Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I know I read this as a kid, but a girl can only retain so much about intergalactic battles across years of sci-fi reading. Boyfriend's book club is reading this, and since I have unofficially joined so I can discuss with BF.... I jumped on the Ender's Game bandwagon.  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.
Originality: 8.  Even though plot aspects kept coming back to me, this story is unique and a world of its own.  There is not too much up front world builidng, but the story unravels though the introductions to each chapter and the quick moving plot.Absurdity: 7.  6 to 11 year olds do not talk like this.  My neighbor is 7.  He says things to me like "Did you just come from your car? "Why are you leaving your apartment?".   He even had trouble getting Trick or Treat out this Halloween.  Nevermind anything close to the stoic determination of Ender's internal monologue. Besides this, well did you note the part about intergalactic war? Just go with it.Level of Paranormal Romance: N/A.Level of Harry Potterness: 8.  This book is fast past, engaging, and keeps you guessing.  The story never gets bogged down in details and just keeps jumping ahead months and years and pulls you right along.  I am not a super fan of the very end ending, I think it actually brought out more plot holes then resolutions.  Without giving anything away, was I the only one who felt that way?I am very much looking forward to seeing the movie, and enjoyed this re read of a classic children's book.  Let's hope the movie doesn't disappoint! (cough cough Golden Compass....)

1 comment:

  1. I've liked this every time I've read it and am looking forward to the movie!


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