Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shadow of the Giant

by Orson Scott Card

Grade: 4 stars
Story summary: The emperor of China, the goddess of India, the religious leader of all the Muslims, and the president of Earth are all fighting or marrying each other, usually trying to accomplish both at once. So as you can imagine, the world isn't in a particularly good state.
Sequel to Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, and Shadow Puppets.

Thoughts: I don't whether it's just that Peter actually used his intelligence here, and Petra helped with world affairs and not just her babies*, or whether it was actually better, but I liked this one quite a bit more than the previous one. All the geo-political kerfuffles were quite fun to read about.

I do wish Virlomi had been slightly more intelligent towards the end (though her skill at obtaining the adoration of the masses was quite cool), and Bean was a little more involved in what was going on. But Peter's coolness** more than made up for that, and Alai's story arc was quite intriguing as well, and Petra (as mentioned above) was far more interesting than in the last book (her interactions with Peter especially--they could be quite amusing).

There's another book in this series now, called Shadows in Flight, but I'm not totally sure if I want to read it. My favourite thing about the previous book was not Bean (though he was pretty awesome in Ender's Shadow), and I'd be really sad to leave behind all the doings on Earth. Plus the arrangement of his kids in that book sounds suspiciously like Peter, Ender, and Valentine.

*As in the previous book, I have nothing against babies--I LOVE babies--but they somehow seem not quite as interesting here.
**See: scene with Petra the first (starting on pg. 31 of the hardcover), scene with parents (starting pg. 193), scene with Mazer Rackham (starting pg. 259), scene with Petra the second (starting pg. 345), scene with Ender (starting pg. 360 (or a little sooner)). Also most of the other scenes, but I'm not going through the whole book to list all the Peter parts.

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