Orson Scott Card’s The Last Shadow

Orson Scott Card The Last Shadow

Orson Scott Card’s The Last Shadow is the long-awaited conclusion to both the original Ender series and the Ender’s Shadow series, as the children of Ender and Bean solve the great problem of the Ender Universe—the deadly virus they call the descolada, which is incurable and will kill all of humanity if it is allowed to escape from Lusitania.

This book ties Shadows in Flight and Children of the Mind together into a final story that resolves those divergent story arcs. At the end of Shadows in Flight, Bean’s three children are left on the Herodotus ship in orbit around a new planet. At the end of Children of the Mind, Jane has mastered instantaneous travel and they have discovered a planet that they think might be the origin of the terrible descolada virus, which they have dubbed Descoladora. 

This book is good, if something of a let down story-wise (at least for me). At the end of the book, Card explains his rationale and difficulty in bringing the two stories together to reach a conclusion. I suppose I can understand that. Descoladora turns out to be more like the Island of Dr. Moreau and less of the source of diabolical new alien species (not to say there are not new alien species and they aren’t diabolical). It takes some weird turns. That being said it is still well written and does provide closure to the main characters of the Enderverse and the Shadowverse. 

I do think that the cover art is bizarre. I don’t remember anytime in the book there were two aircraft (or spaceships) that had landed on some kind of zig-zag aircraft carrier floating in the sky. 

Previous Ender Posts: 

Guide to either loving or hating Ender’s Game (film)
The First Formic War (Ender’s Game Prequel Trilogy)
The Second Formic War & Fleet School

Favorite Questions and Answers from Fourth Quarter 2021

Top Question

The top voted question was Why does Harry have no childhood trauma symptoms from his abusive adoptive parents? asked by TheAsh and answered by DatabaseShouter.

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Top Answer

The top answer was given by KerrAvon2055 to the question Why is the number of orcs thousands instead of millions in “The Lord of the Rings”? asked by Maykel Jakson.

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Most Viewed

The most viewed question of the quarter was What was the black spider creature in Villenueve’s Dune, Part One? asked by Lexible and has yet to receive an accepted answer. 

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Spider-Man: No Way Home – Spoiler Free

Spider-Man: No Way Home

If the opening box-office weekend is any indication, Spider-Man: No Way Home is a runaway success. As a contributor to that total, I can say that the movie has a lot going for it. It will make you laugh, if you are pregnant it will make you cry, and you will probably come out of the movie having enjoyed it. 

This movie is certainly the best of the Tom Holland trilogy. And that’s it, I can’t think of anything substantive to say about the movie that isn’t a spoiler. 

The Wakanda Files

Amazon’s description: 

An in-world book from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Wakanda Files—compiled by request of Shuri (Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War) as part of her quest to improve the future for all people—is a collection of papers, articles, blueprints, and notes amassed throughout history by Wakanda’s War Dogs.

The book contains pretty much all of the technology and enhancements covered in the movies up through the end of Avengers: End Game. It has reports and details as compiled and occasionally commented on by Shuri. It might be an interesting coffee table book, but I feel an avid MCU fan will not learn very much more from this book than they would have by being a keen observer of the movies. 

The most interesting part is on the closing page. 

“In less than five years, NASA went from “Little Joe II” to one giant leap for mankind and landed on the moon. In less than five years, Robert Noyce graduates from MIT, helped Kilby invent the integrated circuit, and revolutionized computing. In less than fives years, Einstein rewrote the laws of gravity, because he just didn’t think they were correct. 

And five years is the time I have missed while the world passed me by. They say that a curios mind is never still, but I have been at a complete halt. I am at a disadvantage. But I will make the most of it.” pg. 183

This observation that some breakthroughs are just five years away from making a massive change in our world using real-life examples can make a person hopeful for the advances just around the corner. 

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