The starship Herodotus left Earth in 2210 with four passengers. It accelerated nearly to lightspeed as quickly as it could, and then stayed at that speed, letting relativity do its work. On Herodotus, just over five years had passed; it had been 421 years on Earth. On Herodotus, the three thirteen-month old babies had turned into six-year-olds, and the Giant had outlived his life expectancy by two years. On Earth, starships had been launched to found ninety-three colonies, beginning with the worlds once colonized by the Formics and spreading to other habitable planets as soon as they were found.
I may not have loved Shadows In Flight, but I am glad I kept reading because by the end it was starting to grow on me. Shadows in Flight is a novel that essentially only has four characters. The character that fans know as "Bean" is "The Giant" to his three young children. Readers meet his three children that share his genetic fate. (Genius giants with very short life spans.) His daughter, Carlotta, his son, Andrew "Ender", and his son, Cincinnatus "Sergeant." These three may bring to mind another family of siblings: Peter, Valentine, and Ender. When readers first meet these three, they may be surprised that a six-year-old is plotting to kill his father--supposedly to their benefit claiming that his giant body is consuming more than a fair share of the ships resources and supplies. Ender does not really believe that for a moment. And he does put a stop to the nonsense.
So. This novel was not thrilling me for the first half. But then they discover another ship, a strange ship, and a planet that may just be habitable. And from there things improve considerably. For the aliens encountered--are remnants from the Formics. And this novel does examine that race once again. In a new way.
Read Shadows in Flight
- If you're a fan of Orson Scott Card
- If you're a fan of the Ender/Bean series. BUT. Don't expect this one to be about politics and war. Other titles in the Bean series have been about politics and war strategies. They've also had some thriller elements to them. Not this one.
- If reading about the family dynamics of Ender, Valentine and Peter so thrilled you that you just have to have a repeat
- If you're a fan of novels set in space, novels that star aliens
© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews