Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Written By: Kellie - Sep• 21•12

Ender's Game cover, Enders Game

Publisher: Tor Science Fiction
Publish Date: July 15th, 1994
Source: Purchased

Rating: 5/5 Battle Games

Synopsis: 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. -Goodreads

Review: Wow, wow, wow! There are certain books that people always tell you to read, while you promptly ignore them, putting off recommended books for the shiny new titles lining your bookshelf, then one day you take the plunge and fall in love, wishing you’d done it sooner. I could have reread this book at least five times by now! Ender’s Game is a fantastic scifi read! It had been described to me as the scifi version of Harry Potter, which it really isn’t but there are some of those same beloved elements and no matter what your style is, you’ll find some element of this book that will rock your world. Yup, I loved this book so much I’m talking in cheesy, decades old slang.

The main comparison to Harry Potter comes in the form of the space commander school that Ender is sent to when he’s six years old. Only the very special qualify for this honor and once Ender arrives it changes everything for him, setting the stage for him to change the future of mankind. So, to say this book operates on an epic scale isn’t too far of a stretch.

While Ender is very young throughout the entire book (the book spans several years) he never reads as such, which might be annoying if it weren’t for the fact that this kid is a super genius. He can be a bit of a MarySue at times but it never becomes a problem as the adult characters make a very big deal out of how long they’ve been looking for someone just like him. That doesn’t mean things are easy by any stretch. Ender is constantly set up to fail and there are always hints of worse to come. This weighs heavily on him and at points becomes the most prevalent aspect of his personality. Ender has to do it all, all the time.

The book is set in a significantly farther along version of Earth, at least in terms of technology. Some of the tech aspects are insanely cool, but there are a lot I wish they had explored on farther. But, I won’t hold it against Ender’s Game as there are plenty of other books in this series where everything can get fleshed out a bit better. While this book is essentially standalone, and wraps up really nicely there are a lot of interesting questions about the universe these characters live in that can be tackled later on in the series.

Buy Ender’s Game
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Second Opinions:
@Twisted SciFi 
@The Book Hunt
@Rounded Pages

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  1. Adina says:

    Amazing Book. Funny it’s my choice as a book that lived up to the hype on Feature and Follow today. Great review :)

  2. Kate- Midnight Book Girl says:

    Wow! This has been on my radar for a long time, but I just haven’t made time for it. I need to now!

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