Book Review: Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card

RATING: StarStarStarStar

Genre: Young Adult > Science Fiction

(Shadow #1)

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 brains.

Bean is a genius with a magician’s ability to zero in on his enemy and exploit his weakness.

What better quality for a future general to lead the Earth in a final climactic battle against a hostile alien race, known as Buggers. At Battleschool Bean meets and befriends another future commander – Ender Wiggins – perhaps his only true rival.

Only one problem: for Bean and Ender, the future is now.

Parallel novel: Ender’s Game review

*****

I cannot believe it’s been five months since I read Ender’s Shadow and I have yet to write its review like, right now. It’s not as much as I could not put my coherent thoughts in place, but perhaps it is hard to give justice to the brilliance of Ender’s and Bean’s story.

Bean is a freakin’ genius. In Ender’s Game, he wasn’t much of a favorite because he barely registered in my radar while reading it. Imagine me getting a little surprised that a parallel book was written for Bean’s story. I asked myself, then: is he really that strong a character that he needs a book on his own? I dunno. But reading Ender’s Shadow was worth the doubt.

I just find Bean too good to be true. You know? I mean, I know I will always be an Ender Wiggins fan. This book said that Bean is almost an equal to Ender, but to me? No, not really. Ender is far more human in the aspects of guilt, remorse, and conscience. And for that, he has more edge than Bean. I thought Bean’s character too technical and too perfect for my taste in heroes. Still, he captivated me with the raw innocence he unknowingly has because of the decisions of the adults before his time.

Ender’s Shadow is a terrific companion novel of Ender’s Game. It brought me back to the viciousness of battle school. I believe I will be a completist of the Ender (and Shadow) series. :D

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