As a stand alone, this book is good, a little rough around the edges and a little light on characterization. The problem? Ender’s Game was such a wonderful read, it’s one of those books i scoop up every time i find it at Goodwill and immediately try to find some who hasn’t read it yet to give it too. And the trilogy that followed was soooo damn serious. So i understand what Mr Card was trying to do, recapture some of the wonder and fun of his original setting. Didn’t necessarily work for me. Bean’s genius came off as exaggerated and the premise behind it seemed stretched. The villain was a cut-out and i’m getting tired of ‘found-family’ happy endings. Not Mr. Card’s best.