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Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Shadow (1999)

by Orson Scott Card

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ender's Game: Extended (9), Bean (1)

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English (101)  Latin (1)  French (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
Ender's Shadow is a retelling of the story of Ender's Game, but from the point of view of a different character, a battle school cadet called Bean, one of the top kids there who featured prominently in the original novel, too.

I thought that Ender's Shadow was bound to be a failure - how could reading the same story twice be anything but an unnecessary exercise in boredom. But this was not the case at all.

You see, Bean has a different personality and, more importantly, a completely different background than Ender Wiggin, the genius child commander who is the point of view character of the original series. This results in a fresh view of the events at battle school, with Bean's powerful analytical skills offering more insight into what is really happening politically behind the scenes than what was revealed in Ender's Game. As Bean is just as interested in the political situation back on Earth as he is in the impending war on an alien race, this serves as a good motivation to explain this part of the Ender's Game universe, although Card falls into the trap of splitting the world into good guys and bad guys along the traditional Cold War divide. Just for once I'd like to read about Russians as the good guys.

Even more interesting, however, is the story of Bean's origins. How he manages to survive as an abandoned baby on the mean streets of Rotterdam, where child gangs and bullies control access to charity kitchens and thus - life, is probably, together with Sister Carlotta's search for Bean's true family, the most interesting part of the book.

A pretty great piece of sci-fi, with classic Card drawbacks: really too brilliant four-to-ten-year-olds to be believable and the inability to resist his land-of-the-free-home-of-the-brave-and-religiously-indoctrinated political views from shining through. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
As a stand alone, this book is good, a little rough around the edges and a little light on characterization. The problem? Ender's Game was such a wonderful read, it's one of those books i scoop up every time i find it at Goodwill and immediately try to find some who hasn't read it yet to give it too. And the trilogy that followed was soooo damn serious. So i understand what Mr Card was trying to do, recapture some of the wonder and fun of his original setting. Didn't necessarily work for me. Bean's genius came off as exaggerated and the premise behind seemed stretched. The villain was a cut-out and i'm getting tired of 'found-family' happy endings. Not Mr. Card's best. ( )
  aeceyton | Aug 18, 2017 |
The Shadow series follows Bean and is a ton of fun. A worthy follow-up to Ender's Game, and a great opportunity to see what happens with the members of Ender's Jeesh, I'd recommend these books to anyone who enjoyed Ender's Game (and how can someone not like Ender's Game?). ( )
  yrthegood1staken | Feb 28, 2017 |
Erstaunlicherweise würde ich dieses Buch sogar besser einstufen als Enders Spiel. Bean war schon im ersten Buch so ziemlich meine Lieblingsfigur und dass die Ereignisse aus Enders Spiel nochmal aus seiner Sicht erzählt werden ist alles andere als nervig oder überflüssig. Zugegeben, Bean ist von Ender besessen, hat aber genug eigene Spirenzchen am laufen als dass sich alles überschneidet und man die selbe Geschichte zwei mal liest. Auf das andere Buch wird eher liebevoll hingenickt, so, dass ich immer wieder einzelne Stellen dort nachschlug und verglich.

Bean hat von Anfang an keinerlei Interesse, ein Soldat zu werden und möchte nur möglichst weit weg von Achilles (und dass es dort regelmäßig Essen gibt ist auch ein Pluspunkt). So beginnt er von Tag 1 an, alles zu unterwandern was ihm vor die Nase gesetzt wird statt brav den Regeln zu folgen die ihm gegeben werden und wir sehen Teile der Kampfschule, die Ender niemals hinterfragt hat.

Viel interessanter fand ich allerdings den ersten Teil des Buches in Rotterdam. Die Kinder dort kämpfen um das pure Überleben und Bean ist keine Ausnahme. Dabei geht es so roh zu wie bei den Hungerspielen wenn der Startschuss ertönt.

Die wirkliche Gefahr war viel unmittelbarerer: größere Kinder. Poke war mit neun Jahren die Martriarchin ihrer kleinen Bande (nicht, dass einer von ihnen sicher gewusst hätte, dass sie ein Mädchen war), aber das half nichts gegen die elf-, zwölf-, und dreizehnjährigen Jungen und Mädchen, die kleinere Straßenkinder schikanierten. Die erwachsenen Bettler, Diebe und Huren achteten nicht auf die kleinen Kinder und traten sie höchstens aus dem Weg,. Aber die älteren Kinder, die ebenfalls getreten wurden, drehten sich dann um und stürzten sich auf die jüngeren. Jedes Mal, wenn Pokes Bande etwas zu essen fand – besonders, wenn es sich um eine verlässliche Abfallquelle oder eine Stelle handelte, wo man leicht eine Münze oder ein wenig Essen bekommen konnte -, mussten sie gut aufpassen und ihre Beute sofort verstecken, denn die älteren Kinder taten nichts lieber, als den kleineren auch noch den winzigsten Rest Essen abzunehmen. Jüngere Kinder zu bestehlen war viel sicherer, als es bei Läden oder Passanten zu versuchen. Und es machte ihnen Spaß, das sah Poke genau. Es gefiel diesen Tyrannen und Schlägern, wie die kleinen Kinder sich duckten und gehorchten, wie sie wimmerten und den Schlägern gaben, was auch immer sie verlangten.

( )
  Nomnivor | Jan 12, 2017 |
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orson Scott Cardprimary authorall editionscalculated
De Cuir, GabrielleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falkenstern, LisaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Dick and Hazie Brown
In Whose Home No One Is Hungry
And In Whose Hearts No One Is A Stranger
First words
"You think you've found somebody, so suddenly my program gets the ax?"
Remember, the enemy's gate is down.
My son, my son Absalom. Would God I could die for thee, Absalom, my sons!
Why don't you tell me what you don't want me to know, and I'll tell you if I already know it?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765342405, Paperback)

Ender's Shadow is being dubbed as a parallel novel to Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula Award-winning Ender's Game. By "parallel," Card means that Shadow begins and ends at roughly the same time as Game, and it chronicles many of the same events. In fact, the two books tell an almost identical story of brilliant children being trained in the orbiting Battle School to lead humanity's fleets in the final war against alien invaders known as the Buggers. The most brilliant of these young recruits is Ender Wiggin, an unparalleled commander and tactician who can surely defeat the Buggers if only he can overcome his own inner turmoil.

Second among the children is Bean, who becomes Ender's lieutenant despite the fact that he is the smallest and youngest of the Battle School students. Bean is the central character of Shadow, and we pick up his story when he is just a 2-year-old starving on the streets of a future Rotterdam that has become a hell on earth. Bean is unnaturally intelligent for his age, which is the only thing that allows him to escape--though not unscathed--the streets and eventually end up in Battle School. Despite his brilliance, however, Bean is doomed to live his life as an also-ran to the more famous and in many ways more brilliant Ender. Nonetheless, Bean learns things that Ender cannot or will not understand, and it falls to this once pathetic street urchin to carry the weight of a terrible burden that Ender must not be allowed to know.

Although it may seem like Shadow is merely an attempt by Card to cash in on the success of his justly famous Ender's Game, that suspicion will dissipate once you turn the first few pages of this engrossing novel. It's clear that Bean has a story worth telling, and that Card (who started the project with a cowriter but later decided he wanted it all to himself) is driven to tell it. And though much of Ender's Game hinges on a surprise ending that Card fans are likely well acquainted with, Shadow manages to capitalize on that same surprise and even turn the table on readers. In the end, it seems a shame that Shadow, like Bean himself, will forever be eclipsed by the myth of Ender, because this is a novel that can easily stand on its own. Luckily for readers, Card has left plenty of room for a sequel, so we may well be seeing more of Bean in the near future. --Craig E. Engler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:51 -0400)

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Bean must overcome his past and prove to the recruiters at the Battle School that he can help save the planet from an alien invasion.

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