Chris Friend's Reviews > Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card
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's review
Mar 15, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: Ender or sci-fi fans
Read in March, 2008

This was quite a relief.

I'll admit that I'm growing a bit tired of the "Enderverse" as it's so often called. The cast of characters Card created are great, but I'm growing a bit tired of having so many books covering the same people. The Shadow series was a nice change of pace, but the previous book had been a bit slow in the action, feeling like the author was treading water.

Card got a fire lit under his butt. This book makes up for lost time and moves through events quite well. There are a number of crucial moments in the plot that excited me simply because I had no idea how they would turn out, and each time they did so perfectly logically, as though there was no other possible outcome.

Card is great at explaining situations and revealing plot points at just the right moment, providing readers with the right information at the right time, to ensure that the suspense and pacing are moderated exceptionally well. This story is a fantastic example of his abilities. Enough characters are involved, enough plotting is being discussed, and enough ploys are put into motion that it's all quite interesting and even nail-biting-worthy. The characters have senses of humor that had me laugh out loud on several occasions, and the end of the book is quite rewarding, making the book simply *feel* like it was worth reading.

This was certainly my favorite book of Card's since Ender's Shadow, and I think this one pulls more adeptly at the emotions. While I didn't cry here (like I did for Ender's Shadow), I certainly cared what happened to each of the characters. I had respect for them, I was sad for them, and I laughed with them, all in turn. An awful lot is revealed about a number of the characters who have been in the stories for quite some time, and the revelations alone are enough to drive the story on. The fact that there are so many twists and turns involved make it that much better.

For Card to take such a large cast of characters, such a broad playing field, and such a variety of situations and work them together so smoothly into a series that is already so full of scenarios and surprises is impressive, admirable, commendable, and entirely worth experiencing.
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