Ender’s Shadow A Book Review

Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card is a spin off from the famous book Ender’s Game but takes the same events through the character Bean. Bean grew up in poverty in the city of Rotterdam where he dealt with gangs violence and death. But Bean was intelligence, incredibly so by most standards, it was his intelligence that would move him from the suffers of poverty into something much larger than himself.

As far as character’s go Bean was dynamic. He was arrogant in his intelligence, or else Orson Scott Card is arrogant in his paintings of intelligence, but despite that Bean made mistakes and miscalculations. For someone who is familiar with Ender’s Game it could be hard to tell if the intrigue of Bean if through already knowing the events of the book but it is safe to say Bean “feels” like a different character. His strategic insights can keep interests in him high, him admitting his faults and growing (both physically and emotionally) makes him a likable/relatable character.

Card’s writing style wasn’t impressive but it wasn’t bad either. He did, however try a bit too hard with creating humorous moments between characters. No moment that Card depicted as funny for the characters was funny for the reader.

Below are worthwhile quotes from the book:

“I mean, some of these refugees, they might be brilliant, but they’re caught up in desperate times.”

“Intelligence and education, which all these children had, apparently didn’t make any important difference in human nature. Not that Bean had really thought they would.”

“One mind can think only of its own questions; it rarely surprises itself.”

2 thoughts on “Ender’s Shadow A Book Review”

  1. When I read the book a couple of years ago, I was struck by the sort of disconnect between how good Bean claims Ender to be, and how good Ender is depicted as being in the book. I mean, when I read the story, it almost felt like Bean was one-upping Ender in nearly every single way: he was responsible for creating Dragon Army, he somehow figures out Graff’s plan relatively early etc. In fact, he’s shown to be Ender’s equal in battle tactics with the starship command devices at the end of the story: he has to make himself *come off to* Ender as being only good with small squadrons.

    As such, it rang false to me when Bean then goes on to say that Ender is somehow “better than” him, at the end of the story, because he understands empathy and such – I mean, that’s obviously the message of the original book, but in the context of Ender’s Shadow it feels like the statement doesn’t stand on its own.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the matter.

    Liked by 1 person

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