Ender’s Shadow

by Orson Scott Card

Okay, I finished reading it. Like, three times.

I read Ender’s Game, book one of the series, a long time ago and have re-read it several times since. It is one great book that made it to my personal top ten list. Probably the only book where I put it down to give the author a standing ovation. It was that brilliant. The sequel, Speaker for the Dead, moves the timeline forward for 3,000 years, when the genius boy is now middle aged. I just couldn’t connect it to the Ender I love, so the book (as well as book 3 and 4 of the quartet) collected a decade’s worth of dust on my shelf. But I chanced upon Shadow of the Hegemon and enjoyed a happy reunion with the battle school kids.

So, I went back to pick up Ender’s Shadow, the “parallel” novel of Ender’s Game. It’s great to read such a clever book. A well crafted book on intelligent characters. Card developed Bean wonderfully, the characters are so alive (the decade between the two books certainly aged Card nicely as a writer) and I loved the book down to the last sentence. And it’s fun to lay the two books side by side to compare the scenes. As a parallel novel, you pretty much know what is happening. Even the big surprise of “you’re not playing a game” is not there. For the book to remain as entertaining, Card did a wonderful job indeed.

So, another book in Enderverse made it to top ten.

 

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Published in: on February 21, 2006 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Adam’s Curse

by Bryan Skyes
I must stay this book has quite some interesting facts. For example, the use of Y-Chromosome to trace family history (getting a glimpse of family prosperity and fidelity meanwhile); the spread of Genghis Khan’s descedants from Asian Pacific coast to eastern Europe and estimated at 16 million today; the swimming speed of sperms from different m-DNA clusters; the apparent preference of one sex in some families. Is everything a battle between the Y chromosome (in men) and mitochondrial DNA (in women) or plain probability at work? The book also brushes on the hereditary nature of homosexuality, how different species determine sex (or just don’t bother with sexing themselves.); and how some deadly genetic diseases continue to get passed on.

The book is like a journey with many twist and turns, you follow the author as he goes around visiting libraries, labs and shcools in villages and cities in his research. For someone not particularly educated in genetic biology, each turn of corner offers me interesting tib-bits to share with my husband. The author sees reproduction as a a genetic battle and even speculates that male humans are doomed to demise in about 125,000 years. (I prefer not. It won’t be fun to not have men around to put blames on!)

Published in: on February 2, 2006 at 12:48 pm  Leave a Comment