excellent As Expected

Would you listen to Shadow Puppets again? Why?

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Not Card's Best Work

Any additional comments?

Reviews for this installment of Card's Shadow series were all over the map, so I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I do not agree the book is a tome on anti-gay marriage, although there is a conservative bent on the topics of marriage and embryo versus baby. My issues with the book are less political. The story was not particularly engaging or cohesive, and the journey of Peter Wiggin becomes increasingly inconsistent as these books go on. I'm still invested in Bean, but dissappointed in how the author has chosen to develop the Wiggins overall.

Some of the narration was just plain painful and again, inconsistent with earlier installments despite being read by some of the same narrators. Peter Wiggin is supposed to be in his teens/20s and he sounded like a whiney old man devoid of the brains and deviousness his character should embody. Gabrielle du Cuir is back with her breathy, overly drawn out delivery and a new twist on Mrs. Wiggin's character who now sounds like an obnoxious, hispanic, old biddy. Strange.

I've listened to these books one after the other, and after this installment, I'm taking a break. Overall, a necessary piece of the Shadow Series, but not the most enjoyable.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent follow-up

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very good completion to Shadow series...

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.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter
  • 11-05-09

Entertaining continuation of series

I feel the Shadow series has gone on a little too long with this one. Although I really enjoyed it, there is nothing particularly novel in the story. There is a sense of fatigue in the way the story is being told, almost as though the author is only really trying to mirror the number of books in the original Ender Series with the number of books in the Shadow Series - four a piece. (There are three others at present that fill in story elements)

"Ender's Shadow" was a five-star book, but since then, the series has declined in purpose and originality. The character of Peter Wiggin has been reduced from the brilliant, emotionally violent and sarcastic future world saviour, to what I feel is a churlish, weak individual, greatly outshone by Bean.

I will listen to the final book in the series ("Shadow of the Giant") but only for completeness and with a sense of apprehension as to how far the author will continue to undermine its superb antecedents.

Excellently narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Geraint
  • 05-11-16

Worst in the series

The performances were great once again the only issue is the story. Was a long 10 hours to get through. The first book in the shadow series was definitely the best but seems to get worse with each book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-07-15


Brilliant as I would expect from the author. It tells me I need to keep writing to submit my review I wonder if this is enough.

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  • Colin
  • 07-20-15

Good but not great

Would you try another book written by Orson Scott Card or narrated by David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki ?

Yeah I would although this one was a bit to slow compared to the others. great narration though

Would you recommend Shadow Puppets to your friends? Why or why not?

Only as part of the series. On it's own not. AS it's just too slow.

Have you listened to any of David Birney and Stefan Rudnicki ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Same as the others, always great performances

Did Shadow Puppets inspire you to do anything?


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  • Matthew
  • 04-21-15

Most read

One of the best sci fi books ever made. It's a great time killing with amazing charters. Any age you will live it

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  • jacob
  • 02-09-15

All of them

It's the best overall story that iv ever listened to. Every book is as good as the last. Interesting and entertaining.

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  • GhostMuppet
  • 02-05-13

A let down

This book was a let down compared to the other 2 in this series. I have already bought the fourth book, so i will listen to that and hopefully it will pick up.

So why not so good? It was the overall story of Bean and Petra and their love for each other, and their desire for children.

The only saving grace was the end, which means something refreshing and new for the next book.

  • Overall
  • Gustav
  • 08-20-12

A satisfying conclusion to the Bean saga

The Bean storyline is not as brave as the Ender story, and this book isn't as cataclysmic as the Ender story. Still, it is a great book and if you have read the other Ender/Bean books, there is no reason why you wouldn't finish the storyline. (Just don't expect this book to be as good as the first two Bean books.)

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  • Fiona A. Locke
  • 12-29-08

Shadow Puppets

Although the lugubriousness of the narrators can grate a little (as with all the 'Ender' series from Audible), the sheer quality of the plot and language outweigh any such considerations. Once again, an excellent continuation of the saga, filling in for us those 'what happened to...' ponderings.

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  • Renee
  • 01-03-18

Satisfying entry into the series

Don't start the series with this book as it's the journey of several key characters that stands out here. Multiple characters reach key points in their stories and it's all very satisfying.