Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1)
by Orson Scott Card
Summary: Government drafts genius child Andrew "Ender" Wiggin to defend against alien Buggers, but rejects sadistic brother Peter and beloved sister Valentine. In orbiting Battle School, rigorous military training, skill and natural leadership elevates boy to isolated position, respected by jealous rivals, pressured by teachers, afraid of invasion.
Release Date: 1985
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Where to Buy: Amazon . Barnes and Noble
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Source: I purchased a paperback.
I loved Ender’s Game! It was different from anything I’ve read, but I loved the fact that it dealt with what it takes to shape a child into something specific. It was fascinating. It’s weird because a lot of people find the book to be horrifying because of the way Ender was shaped into a commander and killer, but I think that was sort of the point. I also think it’s weird that, in the grand scheme of things, I didn’t care much for the style of writing, but something about the novel captivated me and I couldn’t let go.
I began to care a lot about Ender and his struggle and I found myself emotionally invested in the outcome. I thought his siblings were fascinating, the way the teachers at the Battle School pushed Ender to his limit in order to mold him. The molding of all of the children there was very complex and explored more heavily than any other aspects of the book. I couldn’t tear myself away from it. The twist near the end had me gasping in disbelief!
Ender’s Game was different from other stories because so much of it was focused on Ender’s progression. There wasn’t an arc like typical stories, perhaps because much of Ender’s strength and genius was already recognized and pushed for, so I wasn’t watching a main character come into himself. Instead, I was watching him be pushed and molded and struggle for balance between happiness and being the best at what he was trained to do. It was a different sort of conflict, but I didn’t think it made it any less interesting for relevant. Some reviews mention not liking Ender and he had a woe-is-me I’m-the-best-at-everything issue, but I don’t think his conflict was one that can be pushed under the rug. It was more horrifying than it sounds on the surface and the only people who would trivialize his struggle are ones that perhaps have trouble grasping what that might be like and how lonely it would be.
I realize there is a ton of controversy surrounding this book, but I don’t think it’s a good enough reason not to read it. I think it’s a real shame that people refuse to read something because of what personal beliefs the author might hold. If I only read books by people who are wonderful people in real life, agree me with on everything, or only pushed for issues I care about, I’d be missing out on a lot of great books. However, everyone is different. I also think, though, that if the author and the controversy puts a sour taste in your mouth, it’s a shame to read this book expecting to hate it without having an open mind or at least trying to like it. It’s just as bad as not reading it at all. How you deal with author controversy is up to you, but I do think it’s a real shame to skip this novel!
I am really glad I picked the book up and I’m excited for the movie in November. I definitely recommend Ender’s Game because it’s action packed and completely thought provoking. I love the world building and how I was immersed into a futuristic world without being bombarded by too much information at once. Ender’s Game is definitely a must read science fiction novel and one that will probably stay with me for a long time.
Labels: Review, Science Fiction, YA