This sequel to Ender's Shadow
was a lot of fun. It serves better at any rate as a sequel to Shadow than it does as a sequel to Ender's Game
. Orson Scott Card
does a great job in developing Bean further and he's very consistent with previous development. The novel is, of course, centered on Bean as he exploits his training and background from the International Fleet battle school as war breaks out on Earth.
Peter Wiggin, on the other hand, feels like a different person from the one described in Ender's Game. I think Card missed the greater opportunity here. The main character of the novel is already well-developed and we get to see him act in a dramatically different and exciting setting. Peter, on the other hand, is more thinly sketched. I wish he had been more fully and consistently developed. When he speaks or acts, it seems incredibly weak compared to his previous performance. His accomplishments are amazing, as we would expect from the character's prior setup, but he always accomplishes them offstage. It is simply stated that he has moved world governments in the background. I would have liked to see more of Peter, and particularly more of the Peter I know and fear. :-)
In addition to Bean, Achilles is also wonderfully developed. By contrast to Peter, he is developing into such a larger than life character that it stretches plausibility. That's easy to forgive though -- our heroes need a villain to fight. I can't wait for the next installment to watch the battle continue.
Like I said above, but more so. This is great for character development, and quite poor as geopolitical melodrama.