bj's Reviews > Ender's Shadow

Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card
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Aug 07, 2007

it was ok
Read in August, 2007

This book was definitely not as good as Ender's Game. The best parts of Ender's Game were the action parts, and also the parts where Ender would be faced with a problem and he had to come up with a clever way to fix it. But in Ender's Shadow, Bean is the main character and he tends to be much less subtle than Ender. He also spends an absurd amount of time thinking, just thinking and thinking. It's like... dude. STFU! Maybe if he thought about interesting stuff, but he spends most of his time thinking about military tactics and politics and his own relations with people when he was a baby. Also, one of Bean's character traits is that he's very small, so there's no hand-to-hand combat with him in the way that there was with Ender. All the parts that might have been hand-to-hand combat in Ender's Game were instead replaced with pages and pages of--you guessed it!--thinking.

Card seems to enjoy going off on this boring tangents wherein his characters have cryptic discussions about religion and the military--two subjects I really couldn't care less about. Which brings me to the religion parts of this book. Bean's caretaker for a while is a nun and often the narration will return to her story. Those are by far the worst parts of the book and I often found myself skipping them. I don't care about the adults of the Ender books. I care about the kids and the Battle School. And I especially don't care about the theological beliefs of every single minor character in the series.

Anyway, I would go so far as to say that this book ruined Ender's Game for me. It was so horrible in so many ways that it's eclipsed the coolness that was Ender's Game. And one thing's for sure: I'm not reading any more books in this series.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Melissa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new)

Melissa I'll never read Ender's Shadow but this review was a jolly good read! Someone should have warned you that Card is a crazy Mormon nutcase. I read Ender's Game a long time ago but I remember a lot of details, like how he beats that impossible-to-beat video game giant. That was cool. On the other hand, though, I also remember how Ender's rational, peace-loving sister and more warlike, fiery brother team up to hide their identities and write opposing editorials, creating a following, and then having the brother "suddenly" switch sides to support the sister's pro-peace viewpoint, thus also changing the viewpoints of the brother's huge, Rush-Limbaugh-like following. I thought that was brilliant, and I actually found it pretty inspiring. So, while the action was fun, the philosophy was... not bad. And the falling action felt unworthy of what preceded it, but it also aligned philosophically with my own personal viewpoints, even if it was a little namby-pamby after all the video game warrin' and riddlin'.


Caleb This review is an epic fail. It appears you like action better than a good plot filled with deeply rich characters. To each there own, but I'm glad you point out the book is about thinking. It takes a thinking person to recognize the value of Ender's Shadow.


Devin Wallace I don't believe you should be telling any child what to read if you, yourself, cannot handle and comprehend a deeper emotional level than the one found in Ender's Game. If children killing each other is your thing, I understand. But if you enjoy a book that has something beyond fistfights between kids, Ender's Shadow surpasses Ender's Game by a longshot.


message 4: by Leo (new) - rated it 4 stars

Leo Opinions are opinions after all, so I'm going to voice mine. Look, the reason why you didn't enjoy this is because you CAN'T comprehend Bean's train of thought. He unveils the entire plot of the book, all by himself, simply by making very educated guesses. Also, the theological beliefs of the characters also parallels the storyline in case you didn't notice. Read it again when you've got some brains.


Micah Kitzler These two series ( Ender's game, and Shadow) are both critiques on today's society. Yes, you can read them as just cool science fiction stories, but you will find as you go deeper into both series that the stories get less action packed and more thought provoking. I also find myself at points wishing that Bean would finish his thoughts and actually do stuff, but I never skipped a part, because everything turned out to be important in the end especially the parts with adults.
The "adult parts" of this book were definitely more important and interesting than the "adult parts" in Ender's Game for a few reasons. For one, the main adult in this book, Sister Carlotta, actually had personal contact with Bean before most of the "adult parts". She was also finding out more about Bean and why he is different. This is very important towards the end of this book and super important throughout the rest of the Ender's Shadow series as Bean grows in ways that you would only understand if you read those sections. These sections also housed a subplot which wasn't necessary, but made it interesting.


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