This is the continuing saga of Bean, Petra, Peter and the rest of the kids from Battle School after the war with the buggers. In this book, Peter is trying to hold onto his power as the Hegemon while dealing with villain Achilles. Bean and Petra are on the run but falling in love. China is still the big bad invading country and the Muslims are all uniting under one leader.
I like Bean and Petra and even Peter, but this book really didn’t do them justice. Petra especially became something of a joke character. She goes from being this battle school hardened graduate to only wanting babies. Seriously!@?! All she talks about during the majority of the book is her desire to have Bean’s babies and she ends the book pregnant. Great message about underage moms. Bean has been so adamant about not passing on his genetic problems, but Petra somehow convinces him it is ok. No worries about dying to young to even see his kids, they will just freeze some embryos and Petra can have as many little beans as she wants.
There is a lot of political stuff going on in this book of course. China has invaded pretty much all of Asia. The people in India start a quiet nonviolent revolution. The Muslim world is uniting under one leader. And of course Europe and America are doing nothing. Card lays out is view of the world pretty thick as always, but I found the political stuff fairly easy to swallow. It was really the social commentary that I had problems with. At one point there is a gay man who talks about how lonely his life is because he is gay and can’t form real relationships; so he decides to marry a woman and probably have kids with her. Then there is the whole Petra wanting babies and wanting to propagate the species. Card could not have been more clear on his religious and social views.
Despite all that I still love the Ender world and these characters. I will probably read the rest of the Shadow series and any other books that come out.