Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card

 

Science Fiction

Shadow of the Giant (Ender, Book 8) (Ender's Shadow) Shadow of the GiantOrson Scott Card; Tor Science Fiction 2005WorldCatThe aliens are dead. Now the world’s most known kidnapper is dead. All that is left is to unite the Earth under one world government.

Achille is dead. The Battle School hostages are released and back to their own nations. Bean and Petra are looking for their stolen embryos. Earth is divided into factions that are led or influenced by other members of Ender’s battle troupe. One is now the Calif of the Muslim nation covering about 1/3 of the Earth’s lands. One is now the emperor of China. Another has fashioned herself into the goddess of Shiva in India. Others are military leaders in their own countries – Thailand, Russian, the Philippines, and Australia.

Now Peter Wiggin is trying to unite the Earth into one world government. He has Bean and Petra to help him. Bean is still only 16, but he has matured into a man who is dying. Because of his genius and size, he is respected around the world and is a major factor of Peter’s success.

But the Muslim nation is still murdering Hindus in India. China is once again under good leadership but is still weakened by the recent Muslim onslaught. Wars continue around the world. Wiggin is using peaceful means to gain his ends for the world. He wants all nations to join the Free People of Earth by unanimous vote and refuses to start an attack against any country although will fight back if armies attack any member nation.

Shadow of the Giant is the last novel in the series following Julian “Bean” Delfiki and the other Battle School members after they have returned to Earth when the Bugger War was won. Although I still haven’t read Shadow of the Hegemon or Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant explains enough of what happened since the students returned to Earth and Peter came to power.

Orson Scott Card’s novel shows the horrors of war and the problems achieving peace. He also reinforces family values and addresses the problems of overpopulation. Using the IFF and Peter Wiggin, peace could be achieved and population can continue to grow – if mankind starts colonizing other planets.

If you have read the Ender novels you already know that Peter’s plan for peace on Earth has succeeded and humans have started space colonies. The Shadow part of the series ties together the Earth history to the rest of the Ender novels. They are the flip side of the whole “Enderverse”.

Card makes Bean’s and Petra’s decisions heart wrenching at times. They know what to expect from their future – Bean will die and his children may have his genetic defect – or not. I had to remind myself that all their powerful leaders and military geniuses are in their teens and early twenties – plus they’ve spent most of their life in the rarified atmosphere of Battle School. Just because they understand how the military works doesn’t mean they understand people.

There is much more in the Enderverse that can be explored, but Orson Scott Card has neatly tied up the immediate story of Earth’s next stage. In fact, a couple characters in this book go on to Ender in Exile when they decide to join colonizing space ships.

I was quickly caught up into Shadow of the Giant. Although the reader knows the ultimate end, Card brings enough characters to life to keep it interesting. I had to know what was going to happen next even if I knew the big picture. Nicely done.

Notice:  Graphic violence

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