Orson Scott Card’s Shadow of Hegemon

Considering how long I’ve been away from this blog, this’ll probably seem like a lazy, downer post. But hey, I’m trying my best here /typing everything right on my tablet because I can’t bring my office laptop at home.

As you probably would’ve guessed, life has been a little busy for yours truly. Well, you probably won’t believe me because ~whispers ~ I was able to finish all 711 episodes of One Piece (yay!) but you’d have to pardon my mixed up priorities.

Of course I won’t be talking about One Piece. I’d have to have my laptop if that were the case. I’ll talk about a book that I’ve been reading for weeks.

Yes. You heard it right.61k3pHsvs7L

I had to read it for weeks. Well partly because I was a little preoccupied with life but also partly because it was a tough book to finish. I’ve been reading the Shadow Series of Orson Scott Card and am finally done with the second book. The first one’s just an iteration of the first book in the Ender Saga, just from Bean’s viewpoint but I’ve taken my friend’s advice and trudged the Shadow route because well, Peter Wiggin is a very curious character for me.

I didn’t get much of him though as we know that the second book focused more on the rescue of Petra and her coded messages to Bean.

If you’d ask me, I won’t say it’s bad. It didn’t disappoint. But I won’t say it’s the best book in the series (alright, I haven’t read the rest but you know what I mean). Half the time, I got lost wondering about what to make out of all the politics and military strategies that composed the bulk of the novel. How I wish I had read more history. There were some points that I actually turned to Wikipedia to remind myself who Aquinas was. Or any other religious or political figure Bean was using as reference. Again, a tough and heavy book to read.

So may this serve as a warning. If you’re not up for the Wikipedia search challenge every now and then, might as well try and find somehing light.

Lazy as it may sound, I’ll try to digress from commenting on Scott Card’s interpretation of the superpowers and how those countries will play out. Real or fiction. Because I’m already stressed out. I can’t be talking about politics.

I’ll talk about Achilles. I enjoyed Achilles a lot. I want to get inside his head. I want to understand him without simplifying the argument by ending the sentence with ‘sick psycho’. The book never used his POV as far as I remember. ¬†Especially not when he’s put in a distressful situation. He’s usualy gone or silent when things turn awry. He was knocked out too when Bean has successfully done the rescue operation. His facial expressions weren’t even described when he was cornered. Just his actions. Was it intentional? Only Scott Card may tell.

So after all those pages, he remains an enigma to me. Perhaps he’s just that – mentally ill and a murderer. But the fact that he’s been consistently paralleled to Peter Wiggin’s character (Achilles to Bean as Peter was to Ender) almost always convinces me otherwise. If you’d listen to Achilles’ voice from the book, “Dont think you had me all figured out,” it’ll sound real. Bean has been reading his actions and reactions, that’s why he can ride the waves of the desires of Achilles’ heart, but I don’t think he ever fully understood Achilles’ mind.

I hope he doesn’t disappear on the third book.

And I certainly hope the next book shifts the cameras on Peter.


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