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Ender's Shadow

(The Shadow Series #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  164,213 ratings  ·  5,512 reviews
Welcome to Battleschool.

Growing up is never easy. But try living on the mean streets as a child begging for food and fighting like a dog with ruthless gangs of starving kids who wouldn't hesitate to pound your skull into pulp for a scrap of apple. If Bean has learned anything on the streets, it's how to survive. And not with fists. He is way too small for that. But with br
Paperback, 469 pages
Published May 19th 2002 by Starscape (first published October 1st 1999)
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Lane Nope. I read Ender's Game and went right to this one. I actually liked being able to see the same story from another perspective, see what the others …moreNope. I read Ender's Game and went right to this one. I actually liked being able to see the same story from another perspective, see what the others were doing while Ender was losing his mind at command school. (less)
Teriya Ki This book is Ender's Game from Bean's perspective.

As much as I loved EG, I hate to say that the following stories were no where near as exciting. That…more
This book is Ender's Game from Bean's perspective.

As much as I loved EG, I hate to say that the following stories were no where near as exciting. That doesn't mean they're bad, but they're... decent... I guess... Except for Ender in Exile. Ender in Exile is one of the few books with the unenviable distinction of being "Top 5 (or Bottom 5?) WORST BOOKS I'VE EVER READ!!!"

In fact, I'm not sure if there are any other titles in this top 5 list.

Ender's Shadow is almost as good as Ender's Game, which is saying a lot. The series of Ender's Shadow is very entertaining, more so than the EG series.


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Average rating 4.30  · 
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J.L.   Sutton
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“I don't freeze up because it isn't my battle. I'm helping. I'm watching. But I'm free. Because it's Ender's game.”

2021: Another fantastic reading of Ender's Shadow! I'm hoping to find time to continue on with Ender's Saga.

Not sure if this was my third or fourth read of Ender's Shadow. Couldn't believe I had never reviewed it (or some of the other Ender books I reread this year). So I really enjoyed this book, which is a parallel novel of Ender's Game. And if you're wondering, I would be on Tea

4.0 to 4.5 stars. Okay, now don't turn away thinking that this book is just a "re-telling" of the story of Ender's Game from the perspective of the character of Bean. Not at all. This is not simply OSC cashing in on the success of the Ender Series. This is a completely different novel and there is little to no overlap in the actual events of Ender's Game. It simply takes place at the same time as those events.

The purpose of this story is two fold. First, we get to really know Bean who turns
Sep 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, top-10-scifi, audio
Very impressed with how good this was. I count myself in the party that there shouldn't have been anything past Ender's Game (like The Matrix and most any sequels Hollywood makes nowadays), but I have to admit this was great.

As a parallel novel to Orson Scott Card's classic Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow follows Bean, the kid Ender treats like the teachers treated him.

While hesitant to pick this up, I had heard that the Shadow series is better than the original quartet, but I couldn't get away fro
Nicholas Karpuk
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Strategy Nerds, Nerds, Risk Enthusiasts (Nerds), Angry Dwarves, and Sci Fi Enthusiasts
When I read a description of a book summing it up as a retelling of a story from a different perspective, I groan internally and my interest wanes slightly.

Ender's Shadow follows those exact lines. We switch from Ender's perspective to Bean's, the brilliant dwarf child who serves under his command.

What shocked me the most was how much more I preferred Bean's perspective. Ender grew up with a loving family and had a generally conventional outlook for a genius. Bean functions as a direct contradic
Kat Kennedy
Feb 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I personally found that I enjoyed Ender's Shadow more than Ender's Game.

Perhaps because I found Bean, as a character, more relatable in how he analyzes and views people and the world in general. He also felt more real as a character in that he is awkward and clueless and greatly flawed.

The pacing for this book is a little less smooth in comparison to Ender's Game. The plot, on the other hand, is a little better as you have a greater insight into the background workings of Ender's success. Graff
R.K. Gold
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
While Ender's Game taught me that reading is fun, Ender's shadow is my favorite book (and series) in the Ender Universe. Ender may be the hero the universe needed but Bean is the most powerful weapon the universe had. The down and dirty story of an orphan child who had to learn to survive on his own at the age of four and looked on the world in contempt is just the hero I needed to re-introduce myself to Card's work.
I read this book back when I worked at Barnes and Noble and would sneak reads be
Aug 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
This is the simplified version of Ender's Game for the kiddie set that can't handle rich characters with moral ambiguity, moral introspection, and character growth.

Card does great work teaching people how to re-imagine stories from different viewpoints and with different motivations in his workshops. It's a shame that he didn't demonstrate it here.

Instead, we get Bean (a great character in the original story) as a classic Mary Sue, a wish-fulfillment character with all of Ender's skill but none
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This book tried really hard to ruin Ender's Game for me. The premise of the book is that Ender wasn't really the hero of his own book, but that his course was manipulated and prodded onward by an even greater genius, in the form of Bean, a member of Ender's army.

Bean had a brutal upbringing on the streets, and somehow ended up in Battle School, where he takes over the computer system and runs everything by the time he's six. He ensures that Ender ends up saving the world -- without his help, En
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book made me wish I could forget that I had ever read Ender’s Game.

Not because it was necessarily a better book – though it is longer – but because the two books offer different views of the same events from two distinctly different perspectives.

Ender Wiggin is brilliant and empathetic, a boy torn apart by his own doubts and fears and driven to greatness by a government that sees him simply as a means to an end. It is only his ability to understand and come to love those around him that ge
Maria Dobos
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
...dacă nu ar fi coperta asta care pe mine mă îngrozește, aș spune ca e perfectă.

Publicată la treisprezece ani după Jocul lui Ender , Umbra lui Ender urmărește evoluția lui Bean, unul dintre personajele inițial secundare ale aventurii lui Ender. Orfan, mult prea firav pentru vârsta sa și fără să-și cunoască prea mult trecutul, Bean reușește să supraviețuiască în iadul străzilor din Rotterdam datorită inteligenței sale. Abilitățile lui neobișnuite atrag atenția sorei Carlotta care îl recomandă
Jan 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Ender's Game:
There's this really, really smart kid, see, and he's lonely, and he has to do really hard stuff, and adults are mean.

OK. I can get with that.

Ender's Shadow:
Oh, but I forgot to mention, there's this OTHER kid, who's even smarter, like really, really, REALLY smart, and he's also even lonelier, and he has to do even harder stuff, and the adults are even meaner.

Give me a break. Yawn. I think Card is great but this is just ridiculous. I read Shadow of the Hegemon but quit after that.
Ender’s Shadow: Better than expected - Ender’s Game from Bean’s perspective
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Ender’s Game was a SF book so successful and critically acclaimed that it launched Orson Scott Card’s career for decades to come. In fact, it’s fair to say that the story of Ender Wiggins is one of the most popular SF novels the genre has ever produced, to the point of getting the full-budget Hollywood treatment in 2013 (grossing $125 million on a budget of around $110-115 million) w
Kyle Johnson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
Almost everyone I talked to about Ender's Game, told me I should read Ender's Shadow, it's just as good, if not better. So naturally, I was super pumped to get my hands on Card's retelling of one of my favorite tales. Instead, however, I found that after the first couple chapters, it was getting harder and harder to read the book without wanting to chuck it out the window.

Here are the main reasons why this book drove me completely bananas and caused me to finally abandon it 200 pages in:

1. The
Marie Lu
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Should really be read in tandem w/ Ender's Game, actually. I consider the two as one book. ...more
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, sff
With all honesty, I don’t know what to say right after I finished this book. The book never failed to impress me as it failed my first impression. Yes—my first impression. The fact that I didn’t read yet the Ender’s Game series made me hesitate in pursuing reading the Ender’s Shadow. Credit to Orson Scott for initializing the reason why should I read the book through his well written foreword. Another thing, I’m not deep into novels which set above the earth—or in other words, the outer space. G ...more
Davyne DeSye
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic!

This is a “parallel novel” to Ender’s Game (which is one of my favorite books of all time). So what is a “parallel novel?” Just what it sounds like! In Ender’s Game, we meet many of Ender’s fellow students in Battle School. In this book, Ender’s Shadow, we follow the life of another student, Bean, who is one of Ender’s friends in the original book. We are briefly introduced to Bean’s life on Earth before he is called to Battle School, and the book ends in approximately the t
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Since Ender’s Game is my all time fav, so is this. ❤️
Mike (the Paladin)
This edition comes with a forward by Mr. Card in which he expresses the opinion that his "later books" in the Ender series are "better" than the first "Ender's Game" but that the first book is action packed, adventurous, and has a boy as main character, so it appeals to younger readers. Thus the greater sales etc. are due to the number of younger readers. Well, I suppose that is part of it. But, even though Mr. Card is the writer, I must "on the whole" disagree with him. The first book is just.. ...more
Jan 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's read Ender's Game
Recommended to Annalisa by: Michelle
I think I may have like this better than Ender's Game. Maybe I wouldn't have liked it at all if I had read them back to back or had read it rather than listened to it, but trying to remember the sequences in Ender's Game as I read them from a different perspective was interesting. I enjoyed seeing the story from the one training just in case Ender fails. Bean's impassionate analysis vs Ender's emotional turmoil. The kid you don't quite like at first because he's too self-confident in his intelli ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

I first read this when it was new-ish. Already a big fan of Ender’s Game, I read the two books back-to-back. That was cool; I recommend that.

Bean gets his own series, starting here. He is known for being small and smart, but he has a huge backstory that is gripping and mysterious. Pacing is right on; characterization is great, even for the minor characters; it’s just done very well.

I did the re-read on audio. Scott Brick is the main narrator, but there are about half a dozen others for
I was blown away by Ender's Shadow. I was surprised that a re-telling of Ender's Game from Bean's perspective could be so enjoyable. I loved Ender's Game more after reading Ender's Shadow as it added a depth and new level of understanding to circumstances I thought I already fully grasped. I tip my hat to Orson Scott Card for this brilliant display of story telling. Love it! ...more
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was ok
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 thi ...more
Chris Friend
Jan 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone. That's right.

I just cried while listening to an audio book. Even more amazing is that this book was the re-telling of a story I've already read, only told from a different perspective. Orson Scott Card is amazing. I'm now looking forward to the other books in the shadow series.

The audiobook was, like all others in this terrific series, fantastically well-executed. Full-cast reading, but no audio effects. Nothing is done to cheapen the conveyance of the story, but oh so much is done to elevate it beyond m
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! It was a little confusing at first. The time period, and the whole situation that Bean was in was really weird and I didn’t understand it until a bit later. When I did start to comprehend what was happening, I became more interested in the book and wanted to read more of it. The end was the best part by far. It was very intense and detailed, and kind of sad.
I really want to read more of these novels. I’d love to read all of the other perspectives. It’s really interesting that
Jason Witter
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I found it fascinating how Card used this as a parallel to Enders Games. He was able to take my favorite character from Enders Game and tell the same story from a much different and more interesting perspective. This novel follows Bean from early childhood up through the ranks within battle school and command school. I would suggest reading this book AFTER you have read Enders Game.
Dregus Ilies
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great new perspective about the actions taking place in Ender's Game ! And the Bean Saga really looks promising! Hope the other volumes are as good! ...more
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He's done it twice!!! Just as good as Ender's game, might even be slightly better. ...more
When I first heard Orson Scott Card had written a parallel story to Ender's Game, dealing with virtually the same events as the original book but told from another character's perspective, I thought it was a cheap way to cash in on the success of his first bestseller. Like many people, though, I had to eat my words after reading Ender's Shadow. For not only is it as gripping a read as Ender's Game, but in some regards it is actually a better book.

Ender's Shadow centres on one of Ender's lieutena
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Ender's Game fanatics
I am ashamed to admit that I've never finished the Ender's Game original set. But I did read Ender's Shadow, which I think most people really liked. I didn't mind it, but I have some serious reservations.

First, the original story is better. This re-telling isn't near as fun. It takes longer to get to the GOOD story, though it is interesting to see the background on this kid.

Most of what I disliked, though, is that this re-interpretation is NOT what Card originally had in mind when he wrote Ender
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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)
  • Shadow of the Hegemon (The Shadow Series, #2)
  • Shadow Puppets (The Shadow Series, #3)
  • Shadow of the Giant (The Shadow Series, #4)
  • Shadows in Flight (The Shadow Series, #5)
  • The Last Shadow (The Shadow Series, #6)

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