Children of the Fleet by Orson Scott Card
Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.
Dabeet Ochoa is a very smart kid. Top of his class in every school. But he doesn’t think he has a chance at Fleet School, because he has no connections to the Fleet. That he knows of. At least until the day that Colonel Graff arrives at his school for an interview.
Dabeet, a gifted and brilliant child, decides he wants to go to Fleet School. And as he plans for his future and speaks with Colonel Graff, Graff shares shocking news with Dabeet. Meanwhile, a covert plan is revealed that could endanger Dabeet and everyone at the Fleet School.
Children of the Fleet is a story set during the Ender’s Shadow series. The Formic wars have ended, but there is still a lot of nervousness and suspicion. I’ve read most of Card’s novels in this universe. And this novel reminds me a lot of his original Ender’s Game. Dabeet is a genius, but not as humble and likable as Ender. Though Dabeet does go through a lot of growth during the story. It’s not fast-paced, but it does flow well and builds to an exciting finale. The plot is character-driven with engaging characters that kept me pulled into the story. And the intrigue was fascinating and complex. This was a fun, standalone story set in a fantastic universe.