Ender’s Shadow is a “parallel novel” to Ender’s Game, meaning it re-tells the story of Ender’s Game, but this time from the viewpoint of another character, Bean, who becomes Ender’s lieutenant despite the fact that he is the smallest and youngest of the Battle School students.
Here’s a plot summary from Amazon’s review:
Bean is the central character of Shadow, and we pick up his story when he is just a 2-year-old starving on the streets of a future Rotterdam that has become a hell on earth. Bean is unnaturally intelligent for his age, which is the only thing that allows him to escape–though not unscathed–the streets and eventually end up in Battle School. Despite his brilliance, however, Bean is doomed to live his life as an also-ran to the more famous and in many ways more brilliant Ender. Nonetheless, Bean learns things that Ender cannot or will not understand, and it falls to this once pathetic street urchin to carry the weight of a terrible burden that Ender must not be allowed to know.
I wasn’t sure what to think before reading this book. Was it going to be a boring traipse through familiar territory–merely an easy way for Card to cash in on the success of Ender’s Game–or did it actually have something unique to offer?
Well, I was hooked within the first 10 pages and found Bean’s tale equally enthralling as Ender’s. Card’s characterization is as good as ever, and he does a great job taking the plot whose milestones you already know, and infusing it with new mysteries and suspense.
Simply put, if you liked Ender’s Game, you’ll find Shadow an equally worthwhile read