Buy on Amazon • Series Reading Order •
Government drafts genius child Andrew "Ender" Wiggin to defend against alien Buggers, but rejects sadistic brother Peter and beloved sister Valentine. In orbiting Battle School, rigorous military training, skill and natural leadership elevates boy to isolated position, respected by jealous rivals, pressured by teachers, afraid of invasion.
Review by Andy
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is science fiction with a realistic twist. It may not be the absolute best book I have read but nothing in it is terrible and it has few things are great. The big thing I found amazing was the plot. There are lots of surprises and peeks at the “omniscient” point of view that doesn’t make sense until later. I also found some of the characters pretty enjoyable although others may need some work. That being said it’s a pretty good book.
The supporting characters are mostly fine, but the antagonists needs some work. I found Bonzo, one of Ender’s battle school enemies and ex-commander, interesting with his “Spanish honor” but Stilson and Peter are just strange. Peter even more so because of how he changes through the book and how he acts when he believes nobody is listening. Ender also goes through a character progression, but it is hard to catch and subtle. If you look at how he thinks when the monitor is about to be removed and then his personality at the end of the book, you will see two very different Enders. From being a know-it-all to more serious and thoughtful, Ender definitely changes. Ender’s contemplating beating the tormentor so he wins the rest of the battles is also a pretty interesting character development and makes the book better.
The plot has many quick turns and changes. The “omniscient” perspective that foreshadows what will happen is sometimes on one person and sometimes a different person. The quick perspective turns spice up the plot and makes it better such as Ender finding out his exams and the other battles weren’t exactly what he thought they were. I also really enjoyed the ending of the story. This is one book that needs no improvement in its plot.
One thing that a good book must have is a good idea in the first place. The idea should be unique and serves as a good foundation for the whole story. If you look at bestseller young adult novels you’ll see that their basis is different. Ender’s Game differs in many young adult novels in the way it uses children and it is not as focused on adventure style action focusing on pilots of spaceships, which you get in a lot of sci-fi. The action is more tactical, which is unique
I did have a problem with the Valentine and Peter subplot back on Earth. It is somewhat confusing if readers don’t know what the nets are. I liked how Peter’s jealousy and desire for power fuel this subplot although it isn’t nearly as good as the main plot. Since it was not as exciting, the pacing in these areas of the book slowed down from the built up excitement when you are following Ender. Although this story point felt necessary it wasn’t as enjoyable.
I would recommend this book if you like either sci-fi or adventure fiction such as Artemis Fowl. Somehow this book was really pretty fast paced for me though there isn’t the standard types of action you find in young adult books. This book is a must read for young adults.