Sunday, July 21, 2013

Book Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Science Fiction

Published July 15th 1994 by Tor Science Fiction

Literary Awards:
Hugo Award for Best Novel (1986)
Nebula Award for Best Novel (1985)



My Rating:


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. 

First of all, I feel like I need to express that I do not support this author at all. I borrowed this book from the library and after finding out that Orson Scott Card is an asshole, I will not be going to watch the movie in theaters nor will I ever purchase one of his novels. I know, we are almost 30 years too late to care about how much money he makes and what old fashioned agenda he has planned for those royalties, but I will never help fund the spread of HATRED. I greatly appreciate it when people don't try to spread their religion and hatred to the rest of the world.

Author aside, I rather enjoyed Ender's Game.

At the age of 6, Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin is taken to Battle School, which is a sort of space station floating in orbit around Earth. About 100 years before, aliens - better known to these characters as 'buggers' - attacked Earth and were defeated but are expected to return soon so brilliant young children are collected and brought to Battle School to become soldiers . Ender's something of a genius and the people that run the battle school hope for him to be the best and become a commander in the next 'bugger war'.

The majority of this novel is Ender learning to deal with the lack of gravity and how to 'fight' in what I can only compare to the likes of 'laser tag' wars against other children. It all seems like good fun but the majority of these children (ages 6 to 13-ish) comport themselves like soldiers and take things pretty seriously. The other half is Ender dealing with an inner struggle against himself and what he thinks he might become but hopes with all his heart that he won't. It was really easy to sympathize with him.

One thing I thought was a little strange but added to the novel was the lack of adults. There seemed to be a few onboard the Battle Station, but the author gave the impression that these children taught themselves and taught each other everything they knew. Genius or no, it seems a bit far fetched that any child could learn battle strategies from another child. But that's exactly what happened. Ender learns from a multitude of people but mostly from himself because he had a quick wit and discovered things that no one else seemed to have thought of before.

While reading, I was just kind of  'eh'  about the whole novel, but the ending - THAT ENDING - really kicked it up a star.

There's a lot of bullying in this novel and some themes of murder but otherwise, I'd recommend it to young readers and adult readers alike.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, I remember reading this in high school English class. I really loved the twist at the end, I thought it was very creative and agree it really made the novel stand out. I didn't read the rest in the series, but I hear they are just as good!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland