Shadow Puppets (Ender's Shadow Series #3)by Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game is one of the most popular science fiction novels ever written. Ender's Game won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for best novel when it was published. The book has gone on to sell well over a million copies. It tells the story of the boy "Ender" Wiggin and his hard-won victory over an alien race that would have destroyed the Earth and all of humanity.
But Ender was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In Ender's Shadow, Card told the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Beanthe one who became Ender's right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
And now Card continues Bean's story, and finally tells a tale long-awaited by his millions of fans. At last we learn what happened on Earth after the destruction of the Hive Queen's worlds; after humanity no longer had a single enemy to unify the warring nations. This is the story of how Bean turned away from his first friend, Ender, and became the tactical genius who won the Earth for Ender's brother, Peter, who became the Hegemon.
Author Biography: Orson Scott Card is the author of the national bestseller, Ender's Shadow, and of the beloved classic of science fiction, Ender's Game. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Fantasy master Orson Scott Card brings us a new installment in his classic Ender saga. Bean, the genetic anomaly who served as second-in-command during the genocidal war against the Formics in Ender's Game, returns in a series of "parallel" novels beginning with Ender's Shadow and continuing with Shadow of the Hegemon, which focus both on Bean's career and on the turbulent, divisive aftermath of the Formic War. Now he's back in another powerful tale.
Shadow Puppets begins when reigning hegemon Peter Wiggin rescues Achilles Flandres, a charismatic psychopath imprisoned in China, foolishly believing he can control Achilles. As Peter comes to terms with his own folly, various interconnected dramas unfold. Bean and his girlfriend, Petra Arkanian, go to ground, convinced that Achilles wants them dead. In India, a young idealist propagates a Gandhi-like act of revolt against the voracious Chinese usurpers. And in Damascus, a clandestine Muslim army arises, preparing -- with the aid of Bean and Petra -- to launch a war of liberation against the overextended Chinese empire.
The result is a sometimes overcrowded narrative in which the fate of nations is once again in the hands of gifted children. Set against this overarching scenario, balancing and humanizing it, is the small, personal story of Bean and Petra, and their obsessive, ultimately dangerous efforts to bear healthy, "normal" children. Card has always been both storyteller and moralist, and his narratives are driven by clearly defined moral imperatives. In Shadow Puppets, he addresses large, fundamental questions concerning loyalty, responsibility, and the importance of humane, ethical standards in our public and private lives. The resulting narrative is quintessential Card: impassioned, argumentative, and difficult to set aside. Bill Sheehan
Card spins another adventure in the Enderverse, following the exploits of Bean, Petra, Peter Wiggin and many of the other Battle School students. Wiggin, the Hegemon of a floundering and fragile union of countries, has freed the sociopath Acheel. While Wiggin realizes the error of his actions, Bean and Petra are on the run to avoid Acheel's overwhelming realm of influence. Though Card's politics and beliefs permeate the narrative, none can deny his masterful storytelling, enhanced by the four narrators. While presenting different points of views and even voices within the story, they at times overlap and still perform well. Each seem to dominate a different perspective of the book. Birney's brittle voice identifies the cold calculating side of Wiggin while also imbuing at times the desperation and frustration of the aspiring world leader. Brick works best with the cool and collected Bean while De Cuir uses her stern lilting voice to embody the lead female characters. Rudnicki's deep, cold voice is the perfect choice for the almost toneless e-mails prefacing each chapter. A Tor Books paperback (Reviews, July 15, 2002). (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Eman Ashrafi, Teen Reviewer
Dr. Lesley S.J. Farmer
“The novels of Orson Scott Card's Ender series are an intriguing combination of action, military and political strategy, elaborate war games and psychology.” USA Today
Read an Excerpt
Bean stood on the grass where two assault choppers were waiting for his men to board. Today the mission was a dangerous one to penetrate Chinese air space and intercept a small convoy transporting a prisoner from Beijing toward the interior. Everything depended on secrecy, surprise, and the extraordinarily accurate information the Hegemon, Peter Wiggin, had been receiving from inside China in the past few months.
Bean wished he knew the source of the intelligence, because his life and the lives of his men depended on it. The accuracy up to now could easily have been a set-up. Even though "Hegemon" was essentially an empty title now, since most of the world's population resided in countries that had withdrawn their recognition of the authority of the office, Peter Wiggin had been using Bean's soldiers well. They were a constant irritant to the newly expansionist China, inserting themselves here and there at exactly the moment most calculated to disrupt the confidence of the Chinese leadership.
The patrol boat that suddenly disappears, the helicopter that goes down, the spy operation that is abruptly rolled up, blinding the Chinese intelligence service in yet another country officially the Chinese hadn't even accused the Hegemon of any involvement in such incidents, but that only meant that they didn't want to give any publicity to the Hegemon, didn't want to boost his reputation or prestige among those who feared China in these years since the conquest of India and Indochina. They almost certainly knew who was the source of their woes.
Indeed, they probably gave Bean's little force the credit for problems that were actually the ordinary accidents of life. The death of the foreign minister of a heart attack in Washington DC only minutes before meeting with the U.S. President they might really think Peter Wiggin's reach was that long, or that he thought the Chinese foreign minister, a party hack, was worth assassinating.
And the fact that a devastating drought was in its second year in India, forcing the Chinese either to buy food on the open market or allow relief workers from Europe and the Americas into the newly captured and still rebellious subcontinent maybe they even imagined that Peter Wiggin could control the monsoon rains.
Bean had no such illusions. Peter Wiggin had all kinds of contacts throughout the world, a collection of informants that was gradually turning into a serious network of spies, but as far as Bean could tell, Peter was still just playing a game. Oh, Peter thought it was real enough, but he had never seen what happened in the real world. He had never seen people die as a result of his orders.
Bean had, and it was not a game.
He heard his men approaching. He knew without looking that they were very close, for even here, in supposedly safe territory an advance staging area in the mountains of Mindanao in the Philippines they moved as silently as possible. But he also knew that he had heard them before they expected him to, for his senses had always been unusually keen. Not the physical sense organs his ears were quite ordinary but the ability of his brain to recognize even the slightest variation from the ambient sound. That's why he raised a hand in greeting to men who were only just emerging from the forest behind him.
He could hear the changes in their breathing sighs, almost-silent chuckles that told him they recognized that he had caught them again. As if it were a grownup game of Mother-May-I, and Bean always seemed to have eyes in the back of his head.
Suriyawong came up beside him as the men filed by in two columns to board the choppers, heavily laden for the mission ahead.
"Sir," said Suriyawong.
That made Bean turn. Suriyawong never called him "sir."
His second-in-command, a Thai only a few years older than Bean, was now half a head shorter. He saluted Bean, and then turned toward the forest he had just come from.
When Bean turned to face the same direction, he saw Peter Wiggin, the Hegemon of Earth, the brother of Ender Wiggin who saved the world from the formic invasion only a few years before Peter Wiggin, the conniver and gamesman. What was he playing at now?
"I hope you aren't insane enough to be coming along on this mission," said Bean.
"What a cheery greeting," said Peter. "That is a gun in your pocket, so I guess you aren't happy to see me."
Bean hated Peter most when Peter tried to banter. So he said nothing. Waited.
"Julian Delphiki, there's been a change of plans," said Peter.
Calling him by his full name, as if he were Bean's father. Well, Bean had a father even if he didn't know he had one until after the war was over, and they told him that Nikolai Delphiki wasn't just his friend, he was his brother. But having a father and mother show up when you're eleven isn't the same as growing up with them. No one had called Bean "Julian Delphiki" when he was little. No one had called him anything at all, until they tauntingly called him Bean on the streets of Rotterdam.
Meet the Author
Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and it's many sequels that expand the Ender Universe into the far future and the near past. Those books are organized into the Ender Quintet, the five books that chronicle the life of Ender Wiggin; the Shadow Series, that follows on the novel Ender's Shadow and are set on Earth; and the Formic Wars series, written with co-author Aaron Johnston, that tells of the terrible first contact between humans and the alien "Buggers".
Card has been a working writer since the 1970s. Beginning with dozens of plays and musical comedies produced in the 1960s and 70s, Card's first published fiction appeared in 1977 -- the short story "Gert Fram" in the July issue of The Ensign, and the novelet version of "Ender's Game" in the August issue of Analog.
The novel-length version of Ender's Game, published in 1984 and continuously in print since then, became the basis of the 2013 film, starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.
Card was born in Washington state, and grew up in California, Arizona, and Utah. He served a mission for the LDS Church in Brazil in the early 1970s. Besides his writing, he runs occasional writers' workshops and directs plays. He frequently teaches writing and literature courses at Southern Virginia University.
He is the author many sf and fantasy novels, including the American frontier fantasy series "The Tales of Alvin Maker" (beginning with Seventh Son), There are also stand-alone science fiction and fantasy novels like Pastwatch and Hart's Hope. He has collaborated with his daughter Emily Card on a manga series, Laddertop. He has also written contemporary thrillers like Empire and historical novels like the monumental Saints and the religious novels Sarah and Rachel and Leah. Card's recent work includes the Mithermages books (Lost Gate, Gate Thief), contemporary magical fantasy for readers both young and old.
Card lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Kristine Allen Card, He and Kristine are the parents of five children and several grandchildren.
- Greensboro, North Carolina
- Date of Birth:
- August 24, 1951
- Place of Birth:
- Richland, Washington
- B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981
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