Peter's Reviews > Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card
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Mar 13, 2011


Human interest dimension trumps geopolitics: This novel continues the story of Bean and Petra's struggle against the evil genius Achilles, last seen in Chinese custody. When Achille usurps the office of Hegemon, Bean, Petra, and Peter Wiggin must all go into hiding, where Peter experiences a taste of humility and a renewed relationship with his parents and Bean and Petra fall in love and decide to start a family. These human aspects of the plot are its strongest elements and raise this story above the level of its predeccessor.

The weakest point in any of the Bean novels is always the political dimension. I've never been convinced by Orson Scott Card's take on geopolitics. In his worldview, everybody seems to be waiting for a messiah, whether it's the united Muslims and their new caliph or the western world and the office of the Hegemon. The manner in which the character Virlomi incites wide-scale civil disobediance among rural Indians against Chinese occupation by dropping stones seemed particularly silly.

Still, I enjoyed the resolution of the Achille storyline and am intrigued by the plot threads that Card hasn't resolved yet--Bean's terminal giantism, his relationship with Petra, and the fate of their missing embryos.
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