Shadows In Flight-Orson Scott Card

Shadows In Flight

Orson Scott Card

Tor, Jan 17 2012, $21.99

ISBN: 9780765332004


Julian “Bean” Delphiki suffers from a genetic alteration, in which his brain is light-years beyond genius, but his body suffers from extreme gigantism; he will be dead soon though he is only in his twenties.  He left behind his wife Petra and their normal offspring to leave earth in 2210; taking with him their three infant triplets suffering from the same Anton’s Key disorder (see Shadow of the Giant).  Over four centuries have passed on earth and his spouse and their kids dead; while on the vessel five years have passed.  Fourteen feet tall Bean is unable to leave the cargo hold.  Ender, named after his father’s friend, is a biologist seeking the cure for their genetic illness.  His sister Carlotta is the engineer who insures their ship Herodotus functions properly.  Finally the third sibling Cincinnatus better known as Sergeant is a soldier prepared for combat.  



The triplets find an anomaly of a Formic colony ship that revolves around a planet; inside the vessel they find the Hive Queen dead along with her soldiers.  However, they also find living things even as their dying father whom they call Giant reveals his master dream for them.


The latest Ender universe tale is an interesting character driven space odyssey.  Readers get inside the minds of the four weary travelers; as the three kids feel the hopelessness of their flight while the Giant hopes rest on a dream for them.  Series fans will appreciate the parallels between the earthlings and the Formic survivors while learning how the Hive actually thought when they Formic-formed China.  Although the action is extremely muted, Shadows In Flight is a fun tale filled with aphorisms like parents lie to their children for the latter’s sake.


Harriet Klausner


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