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Reflections from a Swede in Norway.

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Book review: Shadow of the Giant

Published: Tuesday 2005-08-02.

Almost two years ago I bought the six first books in the two series about Ender, by Orson Scott Card. The books are very well written and easy to read, even in English, which made me plough through them in just a couple of months. Early last year I bought the seventh book and this year I have been eagerly awaiting the availability in Norway of the eighth and last book (the fourth in the Shadow series). Meanwhile I was able to get my hands on a collection of short stories that takes place in the same universe, among others containing the original short story that became the book Ender’s Game.

As usual when I visited Finland last month I stopped by the Academic book shop in Helsinki to look at books. The advantage that book shops in Finland have over Norwegian ones is that it is easier to find Swedish-language books in them. But in addition to that I managed to find the book I had been waiting for — Shadow of the giant, and today I finished reading it. I didn’t finish it quite as fast as the previous books, but then again I have had other things on my mind...

Anyway, I wasn’t disappointed, I am deeply impressed with Orson Scott Card’s capacity to write books that are easy to read while still being exciting and well-written, books that are just long enough to tell the story he wants to tell and just short enough for you not to grow tired of reading it. Many authors unfortunately tend to make their books longer and longer, without the story needing it, but not Card.

The Shadow series takes place on Earth and is not science fiction in the same way as the original Ender books. These books are more a chronicle of political gerrymandering and how a race of humans that were united under a threat of extra-terrestrial invasion falls back on its old warmongering habits when the threat disappears, and how a handful of people try to stop that development. It is hard to describe what the book is about without giving the story away, especially not if you haven’t read the three previous books in the series, so I will not try. I just want to say that this is a very good book, and if you haven’t already read any of the books in the series, I can whole-heartedly recommend them.

On a scale from one to five I give the book, and the series as a whole, an obvious five.

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  • Datum: 2005-08-03 08.26.11 CEST
  • Namn: Maja
  • Sänt från: ***********

Vad kul, det här tipset måste jag hoppa på! Låter som något helt annorlunda än jag har läst på länge (mest pedagogisk litteratur om hur man får tonårsmonster att bete sig, ha ...).

Roligt att du har utbyte av Akademen här! De påstår sig vara den största bokhandeln i Norden, tror jag. Faktiskt så hittar man rätt bra med svenska böcker där. Fast något av det bästa med att gå i bokhandlar i Sverige är att <i>alla</i> böcker är på svenska - LYX!

  • Datum: 2005-08-03 08.34.14 CEST
  • Namn: Peter Karlsson
  • Sänt från: *******

Att Akademen är Nordens största bokhandel stämmer nog helt säkert, det är därför jag tycker om att gå där när jag är i Helsingfors (båda gångerna, med andra ord...). Men så har de ju flera språk att täcka upp. Jag tycker det var lite kul att tjejen i kassan försöka prata finska med mig, fast jag köpt böcker på svenska och engelska. Hon fann sig dock ganska fort, till skillnad mot tjejen i skivaffären, som jag tror försökte börja konversera med mig tills hon insåg att jag inte förstod ett ord av vad hon sa... :-)

Språkintresserad som jag är så gillar jag mångfald, med böcker på flera språk. Fast det underlättar förstås om det är språk jag förstår--jag kom aldrig särskilt långt i läroboken i finska jag köpte förra gången jag var över för tre år sedan...

  • Datum: 2005-08-03 19.51.26 CEST
  • Namn: Storebror
  • Sänt från: **********

Kul att se att du blivit så biten av något som jag (vilket jag modest påpekar) introducerat dig för. Den bästa sf handlar faktiskt om politik, religion, teknik och filosofi och inte så mycket om rymden och action.

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