Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Why I Read It: I’m enraptured by the Enderverse!

Where I Got It: The library.

969454Who I Would Recommend This To: Folks who enjoyed Ender’s Game would probably like this book – it’s a great complimentary book.

Narrators: Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle de Cuir, Scott Brick

Publisher: MacMillan Audio (2005)

Length: 15 hours 42 minutes

Series: Book 1 Shadow Saga

I know that I kind of jumped out of order in which the books were written, but I couldn’t resist going back to Ender’s Game through the eyes of Bean. It was actually pretty cool to read the two books so close together. If you’ve read Ender’s Game, then you already know that Bean is pretty darn smart for his young age; you have to be to end up at Battle School. So this tale is about Bean’s origins and his journey to Battle School and then tagging along to help Ender save the human race. If you haven’t read Ender’s Game, I would strongly suggest starting there instead of with Ender’s Shadow, and I believe both books would be an excellent read before the movie comes out.

Once again, Orson Scott Card shows his depth of understanding of the human heart and psyche. While not as moving as Speaker for the Dead, Ender’s Shadow still contained several poignant moments. Bean is yet another of the numerous orphans on the streets of crowded Rotterdam. He manages to join a small gang and comes up with a plan that changes the paradigm in his neighborhood. This, of course, brings himself and his little gang to the attention of the authorities who are ever searching for that talented few that will succeed in beating off the next Bugger attack.

Pretty soon, we are rocketing up to Battle School with Bean who has to learn a whole new way of life, including friendship and trust. Even though I already knew the outcome of the many confrontations from reading Ender’s Game, it was still nail biting suspense to see them through Bean’s eyes. Of course, there were a number of events that happened in Bean’s life that are not in Ender’s Game, keeping the reader interested even though the book’s ending is known.

My one complaint with this novel is that cleverness and knowledge seem to by accentuated in Bean’s character, even beyond what I would allow for a genious kid. Without spoiling anything, there is a scene where Baby Bean hides in a small thing of water for several hours. Now, putting aside the brain power and knowledge necessary to do so successfully, a hairless being that small needs to be concerned about hypothermia. These instances were few and small, but still I feel they detracted a bit from the overall novel, especially since I know what Card is capable of in Speaker for the Dead.

The audio production and narration was superb. The same crew played a role in this novel and that helps greatly in enjoying such a large branching series in audio format. Stefan Rudnicki, always a favorite, was Graff and he plays him so very well. It was great to have Gabrielle de Cuir and Scott Brick along for the read also.

readandreviewbuttonWhat I Liked: Bean has some good one-liners; learning about trust and friendship can be just as scary as having street smarts pounded into you; a good ending for Bean.

What I Disliked: A few exaggerated points that I felt were beyond even a genius child in a scifi story; why are there so few girls at Battle School?

This review is part of The Read & Review Hop hosted by On Starships and Dragonwings. Make sure to stop by over there to enjoy more book reviews.

9 thoughts on “Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

  1. Oo, excellent! I read Ender’s Game a couple summers ago and enjoyed it a lot, but have always been a little nervous to keep going with the rest of the books because it seems like they might not be as good. However, alternate perspectives are always fun :D Thanks for joining in the hop this week! My review is Delirium and the complete other end of the spectrum haha

  2. lynnsbooks says:

    Still not read Ender’s Game! Was hoping it would be at the library but nope. Will have to put in an order but not yet – too many books behind!
    Lynn :D

    • nrlymrtl says:

      I know it’s so easy to get distracted by other books! I’m trying to stay on task with the Enderverse, but I will have to continue the quest after the holidays.

  3. Rachel says:

    I loved Ender’s Shadow as well…though the intelligent kid exaggerations begin to grow thin in the Bean books, I think. So far, I’ve only made it to Shadow of the Hegemon in the Bean books and Xenocide in the Ender books.

    • nrlymrtl says:

      I’m glad I am not the only one to find the kid exaggerations a bit much. However, I am enjoying these books a great deal and plan to continue on with the Enderverse.

  4. I’ve got Speaker for the Dead in my stack for the 2013 Sci Fi Experience, and I’m looking forward to exploring more of the Ender universe! I remember very much liking Bean too, so I may need to check his series out…

  5. […] rebuilding of ties by washing away the lies. I then went out of publication order and listened to Ender’s Shadow, which is basically Ender’s Game retold through the eyes of Bean. It also shares Bean’s […]

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