Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Shadow of the Giant

author: Orson Scott Card

audience: 6th and up

This last installment of Ender's Shadow series is really gripping. Much better than Shadoe Puppet. I enjoyed finding more about Peter and his rise to power and his personalities. So great to see all the old characters making appearances again -- including Ender! Here is a young reader's reaction to the book and our subsequent email exchanges regarding this title:

Josh Ginzberg, 6th Grade, wrote:

SOTG is probably the most depressing book I have ever read. Very sad with Mr. Delphiki hopping onto the ship and leaving forever, i'm pretty sure he knew he was never coming back. It would be quite interesting if Andrew and Julian bumped into each other on Lusitania, as Andrew has his regrets about the near-xenocide, and Julian is only upset that he sent men to die, and Lusitania is home to the Formics and pequininos (i think i spelled that right) as well as humans. it was nice how Petra married old Hegemon Pete in the end but i think the ending could have included Julian. Maybe with a last paragraph, after one with Petra dying of old age, saying, "In the far reaches of spaces, thousands of light years away, Bean turned seventeen," or something like that.

A little odd (and sad) how Nikolai slowly fades out of the Shadow series, as one of the most prominent characters in Ender's Shadow and only mentioned by his mother in SOTG. Also sad how Randi gets away with Julian's ninth kid.

I speculated a little on Julian's children that had Anton's Key turned, and came to the conclusion that with Julian as a teacher, astounding intelligence, and the miracles of relativity, all three should have been able to fly the starship when they were each hardly two years old. Probably before.
Very weird disappearance from Earth with Julian, as I have no idea how he could have escaped the bombed-out building, and until i read the e-mail from Bean@Whereeverthehelliam i thought he really was dead.

When he said he would turn on the regulator, i'm pretty sure that was suicide. But whatever, I'm droning on now, you're probably asleep by now so i'll end this.

Feldman's Reply:

I KNEW that Bean did not die -- it was SOOOO obvious.. Haha.

Don't you suspect that there will be yet another sequel now the ninth baby escapes? Another series, even?

Josh's Reply:

about Bean's death...I was merely speculating. I knew he would live because there were still at least fifty pages left and Orson Scott Card isn't the devil, getting rid of his best characters ASAP. There may yet be another sequel, and another series telling about PATH AND THE AMAZING SMART PEOPLE WHO LIVED THERE.

Haha, I just realized that the people of Path are amazingly smart, and ColMin and the IF probably really did find a cure to take away Bean's early death and giantism, leaving only the smart part. Therefore Bean's children did indeed reproduce, or at least the ninth kid, probably on Han Tzu's planet or maybe Shen's, explaining the Oriental peoples of Path, and brought the people to Path. But could Starways Congress have a planet of smart minds like that running around and eventually bringing about their downfall? That would explain why they enslaved them with the "gods".

PS do you think its possible Bean really did commit suicide when he turned on the regulator? Or was he just beginning the voyage?

Feldman's Reply:

I did not get the sense that Bean was trying to kill himself -- I need to re-read the passages to see what you're saying. He definitely will be around to give guidance to his children, first of all, and his heart will be less burdened with less gravity so there IS a chance for his survival. Bring the book and we'll discuss on Wed. morning.
Josh's Reply:

i doubt bean wanted to commit suicide now as it would have killed his kids too and they reproduced, i believe (see Re: 3 Shadow of the GIant) . just a thought i had