I truly love this book. And I’m not a huge science fiction fan. There are a few good ones here and there, but for the most part, I stay away from the genre. This is the exception.
I read it a few years ago, simply because it was a household name. Was there anyone who could call themselves, well, versed in the book world (especially fiction), who hadn’t read Ender’s Game? I didn’t think so. I have now read it twice, the second time recently, and have no doubt that I will read it many more times.
Orson Scott Card is a brilliant author. Besides Ender’s Game, I’ve read Ender’s Shadow, one of the many sequels to the first book, and reading it convinced me that Ender’s Game was no fluke. Card seems to me to be the master of character development. In my opinion, the best thing about his writing in general, and Ender’s Game in particular, are the characters he creates. From Ender, to his sister Valentine, to his brother Peter, to the boys he works with at battle school, Card’s characters are all vivid, true-to-life people that are hard to forget.
However, you can’t make an interesting story with well-thought-out characters who do nothing. I’ve found the story and plot to be one of the most engaging I’ve read. Although the book isn’t written in the first person, you’re still inside Ender’s mind for much of it. And as Ender was hand selected for his task, and therefore happens to be one of the most exceptional minds in the universe, the result is uniquely satisfying. And the twist at the end was one I never saw coming.
Again, to praise a book in this genre this much is unusual for me. Sci-fi has its appeal, but hardly ever gets this much admiration on my part. If I can read this book and love it, maybe you should listen to all the actual sci-fi nerds who have read it half a dozen times and say it’s incredible. Because it is.
“Intense is the word for Ender’s Game. Aliens have attacked Earth twice, and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses – and then training them in the arts of war….The early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of ‘games.’… Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games…. He is smart enough to know that time is running out. But is he smart enough to save the planet?” -The New York Times
There is quite a lot of kids picking on and bullying each other; a few times this is violent. There is constant name calling, some are mild terms, such as “f*rt-mouth,” and “t*rd,” but stronger words such as “b*st*rd,” are used. Also, the aliens in the book are called the “b*ggers,” which in some circles is a derogatory word with sexual connotation. There is also a little bit of video game violence described.