Book Review – Shadow of the Hegemon

The sixth and latest novel in the “Ender’s Game”
series is out in paperback. Read more if you
want to read the review. (Don’t read the back of
the book!)

General Information

Title: Shadow Of The Hegemon
Author: Orson Scott Card
Original Publication Date: 2000
ISBN: 0-812-56595-9
Cover Price: $6.99US, $8.99Can

Premise

When I reviewed
Ender’s Shadow
I said the story felt
unfinished. This is the
conclusion I was waiting for.

High Point

This was a really tough call, but I’d have to go
with Petra’s
conversations in chapter 3, 4, and 5.

Low Point

The back of the book. Warning to those who
haven’t picked up a
paperback edition: the outcome of the final
chapter is printed on the
back of the book! Talk about spoilers…

The Scores

As far as originality goes, the general
story has been heard
in other places. However, since it’s unlike
Ender’s Game and
Ender’s Shadow (I haven’t read the other
three yet) I’ll
raise the score to 3 out of 6 (instead of 2).

The imagery in the novel was
utilitarian. You really need to
read the previous books to know what the
characters look like. The
relative locations of buildings and such is well
done, but details of
the buildings themselves are lacking. This may
be intentional, as the
novel is set 200 years in the future. Details
that aren’t given can’t
look dated in the future. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story was well plotted, even if
there did feel like a
lull in the middle of the book. Still, it seems
consistent and
carefully planned. I give it 4 out of 6.

The characterization falls into the same
trap as that of most
sequels; the characters are as well described as
they were in the
earlier books, but they aren’t developed much in
the course of the
novel. I give it 4 out of 6.

As for the emotional response, I’d have
to say that I wasn’t
as enthralled as with the earlier books, apart
from the first act.
I give it 3 out of 6.

The editing is connected to the
emotional response this time
around. The first act matched the pace and style
of the previous books, but
that changed quickly and dramatically in the
second act, which then
held until the end of act four. This was a
poorly edited transition,
which jarred me out of the book and I never
really got as deeply into
it after that. If each act is viewed separately,
it holds up well. I
give it 4 out of 6.

Overall, this is not quite as good as
Ender’s Game
or Ender’s Shadow, but still worth
reading for those who
enjoyed them. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Shadow of the Hegemon receives
26 out of 42. You
may notice I’ve become kinder in the past year or
so; Ender’s
Shadow
was a better book, but it received a
lower rating.

Additional Notes and Comments

According to the afterword, two more novels are
on the way.

4 replies on “Book Review – Shadow of the Hegemon”

  1. pythor says:

    You aren’t the only one going soft…
    Am I the only one who doesn’t think that Peter Wiggin is in character? The original Ender’s Game showed us all the psychotic genius that is Peter Wigin, but here he doen’t live up to it. Genius, sure, but the psychotic is gone. Is this the same guy who liked to torture small animals, and pretend that the screams were his little brother? I really wanted to see how Peter ended up being the Hegemon, but this doesn’t cut it for me. Achilles is much closer to the original Peter than the Peter in this book is.

    • starbreeze says:

      Re: You aren’t the only one going soft…

      Am I the only one who doesn’t think that Peter Wiggin is in character? The original Ender’s Game showed us all the psychotic genius that is Peter Wigin, but here he doen’t live up to it. Genius, sure, but the psychotic is gone. Is this the same guy who liked to torture small animals, and pretend that the screams were his little brother? I really wanted to see how Peter ended up being the Hegemon, but this doesn’t cut it for me. Achilles is much closer to the original Peter than the Peter in this book is.

      I agree about Peter, it confused me a little. But all in all… it was a good book. I got it in hardback when it came out a while back.

      • gumper3 says:

        Re: You aren’t the only one going soft…

        Am I the only one who doesn’t think that Peter Wiggin is in character? The original Ender’s Game showed us all the psychotic genius that is Peter Wigin, but here he doen’t live up to it. Genius, sure, but the psychotic is gone. Is this the same guy who liked to torture small animals, and pretend that the screams were his little brother? I really wanted to see how Peter ended up being the Hegemon, but this doesn’t cut it for me. Achilles is much closer to the original Peter than the Peter in this book is.

        I agree about Peter, it confused me a little. But all in all… it was a good book. I got it in hardback when it came out a while back.

        The reason that this Peter seems softer is that is what he has to become in order to have power. The dark side of Peter is still in there he simply doesn’t show it because people who openly show their dark sides don’t get placed in positions of power.

        If you have read any of the other books in the series that take place much farther in the future, you learn that everyone looks at the Hegemon as a just and great ruler, and the Ender the Xenocide is seen as a villian. I suggest going back and reviewing some of the older books to help understand who Peter is becoming.

  2. bean1988 says:

    help
    hey umm im new to bureau 42. this is cool. well i need help with book 6 shadow. ummmmm where did valintine take off too because i think when i skipped like 2 pages i missed that part. if you have any comments email me ok. [email protected]
    bean

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