Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review: Shadow of Hegemon by Orson Scott Card

Shadow of Hegemon by Orson Scott Card
Five-star rating


God! I‘d been having an Orson Scott Card’s books marathon these last few weeks. So far, since there is nothing left of his books in my hand that I haven’t read yet, I’ll have to take a pause reading his books and resume till I find his other books then—especially the sequels of this book.

After checking the rating details of this book on Goodreads, I found out that I belong to those people who are twenty-two percent addicted at this. Unfortunately, since before reading a book, I always refer the rating detail before I read a book, this turned out a not-so-good logic to me. For this mean I shouldn't have rely my preference of picking a book at the rating detail nor should I be persuaded by the negative reviews of other readers.

After the successful battle of defeating the buggers, Ender’s Jeesh has been brought back to earth—to be with their respective families—except for Ender Wiggin who never has had the chance to be with his own family because his been exiled by Locke, who’s Peter Wiggin, his brother, behind the curtain. Contrary to what his brother has done to Ender, Peter Wiggin has a greater reason for him to do that, for he has foreseen what is coming to the lives of heroes who killed the buggers and sent down to Earth to join their family. Now, the beginning of what he saw is coming. The Ender’s Jeesh has been kidnapped, and
soon be doomed.

Bean has been in a trip with his family. After hearing the kidnapped of Petra Arkanian, he knows that the rest of Ender’s Jeesh will join her. For he knows and has foreseen it also what has to come, one reason could because on the current situation the most influential people are the heroes of the Earth. Because of Bean’s advance thinking, he has escaped from the people who want to kill him instead of kidnapping him. Now, the question that floats over the situation are: what nation is behind the kidnapping: Could it be the nation that offers to arbitrate and thinks they should rule the world, or those aggressive nations that think they have grievance, and also thinks they’re undervalued—belligerent and snappish?

For Bean, there is only one clue that serves right to conclude who’s the person behind it. Why would someone kill him instead of kidnapping him, like others? Unless, the person behind it is the person who hunts Bean since then—Achilles.

Again, Card impressed me with this book. I thought I could have thrown this away like his other book, Empire, but I was stunned at how my suspicion of inconsistency subsided. His latest characterization is fully equipped and tough. The development of the characters has obviously shown in this book, likewise the evolvement of the circumstances and emotion.

Card is at his best when Bean is at his peak. I deeply admire how Card created Bean and his personality—unruly, straightforward, brave, certain, genius, honest and sometimes innocent. I’m sure this is why I’ve fallen myself on this series. Bean becomes matured here and yet, he’s still the unbeatbale genius with the innocent looks I admire. His analogy of circumstances is quite exceptional. His weakness may be his physical features but his attitude and intellect make up for it. Add the innocence of his feelings and you can have the summation of a perfect hero.

I liked how Card expanded the personality of Petra Arkanian through giving her more exposure in this book. Her character as if hadn’t been valued well enough in Ender’s Shadow and Ender’s Game. But her existence here suggests how she’ll play the rest of the books of Shadow Series.

This book is majorly rotating on politics issue. But dare me, this book is different from other political books I’ve read and hated. I did find this book very much interesting in any form—politics, heroism and brain. The core of this book is how the kids managed to rule the world instead of grown-ups. The heroes have faced a harder problem here where they have to battle a war in a different field. It’s still admirable how the nations heed the plan to defeat another nation from the children who haven’t gotten their teenage years yet, except for Peter who’s thirteen.

In other way, I believe that those who hated this book are just being cynical for having Bean as the main character of this book instead of Ender. However, there are things I considered doing before I read and while reading this book. I had to lessen my interest due to some negative reviews. I had to be patient in order to catch up what they were talking about, and rereading the previous page is part of it. I had to search for political terms for me to understand the situation, otherwise I’d be lost. Lastly, I had to get into the characters and situation for me to never get bored. Overall, I did get into the story.

This may not be as page-turner as the Ender’s Shadow, but this is as interesting as its best. The complexity of the story aspect is not hindrance for a reader to like this book, unless since from the beginning he/she didn’t like this book. And yeah, that reason will really make sense even if you look at the rating details (again sorry, I shouldn’t have suggested that but it’s the only fact that I hold to convince you.) only one percent of readers dislike this book and some them are reasoned out the difference of Bean and Ender. The complexity of the aspects thus expands the learning of a reader on tactics and strategy—like playing chess. This book is also worth page-turning if you want to learn the histories of war. Another thing that makes this not-a-boring book I’ve read this year because of the witty shots of the characters.

This book is another reason for me to read the rest books of Card. And yes, rationally, it deserves my twinkling five stars. Watch out Card, for here I am to hunt down the rest of your best books.


Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I LOVE Orson. This is silly to post this, but he's my claim to fame. He grew up with my father and my maiden name is Stilson. Anyway, they got into a fight once where my dad threw a pocket knife into Orsons' foot. I think that's why "Stilson" dies in Ender's Game. LMAO! Sooo funny.

I'm following your awesome blog.

Rollie said...

Hello Elisabeth. Wow. Yes, I believe so that he's your claim to fame. Ah yes I remember Stilson. Are Orson and your father friends already?

Thanks you so much for finding my blog.

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