Finished Shadow Puppets [1/29/2008]

I think this is probably my least favorite of all the Ender/Bean books so far. The whole stolen embryo thing was too predictable and too obvious to seem realistic. I couldn't believe Petra suspected Volescu did not have a non-destructive test, but, she didn't suspect he'd help Achilles. I also had a lot of trouble believing that Bean and Petra would not have taken the embryos with them or had much more security to protect them.

Also, will Peter ever realize his parents aren't dumb? Even when they saved his life he was grateful, but, didn't seem to realize they always know more then he thinks they do.

The only thing I really liked was getting to know Alai better in this book.

Porter Sampling No. 2 [1/15/2008]

BreweryNameLocationShort DescriptionRating
Bear Republic BreweryBig Bear Black StoutHealdsburg, CAHoppy, Flavorful89
Stone Brewing CompanyStone Smoked PorterEscondido, CAVery Smokey85
Beer Valley Brewing CoBlack Flag Imperial StoutOntario, ORStrong Alcohol 11%, Hoppy, Thick/Heavy92
Ballast Point Brewing CoBlack Marlin PorterSan Diego, CADecent86
Rogue AlesShakespeare StoutNewport, ORNutty, Yummy90
Great Divide Brewing CoYeti Imperial StoutDenver, COVery Hoppy, Strong Alcohol, Flavorful, Rich89
Bison Brewing CoChocolate StoutBerkeley, CAYummy89

See Also:
Porter Sampling No. 7
Porter Sampling No. 6
Porter Sampling No. 5
Porter Sampling No. 4
Porter Sampling No. 3
Porter Sampling No. 1

Finished Shadow of the Hegemon [1/15/2008]

It was hard for me to imagine a strategist like Bean transforming himself into a soldier fighting on the ground in a combat situation. However, I wasn't surprised by his courage and dedication. Will he ever open up to Petra?

Petra's voice was very believable. I wonder what she'll think of Peter. I also wonder what Peter was doing while in Haiti, and how he was changed by losing Valentine.

Finished Ender's Shadow [1/09/2008]

You'd think covering the same time period and a lot of the same events as Ender's Game only from Bean's perspective would be too predictable and lack the suspense of the original. Well Card pulled it off. I was just as interested this time through Battle School.

The timing was great: I didn't think any parts of the story were too long or too short. I think the editors may have listened to readers complaints about too much philosophy/theoretical diversions in Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Personally, I wasn't bothered by it in those books. But, I can see how those criticisms may have made this book a cleaner read and kept it at the right length.

Card really succeeded in getting me invested in Bean's character. I was happy to find he continued writing more books with Bean. I'm interested to see him grow (literally and metaphorically).

Holiday Eating [1/03/2008]

The last few weeks of celebrating have been filled with some great meals. Here is just a sampling of the deliciousness:


Baguettes with Munster/Lingonberry Jam and with Basil Goat Cheese/Capers

Mojito Cupcakes

Japanese BBQ