|Author||Orson Scott Card|
|Series||Ender's Game series|
|Publication date||September 1999|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover & Paperback)|
|Dewey Decimal||813/.54 21|
|LC Classification||PS3553.A655 E58 1999|
|Followed by||Shadow of the Hegemon|
Ender's Shadow (1999) is a parallel science fiction novel by the American author Orson Scott Card, taking place at the same time as the novel Ender's Game and depicting some of the same events from the point of view of Bean, a supporting character in the original novel. It was originally to be titled Urchin, but it was retitled Ender's Shadow prior to release. Ender's Shadow was shortlisted for a Locus Award in 2000.
Bean, the main character, is a homeless child living in the hellish streets of Rotterdam in roughly 2170 after escaping as an infant from an illegal genetic engineering laboratory. Being barely-intelligent and extremely young, Bean's experiences revolve primarily around his need for food. He joins a large gang of children led by a girl named Poke and sets up a system in which they can all receive nourishment at a local soup kitchen. Specifically, the group gets a bully, Achilles (pronounced 'Ah-Sheel' [French Pronunciation]), to be their protector. However, Achilles is increasingly ruthless, protective, and methodical.
Luckily for Bean, his incredible mind, creativity, and determination bring him to the attention of Sister Carlotta, a nun who is recruiting children to fight a war against the Buggers. At the training facility, Battle School, Bean's true genius becomes apparent. Not only is he smarter than average, he is smarter than any other child at Battle School, including Ender Wiggin. Despite Bean's intelligence, it is Ender who has been chosen to save humanity from the Buggers. Bean, being an extraordinary genius, begins to uncover secrets and truths about the school. Bean struggles to understand what quality Ender has that he does not, until he is assigned to draw up a "hypothetical" roster for Ender's army, and adds himself to the list. At first, Ender does not appear to recognize Bean's brilliance, but time shows that he was grooming Bean as his tactical support, putting him at the head of an unorthodox platoon challenged to outthink the teachers who designed the game, and defeat their attempts to tip the balance of advantages towards Ender's rivals.
Throughout the book, the main theme rests on Bean's personal struggle against the IF administration, which seems bent on breaking Ender, even if it means murder. Throughout all of this, Bean has to contend with the reappearance of Achilles and his own struggle to understand what makes Ender human.
He also makes friends with an older boy named Nikolai Delphiki who is drawn to Bean because of their similar looks. It is soon discovered, through Sister Carlotta's research, that the two boys are actually genetic twins, except for Bean's genetic enhancements. Back in the lab, the scientist Volescu had turned Anton's Key, which meant that Bean's body would never stop growing - including his brain - until a premature death between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five. Sister Carlotta manages to ensure that Bean will get to live with Nikolai and his parents after the war. Through illustrating Bean's experiences in Battle School, the novel shows how he, a secondary character in Ender's Game, was much more important to the fate of Earth. In addition, the book depicts the first of Bean's encounters with Achilles. At the very end of the story, after they defeat the buggers, Bean is united with his real parents and Nikolai.
The novel has received numerous awards, including:
- New York Times bestseller (Fiction, 1999)
- SF Site Reader's Choice (1999)
- Alex Awards (2000)
- ALA Best Books for Young Adults (2000)
- Geffen Award (Best Translated Science Fiction Book, 2001)
- ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (2004)
- Chinese: "安德的影子" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Czech: "Enderův stín" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Hebrew: "הצל של אנדר" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Dutch: "Enders Schaduw" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Polish: "Cień Endera" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Russian: "Тень Эндера" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Spanish: "La sombra de Ender" ("Ender's Shadow").
- Romanian: "Umbra lui Ender" ("Ender's Shadow").
- French: "La Stratégie de l'Ombre" ("Shadow's Strategy")
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