Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga, #1)

ISBN: 0765342294
ISBN 13: 9780765342294
By: Orson Scott Card

Check Price Now


Classics Dystopian Fantasy Favorites Sci Fi Scifi Series To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Once Again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a front assault. 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. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game.Right?

Reader's Thoughts

Raeden Zen

An Epic Feat of Storytelling“I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one. Or at least as close as we’re going to get.” –Colonel GraffAndrew “Ender” Wiggin is the child prodigy destined to save the human race from extinction. He has a child’s mind but a supercomputer’s intellect and he struggles with the monumental task of defeating an enemy that he has never known or seen. He is a walking paradox, a natural born killer with sympathy, a child masquerading around as a man, a reluctant leader against the “buggers.” By the time we meet Ender, the buggers have already attempted two invasions of Earth. They are a superior race with a collective mind; a third invasion could well be on the way.And so the people of Earth turn to a so-called “third,” - a third born in an overpopulated world where “thirds” are rare - to take on the buggers. But they aren’t a hundred percent sure he’s their boy. So they put him through a series of trials and war games to determine his lethality and cunning and intelligence in commanding an army in war. The prose is smooth as water, the dialogue pitch perfect, the use of metaphor and irony perfectly placed and by the end of “Ender’s Game” you’ll feel like you fought in the Battle Room. That you know Ender. That you know Peter and Valentine. That you know Alai and Hot Soup and Dink and Bean and Commander Graff and Major Anderson. And of course, after you read the final chapter, “The Speaker for the Dead,” you’ll feel like you know the buggers too. “…I’m very good…”“Would you expect less?” she said. “You’re a Wiggin.”“Whatever that means,” he said.“It means you are going to make a difference in this world.”This exchange between Valentine and Ender is what makes this tale so sad; children robbed of their innocence in a paranoid world. Ender isn’t even a teenager when he endures the abuse of the Battle and Commander Schools – he is Colonel Graff’s pawn in a galactic game of chess, a game the colonel believes he can win because no species with intelligence could do what he was doing; no intelligent species could willingly and systematically turn children into warriors. It is this fundamental breakdown of morals in a futuristic world that makes “Ender’s Game” resonate so strongly.The bottom line: “Ender’s Game” is speculative fiction at its finest. Ender is the heart and soul of the story; the psychology of human behavior explored through the eyes of a phenom in a futuristic galaxy at war as humans insatiable taste for conflict bares its ugly teeth in the most destructive manner possible. Fight with Ender. Win with Ender. Above all, learn from Ender, from his mistakes and victories and his struggle with morality.

John Wiswell

This is a novel that blows past conventional ideas like "disbelief." Apparently humanity, a species whose only real claim to fame is war, now stinks at war, and can only be saved by a child genius who is one part prophecy, one part bad science, and one part wish-fulfillment. Thanks to this plan, we are treated to a gaggle of super-intelligent children who seldom appear particularly clever (in fact many behave with adult maturity rather than abnormal intellect) and achieve greatness not through any great effort that we follow (rather you'll read recaps of their successful efforts), but because the author wants them to achieve these things. In this, the definitive edition of Ender's Game, there is almost nothing earned within the plot.It's a decent story, but for a book with so many events there is very little consequence or risk, and the character development is so linear and stale. That last quality is particularly cloying considering that, prodigies or not, most of the characters are children and at least one of them should develop in an unexpected way. Instead the unexpected developments we get are humorlessly absurd, like two prodigies fooling the world with a fake op-ed column that earns them political power. The ending is predictable and deliberately anti-climactic, robbing the novel of its one true punch. The trade-off is, instead of getting the thing the book was building to, you get the opportunity for sequels and spin-offs. If you liked the infallible, mostly emotionless and paper-thin protagonist, then that's a good thing. If you were hoping to have the hours you put into the book validated with some real emotion at the end, well, neither this author's definitive edition nor any other is going to help you.

Riku Sayuj

Ender’s QuestionsI happened to see the new movie based on this book and it has prompted me to indulge in a little bit of speculation about on an old favorite. Ender’s Game is quite an interesting book to think about.(view spoiler)[It is built on a simple (simplistic even) premise: A truly great leader has to understand himself and his enemy. He has to have supreme empathy, enough to understand their every move. And if he is indeed great, he’ll then understand them as himself. How then can he kill?Answer: He has to believe he is not killing. He has to be manipulated.Ender’s Game thus asks its questions:1. Can any leader who killed his enemy be considered really great? 2. Can the noble kill unless we make it a game? War has to be a game?One twist I would have liked more than what transpired would have been if Ender had willingly let himself be deceived — that would have been closer to the real world.This book poses some more interesting questions, more than just about the aims of war, but about the very conduct of war itselfIn war we have to effect two things to ensure success:1. Demonize the enemy for the soldiers.2. Make the war itself a game for the leader.Two levels of illusion are needed.Of course, making a kid make these choices was probably to drive home the absurdity of the whole scenario.+++++About the movie itself: The movie mostly glosses over the other ‘game’ that Ender thinks is a game and is proven to be real. There are two games in the book, both sides of a war playing with the one person who could have stopped it.One gets what they want. The other does not. The wrong party gets through to Ender.Is it because the ‘buggers’/formics were trying to be too clever? What if they had let him know it was not a game?At some point if either of the two illusions could have been broken, genocide could have been averted?Ender is then supposed to go on to become one of the wisest figures in sci-fi canon. Wisdom came from being so throughly misled?In not giving prominence to one entire half of the book, not to mention forgoing giving much of a role to the real Peter and Valentine, the movie does great disservice to the fine texture of the book. That said, the movie is better than what I had expected.However, in making these two omissions (the game & the siblings), the script-writers has ensured that they will have their work cut out for them when those aspects come back with a vengeance in the sequels. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

Kyle Nakamura

This has to be, hands down, one of the best science fiction books written. Ender's Game is set in a disarmingly straightfoward sci-fi setting: a near future earth threatened by a hostile alien species with superior technology that seems determined to destroy the human race. The story centers on a young boy who is drafted into an all-consuming military training program at the age of 6. The program he's inducted into seeks to forge a new generation of military commanders out of gifted children, and it's sole purpose is to break them at any cost, until they finally discover someone who can't be broken. What follows is an emotionally complex and at times painfully familiar story of children struggling to accept their inner demons. Ender in particular is cursed with a brutal combination of profound empathy for others, and an overwhelming survival instinct that drives him to win no matter what the cost. It is this combination of gifts that may make him the commander the fleet needs in it's war against the alien invaders, but only if Ender can find a way to survive the burden of understanding his enemy so thoroughly that he can no longer see them as "the other," but as a reflection of himself. The story is fast-paced, and Card's signature style of simple, plain language and streamlined descriptiveness serves to bring the characters front and center at all times. This book is infused with a very real sense of psychological and spiritual dislocation, and treats it's young protagonists as fully realized, intelligent, 3 dimensional characters struggling with very adult questions. Card's other signature: creating drama through ethical dilemmas, is also a central element of the story, and he does a very good job of challenging the reader to find some semblance of moral high ground anywhere. The conflicts between characters are made all the more powerful by the almost total lack of mystery: motivations and intent are laid out very clearly in most cases, and it is the reader's ability to empathize with everyone's point of view that makes the story less about winning and loosing and more about living with the consequences of either. This book is thought provoking, emotionally complex, and ethically challenging. It's a powerful examination of conflict and violence, military necessity, family roles, and the ways in which we use the idea of "the other" to justify all manner of savagery.


I didn't think I liked Sci Fi. Maybe I still don't... but you have to be on mind-altering drugs not to LOVE this book. Actually, mind-altering drugs might make it better. Hmm.

Stella ☢FAYZ☢ Chen

If I fail my exams this week, I blame this book.Ah Ender's Game, how you have sat on my bookshelf for over a year before I got to you. You have been so nicely received by the sci-fi community so why did I put you off? BECAUSE I WAS STUPID, THAT IS WHY.My stupidity aside, I hope you guys will still consider this 5-star review to be credible and valid. I'll list off the pros and cons to this novel and you can decide.Pros:An adorable main character. Ender (Andrew) Wiggins was a breath of fresh air from the strong heroine of YA literature. Being a 6 year old at the beginning of the novel, I was completely caught off guard by his maturity and how sneaky he was.The tactics used in the Game.The reason the Hunger Games was interesting to me were solely due to the tactics Katniss used to stay alive, Well, guess what? Ender Wiggins just pretty much kick this Katniss chick's butt. Ender almost reminded me of Alexander the Great or Napoleon and I LOVED IT.Oh the perceptive of Valentine and Peter was also very fascinating. The political backdrop highlighted by Demosthenes and Locke was very refreshing for a science student like me. Now, I shall move on to the cons:The lack of romance.OMG WHO AM I SUPPOSE TO SHIP NOW? NO DARK, MYSTERIOUS BOY WHO THE MAIN CHARACTER CAN FEEL SEXUALLY FRUSTRATED FOR.Haha, just kidding. I am glad the focus was on Ender and his growth to his maximum potential. The lack of romantic development is one of the best thing about this novel. I find romance takes away from such a masterpiece.Just to be clear, there are no cons to this book. I am just a fool who never listen to others' opinions and it often comes back to bite me in the rear.Joke's on me, I suppose.

Kat Kennedy

Ender's Game is a Difficult book to review. It has no romantic plot and the book is based primarily on prepubescent and barely pubescent children. This makes it and odd read for people over the age of fifteen.Yet I found the characters to have great depth and likability. I found that the book paced well and the plot was interesting. The military focus of the book was engaging and fascinating.I've read this book many times and each time I take away something new but older readers may find themselves unable to relate to the main characters and their situation.


Every now and then you come across a book whose prose is thoroughly unimpressive but whose premise and sheer bravado manage to suck you in nonetheless, to the point where you end up enjoying it an awful lot. Ender's Game falls into that category for me. The first few chapters feature some of the choppiest prose I've come across in a published book -- sentences so short and dull that I seriously wondered how the book had ever got published. However, the writing gradually gets better, and as for the story itself, well, it's simply compelling. It kept me up for the better part of two nights and had me doing some serious thinking afterwards. Not bad for a young-adult-cum-science-fiction novel.Ender's Game centres on Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin, a precocious six-year-old who is selected for the inter-planetary Battle School, where children are trained to become commanders for the International Fleet (a space agency which is supposed to keep alien threats at bay). Ender's teachers suspect he is a strategic genius, so in order to nurture his talent and see what he is capable of, they subject him to an increasingly gruelling training programme in which he has to lead much older kids into mock battles. It soon becomes apparent why: the teachers believe that Ender may be the only person capable of beating the Buggers, a technologically advanced race from outer space who may or may not have evil designs on planet Earth. So they push young Ender to his very limits, only to realise much later that they may have pushed him too far. Is Ender up to the challenge? And what exactly does this challenge entail, and what does it mean in terms of right and wrong? These are just some of the questions raised in Ender's Game, a page-turner if ever I read one. While overall characterisation is shoddy (Ender himself remains a two-dimensional character, and the other characters never make it past 1.4-dimensional), there can be no doubt that Ender is a great protagonist. It's simply riveting to watch him overcome his own fears, outwit his enemies, win the respect and support of those who matter and prove himself worthy of the big task ahead of him. Reading about his game tactics is like watching a strategy book come to life, and I for one really enjoyed that experience (I guess I should be reading Machiavelli and Sun Tzu next). But Ender's Game is more than an exciting tale about a child prodigy overcoming tremendous odds to find the meaning of his life. It also deals with fairly fundamental ethical issues. Once the final battle is over, you are left with a lot of questions -- about the legitimacy of manipulation and using children as a means to an end, and about the ethics of war and colonisation. You are given an insight into how lonely life can be at the top, and how hard it can be to live with yourself after you've done something terrible (even if you were tricked into doing it). You are left feeling not just for Ender, who pays a heavy price for the games others play on him, but for his victims, who may not quite deserve the treatment they get. So what if the writing is sketchy and the characters are cardboard cut-outs? It's still a gripping read which makes some worthy points. A deserved classic, in my opinion.

Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)

I'm not giving any of my money to a man that wrote this, and who regularly donates money that he's earned from his books towards anti-gay rights outlets.

Lit Bug

2.5 StarsI had no intention of picking up Ender’s Game for two reasons – One, I came to know about this book only recently when I happened to see a mini-trailer of the movie and saw a little kid saving Earth, which put me off despite being okay with Harry Potter, really. Two, OSC came into focus by his conservative views on marriage and sexual orientation followed by an outcry demanding to ban EG. But I grew heavily curious if his views explicitly shaped his most famous work, and had to read it.Honestly, I found the work immensely unbelievable if I kept in mind the fact that the protagonist Ender was between 6 and 10 years old throughout the work. It seemed too implausible for a young mind to attain adulthood so easily, even if he was gifted. Being sharp, intelligent, exceedingly adaptive and perceptive is one thing – and gaining a maturity that is accumulated by years of exposure to experience and an ever-widening world is quite another thing. By half the novel, I was so annoyed I couldn’t enjoy it. But once I stopped forcing myself to see him as a kid and let myself assign him an age I thought was believable to me (mid-late teens in the first half of the book and mid-late twenties in the latter half), I found myself curiously enjoying the story.Now, this is an interesting story, despite being so clichéd and possessing hardly any novelty. The writing is well-paced, the twists are not forced, and although I didn’t relate myself to any of the characters, it is obvious it would touch some nerve with some bright kids going through that alienation. Also, it is not a literary kind of story, though it had immense potential to be a really good bildungsroman. It is a plain story in plain words, easy on the mind, and possibly more popular than it is worth because it touches a certain group of people not before adequately represented in fiction.As a military SF work, it is curious and inadequate – it is fit neither for young children, nor for adults – it contains a bit of violence, nearly negligible sexual explicitness and young protagonists, but it is too complex as a piece of psychological work for little kids to understand. And kids’ psychology is the focal point of this novel. I’d rather 6 year olds watch Doraemon/Micky-Minnie-Donald-Scrooge-Tom&Jerry cartoons, even though I don’t find all of them beyond reproach from certain perspectives. For adults, it is too simplistic a piece of fiction to be enjoyable. Perhaps, kids in mid-late teens might appreciate it if they can relate to it and have nowhere else to turn to.I had hoped for some beautiful observations on growing up, some touching instances of friendship-formation, of emerging from childhood into adolescence in a world where an innocent kid had to grow up too fast – what it meant to be a child, what it would be to lose that innocence and to be flung in a world that afforded no love, no care, no warmth. But, well, OSC misses the mark completely. Can we know the dancer from the dance? I’ve been meaning to review this book as objectively as possible – and I wanted to read it precisely because I wanted to see if I could know the dancer from the dance, OSC from EG. I was pretty sure I would be able to pick out some insinuations about his conservative, inflammatory views on homosexuality. Surprisingly, I didn’t.I did see blatant, overt sexism that could have been easily rendered logical, given its genre of SF. Now, this very sentence in the beginning caught me off-guard, and alerted me to further potential signs of sexism. "A few girls. They often don't pass the tests to get in. Too many centuries of evolution are working against them. None of the will be like Valentine, anyway." Now, despite my sincere wishes to see more women, more non-Whites, non-Western, non-strictly-heterosexual settings in SF, I’m quite okay with Men, Whites and Western, Heterosexuals (MWWH now onward) settings as well. The beauty of SF is that with a pseudo-scientific explanation, it is very easy to incorporate strictly MWWH without being offensive to the non-MWWH categories. What bothered me here was that there were no logical explanations for the new world. Or whatever they are, they do not amount to much.Only two women of consequence are present here – Valentine (Ender’s sister, conceived in order to induct her into the army, but rejected because she was too soft, too conciliatory, and therefore, though it is not explicitly stated, too feminine. Peter, their eldest sibling with his unruly nature only acts as a foil to Valentine and a double assertion of this feminine/manly dichotomy. And another girl is the one with Ender who helps him save the world.About the quote I cited about ‘few girls passing the tests’, no further explanation is given. What kind of evolutionary process? OSC doesn’t bother to explain, while he spends endless pages of explanations on some things that really didn’t matter to the story at all.Possibly the only strong female character in the story is the co-fighter with Ender and the sole girl in the BattleSchool, and she plays second-fiddle to Ender (okay, I know she is a minor character), but she is also the only character to fail at the most critical juncture. Alai, the only non-White (presumably African) and non-Christian character too has no role beyond helping Ender, though he is definitely portrayed better than I expected.Now, I have issues with it because I saw in the HP movies how these obstacles were overcome and could have been done so here too – HP and other characters were kids, but were better specimens of bildungsroman. Hermoine and Ron were as well-rounded, individual characters as Harry himself, and no less important. Harry alone did not defeat Voldemort – the entire wizard world did it with him. Harry is not infallible. Nor are others. And HP, despite having few female characters actively taking part in the series, is far from sexist.So because it can be done, I found it immensely irritating it wasn’t done. I’m pretty convinced that OSC’s personal beliefs have a lot to do with this portrayal, which comes across to me as a typical White Male Fantasy. His Mormon neo-conservative views might have had a significant bearing on his characters that are dangerously impressionable on young minds. As for the recent furor over his anti-homosexuality views, I could detect no such instances of it in the book, nothing even faintly propaganda-type. Except for the complete erasure of sexuality in a school full of teens.I was dithering between 2 and 3 stars – it was lucid, well-paced, but ordinary. It is a teenage White Male fantasy with clear anti-Russian leanings. As an SF work, the part about the games is well-delineated, imaginative, but at some critical junctures, scientific explanations are missing. The world-building is haphazard, sloppy, and yet it is overall readable. Or maybe I found it so because I was just done with something nastily heavy as Spivak and needed a real no-brainer controversial lucid book. I fail to understand how this deeply flawed piece won the Nebula. Hugos, I don’t pay much attention to, because they are voted on by fans. But I’m increasingly being disappointed by some inclusions in Nebula, especially those in the post-1980s.But ‘nuff said, it was annoying enough not to make me reach for his other books. Solely based on the (de)merits of this one, rather than OSC’s personal whims. Because if the dancer cannot be separated from the dance, I cannot read/enjoy at least a quarter of the wonderful books I’ve read. Unless an author seeps noticeably into his works, there’s no point in doing otherwise. The author must remain in the back of the mind, and not completely obliterated. S/he must be brought to the fore whenever it is necessary and appropriate to do so. But when the author and the work are unrelated, it is best to keep them separate.


I believe it was A. E. Van Vogt who said, "The Golden Age of Science Fiction is 14." And in fact, much of the classic science fiction of Heinlein and others feed into the mind of the adolescent boy. The protagonist Ender is an adolescent's dream. He is alone, alienated and feels he is not appreciated for how special he is. In other words, he is the average teen male or at least how the average teen male sees himself. Add on the naive and egotistical worldview envisioned by Heinlein and it is no wonder why adolescents flocked to the science fiction pulps of the 50s. In fact it can be argued that the teen sci-fi fan of the 50s was not all that different from the Emos of our generation.Ender's Game was written in 1986. Yet it reads very much like a Heinlein novel and the plot and themes are not all that different from Starship Troopers. Card was smart enough to add in video games and the internet as waves of the future but the old Cold War mentality and the "might is right" philosophy hangs on. This is why this somewhat sadistic journey of a six year old child to his role as sci-fi messiah is so disturbing. Ender is brilliant but it is his habit of extreme violence that attracts him to his superiors. This appears to be a virtue in the author's eyes. In fact, one of Ender's teachers spell it out in no uncertain terms. "The power to cause pain is the only power that matters, the power to kill and destroy, because if you can't kill then you are subject to those who can, and nothing and no one will ever save you."Keep in mind this is being said to a six year old boy.This is the basic theme of the novel. Violence is never extreme enough if it is for a good cause. This idea is never really questioned by Ender or anyone. At the end there is a twist that appears to lay doubt. However is not the basic moral issue in question but the assumption that sets the means to the end in playThis is why I cannot give this novel anything more than two stars. Card isn't a bad writer although some of his action scenes are muddled and he had an annoying habit of changing to third to first person and back for no reason. This was his first novel but I've never read anything else by him so I don't know if he developed any better habits. But this kind of philosophy in any story, especially one that appeals to teens, is disturbing to me. I'm OK with the idea of a young boy with talent being challenged and persecuted. It is a stalwart of YA literature. Harry Potter is an excellent example. But Card seems to preach "If you can't beat them, join them but just be a better fascist than they are."While we are on the subject, Orson Scott Card is also known for his rather conservative social and religious viewpoints. One of those is his opposition to gay marriage and his basic revulsion to homosexuals in general. So why does his book have so many scenes of young boys running around and wrestling in the nude? Not to mention that the aliens are nicknamed "Buggers". I see some major issues here. Mr. Card, please seek help.


I decided to read the novel basically because the incoming film adaptation and I wanted to read the original book before of watching the film. I am aware of the controversial opinions about sensitive social subjects, but I want to keep that out of this and only commenting about my impressions about the book itself. First of all, I doubt highly that the film adaptation will be so crude in certain developments of the story mainly because of that the protagonist of the story is a child. And commenting about the shock made for the book, it's obvious that it's provoked due that the protagonist is a child. This very same story using an adult, even a young adult, and this book wouldn't impress anybody. However I think that establishing that this is a story set into the future of humankind, I think that how the children think, talk and act here is not far-fetched. Maybe in 1985 could be, but now? Now, children have all the access to internet just like this "futuristic" story sets, and now kids "mature" very quickly, not a real maturity but the expose to so much information in the web and the interaction on social networks, forums, blogs, etc... make them to "act like adults" before their time and also it make them to lose sensibility on how treating living things. So, that angle is very visionary. Now, the development, I found odd that in his life on Battle School, you only get the practices and exercises, and you only read about how Ender learn from his peers and never from the teachers, it's supposed to be a school but you never see how are "classes" there. It's like if he wouldn't any valuable education from adult teachers. The book was really interesting while Ender was still very young but as soon he got a promotion to commander, I think that much of the "spark" of the narrative was lost. It's kind of a rule on these military sci-fi stories that they have to battle against insect-like species? Like on Starship Troopers. I guess that it's easier to get a lot of killing without provoking so much social shock. I am sure that when Peter did some awful things to one single squirrel disturbed a lot of people, me included, but killing insects? If a kid kills an animal, it's a sure signal that they have a psychopath on their hands, but killing a cockroach? An ant? A wasp? Unless you are a monk in Tibet, you have kill an infinite quantity of insects on your life and you didn't think twice about it again. So, the easiest way to make people confortable with massive killing is convincing them that they are not killing sentient life forms but dang bugs. And, yes, that not only works here in this book but in many dark moments in history. And in the story there are a couple of different deaths that I won't get in details to avoid make spoilers but I can understand why they provoke so much disgusting, getting back again taking in account that children are protagonists in this book.


I first read Ender's Game the same year it was published; I was a marginally successful junior in a US Service Academy at the time, and well on my way to forming my current negative opinion about how such works. What ever other critiques readers might have about Card's story here, IMHO he nailed the military training environment, complete with psychological manipulation and Machiavellian intrigue. I am not surprised to hear rumors that Ender's Game might even be promoted by the military training establishment. Even before this book was published, my training cadre made no secret of how they were using 'significant emotional events' to reshape our personalities to conform to the expected standard ... Much like Graft attempts to manipulate encounters for Ender at the Battle School. This was made slightly more difficult after hazing became illegal; it didn't actually eliminate it, just moved it into the shadows. Needless to say, my first encounter with the book evoked a very strong affinity with the protagonist. First cut gets 5 stars.Another significant concept Card presented in the story was that such a system inevitably fails ... As in it doesn't predictably (limited correlation) create your top military commanders during war time and can in fact hinder their development. Unfortunately I don't believe Card's solution is very realistic. Throwing away the rulebook in order to foster social isolation and constant exposure to violence at an early age does not create individuals who are strong, independent leaders ... It creates sociopaths. Fortunately Card seems to have a knack for knowing when he may have pushed too hard, as Ender immediately becomes overwhelmed with angst about his actions. About the only benefit I get from these rather irritating episodes is an opportunity to expose ethical talking points (which I took advantage of when I re-read the book with my preteen). Several critics seem to believe that they know which side Card comes down on these issues (e.g. Is Xenocide always evil? ... Is it ever necessary?) ... Strangely enough, there is little unanimity among them (I actually think Card leaves it up in the air for each reader to think about). There are other areas in the story that I could pick apart, in fact an army of critics have already done so (and to some extent they have valid points); however, I still find the over all story to be an excellent starting point for talking about how we go about determining ethical behavior, both within our society and in response to a potential foreign encounter.

Mark Lawrence

I read this story quite a while back with no special expectations. Like most books I read it just happened to be lying around the house. I read it, was hugely entertained, and went on to read three or four of the sequels.I've heard since all manner of 'stuff' about the author but what's true and what isn't I don't know and I'm not here to critique the man behind the keyboard. All I can do is report on the contents of the book and those I can thoroughly recommend you check out.The main character, Ender Wiggin, through whose eyes we see the story unfold, is a child genius. If you're one of those people who wants your protagonist to be an average member of society, typical of his/her age and gender... step away. Ender's story is told because he is very far from ordinary. OSC employs a bunch of fairly standard story-telling tricks. Our hero is underestimated at every turn, he exceeds expectations, we know he's got it in him and we're frustrated by the stoopid people who just won't see it. There's a bully/nemisis and nobody else but us sees just how nasty he is... However, OSC manages to bake an irresistable cake using those standard ingredients and once he starts sprinkling on originality as well, you've just got to eat it all.This is sci-fi, not hard sci-fi, not soft sci-fi... let's say 'chewy'. It has a slightly old school EE Doc Smith feel to it, and you expect someone to pull out a monkey-wrench whenever the computer starts smoking, but none of that worried me. There definitely is some characterisation going on. We're not talking Asimov's Foundation here where brilliant ideas invite you to forgive cardboard characters. The people here are decently drawn and Ender has his own angst (involving genius psychopathic syblings) that is quite engaging. However, it's the stuff that goes on that drives the story. The war games in preparation for battling the aliens, the unfortunately named 'Buggers'. These war games and Ender's brilliance in overcoming increasingly dire odds are a major theme and I loved them.And then there's the twist. I'll say no more on that except that I was too engaged with the story to see it coming, and when it hit me ... well, I'd give the book 6* just for that moment. It doesn't work for everyone but it did for me!.


ender's game is pretty awesome, when it's not being boring.and of course it is just me - in class yesterday the parts i mentioned as being boring TO ME were other people's favorite parts. and this is all due to a design flaw in me: i am physically incapable of visualizing action sequences. in movies, they make it so easy. in books, i frequently have to reread scenes a few times before i can orient myself. throw in zero gravity and weapons that don't actually exist, and i am loster than lost.but - the parts of this that are good (to me) were very very good. why have i never read this before?? because i thought it was a total little boy book - all outer space and video games. and it is. but it is also about the formative years of a military savant - pushed nearly beyond his endurance into this pit of loneliness and pure strategy and honed into a killing machine. usually i hate precocity, but this was just brilliant. i liked so many of the characters, i loved watching ender progress, i just loved every minute of it. and even the parts i couldn't wrap dumbhead around, they were still fast-paced, even though i couldn't understand "wait, so who is hiding behind the star?? and who has been flashed? and what does that cord attach to??"and of course, all that it has to say about the role of ethics on the military and about the suppression of the individual in these circumstances is gorgeous.and if you like this book, be sure to check out o.s.c's many review of snacks and other sundries:this one is pretty informativei am sorry this review is crap, but i am supposed to be studying for a midterm. plus, almost everyone has already read this, so it's not like i am discovering anything here.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *