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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Shadow of the Hegemon

Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender, Book 6) by Orson Scott Card

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

January 6, 2002

"Shadow of the Hegemon" follows up "Ender's Shadow" but lacks any emotional intensity or dramatic action to make it even an interesting read. Card's characters go through the motions of the plot like a bunch of robots, there's nothing interesting about established characters like Bean, Achilles, Petra, or Peter Wiggin and nothing interesting about any new characters either. The reader learns nothing new about anyone, which ultimately leads to losing interest int he story and its characters.

Card prides himself on his knowledge of military and political history and that's just how this books comes off: a dull retelling of a history that has yet to be. He describes a game of Risk where the armies of India tire themselves out trying to conquer Southeast Asia and are in turn conquered by China, which could have been avoided if only India could have drawn a third cannon card to get more armies on the board.

In short, if you've read Card's other Ender/Bean books then I suggest you read this just so you aren't lost, but buy a used copy, borrow it from the library, or get it from a friend. ...

Also, in light of recent world events, I suggest avoiding the Afterword of the book where Card blasts the "immoral" attack on Afghanistan by the U.S. in 1998 and describes just why America "is a nation in decline". "Shadow of the Hegemon" does little enough to endear you to Orson Scott Card, but his opinions in the Afterword will make you like him even less so.

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