Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's Shadow Series #2)

Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's Shadow Series #2)

by Orson Scott Card

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The War is over, won by Ender Wiggin and his team of brilliant child-warriors. The enemy is destroyed, the human race is saved. Ender himself refuses to return to the planet, but his crew has gone home to their families, scattered across the globe. The battle school is no more.

But with the external threat gone, the Earth has become a battlefield once more. The children of the Battle School are more than heroes; they are potential weapons that can bring power to the countries that control them. One by one, all of Ender's Dragon Army are kidnapped. Only Bean escapes; and he turns for help to Ender's brother Peter.

Peter Wiggin, Ender's older brother, has already been manipulating the politics of Earth from behind the scenes. With Bean's help, he will eventually rule the world.

Shadow of the Hegemon is the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Shadow Series.


Ender series

Ender’s Game / Ender in Exile / Speaker for the Dead / Xenocide / Children of the Mind

Ender’s Shadow series

Ender’s Shadow / Shadow of the Hegemon / Shadow Puppets / Shadow of the Giant / Shadows in Flight

Children of the Fleet

The First Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)

Earth Unaware / Earth Afire / Earth Awakens

The Second Formic War (with Aaron Johnston)

The Swarm /The Hive

Ender novellas

A War of Gifts /First Meetings

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812565959
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 12/09/2001
Series: Ender's Shadow Series , #2
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 136,103
Product dimensions: 1.11(w) x 1.11(h) x 1.11(d)

About 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

Read an Excerpt

Shadow of the Hegemon

By Orson Scott Card

Tom Doherty Associates

Copyright © 2000 Orson Scott Card
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-6402-9





Re: What are you doing to protect the children?

Dear Admiral Chamrajnagar,

I was given your idname by a mutual friend who once worked for you but now is a glorified dispatcher — I'm sure you know whom I mean. I realize that your primary responsibility now is not so much military as logistical, and your thoughts are turned to space rather than the political situation on Earth. After all, you decisively defeated the nationalist forces led by your predecessor in the League War, and that issue seems settled. The I.F. remains independent and for that we are all grateful.

What no one seems to understand is that peace on Earth is merely a temporary illusion. Not only is Russia's long-pent expansionism still a driving force, but also many other nations have aggressive designs on their neighbors. The forces of the Strategos are being disbanded, the Hegemony is rapidly losing all authority, and Earth is poised on the edge of cataclysm.

The most powerful resource of any nation in the wars to come will be the children trained in Battle, Tactical, and Command School. While it is perfectly appropriate for these children to serve their native countries in future wars, it is inevitable that at least some nations that lack such I.F.-certified geniuses or who believe that rivals have more-gifted commanders will inevitably take preemptive action, either to secure that enemy resource for their own use or, in any event, to deny the enemy the use of that resource. In short, these children are in grave danger of being kidnapped or killed.

I recognize that you have a hands-off policy toward events on Earth, but it was the I.F. that identified these children and trained them, thus making them targets. Whatever happens to these children, the I.F. has ultimate responsibility. It would go a long way toward protecting them if you were to issue an order placing these children under Fleet protection, warning any nation or group attempting to harm or interfere with them that they would face swift and harsh military retribution. Far from regarding this as interference in Earthside affairs, most nations would welcome this action, and, for whatever it is worth, you would have my complete support in all public forums.

I hope you will act immediately. There is no time to waste.


Nothing looked right in Armenia when Petra Arkanian returned home. The mountains were dramatic, of course, but they had not really been part of her childhood experience. It was not until she got to Maralik that she began to see things that should mean something to her. Her father had met her in Yerevan while her mother remained at home with her eleven-year-old brother and the new baby — obviously conceived even before the population restrictions were relaxed when the war ended. They had no doubt watched Petra on television. Now, as the flivver took Petra and her father along the narrow streets, he began apologizing. "It won't seem much to you, Pet, after seeing the world."

"They didn't show us the world much, Papa. There were no windows in Battle School."

"I mean, the spaceport, and the capital, all the important people and wonderful buildings ..."

"I'm not disappointed, Papa." She had to lie in order to reassure him. It was as if he had given her Maralik as a gift, and now was unsure whether she liked it. She didn't know yet whether she would like it or not. She hadn't liked Battle School, but she got used to it. There was no getting used to Eros, but she had endured it. How could she dislike a place like this, with open sky and people wandering wherever they wanted?

Yet she was disappointed. For all her memories of Maralik were the memories of a five-year-old, looking up at tall buildings, across wide streets where large vehicles loomed and fled at alarming speeds. Now she was much older, beginning to come into her womanly height, and the cars were smaller, the streets downright narrow, and the buildings — designed to survive the next earthquake, as the old buildings had not — were squat. Not ugly — there was grace in them, given the eclectic styles that were somehow blended here, Turkish and Russian, Spanish and Riviera, and, most incredibly, Japanese. It was a marvel to see how they were still unified by the choice of colors, the closeness to the street, the almost uniform height as all strained against the legal maximums.

She knew of all this because she had read about it on Eros as she and the other children sat out the League War. She had seen pictures on the nets. But nothing had prepared her for the fact that she had left here as a five-year-old and now was returning at fourteen.

"What?" she said. For Father had spoken and she hadn't understood him.

"I asked if you wanted to stop for a candy before we went home, the way we used to."

Candy. How could she have forgotten the word for candy?

Easily, that's how. The only other Armenian in Battle School had been three years ahead of her and graduated to Tactical School, so they overlapped only for a few months. She had been seven when she got from Ground School to Battle School, and he was ten, leaving without ever having commanded an army. Was it any wonder that he didn't want to jabber in Armenian to a little kid from home? So in effect she had gone without speaking Armenian for nine years. And the Armenian she had spoken then was a five-year-old's language. It was so hard to speak it now, and harder still to understand it.

How could she tell Father that it would help her greatly if he would speak to her in Fleet Common — English, in effect? He spoke it, of course — he and Mother had made a point of speaking English at home when she was little, so she would not be handicapped linguistically if she was taken into Battle School. In fact, as she thought about it, that was part of her problem. How often had Father actually called candy by the Armenian word? Whenever he let her walk with him through town and they stopped for candy, he would make her ask for it in English, and call each piece by its English name. It was absurd, really — why would she need to know, in Battle School, the English names of Armenian candies?

"What are you laughing for?"

"I seem to have lost my taste for candy while I was in space, Father. Though for old times' sake, I hope you'll have time to walk through town with me again. You won't be as tall as you were the last time."

"No, nor will your hand be as small in mine." He laughed, too. "We've been robbed of years that would be precious now, to have in memory."

"Yes," said Petra. "But I was where I needed to be."

Or was I? I'm the one who broke first. I passed all the tests, until the test that mattered, and there I broke first. Ender comforted me by telling me he relied on me most and pushed me hardest, but he pushed us all and relied upon us all and I'm the one who broke. No one ever spoke of it; perhaps here on Earth not one living soul knew of it. But the others who had fought with her knew it. Until that moment when she fell asleep in the midst of combat, she had been one of the best. After that, though she never broke again, Ender also never trusted her again. The others watched over her, so that if she suddenly stopped commanding her ships, they could step in. She was sure that one of them had been designated, but never asked who. Dink? Bean? Bean, yes — whether Ender assigned him to do it or not, she knew Bean would be watching, ready to take over. She was not reliable. They did not trust her. She did not trust herself.

Yet she would keep that secret from her family, as she kept it in talking to the prime minister and the press, to the Armenian military and the schoolchildren who had been assembled to meet the great Armenian hero of the Formic War. Armenia needed a hero. She was the only candidate out of this war. They had shown her how the online textbooks already listed her among the ten greatest Armenians of all time. Her picture, her biography, and quotations from Colonel Graff, from Major Anderson, from Mazer Rackham.

And from Ender Wiggin. "It was Petra who first stood up for me at risk to herself. It was Petra who trained me when no one else would. I owe everything I accomplished to her. And in the final campaign, in battle after battle she was the commander I relied upon."

Ender could not have known how those words would hurt. No doubt he meant to reassure her that he did rely upon her. But because she knew the truth, his words sounded like pity to her. They sounded like a kindly lie.

And now she was home. Nowhere on Earth was she so much a stranger as here, because she ought to feel at home here, but she could not, for no one knew her here. They knew a bright little girl who was sent off amid tearful good-byes and brave words of love. They knew a hero who returned with the halo of victory around her every word and gesture. But they did not know and would never know the girl who broke under the strain and in the midst of battle simply ... fell asleep. While her ships were lost, while real men died, she slept because her body could stay awake no more. That girl would remain hidden from all eyes.

And from all eyes would be hidden also the girl who watched every move of the boys around her, evaluating their abilities, guessing at their intentions, determined to take any advantage she could get, refusing to bow to any of them. Here she was supposed to become a child again — an older one, but a child nonetheless. A dependent.

After nine years of fierce watchfulness, it would be restful to turn over her life to others, wouldn't it?

"Your mother wanted to come. But she was afraid to come." He chuckled as if this were amusing. "Do you understand?"

"No," said Petra.

"Not afraid of you," said Father. "Of her firstborn daughter she could never be afraid. But the cameras. The politicians. The crowds. She is a woman of the kitchen. Not a woman of the market. Do you understand?"

She understood the Armenian easily enough, if that's what he was asking, because he had caught on, he was speaking in simple language and separating his words a little so she would not get lost in the stream of conversation. She was grateful for this, but also embarrassed that it was so obvious she needed such help.

What she did not understand was a fear of crowds that could keep a mother from coming to meet her daughter after nine years.

Petra knew that it was not the crowds or the cameras that Mother was afraid of. It was Petra herself. The lost five-year-old who would never be five again, who had had her first period with the help of a Fleet nurse, whose mother had never bent over her homework with her, or taught her how to cook. No, wait. She had baked pies with her mother. She had helped roll out the dough. Thinking back, she could see that her mother had not actually let her do anything that mattered. But to Petra it had seemed that she was the one baking. That her mother trusted her.

That turned her thoughts to the way Ender had coddled her at the end, pretending to trust her as before but actually keeping control.

And because that was an unbearable thought, Petra looked out the window of the flivver. "Are we in the part of town where I used to play?"

"Not yet," said Father. "But nearly. Maralik is still not such a large town."

"It all seems new to me," said Petra.

"But it isn't. It never changes. Only the architecture. There are Armenians all over the world, but only because they were forced to leave to save their lives. By nature, Armenians stay at home. The hills are the womb, and we have no desire to be born." He chuckled at his joke.

Had he always chuckled like that? It sounded to Petra less like amusement than like nervousness. Mother was not the only one afraid of her.

At last the flivver reached home. And here at last she recognized where she was. It was small and shabby compared to what she had remembered, but in truth she had not even thought of the place in many years. It stopped haunting her dreams by the time she was ten. But now, coming home again, it all returned to her, the tears she had shed in those first weeks and months in Ground School, and again when she left Earth and went up to Battle School. This was what she had yearned for, and at last she was here again, she had it back ... and knew that she no longer needed it, no longer really wanted it. The nervous man in the car beside her was not the tall god who had led her through the streets of Maralik so proudly. And the woman waiting inside the house would not be the goddess from whom came warm food and a cool hand on her forehead when she was sick.

But she had nowhere else to go.

Her mother was standing at the window as Petra emerged from the flivver. Father palmed the scanner to accept the charges. Petra raised a hand and gave a small wave to her mother, a shy smile that quickly grew into a grin. Her mother smiled back and gave her own small wave in reply. Petra took her father's hand and walked with him to the house.

The door opened as they approached. It was Stefan, her brother. She would not have known him from her memories of a two-year-old, still creased with baby fat. And he, of course, did not know her at all. He beamed the way the children from the school group had beamed at her, thrilled to meet a celebrity but not really aware of her as a person. He was her brother, though, and so she hugged him and he hugged her back. "You're really Petra!" he said.

"You're really Stefan!" she answered. Then she turned to her mother. She was still standing at the window, looking out.


The woman turned, tears streaking her cheeks. "I'm so glad to see you, Petra," she said.

But she made no move to come to Petra, or even to reach out to her.

"But you're still looking for the little girl who left nine years ago," said Petra.

Mother burst into tears, and now she reached out her arms and Petra strode to her, to be enfolded in her embrace. "You're a woman now," said Mother. "I don't know you, but I love you."

"I love you too, Mother," said Petra. And was pleased to realize that it was true.

They had about an hour, the four of them — five, once the baby woke up. Petra shunted aside their questions — "Oh, everything about me has already been published or broadcast. It's you that I want to hear about" — and learned that her father was still editing textbooks and supervising translations, and her mother was still the shepherd of the neighborhood, watching out for everyone, bringing food when someone was sick, taking care of children while parents ran errands, and providing lunch for any child who showed up. "I remember once that Mother and I had lunch alone, just the two of us," Stefan joked. "We didn't know what to say, and there was so much food left over."

"It was already that way when I was little," Petra said. "I remember being so proud of how the other kids loved my mother. And so jealous of the way she loved them!"

"Never as much as I loved my own girl and boy," said Mother. "But I do love children, I admit it, every one of them is precious in the sight of God, every one of them is welcome in my house."

"Oh, I've known a few you wouldn't love," said Petra.

"Maybe," said Mother, not wishing to argue, but plainly not believing that there could be such a child.

The baby gurgled and Mother lifted her shirt to tuck the baby to her breast.

"Did I slurp so noisily?" asked Petra.

"Not really," said Mother.

"Oh, tell the truth," said Father. "She woke the neighbors."

"So I was a glutton."

"No, merely a barbarian," said Father. "No table manners."

Petra decided to ask the delicate question boldly and have done with it. "The baby was born only a month after the population restrictions were lifted."

Father and Mother looked at each other, Mother with a beatific expression, Father with a wince. "Yes, well, we missed you. We wanted another little girl."

"You would have lost your job," said Petra.

"Not right away," said Father.

"Armenian officials have always been a little slow about enforcing those laws," said Mother.

"But eventually, you could have lost everything."

"No," said Mother. "When you left, we lost half of everything. Children are everything. The rest is ... nothing."

Stefan laughed. "Except when I'm hungry. Food is something!"

"You're always hungry," said Father.

"Food is always something," said Stefan.

They laughed, but Petra could see that Stefan had had no illusions about what the birth of this child would have meant. "It's a good thing we won the war."


Excerpted from Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card. Copyright © 2000 Orson Scott Card. Excerpted by permission of Tom Doherty Associates.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1. Petra,
2. Bean,
3. Message in a Bottle,
4. Custody,
5. Ambition,
6. Code,
7. Going Public,
8. Bread Van,
9. Communing with the Dead,
10. Brothers in Arms,
11. Bangkok,
12. Islamabad,
13. Warnings,
14. Hyderabad,
15. Murder,
16. Treachery,
17. On a Bridge,
18. Satyagraha,
19. Rescue,
20. Hegemon,
Tor Books by Orson Scott Card,

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Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's Shadow Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 217 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This and the next two books in the Shadow parallel novels are among the best works Orson Scott Card ever wrote. Great adventure novels plus brilliant characters and a situation where a handful of smart teens have the fate of the world in their hands= irresistable series! These books also show different sides of every kid from Battle School as well as those who stayed behind. The explanation of how Peter became Hegemon proves that Card did his research- it's almost scary how possible some of the situations shown were. It'd be interesting to see wat would happen if Card wrote this book today... Anyway, read it if you haven't already! It's so worth it.
Jason Cook More than 1 year ago
The Bean series is wonderful. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Card has the uncanny ability to gives you four hundred plus pages pure suspense. From the first chapter on I was instantly glued to this book. This characters are so easy to undrstand and you end up caring for them and cheering for the good guy its hard to stop reading. Card includes wonderful details of the characters and the the details add such realism to the experience. The book is never predictable always changing directons and always leaving you excited to read whats to come up next.I loved this book and love the series an highly recommend it to any one who like science fiction and military novels. I had a hard time finding anything wrong with this and the only thing i could come up with is that some of the language is strong especially for how old the characters are. Children between the ages of seven and fourteen use harsh language seen in more mature books and movies. Otherwise thise book is flawless and will give you a good time. I would recomend reading the prequels to this book to fully understand all the little moments in the book but it could still be enjoyed with reading the previous books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was obvious that Ender's Shadow was not going to be a one-shot spin-off deal; Card envisioned it as the first of a three- and then four-book saga separate from the original Ender quartet. The stage was set for Shadow of the Hegemon - Achilles was just too juicy of a villian, and there were still so many unanswered questions about what happened to Peter and the Battle School children. However, I was more than a little disappointed with the direction this novel took; it felt like a throwback to Cold War-era espionage novels (I hope Card wasn't attempting to mimic Tom Clancy). The author also made a terrible mistake that really disrupted the flow of the story more than once - he included too much of his research (military history in this case) into the novel, as though he were trying to impress the reader with his extensive knowledge of another subject. That was a Michael Crichton thing to do, and I felt it backfired in the hands of a far superior storyteller like Card.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bean, or Julian Delphiki is on Earth after the war. Achilles has taken a seat of power and is trying to kidnap and kill members from Ender's squadron. Bean has gone into hiding and is trying to find a way to rescue his friend Petra. What I liked about this book is it contains action like the others but from a different angle. However, it tends to be a bit slow paced at times. Overall I think it's a great book and I highly recommend it.
PUREfantasy87 More than 1 year ago
wht more could i say just couldnt put it down!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was great,if you love Enders Game or Enders Shadow, there wont be disappointments but its a tad different.Ist more for adults than for young adults, besides it gets a little too political at times. But all and all its very entertaining and will satisfy Enders and Enders shadow fans everywhere.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had a hard time getting into this book. When I finaly did it took me a week to read. I couldn't put it down. I have read three of cards book and I love to learn how they get out of situations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book very much but I feel like i have been cut off. I think Orson Scott Card should continue with beans story one way or another. To me this story Just seems incompleted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Loved it. I'm amazed at how much the author knows about world events and cultures. These books are definitely not for people who don't want their minds jogged. I think this is one of the best books of the whole series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a fantastic book i love books and i didnt really love reading these kinds of books until i read this one. tha author of the book is without a doubt one of the best there are just by the way he wrote one book and continued to write them but by a different character point of view,.. i will continue to read all of the ENDER'S GAME series ive already read,..ENDER'S GAME,..SHAWDOW OF HEGEMON,..AND ENDER'S SHADOW,.. I WOULD LOVE TO SEE A BOOK JUST ABOUT ACHILLIES THAT WOULD BE FANTASTIC TY FOR THE EXCELLENT BOOK!!!!! FROM RASHAWN
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was great because it had so much action and big events that changed the world, people, and the way they thought.The last half of his books are the gratest.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For fans of Sci-fi this may be slightly disappointing from the space and alien oriented Ender's Game, but Card's depiction of the world in a few centuries is strikingly truthful to the present. His view is, especially in recent events, quite a possible, however unlikely as it may be, future world stuggle. His knowledge of Asian culture is very extensive (having years of experience myself in Asia) which i feel was a very important piece of this novel. Shadow of the Hegemon is indeed a must read, even those not very enthusiastic about Sci-fi, can appreciate the depiction of future (if not very like the present) politics of the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Formics are defeated and graduates of the IF Battleschool become the tools used by Achilles as he manipulates nations in his quest to dominate the Earth. Ender's Shadow gave insight into Bean, this book gets deeper into his life and persona while fleshing out the characters of Petra Arkanian, Sister Carlotta, Peter Wiggin and numerous others. While it is less sci-fi than most would hope for, it generates interest in politics and world history as it extrapolates a potential future. Card's talent for making his characters human and (generally) likable shines through. Shadow of the Hegemon is a great, fast read,holding the reader captive, particularly those familiar with the family of associated novels that precede it. As with the others, it leaves the reader asking, 'What's next, and do I have to wait long?'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Orson Scott Card has yet to fail in creating a believable story plot that pulls you right in. Characters previously set in the backgrounds of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are now further developed, giving the Ender-veteran a new outlook on the characters' personalities and points of view. The story starts fast and never slows down, yet still giving the reader enough detail to enable them to visualize every escape, every assassination, every confrontation and emotion as they read this masterpiece. This author has taken a single story and created an entire history of a universe that may yet come to be.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This time the battlefield is set firmly on terra firma, Earth! Ender and his sister, Valentine are not around. The intelligent children from Battle School were trying to blend back into life on Earth when they were kidnapped, except for Bean. He, his family, and his neighbors were bombed! Bean went into hiding with Sister Carlotta. Ender's brother, Peter Wiggin, was their only hope.

Peter may only have been a teen, but his intelligence at politics and pulling strings were as great as any of the Battle School Grads were at commanding! He held two names on the nets. Both were well known and had much influence. He was 'Locke', known as a peacemaker, and he was 'Demosthene'. He would help retrieve the brilliant children. But Petra was the most important and she was held prisoner by Achilles! Peter intended to rule the world...and soon. He would become the Hegemon. But first, he and Bean must become alliances to defeat Achilles, before he manages to destroy all the nations!

***** Orson Scott Card's deep thinking strategies on national and global politics, as well as, on national and global military tactics are proven once again to the Sci-Fi reading public!

The story mainly follows Bean, with Petra and Peter as secondary characters. But my vanity makes me like Petra the most. After all, change the P in her name to D and you have MY name! But more than that, I enjoyed watching her (as a 14 year old) using logic against grown men who trained in psychiatry. Petra has a way of seeing things more clearly than most. Here is a story that will hit the best seller lists almost immediately! It is not only excellent, it is awesome! *****
buffalogr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great parallel drawn between the way children and nations act.
comfypants on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Even though you know how this story has to end if you've read Ender's Game (although you don't necessarily know how many books it will take to get there), it still sucks you in and is hard to put down. It's a fairly enjoyable read, but there are a lot of problems. It's not science fiction. It happens to take place in the future, but there are no sci-fi elements whatsoever; that's just an excuse for Card to make up whatever he feels like regarding world politics. And those politics are simplified to a level of a game of Risk. Characters can predict the future of world events based on a handful of pieces of information, which is especially unbelievable since Peter Wiggin, the supposed political genius, comes across as a complete twit in this book. And he and two other of the four main characters are insufferable smart asses. Even Bean comes across that way sometimes. The dialog is often terrible. Sometimes it's just awkward and unnatural. Sometimes Card uses it to frame things he wants to say to the audience, which is the most unfortunate aspect of this book. As great a storyteller as Card usually is, he's kind of a d**k, and as soon as I feel like I'm hearing his opinions rather than his characters' opinions, the book loses a lot for me.
janemarieprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not as good as the first of the Bean series but Card is a masterful writer and it is extremely interesting. Whether the characters are discussing religion, politics, war, or childhood it is quite brilliant and the action is lightning fast.
terrybain on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very fine, intense, headspace work. I'm reading it aloud to my son (9 years old) and he doesn't even flinch at the political discussion.
kmass on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't think it was possible before I read it, but this is even better than Ender's Game.
nicoletort on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I picked up the sequel to Ender's Shadow I was not expecting the poltical thriller that is this book. Nevertheless, it is a good read.
AsTr1102 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another book with a slow beginning but picks up speed. Kind of boring compared to the rest of the stories in the series.
ametralladoras on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pales in comparison to Ender's Shadow. This book shouldn't even be considered Science Fiction but more Military Strategy fiction...and I am obviously not a fan. The characters are dull (except for a few moments with Petra) and the plot is anticlimactic.
Neale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good follow up to Ender's Shadow. Very detailed in its coverage of the characters motivations. If you liked the others in the series you'll like this one.