Ender's Shadow (Shadow Saga #1)
Growing up is never easy. But try living on the mean streets as a child begging for food and fighting like a dog with ruthless gangs of starving kids who wouldn't hesitate to pound your skull into pulp for a scrap of apple. If Bean has learned anything on the streets, it's how to survive. And not with fists. He is way too small for that. But with brains.
Bean is a genius with a magician's ability to zero in on his enemy and exploit his weakness.
What better quality for a future general to lead the Earth in a final climactic battle against a hostile alien race, known as Buggers. At Battleschool Bean meets and befriends another future commander - Ender Wiggins - perhaps his only true rival.
Only one problem: for Bean and Ender, the future is now.
Ender's Shadow is the companion novel to the fantastic book Ender's Game, and it follows the life of Bean while in Battle school at the same time as Ender.
Bean cannot remember his parents, the only thing he can recall is escaping as a baby from some kind of lab. After escaping, Bean was left to fend for himself on the streets of Rotterdam with nothing but his brains to keep him alive. Using his remarkable intelligence and strategy, Bean managed to build himself a gang of friends. It is this intelligence that sets Bean apart and drives a friendly nun to contact the leader of Battle School and tell him of the potential she sees in Bean. And with this move, Bean's life is changed forever, when he embarks on a journey that will ultimatelly lead to the Zenocide of an entire spieces.
Amazing though this may sound, I think I may have enjoy Ender's Shadow even more than I did Ender's Game ( which is saying something!)! This is the ultimate story of the underdog and is a stimulating read!
I absolutely loved Ender's Game and as I found out through reading the entire series, Orson Scott Card writes them better everytime. "Ender's Shadow" is the story of Bean, a genetically altered genius. He has lived a hard life on the streets of Rotterdam but using his intelligence he has been able to shoot himself up into the stars, literally. Sent to battleschool and put into Ender's jeesh, he realizes why everyone loves Ender and also realizes that Ender will breakdown if the commanders push him any harder.
Orson Scott Card's Ender's Shadow is a parallel book to Ender's Game. It takes place at the same time and has most of the same events, but it is a different way to look at them.
You could read either one first, but I recommend Ender's Shadow, because it has lots of descriptive writing in it, and it goes at a great pace. The views from the characters are interesting and inciteful.