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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 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 control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School. But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Ender's older, more ruthless, brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistible call on the loyalty of Earth's young warriors. With Bean at his side, the two will reshape our future. Here is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army, as they take their places in the new government of Earth.


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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 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 control the skills and loyalty of the children from the Battle School. But one person has a better idea. Peter Wiggin, Ender's older, more ruthless, brother, sees that any hope for the future of Earth lies in restoring a sense of unity and purpose. And he has an irresistible call on the loyalty of Earth's young warriors. With Bean at his side, the two will reshape our future. Here is the continuing story of Bean and Petra, and the rest of Ender's Dragon Army, as they take their places in the new government of Earth.

30 review for Shadow Puppets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Spider the Doof Warrior

    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 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 opposite sex, even if you don't love them and have babies, so have babies because that's the whole point of life is to just have babies, babies and more babies. Bean-Ok, I will have babies. Other stuff happens. There. Saved you money. Man, I hate this book. OK. I'm sorry, but Orson Scott Card is GROSS. Do you have any idea how young these characters are when they get married and decide to have babies even though none of their relationship is believable? SUPER MEGA UNDERAGED! UGH! You have a gay dude lecturing them about marrying people of the opposite sex and having babies, but how the hell is being two legal gay people together such a bad thing but two CHILDREN marrying such a good thing? Never mind that them having kids didn't even make any kind of logical sense in this book? In fact the whole plot is people doing something stupid and bad things happening as a result. I hate that kind of plot SO MUCH!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    AND LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR... 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 Rascals...well...you should be ashamed of yourselves and I will not be an enabler for you. For this review, we will be d AND LET ME MAKE THIS PERFECTLY CLEAR... 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 Rascals...well...you should be ashamed of yourselves and I will not be an enabler for you. For this review, we will be discussing the book by Orson Scott Card... 4.5 to 5.0 stars. This is book three in the Shadow series, following Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon. For those that have not read the Shadow of the Hegemon, there may be some spoilers below as the plot summary deals with the consequences of the previous book. Otherwise, I will try to avoid all but very minor spoilers regarding this book, though I do assume that if you are reading this you have some general familiarity with the Ender series and role that Ender’s brother plays in the series. Anyway, this story picks up shortly after Shadow of the Hegemon with Peter Wiggin now the Hegemon of Earth. Despite the title, Peter is really nothing more than a figure head as the major power in the world following the events of the previous book is the Chinese Empire. As with the previous book, the plot unfolds as a massive game of “Risk” with Peter, Bean and their allies trying break the Chinese power bloc and create conditions for a truly peaceful and unified Earth. Standing in their way is the massive Chinese army and the central villain of the Shadow series, Achilles. In addition, an important subplot of the book involves Bean and Petra’s growing relationship and their attempt to cope with Bean’s “condition” while staying on the run from Achilles and his global network. While not quite as good as Shadow of the Hegemon, I still thought this was a FANTASTIC book and certainly worthy of 5 stars. The writing is great, the tactical/strategic plot elements are superb and the dialogue between the "gifted" characters continues to be incredibly well done. I am looking forward to reading the last book in the series and seeing how everything ends. Highly Recommend!! Nominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    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 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 anything else I was willing to commit myself to. What makes this book awful, even amongst the relative standards of Orson Scott Card (who is not exactly a spry writer), is the writing. The entire book consists of one unrealistic, idiotic, poorly-written dialogue after another, where two "geniuses" decide to hash over strategy again and again and again. There's about 10 minutes of action in the entire book, and absolutely zero new, interesting ideas. (And heaps, heaps, and heaps of crazy-ass neo-conservatism.) The strategy is dull ("We'll attack them, then these other guys will roll in, and then those guys will switch sides!"), much of it is entirely predictable, and, my God, the endless hashing over the joy of babies... WTF? Ender Scott Card has officially made me hate the word "baby." Baby, baby, baby. The characters just can't shut up about babies for the last quarter of the book. It's a curious thing for all of the world's super-geniuses to spend their time hashing over. Yes, yes, it serves the slow-as-mollasses plot, technically, but jeez. Enough already! The worst is when Card tries to write pillow-talk and love-talk. Did he grow up on the set of a Lifetime movie? The dialogue reeks. And goes on and on and on. If I had been the editor, I'd have named it Sock Puppets, because that's about as much individual personality as any character has in this stinker, and you could, without any difficulty, re-enact the entire contents of this book as a series of dull conversations between socks-on-hands. So this book is where I draw the line. Goodbye, Enderverse! I should have quit while you were ahead. Probably shouldn't have started the Beanverse. But definitely should have stopped before Shadow Puppets, which is one of the few complete one-stars I've given a book. Totally boring and totally stupid. Also I was really surprised that he cites Guns, Germs, and Steel as some kind of "inspiration" for the strategic discussions in this book. Don't let Mr. Card's endorsement keep you from reading GGS — it has absolutely nothing to do with anything that is said in this piece of crap.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mandie McGlynn

    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 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 audiobook with little interest. A rambling quasi-love story, it kept my mind busy while I did my duties as domestic engineer. However, I rarely thought about the story after I'd put it away, and it didn't draw me back in, enticing me to do my chores the way pretty much all of OSC's other books have done. This should have been my first clue that it wasn't worth it. Then came the preaching. Orson Scott Card, of whose religious and political beliefs I was blissfully unaware until after my first reading of the original Ender saga, claims not to preach through his fiction, unless he says he is (as in the Alvin Maker series, which is based loosely on the life of Joseph Smith). I could give him the benefit of the doubt, but that would just mean he is painfully unobservant of the underlying messages in his own writing. From a diatribe against gay marriage (the character given this not-so-subtle soliloquy decides that, even though he's gay, he'll marry a single mother and use his pension to support them. Seriously.) to anti-abortion rhetoric that is pounded like a nail again and again, I just couldn't stomach it anymore. So I've given up. I've got a to-read list a mile long, and I'm sure most of it deserves more attention than this drivel.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bailey Kleinberg

    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 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 Eros so many years ago. She cracked because Ender pushed her hardest (besides Bean who we know is a genetically altered super human who could take it). So she breaks down, so Bean has to take care of her and all of a sudden she's reliant on him to support her in all things, she's degraded to role of wife and mother and nothing else. All she snivels about is her babies, not the fate of the world. In fact, the theme of women stopping work or contributions to the world and just having babies is mentioned to EVERY female character including the brave Virlomi and Mama Wiggin. But I digress... The worst of it was the painfully obvious speech by ::gasp:: gay character Anton who basically says "it doesn't matter if I'm gay, I'm going to marry this woman and make some babies (ew, icky, lady parts!) because that's the only way to be a part of society that matters. Okay, so we have aliens, space travel, and a gay couple can't get a surrogate and have as many babies as they want? I guess that technology disappeared. Final verdict: if you are a completist like me and just want to read the whole series then you have to do it. If you can let go, do it. This shames the previous books. I could seriously write a book about how he destroyed Petra. I need a drink....

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chris Friend

    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 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 number of crucial moments in the plot that excited me simply because I had no idea how they would turn out, and each time they did so perfectly logically, as though there was no other possible outcome. Card is great at explaining situations and revealing plot points at just the right moment, providing readers with the right information at the right time, to ensure that the suspense and pacing are moderated exceptionally well. This story is a fantastic example of his abilities. Enough characters are involved, enough plotting is being discussed, and enough ploys are put into motion that it's all quite interesting and even nail-biting-worthy. The characters have senses of humor that had me laugh out loud on several occasions, and the end of the book is quite rewarding, making the book simply *feel* like it was worth reading. This was certainly my favorite book of Card's since Ender's Shadow, and I think this one pulls more adeptly at the emotions. While I didn't cry here (like I did for Ender's Shadow), I certainly cared what happened to each of the characters. I had respect for them, I was sad for them, and I laughed with them, all in turn. An awful lot is revealed about a number of the characters who have been in the stories for quite some time, and the revelations alone are enough to drive the story on. The fact that there are so many twists and turns involved make it that much better. For Card to take such a large cast of characters, such a broad playing field, and such a variety of situations and work them together so smoothly into a series that is already so full of scenarios and surprises is impressive, admirable, commendable, and entirely worth experiencing.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    March 2010 Previously: Shadow of the Hegemon It’s been, oh, some amount of time since the Buggers Formics were defeated and Ender was exiled from Earth. A lot has happened since. Peter Wiggin is a nearly-powerless Hegemon working in Brazil; the great powers are doing whatever the hell they want; Achilles, the great mastermind behind it all, has been freed from the Chinese and taken to the one place he hasn’t had an opportunity to screw over yet; and Bean is in love. Or so we’re told. What we aren’ March 2010 Previously: Shadow of the Hegemon It’s been, oh, some amount of time since the Buggers Formics were defeated and Ender was exiled from Earth. A lot has happened since. Peter Wiggin is a nearly-powerless Hegemon working in Brazil; the great powers are doing whatever the hell they want; Achilles, the great mastermind behind it all, has been freed from the Chinese and taken to the one place he hasn’t had an opportunity to screw over yet; and Bean is in love. Or so we’re told. What we aren’t told is how old Bean is. Last time we got numbers, at the start of Ender’s Shadow, Bean was four. Approximately. And now he’s holding hands and kissing and talking about marriage and babies. What is he, eight? Nonetheless, Bean is a married boy man, and his wife (wife?!) Petra wants to have babies. Bean’s babies. But Bean doesn’t want babies, because Bean is a genetically altered super-genius who won't live past twenty and doesn’t want to doom his kids to the same fate. But Petra wants to have his babies. And so on. Meanwhile, the balance of power shifts a few times in Asia, Peter Wiggin discovers he was a fool to trust the one person everyone else knew not to trust, and a final showdown between two old enemies changes the world very little. But none of that matters, because family is the most important thing, and children are special. I think I know where all this is going. Next: Shadow of the Giant

  8. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    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.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Buckets

    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 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 thoughts on this book are tainted by the author's often annoyingly one-dimensional religious philosophy, on which he has written numerous essays and such.

  10. 4 out of 5

    RJ from the LBC

    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 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 allow the story to be expanded (or possibly to sell more books?); they probably should have been condensed back into one book for purposes of clarity and brevity.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Anna Dalvi

    ....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 ....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 'generously' allows that "even old people beyond mating" and people unable to have children can be "woven into the fabric". Apparently we all have "...a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifyingly other sex and make a life together." Ugh.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    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 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 start in Ender's Shadow, is increasingly looking like a good idea gone horribly awry.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Karpuk

    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 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 so little is done to properly develop these characters that at times only the names remind me that there's been a change in scene. A big chunk of the plot is about Bean breeding. So essentially it's a discussion of teenagers having children. I can't help but find this disconcerting. Card has gone from a ranting Neocon throwing his opinions into a story where they didn't necessarily fit straight into creepy old man territory. Seeing as I've already read the two award winning books he wrote roughly two decades ago, it feels like a fine time to call it quits on this particular author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Capps

    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 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. Whenever he had lines they just came across as ridiculous. All in all, a preachy story without much real action.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kent

    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 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't finish it.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    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 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 even happens in the book at all. It's completely devoid of action, and don't get me started on the George Lucas-esque romance dialogue. I was tempted to stop reading, but I finished it just to confirm what I already knew. There was no redeeming aspect to Shadow Puppets, just unrecognizable characterization, overwrought dialogue about battle philosophies for battles that never take place, and lots of preaching. I don't care how many of his beliefs you agree or disagree with, none of those things had a place in this story, and it is sadly the last book I will read in the Enderverse.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn Fulton

    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 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 care about the sex, or about being in a romantic relationship with him, and she doesn't express many romantic feelings toward him. She is absolutely taken over with this drive to bear Bean's children. I didn't find any of the romance between the characters very believable, and when Bean occasionally comes out with a sexy comment it just sounds ridiculous. This book, like many of Card's, also suffers from his elevated tone, which works great for Ender's anguished internal dialogues but sounds extremely stilted when it's normal people talking in a hotel room. Card's own moral views started imposing themselves on his characters in unnatural ways in the book, as well. This book features a gay character who, after openly explaining that he was attracted to men, not women, begins spouting stuff straight out of the mouths of anti-gay campaigners: namely, that what gives life meaning is to join with someone of the other gender and leave behind a family with them. And he specifically says that it's the terrifying and exciting Otherness of the person of the other gender that is an important part of it. This is very much a "straight" view of romance, and to have it coming from a gay character's mouth was unbelievable--and a blatant attempt on Card's part to preach his own views. I recognize that Card has his own opinions and that they are necessarily going to color his writing--this is the case with every writer. But running such blatantly anti-gay sentiments through the mouth of a gay character was going too far.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Matija

    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. 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. However, that is about all that is worth it in this book. The rest Card dedicates mostly to espousing the Mormon point of view on life. Mainly, to marry and have as many children as possible is the ultimate achievement of any human being and apparently even gay scientists who have been single all their lives eventually come to this realization. As does everyone else who is a good guy in this series. Also, non-implanted, possibly unfertilized eggs in a tube are children, in case you didn't know. Since this is the case, battleschoolers Bean and Petra are of course compelled to make some babies, like good little Mormons. Despite the fact that they are two of the most brilliant minds left on Earth, they go about it in such an unbelievably incompetent way that the embryos are kidnapped from under their nose in a completely transparent heist. You have exactly one guess who is responsible for this. It seems to me that with every book Card gives up a little on making the series a well-rounded science fiction story and focuses a bit more on preaching his religious believes. At this rate two books down the line we will probably have a transcription of the Book of Mormon.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Nick Dasher

    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 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 wrong, but he is from a different era and draws from a lineage of authors who were far more blatant in their misogyny. The fact is that he creates some outstanding female characters and had the bravery to include gay characters and some reflections on motherhood, despite knowing full well that it would safer and more politically correct to steer well clear. He may have missed the mark just slightly in the eyes of some of his readers, but his willingness to discuss controversial topics is good for a genre that at times seems exhausted, scared, and a bit too careful.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Flessert

    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 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 dealt with interesting science and went fairly deep philosophically (considering the type of book and market they had), this was just a flop. A mere jog to keep the Enderverse alive. The dialogue is flat. The whole banter between Peter and his parents is so corny. The whispering between Bean and Petra induces high rpm eye rolling. I'm done with the Enderverse. I may bookshelf Game, Speaker, Xeno, and Shadow for read-overs. Moving on!

  21. 4 out of 5

    René

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really wanted to finish this one but honestly I can't. Enders Game was a great read. Enders Shadow for me was even better with a completely different viewpoint on essentially the same backstory. Shadow of the Hegemon picked up after the Formic Wars and - while being completely earthbound - still managed to keep me engaged. All about Bean in hiding, trying to rescue his former Battleschool comrades form insane Achilles. All good and fine but Shadow Puppets killed it for me after seven chapters. Up I really wanted to finish this one but honestly I can't. Enders Game was a great read. Enders Shadow for me was even better with a completely different viewpoint on essentially the same backstory. Shadow of the Hegemon picked up after the Formic Wars and - while being completely earthbound - still managed to keep me engaged. All about Bean in hiding, trying to rescue his former Battleschool comrades form insane Achilles. All good and fine but Shadow Puppets killed it for me after seven chapters. Up to this point the whole story is just Bean trying to kill Achilles, Peter trying to understand and exploit Achilles (and, failing miserably, probably kill later), Peters mother trying to kill Achilles to save Peter and Achilles - true to himself - trying to basically kill anyone else while weaving his net to create his new world. The whole story got to a grinding halt.. It's just Achilles, Achilles, Achilles - we'll except Petra who turned from smart Battleschooler to must-make-babies-with-bean freak. Maybe I'll give this another try but not in the near future.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    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 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 seems to change on a dime. I know Card tried to ease us into it with some well-placed trauma and a LOT of inner monologue (oh gosh, so much) but it still always feels a bit abrupt and out of character. HOWEVER, who am I to say that someone like Bean who gets the news about his own future like he does (at the end of the previous book) wouldn't take such an about face on his views and life course? Petra's violent change also bothered me. In Shadow of the Hegemon, Achilles taunts her by reminding her that they had to test her to see if she was a boy just because she tested so aggressive. And honestly, in Shadow of the Hegemon, I can still see a glimpse of the similar girl that we've known throughout Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. But by the time we get to this book, she seems to be much more docile, sweet, emotional, and....girly. And there's nothing wrong with girly, mind you. I just felt like the character shift was too sudden to be believable. It almost feels as if Bean and Petra are two different people in this novel (and in the final, upcoming novel, Shadow of the Giant). Sure, their story is still compelling, but it's a little bizarre. Part of my issue stems from the fact that, technically, they are not old enough to be doing, ahem, the things they're doing in these books. Petra, maybe. But I did the math and a GENEROUS estimate puts Bean at about 14 in this book. GENEROUS. Ok, so yeah, I guess he can do what he does and Petra's probably closer to 18-19 (GENEROUS) but it just doesn't feel like enough time has passed, especially since they made such a big deal about Bean's age (or lack thereof) in Ender's Shadow. (I calculated that he MIGHT have been 10 at the end of that book, but probably more like 9-ish and then someone mentions that it's been 3 years since the battle, so that lands him at 13 and maybe another year somewhere in there?) I suppose it doesn't matter in the long run, but it feels like Card REALLY wanted to write about the schmoopy stuff and kind of smashed that into the plan for these characters. AGain, not that I don't like it, it just feels a little sudden, out of character, and...weird. That said, thank heavens that one important, obnoxious plot thread was resolved by the end of this book. I probably would have thrown it out the window the first time I read it had that not been the case.

  23. 5 out of 5

    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 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 me was relegated to the back seat, displaced by the story of two young people deciding whether or not to have a baby. How fascinating. Consider the creation of this baby, or Bean’s whole relationship for that matter. It’s quite clear that he has gone through puberty, even though the first two books established that he never would; that he would die a giant child. Then, of course, there are Orson Scott Card’s personal politics. I’ve never really picked up on them in his writing before, but in this book they come through loud and clear. There’s a lot of talk about men, women, babies, and “the way things are meant to be." Not only are OSC’s personal politics repugnant, they’re now also immersion breaking. In summary, OSC breaks canon so he can tell us a story we’re not interested in and proselytise a message no decent human being wants to hear. Taken from http://seamusquigley.tumblr.com/post/...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    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 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 type of gal. But if you like that kind of thing, and you want some more great Card writing, along with sweet political machinations and intrigue, then you'll enjoy this.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Austin Wright

    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 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-life bandwagon... than 50% of this book centers around fertilized eggs and their absolute sanctity of life... ...just came off as a drag, despite a conclusive and interesting ending.

  26. 4 out of 5

    AJ

    a complete disappointment. witness the demise of a great science fiction premise to a rambling religious tome.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Look, the plotting is expertly paced. Things make sense. You are presented with a simplified world and the only way it can be expanded is how Card chooses to. It's a good ride. The problem is all the duct tape around the plot, the belief systems that force this world into what it is. Card is very very anti gay, anti abortion. This is fine. This is less fine when it suddenly drives the point of the book, down to the morals and character moments we are being handed. Bean desperately wants a family Look, the plotting is expertly paced. Things make sense. You are presented with a simplified world and the only way it can be expanded is how Card chooses to. It's a good ride. The problem is all the duct tape around the plot, the belief systems that force this world into what it is. Card is very very anti gay, anti abortion. This is fine. This is less fine when it suddenly drives the point of the book, down to the morals and character moments we are being handed. Bean desperately wants a family because, well, it's in his genes. The boyman has a wonderfully interesting universe inside him, where selfishness hits altruism in all kinds of grays. The previous books did great jobs of exploring this, and the first half of this one does as well. But once a certain choice is made, Bean is done. His final act is meant to jar, and it does, not just because we are so used to the worldwide conflict around and not just because Achilles has become the kind of character that sucks himself through your teeth every time he does anything, but because it's centered around Card's own philosophy. Petra started as a lone rebel in a group of misfits and became a smart but proper housewife, yearning for a baby, because..her genes? There is a truly moving scenario to come from her previous something-like-half-a-year trapped with a madman, and this is skipped almost utterly. She is dependent, she wants a baby, and the problem is not about her but about whether the offspring will be human. Add to this that neither of these main character's parents seem to exist in any way, and the whole facade fell out from my eyes. I felt like I was watching a very crafty liar go through a series of backpedals. Achilles is smart, but he goes down quickly; Peter is Narcissus incarnate, but he changes his mind in a snap decision that apparently redeems him and changes his character enough to allow him to become the leader the world deserves. Alai is all but a deus ex machina to fix the problems that introducing Great Men to the worldwide strategy zone have created for Card. He simply can't keep up with his own plot anymore. So the streamlining, centered around a family formed from a philosophy that came from the author's mouth more than the character's past lives, made for a very emotionally fragmented bit of preparation for what I can only hope is a somewhat satisfying finale. Nevermind the numbingly prim writing, random literary references, and smart-via-cynicism that still holds onto so many of these characters. Some remarks were great, most were shy attempts at character. I don't like it when books have to jump between their reality and ours to maintain a pretend consistency. This books borrows from too many places, and forgets to thank its debtors. I simply can't follow along with these people any longer. Compare this to Grapes of Wrath, or Flowers for Algernon even. Those are characters who you watch grow, you feel their pain. The puppet show was too thin in this one. I could see the hands behind it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Loopy

    Orson Scott Card - you may think that unless you have babies your life is meaningless (in fact you must think that, as so many of your characters gives us at least one lecture on it at one point or another in this novel) but guess what? I don't think that, and there are plenty of other people like me out there that don't think it either. The only thing that continually trying to ram this fallacy down my throat does is make me wonder whether a. you've been brainwashed b. you're not convinced but Orson Scott Card - you may think that unless you have babies your life is meaningless (in fact you must think that, as so many of your characters gives us at least one lecture on it at one point or another in this novel) but guess what? I don't think that, and there are plenty of other people like me out there that don't think it either. The only thing that continually trying to ram this fallacy down my throat does is make me wonder whether a. you've been brainwashed b. you're not convinced but you're still trying to convince yourself c. you know it's not true but you want everyone else to make the same mistake you feel you made d. you're an utter twat. This constant preaching without enough interesting plot to carry it is really turning me off. What you did to Anton? Completely revolting. Surely I'm not the only one that is wondering if Bean is actually old enough to produce viable sperm? His whole romance with Petra ....... it feels a bit like paedophilia. Isn't he only about 10? Oh, another thing, please, please, please either leave any hint of romance out or get someone else to write it - it's excruciating to read and I want to gag whenever Ender's parents converse with each other. Seems incongruous that Bean and Petra chose (view spoiler)[ Barcelona's most famous cathedral to get married in when they were trying to keep such a low profile. And that whole fiasco at the hospital? Yes, I can see why you'd hire some random security guard for what you see as so important, rather than use some of the elite force you'd trained yourself (hide spoiler)] - makes complete sense ...... if you're a complete fool. Oh, another thing. It was hard enough for me to believe the whole Virlomi diety story line before - maybe because I'm more inclined to look for a rational explanation rather than jump to a supernatural one and expect others to do the same. Yes, I can see some lost tribe without any access to the modern world believing the supernatural first due to their lack of familiarity with technology. I find it hard to believe that there are large groups of Indian military ready to believe a supernatural being is behind something that is easily explained in the present time, let alone well into the future. I'm sure I could come up with more things that annoyed me but I'll leave it there .......... and yes, I'll keep reading - I'm curious to see what happens and I'm kind of looking forward to Petra and Ender's mother kicking the bucket.

  29. 4 out of 5

    perfectlyGoodInk

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Warning, there are some (vagueish) spoilers here. I was eager to read this one, since I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow of the Hegemon, but it was severely disappointing. The romance is terribly done. Almost worse than the one in Episode II, that's how bad it is. It's bad enough that the ending of Hegemon seemed like a "save the princess" adolescent male fantasy, but Petra almost completely ceases to be an interesting character with her own motivations in this one, her sole purpose now completely shift Warning, there are some (vagueish) spoilers here. I was eager to read this one, since I thoroughly enjoyed Shadow of the Hegemon, but it was severely disappointing. The romance is terribly done. Almost worse than the one in Episode II, that's how bad it is. It's bad enough that the ending of Hegemon seemed like a "save the princess" adolescent male fantasy, but Petra almost completely ceases to be an interesting character with her own motivations in this one, her sole purpose now completely shifted to being to have Bean's babies (Beanie babies, as it were). Peter served as a decent foil for Bean in Hegemon, but is largely relegated to impotent and incompetent comic relief in this one, as his parents seem to almost constantly baby him here. It's a shame, as Ender's absence looms large in this whole series and Peter's presence had mitigated this somewhat. Similarly, Achilles served as a pretty good villain in the first couple of books, but is largely "offscreen" in this one, and as a result ends up as seeming almost completely non-threatening despite various characters' professed insistence of the danger he poses. The geopolitics here seem rather simplistic compared to that in Hegemon. The resolution of both is very rushed and thus also seem rather deus ex machina. It would have helped greatly if he had dropped some hints, but there are no scenes at all featuring Achilles or Suriyawong after the initial one, and no hints at all of what Alai might be up to until he shows up. The dialog is rather stilted and unbelievable, particularly anything between Bean and Petra. Alas, Petra is pretty much the only person Bean interacts with in this installment, unlike in Hegemon, where he had some interesting interactions with Peter and Suriyawong. I get the strong impression Card is merely going through the motions. It didn't help for him to very unsubtly inject his political/religious views on abortion without having any counterpoint at all. Despite it all, I'm on to the next one, Shadow of the Giant, and that one is a significantly better read so far. So I suppose I would say this one's still worth slogging through (depending on how he resolves it all). But for now, it is clearly the weakest one in the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Adams

    I thought this was another great book in an amazing series. Orson Scott Card picks right up where he left off in Shadow of the Hegemon; and continues telling the story of Bean, and the post formic war world. Peter Wiggin, the newly elected Hegemon of Earth, and Bean, a brilliant military strategist, are trying to unite the world under one government, and Peter will stop at nothing to accomplish this goal. I chose to read this book because I loved the previous books in this series and wanted to I thought this was another great book in an amazing series. Orson Scott Card picks right up where he left off in Shadow of the Hegemon; and continues telling the story of Bean, and the post formic war world. Peter Wiggin, the newly elected Hegemon of Earth, and Bean, a brilliant military strategist, are trying to unite the world under one government, and Peter will stop at nothing to accomplish this goal. I chose to read this book because I loved the previous books in this series and wanted to see it through. This has always been my favorite series and I think OSC does a good job continuing the series with an interesting story and amazing characters. What I liked so much in this book is that it develops the plot of the series very well. That has always been the best part of most books I think;how interesting the story it tells is. I love how the story is placed in a realistic future, but still seems like it could happen at any time. My only complaint is that it is a little bit slow. I know I just said that my favorite part of the book is that it does a good job keeping the story interesting, and it does, but I also like it to be a little exciting. Granted it isn't all that slow, but enough for me to rate it 4 stars instead of 5. Overall, I think OSC does a awesome job with the book. I think it would be extremely difficult to continue writing books at, or close to, the same level of Ender's Shadow (which I loved so much). OSC is a very skilled author and has done an incredible job with such a fascinating series. I think anyone who has read Ender's Game, and especially Ender's Shadow should read this. If you have only read Ender's Game then Bean's series is absolutely worth reading into. For those who have read Ender's Shadow, and Shadow of the Hegemon, should continue in reading the series because it is done very skillfully and is absolutely worth your time. The only potential offensive material in this book is that it is centered around war. It isn't at all gruesome, but war is a major theme in the book.

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