16 November, 2011

(Audiobook) Review - Shadow of the Hegemon (Shadow #2) by Orson Scott Card

The War is over, won by Ender Wiggin and his team of brilliant child-warriors. The enemy is destroyed, the human race is saved. Ender himself refuses to return to the planet, but his crew has gone home to their families, scattered across the globe. The battle school is no more.

But with the external threat gone, the Earth has become a battlefield once more. The children of the Battle School are more than heros; they are potential weapons that can bring power to the countries that control them. One by one, all of Ender's Dragon Army are kidnapped. Only Bean escapes; and he turns for help to Ender's brother Peter.

Peter Wiggin, Ender's older brother, has already been manipulating the politics of Earth from behind the scenes. With Bean's help, he will eventually rule the world.

I enjoyed Shadow of the Hegemon [US] [UK] [Kindle] but not nearly as much as Ender's Shadow, the first in the Shadow series.

I don't know, and I had this same problem after finishing Speaker for the Dead (Book 2 in the main Ender series), but I just feel like this series is getting beat to death. I'm not the only one right? As good as these sequels are, I still think Ender's Game (with possible addition of Ender's Shadow) should have been left that way, on its own, no sequels. I know, now I'm beating a dead horse.

I still have to admit this is a good book. It's well done as always, and Bean is a great character. In Shadow of the Hegemon, we learn more about Petra Arkanian and Peter Wiggin and guess who's back, Achilles (pronounced in the French way - Asheel).

I know Achilles has only been the "bad guy" for two books, but I was already getting tired of him to be honest. His motivations for his evil are explained, but I'm tired of it and ready to move on to another threat.

Now that the alien threat is over, earth once again turns to its old ways - countries are back at each other and the best military minds in the world, the battleschool kids, are the prime currency.

Other than great plotting and highly believable characters, Hegemon delves into some deep topics from time to time that I found quite interesting to ponder; notions such as, What is living without children? and, What does it really mean to live? Card makes some good arguments about our duty to the future.

One last thing regarding the audiobook - it's extremely well done, if you're into that sort of thing. The typical voice actors come back (like Stefan Rudnicki and Scott Brick) for another Ender installment and they're superb as always.

Why Read the Enders Shadow Series?

So far it's been a great series, on the same level as the original series (at least as much as I've read - to Speaker). The characters are extremely well drawn and easy to care about especially since they're so intelligent - you just feel smarter yourself. I'm looking forward to Shadow Puppets.

4 out of 5 Stars


Brenda said...

I didn't like the Shadow series as well as the Ender series. Speaker for the Dead is one of my favorites, and was just as good as Ender's Game, to me. But it did go downhill from there.

Bryce L. said...

I still want to read Xenocide and Children, but I've only heard things like you just said so it's not at the top of my list. :)