I still remember when my employer, many years ago, recommended me this book. The family just moved into this huge house, with a real LIBRARY with fireplace, comfy chairs, gorgeous windows to the backyard and tons of floor to ceiling shelves. My employer was a big science fiction and adult fantasy reader. He read multiple books a week, and knowing I usually read romance, he thought I might like Ender’s Game. Not because it has romance in it, which it has not, but because it’s more a YA science fiction with an underlying darker adult theme.
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card
Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga #1) by Orson Scott Card
Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards
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.
Ender’s Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
This is my choice for the category of Past love: Reread a book you loved when you were younger.
I decided to interpret the category a bit loosely. Because when I read this book I was probably 13 years younger. So in my eyes that counts – lol.
I have been wanting to re-read this book for a long time now. But I always pushed it back. By making it part of this challenge, I killed two birds with one stone.
As it happens, I loved the school part, which covers 3/4 of the book, as much as I did so many years ago. For one thing it reminded me of Harry Potter. Six year old Ender, was being shuttled off to Battle School, without friends and family. Pretty much alone, he must dependent on his wits and tenacity.
These first 3/4 of the book is all about him going through the different levels of the battle academy. The tests he and his platoon have to go through are mind boggling and fascinating. It’s pretty much my favorite part of the book.
The true wowing moment comes when at the end the reader as well as Ender realizes what the tests were all about. At that moment, the big revelations keep on coming. And that’s when the author’s true skill is being revealed. The backstory is breathtaking, dark, sad, but also hopeful. And nothing I ever expected – a real OMG kind of ending.
There are so many theories about this book, unsurprisingly there is something for everyone to speculate about. For me, the complex storyline, the never ending tests for Ender, and his time at school is what makes this book so special.
I can see myself reading it again in ten years. It shocked me a little, how much I’ve forgotten since I last read it. At times it felt like reading it for the first time.
If you love science fiction, this book is one you don’t want to miss.
Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card