A Letdown

  • Sep 2, 2002
SHADOW PUPPETS isn't exactly disappointing, but it certainly does not pack the emotional impact of Card's previous efforts. Bean and Petra are the central characters in this installment but the "shadow" of Achilles is never far behind. We see the denouement of the conflict between Bean and Achilles started in Ender's Shadow, but there's a certain emotional detachment about the whole process. Card seems on auto pilot here. This is clearly a bridge novel that will eventually bring us to the full realization of Peter's hegemony

And this is definitely not a book to be read if you have not read the previous novels. One would be hopelessly out of the loop to make sense of it all without prior knowledge gained in the previous works.

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InShadow Puppets, Orson Scott Card continues the storyline ofShadow of the Hegemon, following the exploits of the Battle School children, prodigies who have returned to an Earth thrown into chaos after the unifying force of the alien invasion they stopped inEnder's GameandEnder's Shadowhas dissipated.

Foremost among these whiz kids is the brilliant Bean who, in Shadow of the Hegemon, rescued his comrades from his nemesis--the dastardly Achilles. Now, the down-but-not-out evil genius is again scheming towards global domination and vengeance against the irrepressible Bean. It's up to Bean and his newfound love, Petra, to outwit the young psychopath and save the world. Meanwhile, the other Battle School children are called to serve again as an expansionist China threatens the stability of post-Bugger War Earth.

Shadow Puppets is, for better or worse, exactly what readers have come to expect from Card. There are thought-provoking musings on geopolitics, war, courage, arrogance, good versus evil, and the concept of children wise beyond their years dealing with grave responsibility. Unfortunately, many of these furnishings are looking a little frayed around the edges, but fans will enjoy an exciting, fast-paced plot and a suspense-filled conclusion. --Jeremy Pugh

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ISBN-10: 0765300176
ISBN-13: 978-0765300171
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Tor Books

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"A Letdown"
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