As my username suggests, I am a Card fan. I have been since my seventh grade English teacher gave me Ender's Game to read after he saw me with my nose in Animorphs books all day. I haven't read everything Mr. Card has written, but quite a bit. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading and getting to know the characters in both Ender series over the past decade or so, as long as I've been reading them.
This is my first post on this forum, though I have been visiting this website regularly for years, to read Mr. Card's reviews. I enjoy them - even though I live nowhere near North Carolina.
I am posting because as the title suggests, I am disappointed. I was disappointed with Ender in Exile, and I am disappointed now, having recently finished Shadows in Flight.
I was disappointed with Ender in Exile because after paying the retail price of a new hardcover, which is not cheap, I realized that I had already paid, on IGMS, to read a significant portion of the content. I felt cheated, having paid twice to read the same material. I don't mind paying to read. I've had to replace my copy of Ender's game many a time, and even own it in a different language. Maybe it was stated somewhere on IGMS that the stories there would be chapters in an upcoming novel, but I must have missed it.
So even though I was disappointed then, I let it slide - I didn't let it bother me too much, mostly because I thoroughly enjoyed reading Ender in Exile. I'm only reflecting upon it now because I was much more disappointed with Shadows in Flight.
I just didn't enjoy it. In my opinion, the story was unoriginal. Bean's children basically did exactly what was done in the Gold Bug story, which also became a chapter of Ender in Exile. Bean's children stumbled upon a Formic environment, and used their wit and some science to determine how the current situation of that environment came to be over a long period with no queen to oversee it.
Sure, it was quite different, there were different circumstances and details, revisiting the Bean character was great, and getting to know his children was also enjoyable. However I feel as if I'd paid a third time, to read the same story, more or less.
Also, I live in Israel, so I pay quite a bit to ship these books out here when they come out. I know, my choice, but like most of you I don't like to wait when there's a new OSC book out there.
I also feel as if, in the 220 or so pages of Shadows in Flight, very, very little actually happens. I feel like we've waited years for the next installment in the series, and all we got was a preview.
I like to buy books. I like to support the authors. Rarely do I buy a book and feel that it's not worth the money. That is how I feel this time, and really, it is disappointing, because I've enjoyed Mr. Card's work for so long. I'll read the next one that comes out too, but maybe I'll probably borrow it from the library first, then decide if I want to buy it or not.
Did anyone feel anything similar?
Posts: 1 | Registered: Feb 2012
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Ender in Exile was the first book I read in a Card series that I felt was a sequel just for the sake of having a sequel.
I didn't feel that way about Shadows in Flight, simply because I suspect it's important groundwork for the next novel. So I sort of looked at this one as a novel-length prologue, and it was okay for that. But yeah, I'm going to be very disappointed if the next novel is on the same level as these.
Posts: 324 | Registered: Mar 2008
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I loved Shadow series except for the first book. Reading every line seemed so naive, I had a feeling I could almost see the sweat droplets on the pages where OSC tried to find a way to make Bean important where he really really really was not. It seems obvious to Bean that Ender must go to Command School asap, and then he is stunned about the news that he in fact was send there right away. In Ender's Game it was really a nice little thing- Bean standing up to Graff and Anderson after they ruined the game. In Ender's Shadow this scene makes absolutely no sense at all. I keep having this feeling that OSC couldnt write a single sentence without looking into Ender's Game and wishing he hadnt stared this suicidal task...
Posts: 572 | Registered: Dec 2004
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One of the problems I had with Shadows in Flight is that there's no room for the reader to be involved in the story. Everything was either spelled out completely by the characters, or it was based off of something that nobody could possibly intuit. Even when I end up being completely wrong, I like to be able to speculate on where a plot might be heading. There was simply no room for this in Shadows in Flight. The most thought I put into this book was trying to convert 4 and a half meters into Feet in my head (~14' 9", btw).
My other problem with the novel is that we weren't allowed to get to know the characters. We were TOLD about the characters through the inner dialog of the OTHER characters, but the story was so short that we didn't get to dig any deeper.
It was like "XXX is an Alpha" *character acts alpha for a scene* Ok, done with that character. Who's next?
The characters were so shallow that I wasn't sure I was actually reading a Card book.
Posts: 636 | Registered: Apr 2002
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To some extent, these books filled gaps in the Ender saga history, and answer previously unanswered questions.
Like, how did Ender come across the Formic Egg he carries around. I found that story interesting.
Next, how does Ender cope with being famous, having high rank, yet being so young. In the Ender in Exile story, we see that Ender still has the analytical skills to out maneuver the ships captain.
As to his governing on the Planet, we see he also has the people skills necessary to take control. He has the ability to make people like him and submit to his authority even though he remains somewhat distant and detached from them. That shows he has a degree of natural leadership skill and charisma.
Though I found the flight time a bit dull, it does fill in the history and expand the character, and I was satisfied with that.
As to Shadows in Flight, again this books fill out some unresolved history in the books. In the Shadow series Bean is sent off into space never to be heard of again. More importantly, we know Bean's life is going to be very short. How long will he last? How will he cope with precocious kids while he is alive, and how will they cope once he is dead? And, the most important unresolved question, how, when, and where does Bean die. I REALLY needed that closure. I could not stand by with that issue unresolved knowing Bean, a character I had great affection for, was just left hanging.
Now I know the circumstances of his life and his death, and that closes, what for me was, a very huge circle.
Plus we know there is at least one more book to come; essentially "The Beanie Babies Meet New!Peter". If you look at Shadows in Flight, that is a great mystery. Not only are the Beanies distance in space, but also in time.
In the Beanie timeline, New!Peter doesn't even exist yet. The planet Lusitania hasn't even been founded yet. What could happen on the new Beanie planet that could send the Beanie kids off on a trek through space, and more importantly time, in search of Ender or in search of whatever it is that motivates them to leave the planet they are on? How soon will that occur? Will it be years in the future? Will their be many second generation Beanies in existance? Will they all go, or will some of the Beanie kids be left behind to carry on the colonization of their planet?
Mysteries that need answers.
Each of these additional books gave me answers that I needed, and regardless of the storyline itself, I am grateful for those answers. And will be equally grateful to see how "Beanies Meet New!Peter" works out.
I think New!Peter is an interesting character. And I think the resolution of the Ender series leaves several nice loose ends untied. The Driscolada? The threat to the power of Star Congress. Let's face it, New!Peter and Lusitania thoroughly spanked the bottom of Star Congress.
Peter has tremedous power in his alliance with Path, the Formics, and the Piggies. Jane has tremendous power in her control of Faster Than Light Travel.
Further Jane particular brand of Faster Than Light Travel, makes any military or govt fortress completely vulnerable. They could easily appear in the middle of Star Congress session. Star Congress is completely defenseless against Jane. Jane could move huge armies right to their front door and inside in the blink of an eye. She wouldn't, but she could. Those in power don't like to have their power threatened.
So, plenty of unresolved conflict existing at the end of the Ender series.
There is a lot more story to tell, though it really just fills in the missing pieces. As they exist, the core Shadow and Ender stories are resolved. But not resolved to my satisfaction. The new books tie up important loose ends for me, and I've very much looking forward to seeing how the Beanies and New!Peter finally come together, especially when you consider the vast expanse of time and space between them.
The details and circumstance were in Ender's Game as well. We know that on an exploration of the planet with a young child, Ender comes across concrete recreations of the fantasy game, goes into the recreations and finds the cocoon behind the recreated mirror where his reflection turned into Peter in the fantasy game. We actually get more detail about Ender actually finding the Hive Queen (it's not an egg - it's a fully developed Queen in a cocoon) in EG.
My issue isn't whether Shadows in Flight had some useful content- it obviously did- but whether it had enough useful content to warrant it's own book. I am of the opinion that it did not. It feels like I was sold a single Act that was advertised as a Play (or perhaps a Scene sold as an Act if you want to consider the whole of the series as the Play).
Posts: 636 | Registered: Apr 2002
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