This is the third book in the ‘Shadow Saga’ also known as Bean’s saga, and we’ve shifted forward a few years, Bean has grown enormously because of his genetic condition, and we’re still fighting Achilles. I think I’m starting to tire of this series, it’s basically the same book as the last two, Achilles is trying to destroy Bean and rule the world, and Bean is on the run trying to stop him. Just this time he has Petra with her, and Peter thought he was in charge but ended up actually making things worse (oh wait, that’s normal). I still liked the book, but I didn’t love it.
What I did like about this book was Peter’s parents, they are awesome characters, and I like the bit of dramatic irony that Peter is so oblivious to who they really are. I mean Peter was such an idiot in this book, and it was only his parents which saved his life. I also continue to like the little email snippets at the beginning of each chapter which are so mysterious and get you quite on edge. It’s quite a good technique. And I most certainly like that Achilles is dead, and if he somehow isn’t, I won’t be impressed.
Petra and Bean’s relationship has certainly blossomed, and she even convinced him to have children with her, but with a condition that he didn’t want any of them to have his condition. So they foolishly trust Volescu the scientist who created Bean and the other children, who says he has a test to find out which embryos have Anton’s Key and which don’t. Of course there isn’t such a test, so who knows whether Petra is carrying a child with the Key or not. But the bad news comes soon as the other embryos are stolen by Achilles, which sets up the final book in the quartet, as Bean and Petra go hunting for them, Bean having a change of heart and wanting all his children. I think the obvious “I’m never having children” to “Give me all the children” was another thing which grated a little.
As I said above, I think the fact that it was more same old, same old, which made me not enjoy this book as much as the first one, nor the second one. Which is a little odd considering the first Shadow book was essentially a retelling of Ender’s Game, but something about it just made me enjoy it a lot more than this one. And I’m almost dreading what’s going to happen in the final one because it seems like a flimsy plot, and I’m sure Card throws in something. I will be reading it, just so I finish this part of the series, but I won’t make it my top priority.