Shadow Puppets

So now we come to the 7th book in the Ender series by Orson Scott Card.  Well, either the 7th book in the series as a whole or the third book in the Shadow series which revolves around Bean and the events on Earth just after Ender’s Game.  Either way, on with the review.

Book Stats

372 pages

Science Fiction

7th book in the Ender series (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon)

Characters

This book is much like Xenocide and Children of the Mind in that it feels like it was originally one book that was split into two.  It’s also the 7th book in the Ender series, and if you don’t know the characters by this point, you won’t ever know them.  This book revolves primarily around Bean and Petra.  After the events of Shadow of the Hegemon, Petra falls in love with Bean and the book deals largely with their lives together.  As always, Card’s characters are very believable and interesting to read about.

Setting

Future Earth, just after the events of Shadow of the Hegemon.

Plot

After Bean rescues Petra at the end of book 6, she falls for him and decides to try and convince Bean to have a child with her.  At first Bean is adamantly against this because he knows about his genetic changes and he doesn’t want to pass them on to a child.  Ultimately Petra is able to convince him otherwise, of course this causes all kinds of other problems for them.  While all of this is going on in their lives, there’s still a war being fought in Asia, and Achilles is still around trying to undermine Peter’s attempts to unite the world – and doing a very good job of it.  For the first time Peter makes several big mistakes, and he has to change plans on the fly and deal with Achilles, who works to undermine his authority from inside Peter’s own compound.

Enjoyment

There was a lot going on in this book, but ultimately, I didn’t think the two main plots worked together very well.  Bean’s plot and Peter’s plot have intersecting moments, and there are times when they influence each other greatly, but the balance in the book didn’t work for me.

In Shadow of the Hegemon, both Bean and Peter were fighting against achilles.  Even though they were doing it for different reasons, they both had the same goal, and were able to support each other in carrying out those goals.  In this book their goals are separated, and while they’re not openly working against each other, they aren’t supporting each other either.  Both plot arcs are resolved at the same time, but they’re too disparate for my taste throughout the course of the book.

Overall Grade

This is probably the weakest book in the Ender series to this point, but a weak book by Card is still worth reading.

6/10

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1 Comment

  1. June 2012 Month in Review « Reviews and Ramblings

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