Shadows in Flight

{4.5/5} “The human race had encountered only one alien species, ever, and had fought a war of extinction with them. According to a story told by the writer of The Hive Queen under the pseudonym ‘Speaker for the Dead,’ the Formics had not meant to wipe out the human race at all. But Carlotta wasn’t buying it — it was easy to impute benign motives to an aliens species that no longer existed.”

Bean and his three children are hurtling away from Earth as fast as they can go. Ender, Carlotta, and Sergeant are only six years old but they’re all supergeniouses — like Bean. Unfortunately they will all die by the time they’re 20 years old or so — and Bean doesn’t have much time left. They’ve been trying, along with people on Earth, to find a cure for their condition but haven’t succeeded. Then they come across an alien ship, which they have to investigate. This far away from Earth it could be anyone, but Bean thinks he knows who it is — it’s the Formics.

Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card was published in 2012. It’s the latest novel in the Shadow series, a subseries of the Ender saga. The Shadow series takes place in the Ender universe but focusses on Bean and other friends of Ender’s from Battle School. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, start by reading Ender’s Game — I guarantee you won’t be able to put it down.

It’s been 7 years since I read the previous books in this series. These days I try not to start a series before it’s done, but there are a small number of series I’m in the middle of that the author hasn’t finished.

This is a pretty short book, which is fine — but the publisher is a bit silly trying to make it look longer by increasing the font size.

There’s not much action in the first few chapters, but Card (like Robert J. Sawyer) is a master at writing interesting dialogue.

It’s about the relationships between a father and his children, amongst the children, and between humans and aliens.

If you haven’t read the other books in this series I wouldn’t suggest starting with this one, but if you have read the others you’ll enjoy it.

One more book in this series is planned.

Card is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read more books by him than anyone else — 22 novels and 3 collections. He’s written brilliant science fiction novels (Ender’s Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender’s Shadow, and Pastwatch), fantasy novels (Seventh Son and Red Prophet), and short stories (Maps in a Mirror and Keeper of Dreams). His anthology Masterpieces is also a great one. Ender’s Game was recently made into a movie.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 29th, 2013 at 10:28 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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