Shadow Puppets by Orson Scott Card.
TOR Books/Tom Doherty Associates, LLC: NY, 2002.

Shadow Puppets is the 7th book of the Ender series. It extends the story of Peter Wiggin and Bean's cooperation in stopping the use of Ender's soldiers for empire building and in working towards world peace. In the previous book, Shadow of the Hegemon the child soldiers return to their respective homelands, they are contracted by their countries, and a battle for world domination ensues. A major player in the wars is a childhood acquaintance of Bean's (and psychotic killer), Achilles. In Shadow Puppets, Peter (Ender's brother and the Hegemon) and Bean along with several other characters have no choice but to stop Achilles. It is a matter of kill or be killed.

I think Bean is the strongest character in the series, maybe because his are the latest books and more developed as a result. I have liked all of the books from his point-of-view. This one is no exception, though he shares the spotlight. I was expecting to not like the Hegemon books, but was surprised by the evolution of Peter's character. The centerpiece of this book is the fleshing out of many of the minor characters that remained in the background of the other stories. In telling more of their stories, the reader is given a picture of how the global warring factions fit together and the Hegemon's attempts to control or balance the world affairs. I also did see comparisons of our times, which makes it more interesting.

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