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Shadow of the Hegemon (2001)

by Orson Scott Card

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ender's Shadow (2), Ender's Game: Extended (9B), Enderverse (9B)

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6,469421,069 (3.72)40
Bean and other members of Ender's Dragon Army return to Earth after their victory in the Formic War. All but Bean are soon mysteriously kidnapped; Bean turns to Ender's brother Peter for help.

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» See also 40 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Hegemon leaves the confines of Battle School to enter a world of international politics, and as much as I love international politics, I was glad Card didn't abandon the characters and character-level plot. Bean grows, Petra grows, Peter grows (though he's relatively ancillary--he's neither protagonist nor antagonist), Achilles...doesn't really grow. In Ender's Shadow, for a few paragraphs, we actually saw into Achilles' mind. In this book, we see him act and others' evaluations of his behavior, but they add nothing new to his personality--in fact they fail to draw on the peak we got in the previous book.

Over all, this book is similar in style to the previous two and added an aspect I very much enjoy (high-level politics, not just individuals bickering and seeking power), but I didn't enjoy it quite as much. Achilles did not interest me, and the genius of Bean, Peter, etc. occasionally felt unbelievable to me when applied to human behavior rather than strategy. There's a point where Bean insists Achilles would have at least three back-ups--why at least three? I don't care how smart Achilles is or how well Bean knows him. Humans make decisions far too arbitrarily and options are far too varied to be predicted with that degree of specificity. Attempts to display the intelligence of the characters ranged from really good to kind of terrible.

Though not as good as Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow, this is definitely worth reading if you loved the previous two in this thread. ( )
  lkbm | Jan 23, 2020 |
Aside from a few chapters, that was a slog. ( )
  AngelClaw | Oct 18, 2019 |
Shadow of the Hegemon explains the political situation in Ender Universe after the end of the Formic War (the war against the buggers). This is nice, since we did not learn too much about this in the previous books, either in the original Ender's Game series or Ender's Shadow.

It does so mostly by following the lives of the two most prominent battle school cadets that have remained on Earth - Bean and Petra Arkanian, of Ender's brother Peter and of Bean's old nemesis, the psychopath Achilles. Yes, these brilliant children are still at the forefront of the global socio-political struggle for power and their personal fates are deeply interconnected with the new arrangement of power following the bugger wars.

Now, this does stretch credulity a little. If it does seem plausible that countries would value full battle school grads like Bean and Petra enough to kidnap them and use them as strategic planners, it beggars belief that they would allow an established psycho-kid battle school dropout, serial murderer Achilles take full command of their military. Really, are all adult military commanders and political leaders in Ender Universe so inept that a single teenager can manipulate them into letting him run their full strategic command? Even when it is completely obvious that the military strategy he employs is completely wrong and leads to defeat? Even when he betrays them and moves to a rival country, again and again? Really, Card, come on. I know he needed a bad guy but all this Achilles business is nonsense.

Otherwise, this is quite a fun read. It's a bit of Tom Clancy in Ender Universe, but without all the military equipment fetishism and with more familiar, likable characters that we know from previous books at the center of the global struggle, which makes the whole strategic maneuvering more personal to the reader. ( )
  matija2019 | Jan 8, 2019 |
Apparently I *have* read this. Will have to reread since it's been >10 years since I did so....
  Daumari | Dec 30, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Card, Orson Scottprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Birney, DavidNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
de Cuir, GabrielleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falkenstern, LisaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, BobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Charles Benjamin Card
You are always with us,
you see through all the shadows,
and we hear your strong voice
singing in our dreams
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Nothing looked right in Armenia when Petra Arkanian returned home.
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Bean and other members of Ender's Dragon Army return to Earth after their victory in the Formic War. All but Bean are soon mysteriously kidnapped; Bean turns to Ender's brother Peter for help.

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