Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Orson Scott Card: Shadow of the Hegemon

"Shadow of the Hegemon" is the direct sequel to "Ender’s Shadow." Instead of taking place in space, Shadow of the Hegemon focuses on the lives of the Battle School students as they return to Earth. However, as soon as they reach Earth, their lives are in danger, as the insane Achilles is on the loose.

Ender’s jeesh (or army), is captured by Achilles, all except one: Bean. Achilles has not forgotten the humiliation that Bean put him through at Battle School and attempts to murder him and his family. Eventually, Achilles also murders Sister Carlotta, and with it, Bean finds out the truth about his genetics. While his brain will keep growing, his body will as well, and likely, won’t live past the age of 20.

Orson Scott Card focuses "Shadow of the Hegemon" on four main characters: Bean, Petra, Peter Wiggin, and Achilles. The novel begins accounting the imprisonment of Petra, and her struggle to keep hope in the midst of slavery. Our hearts break as Petra becomes so hopeless that silence is the only way she can survive. Even though her silence seems like compliance to Achilles, Bean never gives up hope that he can save Petra from the evil grips of madman.

Meanwhile, Bean finds himself working with the Thai army, and is given 200 soldiers to train. Bean fully intends to rescue Petra with this army. However, Bean can’t do it all on his own, and has enlisted Peter Wiggin for his help. The question for Bean becomes, would he rather have Peter ruling the world, or Achilles ruling the world?

Once again, we find Achilles to be the perfect villain. He is a smooth talker, able to pull people onto his side, even if they know his murderous traits. Petra even compares him to the Devil, being the ultimate deceiver. Achilles gives me the chills as the coolly murders people at point blank, without even a thought of remorse.

Card, as usual, has multiple story-lines going on behind the main plot. While Bean is trying to save Petra, and Peter trying to maintain influence in the world, the struggle for power leaves nations at war with each other, in particular, India, Thailand, and China. This book is less science fiction and more of a military thriller, full of treachery, murder, and the ultimate struggle for power. You will not be disappointed.

To purchase this book, check out Amazon.com:
Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender, Book 6)

For other reviews of the Ender's Saga and Shadow series, check out these links:

Ender's Game (13 Aug. 2010)
Ender in Exile (23 Sept. 2010)
Speaker for the Dead (8 Apr. 2011)
Xenocide (9 Apr. 2011)
Children of the Mind (11 Apr. 2011)
Ender's Shadow (15 Apr. 2011)
Shadow of the Hegemon (19 Apr. 2011)
Shadow Puppets (25 Apr. 2011)
Shadow of the Giant (29 Apr. 2011)

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