Sunday, April 29, 2012


-Win "The Mapmaker & the Ghost" by Sarvenaz Tash (ends 5/7)
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Welcome to Marvelous Middle Grade Monday (MMGM), a weekly event hosted by author Shannon Messenger. For a list of other MMGM posts, click HERE.

*Note: The Ender's Game series are not officially middle grade books, but they are very popular among readers of all ages.

Tor Books
240 pp.

Summary (from Barnes & Noble)
At the end of Shadow of the Giant, Bean flees to the stars with three of his children—the three who share the engineered genes that gave him both hyper-intelligence and a short, cruel physical life. The time dilation granted by the speed of their travel gives Earth’s scientists generations to seek a cure, to no avail. In time, they are forgotten—a fading ansible signal speaking of events lost to Earth’s history. But the Delphikis are about to make a discovery that will let them save themselves, and perhaps all of humanity in days to come.

For there in space before them lies a derelict Formic colony ship. Aboard it, they will find both death and wonders—the life support that is failing on their own ship, room to grow, and labs in which to explore their own genetic anomaly and the mysterious disease that killed the ship’s colony.

Yes, I know I already posted this pic but I have to post it again! In case you haven't see this, this is my son Stuart (left), Orson Scott Card, me, Hunter S. & Nathan G. (my friends' sons) at the Mysterious Galaxy in Redondo Beach, CA.
Unless you are a hardcore Ender fan, this review will not make much sense. For those of you who have not read any Ender books, stop now and go get a copy of ENDER'S GAME, and then read it. It is probably one of the greatest science fiction books ever written. Once you've read that, then you'll want to pick up it's parallel novel, ENDER'S SHADOW. Once you've read that, then we can talk. If you've already read them, scroll down.

For those who are at least familiar with Card's internationally famed series and it's two equally famed protagonists, Ender Wiggin and Julian "Bean" Delphiki, you will appreciate what I'm about to tell you. The last we heard of Bean was in SHADOW OF THE GIANT when he said good-bye to his beloved Petra and their normal children, and headed out to space with their three destined-to-be-brilliant children. By traveling at lightspeed, Bean hoped to keep himself and his children alive long enough for someone one Earth to discover a cure to their giantism, which causes premature death.

At the opening of SHADOWS IN FLIGHT, several hundred Earth years have passed without a cure being found. The three children: Cinncinatus, Carlotta and Ender (named for the Ender) are six years old and far more intelligent than any of their human counterparts could ever hope to be. Their father faces the reality that he will soon die and determines to find someplace where his children can propagate their new race in peace. Along the way they bump into a ancient Formic colony ship, and decide to investigate.

As a hardcore fan of the entire Ender series (yes, I've read them ALL, even A War of Gifts, First Meetings, The Authorized Ender Companion, etc.), this particular installment felt more like connective tissue than a complete story.  Not to say it was unsatisfying. SPOILER ALERT:  Saying good-bye to Bean was like saying good-bye to an old friend. I admit that I cried at the last page.

I enjoyed getting acquainted with Bean's kids and the set up for what I was certain would be another book after this one. I don't know if I'm really allowed to say this, but I did receive confirmation via a reply to a message I sent Mr. Card's assistant that YES there is another book planned!!! A final link between ENDER'S GAME and it's 4 sequels, and ENDER'S SHADOW and its' 4 sequels. So, knowing that, this little volume served it's purpose well and is a must read for any die hard Card fan.


  1. I love Ender - but it's been years since I've read it. I'll have to go back and do that again! :)

  2. This sounds like a fun read for sci fi fans. I've never read a sci fi book, and I slept through the only sci fi movie I've ever seen. Yeah, I'm not their target audience :)

    Thanks so much for the review!

  3. Thanks for the great review. I have to read Ender's Game first.

  4. I would have to start at the beginning of your suggestions to get the full effect of this one, it sounds like! Thanks so much for your enthusiastic review. I'm always on the hunt for something that I haven't heard about!