This would be the set of “Ender” books I just wasn’t as in to, though I do own them all. I’m not even sure why I didn’t enjoy these books quite as much maybe because they aren’t centered on Ender.
Ender’s Shadow is actually a companion book to Ender’s Game. It is the story of Bean. We start with Bean as a baby hiding in the tank of a toilet when someone comes to kill him and all of his brothers and sisters. Bean it seems has highly developed survival senses. These help him stay alive on the streets where he manages to work his way into a gang with some expert manipulation. We meet Achilles, the boy who is to become not only his nemesis but also Peter Wiggin’s (Ender’s older brother.)
Bean is taken on by Sister Carlotta to be trained for the International Fleet specifically for Battle School. It is at the point that Bean finally goes to Battle School where his story and Ender’s begin to align, there are some differences that I think we can just chalk up to the stories putting us in the mind of different characters with two very different viewpoints.
The rest of the Shadow books follow the kids of Ender’s jeesh as they make their way back on Earth, we also meet up again with Ender’s parents and brother Pete. In Shadow of the Hegemon the kids from the Battle School begin to disappear one by one until Bean is the only one left. With no one else to turn to Bean decides to ask for help from Peter Wiggin, not his first choice of allies.
Shadow Puppets continues the story of Peter taking over the world with the help of Bean, Petra, and the rest of Ender’s friends. Peter is sure he knows how to make things right again on Earth but he can’t do it on his own the problem is sometimes he’s not sure who the kids are more loyal to him or Bean.
Shadow of the Giant was the original end to this set of books. Bean has begun to grow and grow, he is going to become a giant in just a few short years and he will continue to grow until his internal organs can no longer support his body, it is expected that he will die in his 20s. Bean and Petra want a family and they want their family safe. This is probably the book I enjoyed most of this set until the newest one came out.
Shadows in Flight tells the story of Bean and his children who have the same genetic change that he does. This is the only one of the Shadow books that I’ve read multiple times. I really liked the interaction between Bean and his children and between the children themselves. I was disappointed though that they didn’t somehow meet up with Ender which was what I expected to happen. However all is not lost as there are rumors of a book titled Shadows Alive that will tie up the loose ends of the Ender and Bean sagas. My fingers are totally crossed that this happens.