Jun 16, 2010

Shadow of the Game

In case anyone doesn't know, my favorite book ever is Ender's Game. I have read it 6 or 7 times in the past 4 and a half years. We read it for class earlier this year, actually, and I had read it more times that the teacher had. I know the story front to back, and I could probably tell you every detail about it, if you asked. I have a hard back copy of it which I've underlined things in it and boxed off passages of it. It's (probably more than) a little crazy of me.

Regardless, Ender's Game has a parallel novel- Ender's Shadow. And Ender's Shadow has it's own little series, which I've been reading for the past few weeks.

So, that being said, this post will make more sense if you've read the Shadow Series, and if you haven't, there are slight spoilers, because this post is about why I don't really like the series.

I mean, I think the story line is alright, but I wouldn't read any of these books again. I really didn't like how Bean will be sitting there thinking about possible solutions to a problem or something, and he'll get a random and stupid idea that he'll tell himself can't possibly be true, but deep down he knows it's right. And it is. And this all happens fairly instantaneously. I know he's a super-genius and whatever, but it still seems lame.

But I think the thing I like least about this story line is that it was written years after Ender's Game was, and when Card wrote Ender's Game, he didn't really plan to have a parallel novel and series to go with it. So in Ender's Game, Bean is just a little kid, who is also smart. And Peter didn't get into Battle school because he was too dangerous and aggressive. And Ender's parents didn't have any idea that Valentine and Peter were actually Demosthenes and Locke (although I think that's unlikely, that they'd have no idea).

[[these are my slight spoilers]]
That's how the story actually goes, the end. But in the parallel series, Bean is actually genetically altered, and his condition is going to make him a giant someday. And Peter didn't get accepted because he's not lovable. And the Wiggin parents knew everything all along, they just didn't want to hinder the progressions that Peter and Valentine were making with the world.

I think that if you want to write sequels to your books, that's fine and I hope they do well, but I firmly disagree with altering the original story so you can have your sequels still fit in well with the story. Maybe if you had to change it so much, you should've just written a different story.

And you could argue that there's premises that are vital enough to each story, that Card could've have written the both and not have them come from the same original story, so in effect, Ender's Shadow is the "different story" for Ender's Game. But if that's the case, then I think it was stretching it a little too far to say that Peter wasn't too aggressive for Battle school, since that's actually a really important detail in Ender's Game.

Mmm. Maybe it's just me.