Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Book Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Earth is under attack and the survival of the human species depends on a military genius who can defeat the alien “buggers.” Recruited for military training, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. A reader’s guide is available for this Starscape edition—perfect for readers ten and up—of the beloved science fiction classic by best-selling author Orson Scott Card. (Image and synopsis from bn.com)
I'm normally not a big science fiction fan, although I do enjoy fantasy which is often linked with sci fi, but this book has been recommended to me many times so I finally got around to reading it. Well, I'm glad I did!
Ender's Game is not just pop science fiction; it doesn't rely on technology to move the story, rather it is about the psychology of a little boy who is pushed further than he ever should because of humanity's desire to survive a possibly non-existant threat.
This book centers around genius children who are monitored by the government to see if they have what it takes to save the world. Ender's parents were allowed to have a third child because their first two were so close to being what the government needed. This makes Ender, the Third child, an outcast amongst his peers because he is special. From the beginning, Ender is marked as different from the others in his school.
The children chosen by the government to be trained for the military are not normal. They are geniuses that much act and make decisions as adults. They are trained extensively for one mission- to save humankind. Ender rises amongst these chosen children, but he endures a lot of hardship in doing so, most of which is caused by the adults, or teachers of the special school.
In the end, though, was Ender's training enough to save himself and the world? Was Ender the special one, made for that mission? I found the ending actually surprising and very gripping. It was hard to put it down once I reached the last couple of chapters.
The thing I enjoyed most about Ender's Game was the psychology of Ender, his struggles and triumphes. However, what I found hardest to believe, and what kept jolting me out of the story, was Ender's age. He was only 6 years old when he started his training! How could a 6 year old ever be expected to save Earth? How could a 6 year old think and act the way Ender did? There were several times I wished that Ender was just a few years old, but I guess that is suppose to be the amazing thing about him- his maturity in dealing with things he should not ever have to face.
My Rating: 5 out 5 stars