Shadow of the Hegemon Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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Shadow of the Hegemon by Orson Scott Card

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The War is over, won by Ender Wiggin and his team of brilliant child-warriors. The enemy is destroyed, the human race is saved. Ender himself refuses to return to the planet, but his crew has gone home to their families, scattered across the globe. The battle school is no more. But with the external threat gone, the Earth has become a battlefield once more. The children of the Battle School are more than heros; they are potential weapons that can bring power to the countries that control them. One by one, all of Ender's Dragon Army are kidnapped. Only Bean escapes; and he turns for help to Ender's brother Peter. Peter Wiggin, Ender's older brother, has already been manipulating the politics of Earth from behind the scenes. With Bean's help, he will eventually rule the world. Shadow of the Hegemon is the second novel in Orson Scott Card's Shadow Series.



  • The simplicity of "Shadow of the Hegemon" falls short in comparison to the believability of "Ender's Game," "Speaker for the Dead," and "Ender's Shadow." It's difficult to fathom the incompetence displayed by the world's adult leaders when faced with these exceptional children. Additionally, the sudden and unexplained rise of Achilles feels forced. The character development of Bean, previously multidimensional and relatable, becomes one-dimensional as he transforms into a guilt-ridden mercenary solely focused on advancing his own goals through the resources of warring nations. Lines like "I prefer to think of myself as a general between armies" don't help in suspending disbelief. Bean's allegiance to Peter as the sole alternative to Achilles is equally hard to accept, as a genius like him should see more than just two options. Petra's war plans for Achilles lacking weaknesses without considering the possibility of war ever occurring also seems unrealistic. I eventually gave up and skipped to the last CD. Orson Scott Card is undeniably a talented writer, but it seems that the success of "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead" may have hindered his personal growth and enjoyment in continuing this series.
  • I really enjoyed the storyline and the intricate political elements in the book. I would have given it a perfect rating of 5 stars, but unfortunately, the audio production was not up to par. The music levels were off, and there were instances where words were awkwardly inserted with a different voice, tone, and volume. These distractions took away from the overall experience of the story and seemed like something that could have been easily fixed, even by young YouTubers. Perhaps the author, OSC, could have considered involving young individuals for the audio production, taking inspiration from his own book.
  • I really enjoyed this story, like all the other books in the "Ender" series. If I had to rate the book, I would probably give it 4 stars. However, I have some criticisms about the audiobook version. There were certain elements in the narration that made it quite awful. One of the main characters' names, Achilles, was consistently mispronounced by all the readers. Initially, it was pronounced correctly in the French way "a-SHEEL" since the character is Belgian. However, in chapter 7, which mainly focuses on Achilles, the name suddenly switches to the English pronunciation "a-KIL-ees". This inconsistency continues throughout the audiobook, with the same reader sometimes pronouncing it both ways within the same chapter. It's particularly frustrating because the correct pronunciation of the name is actually discussed in the book itself! Additionally, the word "hegemon" is pronounced in two different ways, although thankfully it doesn't appear too frequently. There's a contradiction in the story where two Pakistani characters are described as having no accent, yet their dialogue is read with an accent. Lastly, some of the musical interludes played between chapters are excessively long. Overall, I found the narration to be quite disappointing.
  • The writing style in "Ender's Game" kind of fizzled out in the later three books, but it definitely makes a strong comeback in "Shadow of the Hegemon". I personally enjoyed the entire Ender series, but I understand that some people couldn't even get through "Speaker for the Dead", let alone "Xenocide" or "Children of the Mind". If you fall into that category, then this book is absolutely perfect for you! "Shadow of the Hegemon" takes us right back to the aftermath of the bugger war, which feels a bit strange after finishing the Ender series because it's a significant jump back in time. If I could do it over again, I'm not sure if I would listen to this book before "Speaker for the Dead"... but maybe I'd try listening to both at the same time. I'm extremely excited to dive into "Shadow Puppets" (the next book featuring Bean)!
  • Personally, I'm not a fan of Scott Brick as a narrator for any book. He tends to overly dramatize everything, even bringing unnecessary drama into non-fiction readings. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Ender's Shadow and how easily I could immerse myself in the setting once again. Shadow of the Hegemon also proved to be quite engaging. The main drawback for me lies mostly with the character of Achilles. I was absolutely floored by the consistent mispronunciation of the main antagonist's name throughout the second half of the book. Seriously, what the heck? It was quite difficult to overlook this misstep and fully enjoy the story without constantly being reminded of how ridiculous it was.
  • This audiobook, "Shadow of the Hegemon," offers a captivating twist to the "Ender's Game" narrative. I would highly recommend it as a compelling continuation of the original story. It's so exhilarating that I couldn't bear to pause it, making it difficult for me to step out of my car (i.e., stop listening).
  • Earth is the setting for 'Shadow of the Hegemon', a book that takes place after the Bugger War. The author himself was inspired by the childhood board game Risk, resulting in a global game of Risk being presented to the reader. The main players in this game are Achilles and Peter Wiggen, along with some of the Battle School kids from Ender's Game. The story revolves around political and military maneuvering, and it's evident that Orson Scott Card has put considerable thought into the geo-political scenarios. Additionally, the book delves into the backstories of Bean and Petra, shedding light on their relationship. As the story progresses, Bean discovers significant details about his own background, leading to a fundamental change in how he's perceived. Surprisingly, I found Bean's backstory to be more captivating than anticipated, making it the highlight of the story for me. However, it's worth noting that the recording quality is lacking. While the narrators themselves are good, there are noticeable mispronunciations of certain words, such as "Hegemon". To address this issue, a different narrator was edited in to say the word correctly, resulting in a subpar listening experience. If you can overlook the flaws in the recording and are curious about delving deeper into Bean and Petra's story, I recommend giving this book a chance. However, if you're seeking more space-based science fiction, you may want to explore other options.