Friday, December 11, 2009

119. Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Shadow is the third in the Ender series that I have read.  I loved Ender's Game  and really enjoyed Speaker for the Dead.  I just find the character of Ender fascinating and interestingly complex.  But Shadow is actually more about another character, Bean, a young boy incredibly small for his age who is even more brilliant that Ender.  I found I had to work hard to suspend my disbelief at how much the infant and toddler Bean was able to do in order to survive.  Eventually the story explains some of his unnatural abilities and ably ties that information into explaining some of Bean's shortcomings.  Card wrote this book quite a while after Game, but wrote it as a parallel story, just from Bean's perspective.  More than anything, it made me want to go and reread Ender's Game with this new perspective on what happened.  And also, because I loved the character of Ender, and this book almost expalins his abilities away.  Having said that, I still thought Card wrote a brilliant book with such a creative premise for the future.  I just want Ender to remain a hero in my mind like he was after reading the first book.  Now his heroism and talents are more ambiguous.
Rating:  4.5


  1. The Shadow series is very different from the Speaker series, but on the whole I prefer it, even though Speaker for the Dead is my favorite book in the overall Ender set.

    (Ender doesn't really make an appearance at all in the Shadow series. Bean and Petra and Peter are the main characters.)

    If you continue, I think Shadow of the Hegemon is the most challenging of the continuing story, just because it has to set up so much of the rest of the series.

  2. I'm one of the few people who has not read Ender's Game and your post encouraged me to "get with it" finally!

  3. I;m listening to this right now on CD so I'm not going to read your post till I'm done.

  4. I really liked Ender's Shadow, partly because I felt like it gave a better sense of how the other characters actually viewed Ender. Ender's Game is fantastic, but it's so much from Ender's p.o.v. that I ended up thinking of him as extremely conflicted, whereas Ender's Shadow shows that Bean certainly thinks of him as heroic.

  5. I had to look up the word ambiguos, so I could check if I agreed or not. I do agree. Was Bean the upspoken hero the whole time?? Hmm. Favorite line in the book was " We learn more from losing the game , than winning" I couldnt agree more.