So my last escapades with the Enderverse left me under-whelmed a tired of the series. But I still wanted to continue reading them, but the next book I got my hands on was First Meetings in the Enderverse, which is a series of four short stories. Now perhaps because they were short, and perhaps because they weren’t back on Bean and Achilles, but I liked these stories. They were sweet, and interesting.
So I just so happened to read this before Christmas, and turns out it was a Christmas story in the Enderverse. It deals with Zeck, who comes from a very religious family, a Puritan one, who rejects electricity and certainly Christmas as from the devil. But Zeck is a genius, he has a perfect memory, and can make people like him. So when he goes to Battle School he causes a bit of trouble.
The last book in this Shadow series, Shadow Puppets, I said I wasn’t that much a fan of. This book, was better, but I am glad that this part of the series is over. The story is totally done, and doesn’t need any more.
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.
This is the second of four ‘Shadow’ novels, Orson Scott Card’s spin off series to Ender’s Game (well it’s one of his spin offs, he’s got about 3 others…) and we continue to follow Bean, but also the other graduates of the Battle School as they return home for the first time in years. Not only that, but we learn how Peter became the Hegemon. And things are really exciting, we get political drama, kidnapping, war, espionage, secret online messages and more. So I enjoyed this book, and honestly I don’t mind that Card decided to create this spin off series because (so far) the books have been interesting, provided a whole new perspective, and have been enjoyable.
I had no idea what this book was going to be like so I was quite excited coming into it, and once I started my excitement built, and I was very pleased with the book. In an interesting move we return to the Battle School, but instead of following Ender we follow Bean. And more importantly we get his curious backstory.
If you take a look at Goodreads you’ll either find a whole heap of 1-2 star ratings or 4-5 star ratings (well the ones that Goodreads deem to be popular, the actual breakdown isn’t that bad). It’s a divisive book, just like Xenocide is, and probably with good reason. Just like Xenocide this book again dares to go quite philosophical, and it’s really, really different to the first book. I recently watched the movie version of Ender’s Game and while a heck of a lot of stuff was left out, it really reminded me of the joy and fun that was in that book (yes there was lots of bad stuff too, but stuff like the battle games were really exciting and enjoyable to read). The three other books in this ‘series’ (which has so many more books to it, and I’m thinking that maybe it’s become a flogged horse), well they have such a different tone that I’m definitely not surprised that some people haven’t embraced them. Personally, I have liked the three books, they’ve been thought provoking, and exciting (in a different way), and this book was a really good way for the series to be brought to a close. Of course, there’s like 10 more books….