Ender’s Game

Zoe N. | June 30, 2013 | Review

Ender’s Game

Ender's Game

by Orson Scott Card

Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Published: January 28th, 1986
by Tor Teen

four-half-stars

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Summary:

Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a front assault, and the survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender's childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. In simulated war games he excels. Is Ender the general Earth needs?

Review:

Have you ever read a book and felt that the author must have written it specifically for you? That’s how Ender’s Game felt to me. It’s a combination of a handful of my favorite things – military strategy, psychology, and science fiction – with unforgettable characters and a plot jam-packed with twists and turns.

50 years ago, the aliens attacked. Humanity barely survived.

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Now, the aliens are planning to attack again, and the government is desperate to find a military genius who will be able to defeat them. And finally they do: 6-year-old Ender Wiggin. Taken to a orbiting Battle School in space, an answer becomes more necessary by the second: is Ender the general Earth needs?

Ender may only be six, but he has a heart and a mind far more mature than any of his peers; and is a protagonist that you can’t help but sympathize with. He’s forced into a leadership position that he’s not particularly interested in, and is constantly manipulated and used as a pawn in other people’s games. He goes through so much throughout the course of the story, and his emotions and thoughts reflect off the pages perfectly. As much as Ender’s Game is a science fiction novel, it is also a psychological study, and Ender’s character reflects that wonderfully.

One of my favorite things about Ender’s Game was the battle strategy sequences. The entire book is one gigantic chess game. There are pawns, queens and kings and you have to decipher and analyze your opponent’s next move.

In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.

As someone who is a huge fan of anything strategic (not surprising since I’m a daughter of Athena at heart), it was a fascinating experience to get into a glimpse of a tactician as brilliant and calculated as Ender and watch how he played out his moves.

If there is one thing I would have changed about this novel, it was the perspective of Valentine and Peter. While it was fascinating to see how they tried to gain power through blogging, I felt it didn’t really add anything especially impactful to the story.

In the end, Ender’s Game is a total “me” book. Full of constant battle strategy and psychological study combined with a large emphasis on the importance of family and friendship, this was a complete win for me in every sense.

four-half-stars

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