This novel by Orson Scott Card is Book 1 of new series set in the universe of Ender’s Game.
Dabeet Ochoa is a precocious twelve-year-old with a mysterious past and a brilliant mind whose goal is to get into space. Specifically through the Fleet School, which has replaced Enders’ Battle School.
Dabeet’s precociousness is one of the things that made it hard to relate to him as a character. He speaks like an adult and is smarter than most of the adults around him.
Mr. Card’s gift of world building and story telling through the lives of his characters shines through once again. Readers who enjoyed Ender’s Game will be drawn into the story because of the compelling story world and the characters in it.
Mr. Card does a subtle transformation in Dabeet through the story. Dabeet learns having friends is more important to him than he realized. The story has a fascinating inner story as Dabeet discovers this and tries to change who he is. A good bit of the tension is the story is his struggles with this change. A struggle he must solve at the climax.
In the story, aliens no longer threaten Earth. Ender defeated them in the Third Formic War. The battle school is now the training ground to develop leaders to lead the exploration of space and discovering new planets for the humans to live.
The biggest threat now comes from Earth itself and those who seek to control the resources they think are wasted in space exploration. These forces want to use Dabeet as a tool to destroy the Fleet School. To ensure his cooperation, they use his mother as a hostage.
Dabeet learns she isn’t his mother. He believes he was abandoned by his mother and deserted by his father who is supposedly an office in the Fleet.
The climax of the story occurs when the forces on Earth send a ship to destroy the space station housing the Fleet School.
Dabeet is out in the position of being the primary person who can stop them? Can he do it? Can he thwart the plans of the conspirators without causing the death of his mother?
The choices he faces make for a compelling read. I the story 4 stars out of 5.
This is an unsolicited review.