Jeff Walden's Reviews > Ender's Shadow

Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
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Sep 14, 13

bookshelves: enders-shadow, scifi, enderverse, favorites, aliens, war
Read from September 09 to 14, 2013

Ender's Game told the story of humanity's fight against an alien takeover from the perspective of Ender Wiggin, a genius child groomed to command Earth's starships in the fight against them. This book tells the same story from the perspective of Bean, Ender's chief lieutenant. I would recommend reading Ender's Game before this book, because this book is essentially one long spoiler for that book, whereas the reverse is not true. But you don't need to have read that book to understand this one. It's merely better if you did, because the drama and reveals in that book are dependent upon information dispensed much more readily in this one.

One might cynically think that this is merely Card's attempt to milk one amazing story a bit longer. To some extent the sequels to this book (and some of the sequels to Ender's Game) certainly do that, and I don't doubt that, as a practical matter, this book made money in no small part because of its association with Ender's Game. But this book should not be pigeonholed this way. For Ender's Shadow tells Bean's own story, the story of a genius even smarter than Ender: from his hardscrabble formative years on the streets of Rotterdam, to his time in Battle School with Ender, to his time assisting Ender in battles. The story is not about Ender, or about the events of Ender's Game, and it does not focus on that story -- it's about Bean and how he views and influences those events, and about his own life and its concerns.

It's generally very hard to pull off sequels, prequels, or retellings as good as the originals -- but there's a strong claim that Ender's Shadow does just that. If forced to compare the two I would probably rate Ender's Game higher than Ender's Shadow, but it's a close thing. Read Ender's Game first, but read them both.
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09/09/2013 marked as: currently-reading
09/14/2013 marked as: read
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