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Shadow Puppets

(The Shadow Series #3)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  56,588 ratings  ·  1,133 reviews
Bestselling author Orson Scott Card brings to life a new chapter in the saga of Ender's Earth.

Earth and its society have been changed irrevocably in the aftermath of Ender Wiggin's victory over the Formics. The unity forced upon the warring nations by an alien enemy has shattered. Nations are rising again, seeking territory and influence, and most of all, seeking to contro
Paperback, 384 pages
Published June 16th 2003 by Tor Science Fiction (first published August 9th 2002)
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Average rating 3.90  · 
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 ·  56,588 ratings  ·  1,133 reviews

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Spider the Doof Warrior
May 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
Petra- I want to have your babies, Bean, even if you have a fatal genetic disease that might pass down to the kids and kill them painfully at a young age.

Bean-I don't want you to have my babies because I have a fatal genetic disease that might pass down to the kids and kill them painfully at a young age and anyway, I'm not human.

Anton-Even though I'm gay, I'm going to marry a woman and have babies with her because you can't be gay and be part of the Web of Life. You have to marry someone of the
Nov 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
I've got to speak some truth to power: This is a lousy book.

Ender's Game was pretty cool. The other three books in the Enderverse were progressively less good, but still all right. The first two books in the Beanverse (or whatever we want to call them)... not so great, but kind of fun, I guess? But this one. Oh my.

Why did I finish this? I admit that I read half of it six months ago, was so bored with it that I put it down again, and then just recently finished it up because I didn't have anythi



For those of you interested in learning to make hand “shadow puppets” or reading more about the movie starring “James Marsters,” I invite you to check out their entries in Wikipedia for more information. For those interested in the origin and history of the band consisting of Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys and Miles Kane of The should be ashamed of yourselves and I will not be an enabler for you.

For this review, we will be d
Mandie McGlynn
Mar 27, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, seriously
Shelves: unfinished, reviewed
I used to be the sort of person who prided herself on not quitting a book. Much as I flit from one project to another, leaving things unfinished, books and movies deserved my full efforts, no matter how abysmal they might seem in the beginning.

Thanks to a run of bad novels, I've changed my mind. Life is too short to finish a book that doesn't grip you. It's definitely too short to finish a book that makes you roll your eyes, chapter after chapter.

I trudged through the first hour or two of this
Bailey Kleinberg
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
As the Ender series progresses each book gets significantly sadder. I thought Ender's Shadow was brilliant, I love the parallel novel and I love Bean.
This book had some fatal flaws however. What happened to Petra? When did she become a character whose only desire is to pop out a couple of kids and take the minivan to soccer practice? Was she not the best sharpshooter in the whole Battle School? It's as if Card redefines her entire life by the fact that she was the one who cracked up there on Er
Maria Dobos
Plăcută, dar nu atât de incitantă ca primele două volume ale seriei.

In ciuda intrigilor pe care le-a țesut în favoarea Chinei și care au condus la cucerirea Indiei de către acesta, Ahile este întemnițat. In același timp, încercând să medieze conflictele militare care macină planeta și amenință echilibrul precar de după încheierea războiului cu "furnicile", Peter Wiggin devine Hegemonul Pământului, un titlu ce îi oferă mai mult prestigiu decât putere. După ce află că Peter plănuiește să-l elibere
Chris Friend
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ender or sci-fi fans
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 num
Dec 06, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book would be how Orson Scott Card would novelize watching Bella and Edward play Risk. So, you know, if you're into that kind of thing it's really gonna be your cup of tea. I skimmed over all the "zomg baaaaaaaaaaaabeeeeeeeeeees" angst and just read the political/military strategy sections. Not the strongest book in the series. ...more
May 10, 2007 rated it did not like it
This is the first truly bad book I have read by Card. The story from the political standpoint is not terrible. It is just a "what-if" future political thriller in the Enderverse. However, Card is basically telling you that you should have babies, and that babies are the most important thing in the world, and if you don't have all the babies you can have by the time you die you are selfish and stupid and don't really know what life is all about.

OK. I get it, Orson. You like babies.

I think my thou
RJ - Slayer of Trolls
Not as bad as the majority of reviews would have you believe, but there are some valid criticisms to be made. OSC's finest efforts in this series are likely behind him (Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender's Shadow) while this volume more closely resembles the remainder. Trite dialogue, over-writing, long dull stretches, and confounding and baffling leaps of logic drag the story down. It is said that this book and Shadow of the Hegemon were originally one book but were split in order to all ...more
Nicholas Karpuk
Mar 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: surrendered
I gave up on this book about halfway through. I seem to recall saying I'd give up on the Shadow books after the last one, but this was loaned to me, so I have that comfort at least.

This book is uncomfortably fixated on breeding. The opinions espoused on passing on genetics in this book rival the weird rantings from Xenocide when it comes to sheer needless ranting. Unfortunately, this book lacks the solid plot buried beneath the blather.

Card is still playing a game of Risk with world powers, and
Anna Dalvi
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it
....and here Orson Scott Card goes off the deep end, and uses his characters to push the agenda of marriage being sacrosanct and between one man and one woman only.

I had heard he was opposed to same-sex marriage, but as the issue wasn't addressed in the books, I had thought he kept his writing separate from his political views. But dialogue in this book degenerated into a multi-page rant about a man marrying a woman is the meaning of life. Procreation is the meaning of the union, although he 'ge
Sarah Capps
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Well, Card basically destroyed Petra. At one point she was one of the best and only female battle school kids. Now all she wants out of life is babies, apparently, but this isn't a strange character shift because making babies is the deepest desire of all women, or so Card would have me believe. Also, Card needed to pick up a thesaurus and find a word synonymous with 'babies.' I also felt the extent to which a lot of the characters feared Achilles never seemed to be supported in the work. Whenev ...more
May 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
The Post-Bugger war for control of Earth grinds on, but Card's main interest seems to lie in philosophizing at length--mostly about the innate, evolutionary need of humans to reproduce, whether they like it or not, and he uses formerly-interesting characters Bean and Petra as his mouthpieces. The villain, Achilles, becomes even more of a ridiculous bugbear, and less of an actual character.

I have a great deal of respect for Card as an author, but the "Shadow" series, after such a magnificent star
Mar 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Ender's Game is one of most favorite books. It was so good that Card managed to tell the same exact story all over again from a different angle (with Ender's Shadow) and still make it fantastic. Shadow of the Hegemon was fine.

But this--this is a miserable book. It made me physically ill. He took the characters that I knew and loved and made them spout hetero-normative bullshit and "BABIES BABIES BAAAAAABIES," said Petra.

I haven't disliked a book this much in recent memory. 2/3rds in and I couldn
Sep 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
The single worst reading experience of my adult life.

If you're like me and blissfully ignored Orson Scott Card's personal politics and enjoyed both the Ender and Shadow series, your ignorance ends sharply with Shadow Puppets. Card's views on homosexuality, abortion, and Muslims are not only apparent, but central to the plot line, despite no relevance to the previous books. And what makes it even more unbearable is that after going out of his way to fit all of these into Bean's story, very little
Kathryn Fulton
Sep 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
Orson Scott Card is fantastic at imagining political and social futures, and at tracing way small decisions lead to worldwide changes. He is very good at internal monologues from characters tortured by deep questions about the morality of their actions and about their own nature.

He should probably not try to write romance. Or, possibly, dialogue. Petra jumps into this book completely obsessed with having Bean's babies. And no, that is not a euphemism for having sex with him. She doesn't seem to
Sep 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook, sci-fi
The magical battle school children and Achilles are at it again. The character of Achilles has jumped the shark several books ago and is even more ridiculous in Shadow Puppets, succeeding in basically kidnapping the world government for himself, despite the fact that he has no support left anywhere in the world.

The geopolitical stuff with the war in Indochina is fairly interesting (now the Muslim coalition is entering the fray), as are Peter Wiggin's attempts to reclaim the Hegemony for himself.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is
Nick Dasher
Dec 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
As with the Ender series, the third entry in the Shadow series is not quite as good as the first few. It is still a lot of fun though if you're willing to look past a few classic OSC-face-palm moments. The occasional bouts of slight misogyny or vague homophobia completely ruin OSC's books for some, and that's a real shame because, in my opinion, the moments of brilliance far outweigh the gaffes. There is a lot to love about this book.

I firmly believe that this man has a good heart and means no w
Zachary Flessert
Jul 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Fundamentally, I don't think I can understand Orson Scott Card. Even if Bean is able to get into Achille's head, I don't get why Card is writing such awful novels. He should have ended it all after Children of the Mind (which should have been annexed into Xenocide). Ender's Shadow may lie as the only exception.

The book is shallow, shamelessly upholds and proselytizes Christian values but you don't think about it because Card is using an atheist character to do it. While Speaker and Xenocide dea
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I reread this one almost in one sitting after a good 10 year gap. Funny enough, I remembered a LOT of this book, which I can't say about most books really. There are some really memorable moments that stick with you involving Peter, his parents, and (of course) our main characters.

I think the big problem I have with this book is just how violently the focus shifts from military action to sloppy, sentimental romance. Sure, I love the sloppy stuff as much as the next person, but it's Bean that see
Seamus Quigley
Well, what a disappointment this book turned out to be.

A bit more context; after reading Ender’s Game I was blown away and eager for more. Speaker for the Dead and it’s sequels were disappointing. They weren’t bad, they were just very different in tone to Ender’s Game. Finding the Shadow series proved to be a boon. Much closer in tone and time, Ender’s Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon proved to be the sequels I was looking for.

Then this book happened.

The geopolitics and strategy that so gripped
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Austin Wright
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm going through the 10 novels in the Enderverse, and this one is my 8th (Shadow of the Giant, and Shadows in Flight are the last two). I really liked the previous 7 books, but this book was just a dud.

We get it, Card. You think a sperm and egg are a full human being. I didn't really need a Muslim character discussing this at length...then an Othodox Christian discussing this at length...then the Catholic Church's position agreeing with this....then somehow Bean the Atheist jumps on the pro-lif
Apr 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Third in the Shadow series, this book follows Bean and other characters from Ender's Game / Ender's Shadow, including Ender's brother Peter, and looks at events that occured on Earth after Ender went off into space.

The importance of Ender is repeatedly stressed, and gets more and more awkward throughout the Shadow series because Ender is, well, gone. This and the other Shadow books are more geopolitical, and therefore boring (to me - personal preference). I've just never been a current events ty
Apr 18, 2014 rated it did not like it
a complete disappointment. witness the demise of a great science fiction premise to a rambling religious tome.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have so many criticisms about where Card took the characters of this book, that I genuinely don't know where to begin. The more I read, the more this seemed like an entirely new cast of people who played no part in the events of the previous two Shadow books, and, especially after enjoying the other two books so much, I found it exhausting.

First, we come to a bunch of internal monologues from Petra that we've heard before about how she came to love Bean, which I could accept if A) they weren't
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Constantin Heller
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Again I will start this off by saying that I normally don't review books, whether I enjoyed them or not.
But what happened here is just a shame, really.

I love the Ender series, I have been devouring book after book plus several short stories. But what started out in the previous book has become such an annoying yet huge part of this book, that quite honestly at times I felt like tossing it in the bin.

Let me get the boring part of the review out of the way first: This is a pure bridging book, and
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th

Other books in the series

The Shadow Series (6 books)
  • Ender's Shadow (The Shadow Series, #1)
  • Shadow of the Hegemon (The Shadow Series, #2)
  • Shadow of the Giant (Ender's Shadow, #4)
  • Shadows in Flight (Ender's Shadow, #5)
  • The Last Shadow (Ender's Saga, #6)

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“It will hurt." said Petra. "But let's make the most of what we have, and not let future pain ruin present happiness.” 57 likes
“So you love me," said Petra softly when the kiss ended.

I'm a raging mass of hormones thet I'm too young to understand," said Bean. "You're a female of a closely related species. According to all the best primatologists, I really have no choice."

That's nice," she said...”
More quotes…