Shadow of the Giant was a real quick read for me. I finished it in about 4 days. I was surprised at how easy it was to slip back into the political intrique of the Ender Universe Shadow novels. The interesting thing about this one it the twist in storytelling. I realized after the fact that the name is quite apt. In this novel the now giant Bean isn't the center. It was a natural progression of the story in Shadow Puppets, really. The story does a great job of wrapping up the lives of two of the main characters living under the shadow of Bean: Peter the Hegemon, and Petra, the woman he married and had kids with in Shadow Puppets. The interesting and somewhat surprising thing is that there is still so much to tell. I won't provide too much in the way of spoilers, but the book provides some excellent bridgework into the Speaker of the Dead trilogy, and ends with a glimpse of the unified earth (as was obviously what the last three books were leading towards, and is obvious from early in the Speaker of the Dead trilogy). What it just barely gives us, however, is a glimpse into the early to mid colonozation period (if the Speaker of the Dead trilogy were to say occur in the late colonization period), and those are some threads that are desperate to be unravelled. (Spoiler (scratch and see): Particularly the brief tangent involving Randi and her child (one of Bean and Petra's stolen embryos), given the name of Achilles Flandres II, has only just barely been scratched, and really needs to be unravelled.)
I am looking forward to the next installment (I will make the prophecy/suggestion that one of the next books needs to be called Shadow of the Speaker). As for my current reading, I'm going to attempt to finally finish The Eugenics War: Volume 2. Shadow of the Giant reminded me of the similar, but different, near-future (or in the case of The Eugenics War, near alternate-past) political intrique.