by Orson Scott Card

Paperback, 1999



Local notes

PB Car




TOR. (1999), Edition: First Edition


Fiction. Science Fiction. HTML: The novel that launched the bestselling Ender's Shadow series??available for the first time on unabridged cd The human race is at War with the "Buggers," an insect-like alien race. As Earth prepares to defend itself from total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable enemy, all focus is on the development of military geniuses who can fight such a war, and win. The long distances of interstellar space have given hope to the defenders of Earth??they have time to train these future commanders up from childhood, forging them into an irresistible force in the high orbital facility called the Battle School. Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In Ender's Shadow, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean??the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters, those people scouring the planet for leaders, tacticians, and generals to save Earth from the threat of alien invasion. Bean was sent into orbit, to the Battle School. And there he met Ender… (more)


Original publication date


Physical description

7.5 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member bookworm12
This novel tells a parallel story to the one in Ender’s Game. It begins in Rotterdam where we meet a tiny child nicknamed Bean. Warring street gangs and soup kitchens run by nuns set the stage as we get to know the brilliant boy. Even as a toddler he is a strategist, which of course makes him
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perfect for battle school.

Sister Carlotta, a sarcastic nun with a good heart sees the unique potential in Bean and manages to get him into the school despite his size. Once he’s there his story intertwines with Ender’s during the same time period as Ender’s Game. It’s fascinating to see the whole story unfold through someone else’s eyes. We see Ender treat Bean like he was treated, picking on him for his size. We already know that Ender hated himself for doing that, but now we see how it affects Bean.

Unlike Ender, Bean’s life was never “normal.” From his first moments life was harder and the stakes were higher. Death was always one meal away and even his birth is shrouded in scientific secrets. Achilles, a member of the same street gang as Bean, is a horribly dark villain. He can smile and manipulate everyone around him and only Bean seems to stay a step ahead.

Bean and Ender are so alike in some ways; both brilliant generals, both small and young compared to the other leaders, but there are a few major differences as well. Bean is much more detached than Ender. While the old boy struggled with the emotional aspects of battle and the guilt that came with injuring others, Bean was more logical. He was a survivalist because he had to be and he is even more intelligent than Ender.

In some ways Bean’s story is the more poignant one. Ender struggles with the whole process of Battle School, but Bean is more aware of what’s really happening and the consequences of their actions. In the end his was a much harder cross to bear. Bean is not a loveable kid, but he is such a well-written character that he stays with you long after you finish the book.

BOTTOM LINE: Ender’s Game stole my heart, but Ender’s Shadow cemented my appreciation for the series as a whole. It has the same powerful story as the first book, but it also delves into the political side of things and sets up a world of dominoes which unfolds in the rest of the Shadow trilogy. Read it if you’ve already read Ender’s Game and you loved it.
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LibraryThing member RachelPenso
I wish I would have read this book a long time ago. It's been so long since I read Ender's Game. I kept trying to remember what Ender thought of Bean or Ender's perspective of certain events. All in all, Ender's Shadow was every bit as good as Ender's Game.
LibraryThing member goose114
Ender’s Shadow tells the story of Bean from the Ender’s series. Bean has a unique and surprising past that creates a complex and strong individual. Bean is able to tell the story of Ender in Battle School and the “game” with a new lens. With Bean’s intelligence, the story of Ender is
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elaborated while establishing the prominence of others in Ender’s story. Even while telling the story of Ender, Bean’s personal experiences and troubles are showcased. With such an interesting past and unique character the read cannot help, but become invested in Bean and his goals. When reading the Ender series I was always curious as to what happened on Earth following the war. I am excited to read about it through the eyes of Bean.
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LibraryThing member EmScape
This companion book to Ender's Game follows Bean's story as he grows up a street urchin in Rotterdam and is finally selected for battle school. Every effort has been made not to contradict the earlier work, but things are very different from Bean's perspective. Depth is added to battle school and
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people are not necessarily who they seemed to Ender.
Excellent work. Bean is a fantastic character and it will be interesting to see how his trajectory differs from Ender's after the Bugger War.
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LibraryThing member eleanor_eader
A return to battle school and the process of training for the war against the Formics revisited. Card does a miraculous job of avoiding redundancies in following the same location and time-frame as Ender’s Game and, despite the title of this one, this is very much Bean’s story.

As with Ender’s
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Game, there’s a requirement from the reader; that we believe in Card’s genius-children, maturing fast in both intellect and emotionally, but otherwise I found Ender’s Shadow to be great, readable sci-fi, once I got past that and a couple of other circumstantial anomalies. Bean is small, tough, and analytical, and the principle enjoyment of reading his story is the character’s insight into those around him, and the power-play between him and the staff as they each struggle to trust the other.

I don’t know if I will pursue the ‘Shadow’ series; I wanted to read this one because of my enjoyment of Ender’s Game, and don’t know if a return to Earth is going to float my boat. Then again, I found the premise of Speaker for Dead hard to enthuse about before I picked it up, and it’s now one of my favourite books.
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LibraryThing member juliapequlia
Ender's Shadow begins a new series in Orson Scott Card's Ender books. The story of Bean is every bit as engaging as Ender's Game. Orson Scott Card considers the dramatic reading of this book the best way to experience the story, and I agree with him 100%.
LibraryThing member Gregarius
Interesting enough, but not as good as I had hoped. A nice companion to Ender's Game.
LibraryThing member kewpie
I considered Ender’s Game to be one of the greatest works of science fiction ever written. I liked this book even more. This is told from the point of view of one of the minor characters in the original story. We see bean from age three to his experience in Battle School. Sometimes, Card
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over-writes his younger characters. All of his characters at times speak and act much older than they actually are. Still, it is an exciting story and an excellent compliment to the original Ender series.
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LibraryThing member ElDoradoHills
Ender's Game is probably the greatest sc-fi book ever written and is definitely the best book I was forced to read in high school. Ender’s Shadow isn’t a sequel, but a parallel novel that takes place at the same time Ender Wiggin is in battle school. Bean is your narrator and the smartest kid
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you or earth has ever known. While he quickly analyzes his classmates and instructors, Ender proves to be a mystery to Bean and what starts has fear & jealousy grows into admiration and a realization that not every worthy quality can measured by test scores.
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LibraryThing member jcopenha
Just as good as Ender's Game. The character development of Bean is wonderful. It had been awhile since I read Ender's Game but there were enough "hints" as to what the rest of the story was that it still made sense. The idea of retelling the story from a different perspective is just great.
LibraryThing member smacfarl
Characters were not believable. I read the original ender's series as a young boy. In Jr School it resonated with me. Looking back I see it now as an Atlas Shrugs variant. Believable supermen are hard to write.

This novel went off the rails early with its toddler youth gangs. The universe in which
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the childhood superheroes are rendered is too simplistic. More nuance would have been nice. More complexity in the characters could have helped.
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LibraryThing member Grumpus
Ender's Game was set at the same time as this book and the rewriting of a "history" documenting that time from a different point of view. It also tells the tale of another Battle School veteran, Bean, from his point of view. This is an excellent but much darker version of events.
LibraryThing member kaelirenee
Card has written two amazing books: Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow. All the others are good, some are even great, but these are the only two that actually make me want to read sci fi, military-type books.

Bean was a slight character in the original book. This book takes a look at his history, how
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he thinks, his motivations, and how he really affected the first book. There's also more insight into Petra and many of the other children in Ender's crew (jeesh, whatever). I'm not entirely sure why, but I kept picturing Bean as a little black boy-up until the reveal that he was Greek. To this day, whenever I reread it, I think that.
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LibraryThing member szarka
Retelling the story of Ender's Game from the point of view of a different character was a clever idea, and getting to know Bean better was a great reason to continue the series in this way. Recommended to fans of the Ender series, though this is not the book to start with if you haven't read
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Ender's Game.
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LibraryThing member aapike
A great addition to the Ender stories. This book re-invigorated the series with fresh perspectives and new insights to characters left unexplored with the first novel.
LibraryThing member nicoletort
Interesting, gives insight into other aspects of Ender's story.
LibraryThing member KevlarRelic
Awesome book, even if it was a little bit of a re-imagining of the classic Ender's Game (Sacrilege!). I always enjoy the child -genius -who - proves -everyone -wrong -in -the -end kind of story, and Card's prose is incredible.

Highly recommended.
LibraryThing member pandoragreen
An interesting book, not quite as good as the original. The author mentions that the books could be read in any order, but I definitely think readers would benefit from having already read Ender's Game.
LibraryThing member sgerbic
Reviewed May 2002

Totally bored during Butch's Hartnell graduation I borrowed this book from Caspian, more as a joke but then I got really interested in it. Knowing absolutely nothing except that is is Science Fiction it took me a few times to re-read the beginning to understand. Overall it is a
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very interesting, detailed, engrossing read. The problems I had with it were...the street kids should have a very pronounced slang, yet they sounded educated...Bean is just too young, as well as the other children in the story (yes I know Bean is genetically altered but it is still too much) Achilles as a serial killer especially when he goes to Bean's army and escapes at the end is way to much... Also Bean having a twin older brother that becomes his best (and only) friend, who just happens to have loving wonderful parents. (Okay, he could have a brother, but this fate crap stuff is far too much)... The Catholic religion discussed so often has not changed at all from today&s church (that isn't likely).... The children of the street would have taken refuge in the church, and no one seems to have.... Bean did not want to come back to help the children of Rotterdam... Nikolai returned to Earth sooner than Bean yet they showed up together... Ender's brother and sister were powerful leaders on Earth... The military would never has allowed children to fight that war no matter how smart of good at strategy. Females played too small a part representing percentages of the 1970-80s. Beyond all this it is a very good read.

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LibraryThing member edspicer
I would highly recommend this book to anybody who is into sci-fi and strategy. I loved this book because it wasn't too much of a mindflex to understand the plot line. A quick read and an interesting book about near-perfect witted children working into a war with realistic situations.
4Q, 3P; Cover
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Art: Okay.
This book is suited for all ages.
It was selected due to reading the previous book in the series, Ender's Game, and feeling it was a good read.
Grade (of reviewer): 11th
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LibraryThing member trekbody
I went into Ender's shadow completely skeptical - a book that paralleled Ender's Game? Well, I was blown away, I don't think any author has ever writen 2 books about the same characters from their own points of view (at least with this mastery).
LibraryThing member comfypants
If you want to re-read Ender's Game without all that pesky reading a book you've already read, Orson Scott Card has conveniently written a second, different version of the same story. I even enjoyed this more than Ender's Game, although it's been a few years since I read that, so my memory's not
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clear enough to say which is the better book. But this is certainly one of Card's best.
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LibraryThing member TonyaSB
After reading several of the novels focused on Ender a wonderful thing happened. Orson Scott Card wrote Ender's Shadow. If it's possible, I liked Bean even more than Ender. It showed how it wasn't just Ender being self centered that made it seem like he was the entire focus of the Battle School,
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and yet there were so many other little dramas happening all around him that he could never have possibly known about.
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LibraryThing member Clurb
The best of the Ender Saga sequels. By far.
LibraryThing member kategreer
Although I only read "Ender's Game" in the series, this book is a good compliment to it. It's not necessary that you read the other books in the series, but I liked both so much I probably will. It's a good, light summer read. The struggles that the children must face in this novel, much like in
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"Ender's Game" are challenging and far beyond the years of these youthful genuises. Since I already read "Ender's Game", the psychological questions that arose in that book, were again raised in this one, did not surprise me. However, these questions the novel makes one ask oneself are still pertinent to be asked again.
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