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I just a few moments ago finished Shadows in Flight, the fifth book in the Series of Ender’s Game books that focus on and follow the character of Bean.To see the whole family of Enderverse books check out Wikipedia, there is a map that shows where in the time line and how all the books are related to each other. Originally Shadows in flight would be the final book that brought the two series back together for a conclusion. That is not what happened though. The final book will be called Shadow’s alive. Shadows in flight is a much shorter novel, only about 55,000 words. There is nothing wrong with a short novel, they can tell a very personal story.

Shadows in Flight did just that, it told a very personal story. It told a moving story. In my opinion the most moving Enderverse story since Speaker for the Dead. It told the story that the character of Bean deserved. In fact after reading Flight I think I have decided that Bean is the character from the series I care most for, not Ender, not anymore.

Like I talked about once with author’s writing the early novels as themselves, in some ways Flight was Card writing a character as himself. Flight was ultimately about a parent coming to terms with their own mortality when the realize that their children will carry own and are grown. Now Bean’s children in this book are only six when he realizes this, but his children aren’t exactly human and neither was Bean. In the Enderverse Bean and his children have a genetic change that greatly advances their intelligence but makes them continue to grow their whole lives until they become so big that their bodies can no longer keep themselves alive. In Flight Bean, who was once the smallest child in the first book, is now about 14 feet tall and can’t breath in normal gravity and can’t stand up even whit almost no gravity. Bean who in this book is at the end of his life is only in his early 20s. Now Card obviously is older than this, but due to his health issues he says that Bean very much has the outlook on life that he himself had looking on at his children.

Now I don’t have children, I don’t think I ever will have children. Sometimes I see myself like the character of Bean. Sure my children would probably be brilliant or creative or both, but they would get the bad also, they would get the things that shouldn’t be passed on. Not gigantism but still things that the human race doesn’t need. Card came to peace with his own mortality after seeing his children would go on. I am a creator though, I find comfort in mortality knowing what I create will go own in some form, even if only in a very limited way. That was the view point that the novel I wrote took. The main character, who yes in many ways was me – but not in all ways, didn’t have children. He created. He created a new species of android live, but he found the peace of mortality knowing they would carry on. So while the characters of James (my character) and that of Bean (Cards) find comfort in different but similar things, they are still characters that don’t give up. The accept mortality, but don’t despair, and don’t give in. They create for the reason of creating. The carry on in the hopes of what they do today will mean a better world for those that carry on.

There is a sadness there, but also a Joy. Its a personal story, and I like personal stories.

Up next I will start the next C.S. Lewis book I mentioned in a previous review and I will continue with Green Mars the second novel in the Red Mars series.

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