10 August, 2012

Review: Shadow Puppets

Shadow Puppets Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Although it goes without saying that I strongly disagree with certain philosophical underpinnings of this book, I nevertheless consider this a good novel in the Ender Series. The characters are written well and act in ways that I enjoyed reading, even if I disapprove of them.

If you have not read the novel before, please stop reading.

The major problem with this book is the continuing homophobia that the author inserts into the main characters' philosophies. While the character who most resembles the author directly is certainly Theresa Wiggin's point of view, Card also makes several other characters have opinions about love, marriage, family, and value that will truly grate upon anyone who isn't prejudiced against homosexuality.

Nevertheless, Card does it in such a way where the reader may interpret these as flaws in the characters, so the story is not hurt too much by the philosophy espoused within. I got a lot out of the book (and the series as a whole) despite strongly disagreeing with Card on homosexual issues merely by treating it as fiction -- in Ender's universe, there apparently IS something morally significant about heterosexuality. While I know this isn't true in the real world, the story stands very well on its own so long as you allow suspension of disbelief on this rather sticky moral issue.

Despite my misgivings on the philosophy being applicable to real life, I nevertheless thoroughly enjoyed the novel as it stands in the Ender series as a whole.

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