Orson Scott Card brings us back to the very beginning of his brilliant Ender Quartet, with a novel that allows us to reenter that world anew.
With all the power of his original creation, Card has created a companion volume to Ender's Game, a book that expands and complements the first, enhancing its power, illuminating its events and its powerful conclusion.
The human race is at War with the "Buggers," an insect-like alien race. The first battles went badly, and now as Earth prepares to defend itself against the imminent threat of total destruction at the hands of an inscrutable alien enemy, all focus is on the development and training 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 this new book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean--the one who became Ender's right hand, his strategist, and his friend. One who was with him, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers.
Bean's past was a battle just to survive. He first appeared on the streets of Rotterdam, a tiny child with a mind leagues beyond anyone else's. He knew he could not survive through strength; he used his tactical genius to gain acceptance into a children's gang, and then to help make that gang a template for success for all the others. He civilized them, and lived to grow older.
Bean's desperate struggle to live, and 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....
"You think you've found somebody, so suddenly my program gets the axe?"
"It's not about this kid that Graff found. It's about the low quality of what you've been finding."
"We knew it was long odds. But the kids I'm working with are actually fighting a war just to stay alive."
"Your kids are so malnourished that they suffer serious mental degradation before you even begin testing them. Most of them haven't formed any normal human bonds, they're so messed up they can't get through a day without finding something they can steal, break, or disrupt."
"They also represent possibility, as all children do."
"That's just the kind of sentimentality that discredits your whole project in the eyes of the I.F."
Poke kept her eyes open all the time. The younger children were supposed to be on watch, too, and sometimes they could be quite observant, but they just didn't notice all the things they needed to notice, and ...
If you liked Ender's Shadow, try these:
Set in a near-future United States ravaged by nuclear fallout, widespread plagues, and chemical contamination, Armageddon's Children follows a handful of unlikely heroes as they struggle to survive in a poisoned world infested by demons, insane "once-men," and other mutant creatures too horrific to describe.
Beginning nearly four decades before Dune, House Atreides introduces pivotal characters, alliances, base treacheries, and bright hopes that form the foundation of Dune.
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