Ender Wiggins is a very young boy, a Third child, only allowed to be born because the Battle School has high expectations for him. His older brother Peter is brilliant but has a mean streak. His older sister Valentine is also a genius and especially brilliant with words but much too nice. The government hopes Ender will be the happy medium between the two, because another invasion of “buggers” from outer space is coming, and they need a general to protect Earth.
At only six years old Ender is swept off to Battle School to start training as a soldier. His genius is as outstanding as everyone hoped, and he flies though the ranks much faster than anyone has done before, proving he is an amazing tactician, and a boy other boys want to follow. He beats all the computer simulations early in his schooling, and the leaders of the battle school must create new and more challenging tests for him. But Ender is lonely and homesick, and feels he is being played by the adults around him, groomed for a job he doesn’t think he wants. When the games end and the fate of the world relies on Ender, will he be ready?
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is a brilliant work of science fiction. It’s one of those that once I read it, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner. It is extra impressive to think this book was written before sci-fi writing was really “in,” and was completely new and practically revolutionary when it was published. Ender’s character was very well written, as were his siblings. It was easy to empathize with Valentine, and even easier to be appalled by Peter. Ender himself was a very special character. Such a young child to be so conflicted and unhappy. The author often reminded the reader just how young Ender was, and to think of what he was being put through at such a young age was just…crazy. This is definitely a book you can’t help but become emotionally invested in, especially the parts where Peter and Valentine were trying to control public opinion essentially by using the internet. It’s easy to imagine something like that happening today.
As impressed as I was with Ender’s Game, I don’t know if I can actually say I liked it. I’m more of a fantasy girl after all, and it was rather dark (she understates dramatically). I don’t know if I will personally read any more books by Orson Scott Card, but I would recommend it to readers who love sci-fi. Oh, and of course I’ll be going to see the movie which comes out sometime this year.