×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Shadow Puppets
     

Shadow Puppets

4.3 169
by Orson Scott Card
 

See All Formats & Editions

Bestselling author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth and The Shadow Series.

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

Overview

Bestselling author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth and The Shadow Series.

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, the two will reshape our future.

Shadow Puppets is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army, as they take their places in the new government of Earth.


At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
One of the more pleasant literary surprises of 1999 was Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow, a self-styled "parallel novel" that recapitulates the central events of Ender's Game from the perspective of Bean, the child genius -- and genetic wild card -- who served as Ender's second-in-command during the genocidal war with the Formics. Bean's story now continues in Shadow of the Hegemon, a moving, richly imagined sequel that is clearly one of the major science fiction novels of the season.

Shadow of the Hegemon begins in the turbulent aftermath of the Formic War. The nations of Earth, no longer united by a common enemy, have grown both fearful and aggressive. Deeply entrenched rivalries -- cultural, religious, ethnic -- proliferate, and the world stands on the brink of geopolitical chaos. Against this backdrop of mounting political tension, a singular event occurs: Most of the surviving members of Ender Wiggin's victorious platoon are kidnapped. The motive behind that kidnapping is immediately clear. Some unidentified power hopes either to utilize this concentration of strategic genius or keep that genius out of the hands of political rivals.

In Shadow of the Hegemon, Card once again addresses large, fundamental questions: Who will govern in the problematic future that is coming? Will that future be dominated by humane moral imperatives or by heedless, expedient ambition? As the novel winds its way toward a provisional answer, three brilliant -- and very different -- figures rapidly dominate the narrative. The first is Achilles, a teenaged psychopath with a gift for manipulation and an indomitable will to power. The second is Peter Wiggin, older brother of the absent, legendary Ender. Peter has spent many years influencing events behind the scenes and faces the prospect of stepping onto the political stage without the aid of an elaborately constructed mask. The third figure, of course, is Julian Delphicki, a.k.a. Bean.

Bean, like most of the characters, is little more than a child. But he is a fiercely brilliant child, the unexpected product of an illegal genetic experiment that will end, inevitably, in tragedy. Three elements dominate Bean's life: his relentless opposition to Achilles and his designs, his love for his mentor and de facto mother, Sister Carlotta, and his determination to save the life of his friend and former platoon mate, Petra Arkanian.

Shadow of the Hegemon explores complex questions of faith, loyalty, and ethical responsibility without becoming dry, boring, pompous, or didactic. On the contrary, it is a thoughtful, thoroughly entertaining novel that asks hard questions and never settles for easy answers. It is one of Orson Scott Card's most impressive achievements and deserves the attention of a large, appreciative audience.

--Bill Sheehan

Bill Sheehan reviews horror, suspense, and science fiction for Cemetery Dance, The New York Review of Science Fiction, and other publications. His book-length critical study of the fiction of Peter Straub, At the Foot of the Story Tree, has been published by Subterranean Press (www.subterraneanpress.com).

Elizabeth Weise
In Shadow of the Hegemon, the abilities of Bean and the others to outthink their captors and undermine their plans make for a page-turning read.
USA Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This fine follow-up to Ender's Shadow features that novel's hero, Bean (now a young man), wrestling with Card's trademark: superbly real moral and ethical dilemmas. In a world between wars, filled with ambitious countries jockeying to carve up their neighbors, the children of Battle School are the strongest asset a nation can possess. The greatest of the children, "Ender" Wiggin, has gone off to colonize a new world. The second best, Bean, is hunted by a young psychopathic genius, Achilles, who schemes to conquer Earth with the aid of Ender's soldiers. Peter, Ender's brother, who was too ruthless to make it to Battle School, also works to rule the planet, but through more peaceful, political means. Bean must decide if becoming Peter's shadow and guiding him to become Hegemon will help defeat Achilles, and if one boy's megalomania will make a better world than another's. Children playing at war as if it were a game recalls Card's most famous work, Ender's Game, which won both a Hugo and a Nebula award. The complexity and serious treatment of the book's young protagonists will attract many sophisticated YA readers, while Card's impeccable prose, fast pacing and political intrigue will appeal to adult fans of spy novels, thrillers and science fiction. (Jan. 2) Forecast: Card is immensely popular; this is one of his best novels. Like Ender's Game, it will soar on genre lists and should flirt with, and perhaps woo, regular lists. Tor will ensure this through a $300,000 ad/promo campaign including a nine-city author tour. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly
Fans of Cards bestselling Ender series will be delighted with this tale of teen empowerment (following 2001s Shadow of the Hegemon), as the Battle School brats cope with life after the war with the Formics. Peter Wiggins, now leader of the worldwide Earth government, the Hegemon, makes a tactical error when he authorizes the rescue of his archenemy, Achilles, from the Chinese, only to discover Achilles, dangerously insane, is a Trojan Horse. Peter, along with his parents, must flee the planet temporarily, only to discover plots within plots at the site of the now dismantled Battle School. Meanwhile, Bean, accompanied by his wife, Petra, comes to terms with his body: he wont stop growing, and hes doomed to a short life. He and Petra seek out the man who manipulated his genes in order to have him create children without the same problem, only to have the embryos stolen. Bean and Petra race against time to try to rescue their unborn children while keeping Peter apprised of world events. Into this mix, Card tosses in a war, Chinese expansionism, unrest in India and a dangerously unfettered Achilles. The political becomes the personal in a final showdown between Bean and Achilles. These teens play for keeps: the world is their stage, with Battle School grads in key positions of power in China, the Muslim world and India, all ready to work together to create world peace. Card discusses important topics here"the nature of the parent-child relationship; the roles of love and service"that are implicitly part of coming of age. (On-sale Aug. 19) Forecast: A $300,000 national marketing campaign, including advertising on the Sci-Fi Channel and print advertising targeted to college and military publications, should ensure a run on bestseller lists. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
VOYA
This book can be read without reading the book right before it, but there are parts where you feel as if you came for the second half of the joke. There were times when I didn't really agree with Card's thinking on the whole political situation and the handling of it. To say the very least, this book was good, although not to the same standard as Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow. It is more mature. The tone evolves as the characters grow up, which is a relief. All the little side plots are enjoyable and tied in neatly at the end. The best part of this book is how all the minor characters gained more depth. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2002, Tor, 352p,
— Eman Ashrafi, Teen Reviewer
KLIATT
The sequel to Shadow of the Hegemon, this story picks up with Ender's older brother Peter Wiggin as the Hegemon leader of the world. Trying to limit the influence of the evil Achilles, Peter has him taken out of China only to find that Achilles has leveraged his proximity to Peter and his group to facilitate a coup. Two of Peter's main supporters have to stay in hiding: a growing giant and warrior named Bean, and his love Petra (also the center of attraction to Achilles). Peter seems like a reluctant leader, needing to be nudged by his parents. On the other hand, Bean has a hard time doing nothing. Both act like shadow puppets being pulled by Achilles' invisible strings. This volume does not have the stature of Card's original Ender fantasies. While the characters move around a lot, and find their Battle School friends in new positions, the pacing seems strangely plodding. It's hard to tell the maturity of the characters, and that vagueness does not help the reader understand personality development easily. While the main message supports inclusion and pluralism in terms of politics and religion, violence continues to have its place. (Ender Series, Book 7). KLIATT Codes: SA-Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Tor, 375p., Ages 15 to adult.
— Dr. Lesley S.J. Farmer
Library Journal
In the aftermath of the war against the alien insectoid Formics, the people of Earth experienced a period of unity under the benevolent rulership of the Hegemon Peter Wiggin, brother of war hero Ender Wiggin. As the fragile political peace erodes and internal wars threaten to erupt, the child-warriors of the Battle School now young adults skilled in the arts of leadership and politics struggle to bring about a new kind of peace despite the efforts of traitors in their midst. The sequel to Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon continues Card's visionary future history with a story of men and women thrust too early into positions of power. The author's thoughtful storytelling and compassionately moral characters make this a good addition to most sf collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Adult/High School-No wonder smart kids love the Ender saga so much: Card's young heroes are not just consistently smarter than adults, they are Masters of the Universe. This sequel to Ender's Shadow (Tor, 1999) finds the wars over, with Ender in self-imposed exile off-planet. The remaining students of Battle School, now young teens, are trying to adjust to their civilian status when they are suddenly abducted-all except Bean, who escapes and goes into hiding with Sister Carlotta, the nun who raised him. Concluding that the mastermind behind the kidnapping is none other than Achilles, a homicidal megalomaniac from his past, Bean forms an uneasy alliance with Peter Wiggin, the most respected political mind in the world. With the help of coded messages from Bean's old friend Petra (now Achilles's prisoner), Bean and Peter close in on the villain, changing the paths of world powers on their way. Fans of the series will continue to overlook the implausibility of whole countries being turned over to teenagers who proclaim to know it all, but might be a bit disappointed in Peter as the good-guy candidate for ruler of the world. Achilles, a sort of evil James Bond, is the more interesting of the two, but that is typical of the moral dilemmas Card suggests to his readers. With two books still to come about Bean, it would be wise to stock up on all Card's books; enthusiasts may want to revisit the earlier stories while waiting for the next installment.-Jan Tarasovic, West Springfield High School, Fairfax County, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Card's child-warrior saga (Shadow of the Hegemon, 2001, etc.) goes on . . . and on. The brilliant child-warrior Bean has helped the equally youthful essayist-advisor Peter Wiggin become Hegemon, but it's a title with little power, carrying influence only within enfeebled America and Europe, and the struggle to direct the soul of the world continues. Their adversary, the megalomaniac Achilles, having befriended and betrayed Russia and India in turn, has guided the Chinese to conquer India and Indochina. Now Bean and Peter receive word that the Chinese have lost patience with their psychotic ally and have arrested him. Peter, believing that he can both dominate their foe and learn from him, arranges to capture Achilles-and soon Achilles is pretty much running the Hegemony. Bean, withdrawing from Peter's side, agrees to start a family with his Battle School graduate companion, Petra, stipulating that none of the offspring carry Anton's Key in their genes: the twist that both makes him a genius and dooms him to an early death. Knowing that Achilles will attempt to kill them both, and steal their embryos, Bean seeks refuge with a powerful, friendly Muslim, while Peter's parents endeavor to persuade the stubborn, willful Hegemon that his position is precarious. The usual welter of plotting, maneuvers, repartee, and philosophy. Unfortunately, much of it has the feel of a primer on how to grow up-and Card is much less endearing when he's writing for children rather than about them. $300,000 ad/promo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429956741
Publisher:
Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
06/16/2003
Series:
Shadow Series , #3
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
79,637
File size:
333 KB

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One

PETRA


    To: Chamrajnagar%sacredriver@ifcom.gov

    From: Locke%espinoza@polnet.gov

    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 takepreemptive 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.


    Respectfully,

    Locke


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.

    "Mother?"

    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."

    "Better than losing it," said Stefan.

    "It's nice to have the baby and obey the law, too," said Mother.

    "But you didn't get your little girl."

    "No," said Father. "We got our David."

    "We didn't need a little girl after all," said Mother. "We got you back."

    Not really, thought Petra. And not for long. Four years, maybe fewer, and I'll be off to university. And you won't miss me by then, because you'll know that I'm not the little girl you love, just this bloody-handed veteran of a nasty military school that turned out to have real battles to fight.

    After the first hour, neighbors and cousins and friends from Father's work began dropping by, and it was not until after midnight that Father had to announce that tomorrow was not a national holiday and he needed to have some sleep before work. It took yet another hour to shoo everyone out of the house, and by then all Petra wanted was to curl up in bed and hide from the world for at least a week.

    But by the end of the next day, she knew she had to get out of the house. She didn't fit into the routines. Mother loved her, yes, but her life centered around the baby and the neighborhood, and while she kept trying to engage Petra in conversation, Petra could see that she was a distraction, that it would be a relief for Mother when Petra went to school during the day as Stefan did, returning only at the scheduled time. Petra understood, and that night announced that she wanted to register for school and begin class the next day.

    "Actually," said Father, "the people from the I.F. said that you could probably go right on to university."

    "I'm fourteen," said Petra. "And there are serious gaps in my education."

    "She never even heard of Dog," said Stefan.

    "What?" said Father. "What dog?"

    "Dog," said Stefan. "The zip orchestra. You know."

    "Very famous group," said Mother. "If you heard them, you'd take the car in for major repairs."

    "Oh, that Dog," said Father. "I hardly think that's the education Petra was talking about."

    "Actually, it is," said Petra.

    "It's like she's from another planet," said Stefan. "Last night I realized she never heard of anybody."

    "I am from another planet. Or, properly speaking, asteroid."

    "Of course," said Mother. "You need to join your generation."

    Petra smiled, but inwardly she winced. Her generation? She had no generation, except the few thousand kids who had once been in Battle School, and now were scattered over the surface of the Earth, trying to find out where they belonged in a world at peace.

    School would not be easy, Petra soon discovered. There were no courses in military history and military strategy. The mathematics was pathetic compared to what she had mastered in Battle School, but with literature and grammar she was downright backward: Her knowledge of Armenian was indeed childish, and while she was fluent in the version of English spoken in Battle School—including the slang that the kids used there—she had little knowledge of the rules of grammar and no understanding at all of the mixed Armenian and English slang that the kids used with each other at school.

    Everyone was very nice to her, of course—the most popular girls immediately took possession of her, and the teachers treated her like a celebrity. Petra allowed herself to be led around and shown everything, and studied the chatter of her new friends very carefully, so she could learn the slang and hear how school English and Armenian were nuanced. She knew that soon enough the popular girls would tire of her—especially when they realized how bluntly outspoken Petra was, a trait that she had no intention of changing. Petra was quite used to the fact that people who cared about the social hierarchy usually ended up hating her and, if they were wise, fearing her, since pretensions didn't last long in her presence. She would find her real friends over the next few weeks—if, in fact, there were any here who would value her for what she was. It didn't matter. All the friendships here, all the social concerns, seemed so trivial to her. There was nothing at stake here, except each student's own social life and academic future, and what did that matter? Petra's previous schooling had all been conducted in the shadow of war, with the fate of humanity riding on the outcome of her studies and the quality of her skills. Now, what did it matter? She would read Armenian literature because she wanted to learn Armenian, not because she thought it actually mattered what some expatriate like Saroyan thought about the lives of children in a long-lost era of a far-off country.

    The only part of school that she truly loved was physical education. To have sky over her head as she ran, to have the track lie flat before her, to be able to run and run for the sheer joy of it and without a clock ticking out her allotted time for aerobic exercise—such a luxury. She could not compete, physically, with most of the other girls. It would take time for her body to reconstruct itself for high gravity, for despite the great pains that the I.F. went to to make sure that soldiers' bodies did not deteriorate too much during long months and years in space, nothing trained you for living on a planet's surface except living there. But Petra didn't care that she was one of the last to complete every race, that she couldn't leap even the lowest hurdle. It felt good simply to run freely, and her weakness gave her goals to meet. She would be competitive soon enough. That was one of the aspects of her innate personality that had taken her to Battle School in the first place—that she had no particular interest in competition because she always started from the assumption that, if it mattered, she would find a way to win.

    And so she settled in to her new life. Within weeks she was fluent in Armenian and had mastered the local slang. As she had expected, the popular girls dropped her in about the same amount of time, and a few weeks later, the brainy girls had cooled toward her as well. It was among the rebels and misfits that she found her friends, and soon she had a circle of confidants and co-conspirators that she called her "jeesh," Battle School slang for close friends, a private army. Not that she was the commander or anything, but they were all loyal to each other and amused at the antics of the teachers and the other students, and when a school counselor called her in to tell her that the administration was growing concerned about the fact that Petra seemed to be associating with an antisocial element in school, she knew that she was truly at home in Maralik.

    Then one day she came home from school to find the front door locked. She carried no house key—no one did in their neighborhood because no one locked up, or even, in good weather, closed their doors. She could hear the baby crying inside the house, so instead of making her mother come to the front door to let her in, she walked around back and came into the kitchen to find that her mother was tied to a chair, gagged, her eyes wide and frantic with fear.

    Before Petra had time to react, a hypostick was slapped against her arm and, without ever seeing who had done it, she slipped into darkness.

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.


Orson Scott Card is best known for his science fiction novel Ender's Game and its 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 novelette 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.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Greensboro, North Carolina
Date of Birth:
August 24, 1951
Place of Birth:
Richland, Washington
Education:
B.A. in theater, Brigham Young University, 1975; M.A. in English, University of Utah, 1981
Website:
http://www.hatrack.com

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Shadow Puppets (Ender's Shadow Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 167 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadow Puppets is a good book. Not as good as Shadow of the Hegemon. The book gets way too mushy and lovey dovey at times. Card spends an exorbident amount of time with Petra trying to convince Bean that he should impregnate her, and just when you think Bean is going to put his foot down for good, he is persuaded by an old man who, in a way, helped to create him. Durring Bean's persuasion to have children, it seems as if Card is preaching to people that thier only as good as their progeny, and are nothing if they do not bequeath upon the earth their offspring. The rest of the book is very good, bordering on excellent, with the exception that Card should have expanded on Virlomi's and Suri's roles. They were so important in Shadow of the Hegemon, and then they took such a back seat position. A must read for Card fans.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Early on while reading 'Shadow Puppets,' the 7th volume in the Ender series (even if Ender never actually appears within its pages), I started thinking that Orson Scott Card had written what would have been called, in the old days, a potboiler. But in contemporary terms it might be closer to the mark to think that Uncle Orson has started putting Geoffrey, Emily, and Zina through college. I also assumed that following up on 'Ender's Shadow' and 'Shadow of the Hegemon,' this latest novel would complete the 'Bean Trilogy' and resolve the conflict between Bean and Achilles. However, this is something that 'Shadow Puppets' does and does not do. Certainly that is one of the threads of the this novel, as is the mortality of Bean's existence, his relationship with Petra, and Peter's efforts as Hegemon to stave off further Chinese incursions around the globe. But although we keep returning to Bean and Petra I never really get the feeling they are the true focus of the story. There are are a lot more players this time around in Uncle Orson's story, and actually the ones I found most interesting where John Paul and Theresa Wiggin, who finally prove to us once and for all where their three mega-children got their talents and abilities. Card worries in his afterward that he was making too many previous minor characters (i.e., battle school veterans) more prominent in this story, but I actually found that to be one of the better things about 'Shadow Puppets'; I especially liked Virlomi's simple but effective way of creating a spirit of resistance in India. Ultimately, I found 'Shadow Puppets' intriguing. Card finished writing this novel during the war in Afghanistan and his thoughts on what Islam might look like in the future and the honorable way to fight a war are quite interesting. This underscores Card's strength as a writer, that even when it seems he is telling a story in which not much happens, he still offers food for thought. There is a lot in here about families and familial relationships.The books ends with a bang, if you will, instead of a whimper, but it is not a big bang, which is certainly in keeping with Card's tendency toward underplayed conclusions: the ending is never the big moment you have been awaiting, but rather with how you live with the aftermath of the big moment once it is done. Granted, this is the least of the novels in the Ender series, and a minor effort from Card all things considered. But we are still talking Uncle Orson here, and even in his lesser works he never totally disappoints his readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I hate to have to write a review for this book but I feel it is necessary. I have been a fan of Orson Scott Card for years and have ready everything that he has written. Unfortunately this book is a serious disappointment in both plot and, more pointedly, in dialogue. As the Battle School children are getting older they sound more and more like spolied children. Card should focus on his 'genius child' theme and avoid the children as they grow up, and should certainly avoid trying to write romance in any way shape or form. His moralization sounds weak and his characters are no longer believeable.Of course, even with this book being a bomb and it looking like the entire series has fizzled out, I still would recommend reading this book if you have gotten this far in the series. You wont like it, but how could you avoid reading it?
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found that I couldn't really connect with the characters much at all in this book; something I've never been able to not do in Mr. Card's novels. I think if he had fleshed out the story more it would have been a much better book. Instead it feels rushed and not on the same level as Ender's Shadow or Shadow of the Hegemon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadow Puppets has once again provided a compelling read for Ender fans, especially those who enjoy the Bean/Petra pairing. Any romantic will enjoy the couple's early bantering and later romance (which is extremely PG-rated). However, there are some problems, for example, I agree that Virlomi and Suri should have been used more- OSC opens a new plotline with Suri's infatuation with Virlomi and never carries it through. On the other hand, the political aspects of the book are interesting and do not so much take a negative view of China but show that any nation, no matter its history or prestiege, can become an aggressor in certain circumstances. A brilliant touch is Peter's relationship with his parents being strengthened and Peter's subsequent change- for the first time Peter Wiggin shows the ability to unite the world, (with his parents support). All in all, an addition that deserves a place on the shelf, if not with Ender's Game itself, then certainly with Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadow Puppets is a good book and I would recommend it to anyone. The plotline is good and there is the underlying Bean and Petra line. The subplot is almost more interesting than the real plot, but the climax more that makes up for the lack of action. If you're a fan of fast paced, action-packed books don't read this. If you enjoy a more intellectual read every now and then and enjoy being forced to think about what you are reading then get in your car right now and pick up this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While in my opinion, OSC has taken a step backwards while writing the Shadow books (a parallel series to Ender's Game, and its sequels), I found this book very interesting. I didn't like Shadow of the Hegemon (the 2nd book in the Bean saga) very much, I found this one to fix everything that was wrong in it. Shadow of the Hegemon, was flawed because the premise behind the story seemed so unbelievable. In a real world, a character such as Achilles would not be able to manipulate the world as he did in Shadow of the Hegemon. He wouldn't be able to even get a meeting with a high ranking official. Shadow Puppets however, revolves around greed, and how ones greed can come up to hurt that individual. Greed is a very real situation, and its common in governments around the world, so the premise itself for Shadow Puppets, was already an improvement over Shadow of the Hegemon. The improvements of course, did not stop there. This book included everything you come to expect from a book from Orson Scott Card, internal struggle, dealing with death, dealing with change, and most of all getting to know yourself (something we all are constantly doing). I've read complaints about Bean and Petra 'growing up too fast', but I think that these people fail to realize how much dealing with death changes a person. There isn't a person out there, who has gone un-touched by death, nor is there a person who was unchanged by their experiences. Shadow Puppets was a great book, and a great improvement over Shadow of the Hegemon (which was still a good book). If you are a fan of Card's this is a must read. If you are a fan of sci fi in general, this is a good read. But most of all, if you enjoy fast moving, but deep stories, this book is for you. While its not as deep as Ender's Game (or any of its sequels) there are still passages that make one think. I highly reccomend this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ender Wiggins led the victory over the Formics, but his brother Peter is named the Hegemon, leader of the waning worldwide government, a victim of its own success. Peter learns that the Chinese are afraid and weary of his rival Achilles, who has helped them expand their boundaries. They incarcerate the dangerous Achilles, but Peter rescues his enemy only to realize rather quickly that his foe is crazier, deadlier, and more devious than he imagined. Achilles takes power from Peter.

Peter¿s strongest ally Bean leaves to start a family with Petra before he dies, which is sooner than later. Bean and Petra agree that their children will not carry Anton's Key in their genes, as that is what is causing Bean¿s premature death. However, Achilles has his own plans for these unborn offsprings that include speeding up the deaths of the parents.

SHADOW PUPPETS is an interesting side installment in the Ender¿s Earth series though the title character is not the prime player as this novel focuses on Peter, Bean, and Petra. The story line is loaded with action and philosophy with Orson Scott Card contemplating the relationships between parents and children, among siblings, friends, and lovers, and amidst major religions. Though at times pontificating over the need of servicing one¿s community, the latest entry in this popular series proves the author still holds four aces when it comes to engaging the reader.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey its your pal... respond back.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
5 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss hand then post this on three seperate books then look under your pillow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Changes
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book with an ending that I've wanted to see for a long time. :D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont know if i should read... Someone commented on what petra was trying for bean to do and... i dont know. Rest of series was AWESOME(x10000) but... need help :please respond. BTW the 5 stars is for the rest of the series if you havent read ender's game-read it!(its very moving!) :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You should it is moving and you would be missing out if you have read the Ender's Game series and not this book =]
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Big_Stu53 More than 1 year ago
Read the Ender's Game series first
Anonymous More than 1 year ago