Orson Scott Card, Shadows in Flight

Posted June 11, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Shadows in Flight (Shadow, #5)Shadows in Flight by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fifth in the Shadow and twelfth in the Ender’s Saga military science fiction series revolving around a small group of boys who saved our world from insect-like aliens.

There is a note on the cover that this story is the sequel to Shadow of the Giant (Shadow, 4; Ender’s Saga, 9).

My Take
I had no idea I had gotten so far behind in following Ender! I think the last book I bought was Shadow of the Hegemon. I suspect it was because Card seemed to be wandering off in odd directions and I lost interest. With all these lovely sites that cater to us readers, it’s so much easier to track the stories in a series…and I have this urge to go back and start over from the beginning. Right after I read Shadow of the Giant!

It’s sad and insightful on the fears of an evolutionary advance and the points that Bean makes about the children’s maturity. Card lets us in far enough that I was seduced into seeing these very young children as very grown up until Bean’s comments and it is suddenly so clear. The fights between the children, their thoughts about Bean—his true role in this was a mind bender (probably ’cause I ain’t yet read the preceding novel, dang it…). And just like that, Card has caught me up in Ender’s Game again…I am so looking forward to the next installment to discover how the children adapt.

Someone didn’t read the book when they wrote the summary on the flyleaf. That is sooo annoying.

The Story
Bean and three of his children have been experimented upon, infected with a mutation that ensures a very short life, but also a brilliant one. It was decided to split up the family and send Bean and these three into space, hopeful that the speed of the ship will lengthen their life spans, giving scientists time to find a cure.

The Characters
It’s a short list: Bean is the Giant who spies on the children; young Ender is the scientific one, the one with the inquiring mind; Carlotta is the engineer with a need to make peace siding with whoever is strongest; and, “Sergeant“, a.k.a., Cincinnatus, is the military mind with his study of tactics and obsession with weaponry.

Think of your kids, kids you’ve observed. Their rivalries, their changing alliances. Their lack of consideration or morality. Until they’re taught these values. That’s this brilliant threesome whom Bean despairs of and hopes for.

The Cover
Ooh, I like the pastel quality of the cover! A tiny spaceship orbiting a yellow giant in a dusky purple universe.

I’m a bit lost as to the title. Since it’s been awhile since I’ve read any of the stories in the Ender series, that could be part of it. My best interpretation is that with all the decades that have passed since Bean and the children set off into space and the mention Card has made as to how mankind has forgotten about them, the four of them of become Shadows in Flight.

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