Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Book: Ender’s Game   
By: Orson Scott Card
Published: January 1985
Published By: Tor Science Fiction

Description: In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

My Thoughts: Of course I picked this one up because the movie is coming out shortly and I wanted to know what to expect. I was also recommended to listen to the audiobook of it by my Fiancée’s future Best Man, Japp (Also known as J Morgan, author of EISI see review here
). Finally, I decided to do it, and I must say, I’m glad I did.

Ender’s Game is a book told from the perspective of Ender, a young boy who is a military genius. He has been accepted into Battle School to train to help defeat an alien attack. This story shows his process of becoming the leader the army needs and the resulting battle that ensues.

There was so much I loved about this book, I can’t even explain it. I love books where the characters are flawed or isolated and suffering. They’re more real to me. Originally, I was worried that this book wouldn’t be up my alley. It’s told from the POV of a young kid, younger than 12 with no romantic interests. Still, there was something about it that pulled my interest despite these things. Yes, Ender is young, but he doesn’t think like a child. In fact, I have no doubt he’s smarter than me. Yes, there are no romantic interests, but there’s so much else in this book that’s more important. There’s loss and anger and betrayal, friendship, bullying, everything people combat on a daily basis. It was enough. I must admit though, that I don’t think I’ll pick up the other books in the series, at least not for a while. This book was enough for me and I think reading anything else may ruin it somehow.

If you’ve been thinking about this book, I’d totally suggest it. It’s beautifully written and engrossing. The audio format is exquisitely narrated. Pick it up now! I give Ender’s Game 5 stars.


Sue Bursztynski said...

It's a wonderful book. I picked it up many years ago on a remainders table for. $1.00! There are a few books in this universe, but when you're ready, I do recommend the sequel, Speaker For The Dead. Ender has grown up and, horrified at what he has done, though he don't know it, is travelling from word to world with the hive queen, in hopes of finding a new wrd fr er race to start again. - powerful stuff!

Lani Wendt Young said...

I tried and tried but I couldn't get into it! I too got the book because the movie was coming out and I love Harrison Ford BUT I didn't want to watch it without first reading the book. I couldn't finish it - and that's hard for me because I hate to NOT finish a book, lol. I haven't given up completely though. I'll try another go at it when Im all done with moving and stress over here.

Sherre said...

Try the audio, it's a lot easier than the book In my opinion. I'd doubt if I'll read the next one Sue, if somehow I found myself in possession of the audio version, I wouldnt throw it away, and I'd probably read it, but I'd doubt I'd read it in hardcopy format

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