Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ender's Shadow

Ender's Shadow tells the same story as Card's earlier Ender's Game, only much better. I liked Shadow a lot, while I didn't care much for the earlier book. Perhaps part of it has to do with Card developing greater writing skills or having more time to think about his universe.

However, I think the characters are much more believable here. In Ender's Game, we are suppose to believe that Ender is a god-like five year old that seems to do everything right and save the world. His character always seems just a little too perfect to be a regular kid.

In Ender's Shadow, Bean is not a regular kid. He is the result of a science experiment gone awry that resulted in a child with superior intelligence (but a limited lifespan). It is much easier to identify with the super-intelligent escapades of a child that has been "enhanced". Furthermore, some of his activities (such as the choosing of Ender's "Dragon Team") help to better justify Ender's success.

The novel has its violence, but does not dwell on it, and the story is very well paced. It also does a nice job setting up some of the other books in the main Ender series (especially Ender in Exile.)

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