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Shadow Puppets [Format Kindle]

Orson Scott Card

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In Shadow Puppets, Orson Scott Card continues the storyline of Shadow of the Hegemon, following the exploits of the Battle School children, prodigies who have returned to an Earth thrown into chaos after the unifying force of the alien invasion they stopped in Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow has dissipated.

Foremost among these whiz kids is the brilliant Bean who, in Shadow of the Hegemon, rescued his comrades from his nemesis--the dastardly Achilles. Now, the down-but-not-out evil genius is again scheming towards global domination and vengeance against the irrepressible Bean. It's up to Bean and his newfound love, Petra, to outwit the young psychopath and save the world. Meanwhile, the other Battle School children are called to serve again as an expansionist China threatens the stability of post-Bugger War Earth.

Shadow Puppets is, for better or worse, exactly what readers have come to expect from Card. There are thought-provoking musings on geopolitics, war, courage, arrogance, good versus evil, and the concept of children wise beyond their years dealing with grave responsibility. Unfortunately, many of these furnishings are looking a little frayed around the edges, but fans will enjoy an exciting, fast-paced plot and a suspense-filled conclusion. --Jeremy Pugh

From Publishers Weekly

Card spins another adventure in the Enderverse, following the exploits of Bean, Petra, Peter Wiggin and many of the other Battle School students. Wiggin, the Hegemon of a floundering and fragile union of countries, has freed the sociopath Acheel. While Wiggin realizes the error of his actions, Bean and Petra are on the run to avoid Acheel's overwhelming realm of influence. Though Card's politics and beliefs permeate the narrative, none can deny his masterful storytelling, enhanced by the four narrators. While presenting different points of views and even voices within the story, they at times overlap and still perform well. Each seem to dominate a different perspective of the book. Birney's brittle voice identifies the cold calculating side of Wiggin while also imbuing at times the desperation and frustration of the aspiring world leader. Brick works best with the cool and collected Bean while De Cuir uses her stern lilting voice to embody the lead female characters. Rudnicki's deep, cold voice is the perfect choice for the almost toneless e-mails prefacing each chapter. A Tor Books paperback (Reviews, July 15, 2002). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2207 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 448 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0765340054
  • Editeur : Tor Books; Édition : 1st (16 juin 2003)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000FA5SCK
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°67.348 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  282 commentaires
57 internautes sur 60 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Cast a Giant... Shadow? 24 septembre 2002
Par Patrick Shepherd - Publié sur Amazon.com
The spectacular Ender's Game and its very good to excellent sequels established Card as a major SF writer. With Ender's Shadow, he came close to matching the brilliance of the original story. Then came Shadow of the Hegemon, with its focus on Peter Wiggin and Achilles, and it seemed like all the power, originality, and dramatic tension faded away, leaving only a shadow to lay across your mind. This latest work is neither as good as Ender's Shadow nor as mundane as Hegemon, but rather somewhere in-between.

Here we find Bean growing beyond the norm, symptomatic of his genetic flaw that will eventually kill him while still a young man. And growing in other ways, as his relationship with Petra finally flowers under her tenacious insistence. This is probably the best part of this novel, as we see sides of the two that have not been in great evidence in the prior works. And we get some small looks into the thoughts and characters of some of the other Battle School graduates, mainly Virlomi, Han Tzu and Alai, each of whom contribute some major items towards Peter and Bean winning their current battle with Achilles. The Wiggin parents emerge from obscurity and are revealed to be (unsurprisingly) very intelligent and (surprisingly) quite forceful. All good things...

So where does this book fail? The main failure is Peter Wiggin himself. For a man who could sway world opinion with his exacting, careful logic as Locke and browbeat everyone into emotional frenzy as Demosthenes, Peter is depicted here as a remarkably stupid, arrogant, and emotional teenager. Achilles, the demon, remains almost totally offstage, providing little room for dramatic confrontations, and what ones there are come off as almost anti-climatic. And finally, the circumstance that draws Bean back into the struggle between Peter and Achilles was totally preventable, a very sad and uncharacteristic lack of foresight by both Bean and Petra. These items do much to kill any major excitement in this work, even though the major (world) battle could have formed a taught political and military thriller.

Is this book readable? Certainly. Card is still an excellent writer. His prose, descriptions, and dialogue (especially the back-and-forth between Bean and Petra) are all well formed and his moral insights flow from the premise of the story. But this one just doesn't have the edge-of-the-seat tension, the incredible insight into human character that have been the hallmarks of his best work.

---Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Satisfactory, but perfunctory, conclusion(?) to 'Bean' saga 30 avril 2003
Par Patrick L. Randall - Publié sur Amazon.com
I put a question mark next to the word conclusion in the title of this review because it's not clear if "Shadow Puppets" is the final book in the entire 'Ender's Saga' ('Bean sub-saga'). A large number of issues are resolved in this book, but others are still left up in the air. At the present time, there is listing or information about any future episodes in this series. So, for the time being, I will assume this is the last book. If it is, despite seeming loose ends, it would make a satisfactory conclusion.

"Shadow Puppets" should probably be the end, though. Much like the last portion of "Xenocide" and all of "Children of the Mind" in the original 'Ender's Quartet', Orson Scott Card seems to be running out of steam with these characters. Card still displays his gifts of representing human interactions, but "Shadow Puppets" has less ability to stand on it's own. Unlike "Ender's Shadow" and, to a slightly lesser degree, "Shadow of the Hegemon", you absolutely have to have read the previous books in the series for "Shadow Puppets" to have any true meaning. Whereas "Ender's Shadow" and "Shadow of the Hegemon" were connected by similar characters, yet told different stories (much like "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead"), "Shadow Puppets" merely continues the storyline from "...Hegemon".

To summarize, Peter Wiggin has achieved his long sought after goal of becoming the Hegemon, but the title carries little power with it in the wake of a large Chinese invasion throughout southern Asia, and subsequent assumption of the position of Earth's premier military power. These actions were set in motion by the psychotic Achilles before his true nature came to light and he was placed under arrest by the Chinese government. Peter sees his only true way of thwarting the Chinese and restoring prestige to the office of the Hegemon is to rescue Achilles from prison and put him to work for the Hegemony. Think that, despite Achilles manipulative skills, he can control him, Peter mistakenly compromises his own security and drives away many of those who served him, including Bean and Petra.

During their self-imposed exile from Hegemon, Bean and Petra try to find ways to undermine the Chinese and Achilles while also dealing with a burgeoning romance and Petra's desire to have children by Bean before he dies of his genetic disorder. While it is somewhat interesting to read about Bean and Petra's romance, it is still somewhat dry. It's not impossible to conceive of this happening, as they are both probably 16 years old at this point and far older in many other ways, given what their early years consisted of. Yet, there's not really any spark to the relationship. It seems to the reader as if they are having this romance because they feel that it's something that they should do, not because there is any passionate romantic feelings sparking between them. It can't carry near the same weight as the personal interactions and tender romance that took place in "Speaker for the Dead". That example is just thrown in as a perfect representation of Card's ability to convey human emotion. It's not quite as well-crafted here. It's not bad, though, so the reader still has some emotional investment in these two.

There are other elements of "Shadow Puppets" that are quite interesting. For the first time in all seven of the "Ender's" novels, the reader gets a chance to truly see the personalities of Theresa and John Paul Wiggins, the parents of Peter, Ender and Valentine. A great deal of time is spent on Peter's reluctant interaction with his parents and his eventual acceptance of their advice as relevant and appreciated. They come across as so much more than the bland, inattentive parents that readers were first introduced to in "Ender's Game". In addition, there are interactions with many other former Battle School students. Alai and Han Tzu are just a few of the names who play major roles in the events that shape this novel.

On the whole "Shadow Puppets" was a good read. If there are more books on the horizon, then all the better. However, if this is where the series ends, then so be it. It's not a bad way to go out.
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A Marginal Book From A Great Author 2 septembre 2002
Par "arabella_sephia" - Publié sur Amazon.com
As soon as Shadow Puppets entered stores I ran out and bought it. I'm a huge fan of Orson Scott Card and the Ender series. Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow were my all-time favourite books.
But while Ender's Game was spectacular, Ender's Shadow great, and Shadow of the Hegemon good, I thought Shadow puppets was way below my expectations.
Everything felt tired, boring, and predictable. As with the later books in the Ender series, It seemed as though there wasn't enough plot to stretch across the pages.
Bean and Petra's characters seemed to change radically from Shadow of the Hegemon and Ender's Shadow with no explanation. I also was disapointed in the dialogue. People said things rather abruptly and for no reason. Bean and Petra's romance also seemed very awkward with no excitement at all.
And where was Achilles? His great chapters with Petra made me forgive some of Shadow of the Hegemon's boring parts.
But as a loyal fan, I still give it 3 stars because it kinda satisfied my longing for another Ender book. It's great for fans, but I wouldn't really recomned it.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Slow moving continuation of the Ender/Bean series 22 août 2002
Par Gary M. Greenbaum - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
The genesis of the Bean/Achilles interaction was clear. Two telegenic, winning characters (to the other characters, not necessarily to the readers). One with a tragic physical flaw that is likely to kill him, the other with a tragic moral flaw, ditto.
The problem is that the writing, especially in this book, doesn't rise to the level that Card seeks.
Unless you enjoy endless conversations about minor issues, or five-page musings by minor characters, you are likely to find this book very slow moving indeed. This book resoves the Eastern crisis that Card set up in the last book. But it does it in almost a storybook fashion. After a drop by drop setup (Chinese water torture, maybe?), we are told of tremendous military manoevers that I really don't find convincing. Sure, maybe the Muslims can do all the things that Card has them do. But the denouement relies on all the things being UNDETECTED, it is never explained how that is possible. What happened to radar, satellite imagery, intelligence (in more ways than one)?
The whole military plot relies on the Chinese being slightly stupider than a comic book villian and little weapons advancement beyond 1949. Very strange.
The Bean/Achilles conflict reaches its resolution in this book as well, I will not say how. But by the time we finally get to it, it is difficult to care. In my opinion, this is due to Card's failure to make us feel anything except irritation when it comes to Achilles, however much we may like Bean. Shadow of the Hegemon gave Card the opportunity to make Achilles interesting, rather than just an almost hypnotically alluring (to the other characters) villian. It didn't work.
We get to see more of Peter Wiggin in this book. But he comes across more as a sullen teenager, who (no fewer than twice!) has to be forcibly woken up by his parents than the titular ruler of the world. If you're hoping to see how Peter transforms himself and his job into what we see at the end of Ender's Game, well, don't hold your breath, but if this is what you care about, hold on to your bucks until the next book. For there will be one.
A great present for the insatiable Card or Ender fan.
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Hard to read in light of Card's political leanings 5 avril 2010
Par Daniel R. Macleod - Publié sur Amazon.com
Shadow Puppets continues the story of Bean, a genetically engineered prodigy who navigates a gauntlet of political intrigue and personal danger while attempting to save the world from a sociopathic adversary. If you've read some of the reviews on this site, you probably already know that. It's probably also safe to say that if you enjoyed Ender's Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon, you won't be disappointed with this effort. That said, it's become very hard for me to overlook the grist of Card's personal beliefs, despite the entertaining quality of his stories.

Before I continue, let me make it clear that I believe all individuals have the liberty to express their opinions, whether or not I agree with them. This is a book review, and as such, I am only bringing attention to the author's beliefs because they show up repeatedly in his writing and undermined the quality of my reading experience. If you happen to share Mr. Card's opinions, then you won't share any of the misgivings I experienced and are likely to enjoy the story immensely.

The crux of my problem lies within some of Card's Mormon-centric views about family and homosexuality that, while not omnipresent throughout his work, form the basis for some "purpose of life" quandaries that motivate his characters' behavior. Before I continue, let's make it clear that this isn't a baseless accusation - googling the words Scott, Card, homosexuality, and family values yields a wealth of information, including articles he has written for the Latter-day Saints that include titles like "The Hypocrites of Homosexuality".

You may have noticed touches of this sentiment sprinkled throughout the Ender's series - the instinctual drive toward getting married and starting a family that overwhelms many of the main characters (Valentine, Ender, Ender's children, Bean, etc.); the anger characters exhibit toward laws governing reproductive rights; the setting up of cynical characters like Ender and Bean (paper tigers) who receive spiritual wisdom and subsequent enlightenment from ancillary characters speaking in Card's voice.

If you didn't notice these things and think I'm just speculating blindly, note following advice given to Bean by an old Russian scientist (who may or may not be gay) who laments that he pursued academic achievement over the will to procreate:

"Even men who do not desire women, even women who do not desire men, this does not exempt them from the deepest desire of all, the desire to be an inextricable part of the human race...it's hard-wired into all of us. Not just sexual desire - that can be twisted any which way, and it often is...it's a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifyingly other sex and make a life together...there's still a hunger for this. For actual marriage, two unlike creatures becoming, as best they can, one."
"[This is] The thing that makes us civilized or at least civilizable. And those who are cut off from it by their own desires, by those twists and bends that turn them in another way...those who are cut off because they think they want to be cut off, they are still hungry for it - hungrier than ever, especially if they deny it."

And you know what? In Card's written universe, these words are absolutely true. Inevitably, protagonists who want the happy ending must, must, must go forth, marry, and have progeny or else die alone and forgotten. And this truth makes it hard for me to continue reading his work.
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