Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors of all time. So I was very excited when I found Shadows in Flight (The Shadow Series) on hold for me at the library. I could tell it was a short book, maybe a one or two-day read, so I held it until I was not ensnared in any other book to maximize enjoyment. Shadows in Flight (The Shadow Series) is his newest book. It is the final chapter of Bean; one of the supporting characters of Ender’s Game (Ender, Book 1). If you haven’t read this series, it is well worth it. However, I wouldn’t recommend reading Shadows in Flight first. Although this series is not linear, but written more like narrative spokes coming out of Ender’s Game, a lot of the narrative is based on prior knowledge of the series. And this is definitely not the best entry point. But if you are already a fan, you will enjoy it.
In this book, we follow the last travels of Bean, self-exiled because of a genetic mutation to a space ship to extend his life. His children, who share his mutation, travel with him, while researching for a cure. This is a nice wrap up to his narrative. As many of his books are, this is a youth novel, with the children as precocious heroes. The writing is clear and a little simple. All of his books for teens are written this way. I found it more obvious in this book where the narrative was less complicated. As always he manages to capture many of the feelings of a child with accuracy. For example, in this book, one of his characters experience that angry feeling that a child has when he knows he can take more responsibility – if only his parent would notice. Then, he is confronted by the realization and mixed feelings that develop when the parent does assign a task that is more responsibility than he has ever had.
If you are a parent looking for a book for a kid, this series is a great choice for kids from about the eleven years old and up, especially boys. There is some violence, mostly between children, which may be a little unnerving for a younger child. The books do have self-contained morality that is excellence for kids.
Shadows in Flight (The Shadow Series), Orson Scott Card, Tor Books, 2012