Just wanted to do something fun so I'll be comparing my favorite book by OSC (as well as favorite book ever) Ender's Game with Ender's Shadow (the first three books).
I'd have to say that the biggest contrast between the two is the characters. In Ender's Game Ender Wiggin is less of a character and more a symbolic representation of humanity: willing to do anything to survive yet paradoxically a pacifist who abhors violence. Ender is humanity.
Unfortunately it's that very nature that makes him harder to relate to. We don't sympathize with Ender so much as a character but more as the tainted innocence of humanity. Luckily since the book focuses so much on war and its consequences the overall story winds up all the better for it. In other words: Story is 10/10 while the characters is more questionable. I'd also like to argue that Ender's Game is better than Speaker since Speaker had the comparatively smaller moral of 'honesty can hurt' and 'so-called primitive culture isn't all that primitive', the latter moral somewhat already done in Ender's Game as 'all life is sacred' ie the buggers.
Now comes the even more interesting part: Ender's Shadow, by itself, doesn't work as a stand-alone novel because it focuses on a character that isn't allowed to have too much importance in the overall story. BUT it overwhelmingly succeeds as a story because of its two sequels, Shadow of the Hegemon and Shadow Puppets. This is mainly due to the fact that Bean is allowed to exist as more of a character than Ender because, unlike Ender's Game, the message behind the story is considerably weaker so must instead shift focus on characters we never before got to spend any time with.
To put it simply in terms of message Ender's Game is better than Shadow and in terms of character Shadow is better than Ender's Game.
It depends on what you prefer: If you like deep Science Fiction like Star Trek then Ender's Game. If you're more into Star Wars (ie light, fluffy yet extremely fun) then Ender's Shadow.
With that said Ender's Shadow still has a lot to say about procreation, it's just that most people already know that procreation is important whereas sympathy for an enemy during war times is something America and other countries still has trouble with.
Also, as a side note, Achilles de Flandres is one of the best antagonists I've ever read and if by some slim chance Orson Scott Card reads this then PLEASE make an alternate-history book where Achilles becomes president...because that would be awesome.
Also note that I'm comparing the two so not saying Ender's Shadow is bad (quite the contrary), just saying Ender's Game is better in comparison.
Anyway, what do you think? Am I way off the mark? Why? Feel free to comment as positively or negatively as you want, for that's how we grow as people.
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