Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is one of the my favorite Science Fiction novels of all time. This book is deep Science Fiction with one of the best endings, that will floor you, it will make you both happy and sad at the same time. Ender’s Game was written in 1985 it speaks of internet like it is today along with nailing household devices like tablets, personal computers, and body cameras. The war games and psychology in this novel are very advanced, this can be enjoyed by older readers and young adult there is something in this novel for every one. This book has some language and graphic images, but I know there are middle grade versions of Ender’s Game for a younger audience with those scenes excluded. I would say a 13 or 14 year old can handle the material as is. This Book is number 3 on NPR’s 100 best science fiction and fantasy novels it won the Hugo award for best novel and plenty of other awards. Ender’s Game is the first book of the Ender’s Saga, I have read the original four and would only recommend Speaker for the Dead the second novel in the saga, the other novels have some interesting things but the pacing is really slow. This is the second time I have read Ender’s Game, I got this book for my girlfriend and the more she talked about it the more I wanted to reread it. It has been over 15 years since I read the book the first time and my experience did not change at all, I even had a deeper understanding of political aspects of the book. I remembered the important parts and forgot a few of the side character’s impact on the shaping of Ender’s character. I have seen the movie with Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin. I also have a personal connection to the film having worked on a couple of production with Stevie Ray Dallimore who played Ender’s dad. The movie could have been better as a fan of the book, I felt they did not make it as intense as it should have been, so it lacked the emotional connection for me.
The Plot: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is born as the third child which his sister Valentine calls Ender. In this world the government grants permission for you to have a third child but any child can be used by the military. Years ago there was a threat called Buggers that attacked Earth and the military is looking for young minds to destroy the Buggers for good at their home planet. Kids are watched and monitored usually until the government makes up their mind. Ender is 6 and has just had his monitor taken off or so he believes Commander Graff looking for the next general watches, how other will react. Ender gets into a fight and has to figure out the best way to stop the situation from ever happening again. Graff likes the way ender handled the situation and ask him to give up all he knows and join him in Battle School a place where you are trained to be a commander. Ender agrees but quickly finds out Graff is not his friend as he gets other’s to turn on him pointing out how much smarter he is than everyone else. With a target on his back he keeps finding ways to persevere. Will ender be the savior they are looking for or is this all a game?
What I Liked: This book is deep the way it looks at psychology of the mind of a child growing to adulthood. It has a highly intelligent character using words like “fartface”. The politics is something I didn’t care for in my first reading but do now, after having read books like the Graphic Novel Watchmen that analyze the measures to stop war. The character of ender is great, you feel like you get to live all 6 years with him. I liked how the pacing slows up to let the span of time pass. I love the conversation with Graff and Anderson at the beginning of most of the chapters, it gives a lot of insight into the mind games and the reason behind them. I love the character growth depicted in this novel you see how Ender learns from every battle. The secondary characters are some of my favorites, Dink, Bean and Petra.
What I Disliked: The whole third child could have been explained better. I would have wanted to see Peter’s progression a little more to the person he became. That’s really it there’s some slow period but it is at a time change so you feel like felt the time change, so it helped me amerce more to the material.
Recommendations: Check this book out, it seems to be one of those books that sit’s on peoples TBR’s, but do your self a favor and read this book. This book is a series I can only recommend Speaker for the Dead in the Ender Saga, but this book opens up a new saga as well with Ender’s Shadow that follows the side character of Bean and what was going on behind the scenes that I highly recommend. This book really has something for everything, strong male and female characters, god science fiction that is not too sciencee. I rated Ender’s Game the same score I did 15 year’s ago, 5 out of 5 stars.