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Friday, September 21, 2007

Parallel story to Ender's Game, except the protagonist (and thus viewpoint) has changed. This time Bean is central - the little kid who is in Ender's army and is brilliant, even more than usual for the kids at Battle School. The story starts in Rotterdam, where street kids run in crews to protect themselves. Bean (as a tiny, starving 3 or 4 year old) manages to attach himself to a crew and civilize the whole system from the inside without seeming to. He and the crew he is part of are tested by Sister Carlotta - and she recognizes his genius (he's taught himself to read, and to speak a few different languages, to name a few of his more obvious skills at age 4 or 5). This eventually gets him sent to Battle School, where he is still miles ahead of those around him academically, but must learn how to lead well (because his small size somehow leads to negative comments) .. all the while being compared by everyone around him to Ender, who is going to save the world from the buggers (aliens).

Bean is a unique character .. he is small but more intelligent and quick thinking than most adults. Instead of having strong feelings, he is seen to analyze the situation and act as he feels fits. Because the barriers between him and others are so large (his small size, his brilliance, his analyzing which comes off as pride..) he doesn't have many friends, but at Battle School he gets his first friend - Nicolae. This turns out to be a nice 'coincidence', and they have more connections than they know. Bean is able to connect ideas in such a way that he understands what the teachers are doing, what are simulations and what is real, what is really at stake. Which turns out to be very frustrating to his teachers and those above him, but also leads to him being second in command for the simulation of the bugger war. Even as they are preparing for and fighting the war, he is thinking of what will come next and what will happen on Earth (what other battles there will be) and what part he is to play. Easy book to read and enjoy, and will be read again.

Title:Ender's Shadow
Author: Orson Scott Card
Date published:1999
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Series: Ender Wiggins Saga
Number of pages: 467
Notes: Repeat reading


Lark said...

I'm curious-- have you re-read Ender's Game since you've read Ender's Shadow? Did it change the story for you, how you saw Bean?

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