Ender’s Game (Ender #1) by Orson Scott Card
Sci-Fi, Published 1985, 324 pp
Mel Read Nov. 15, 2008
From the Back Cover:
Once again, the Earth is under attack. Alien “buggers” are poised for a final assault. The survival of the human species depends on a military genius who can defeat the buggers.
Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategical master. And a child.
Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battleschool. 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, Battleschool is just a game.
Recently I’ve been making an effort to catch up on more of the “classics”, which is what led me to Ender’s Game. Going into this book, I had no idea of what to expect; the fact that it is held in very high regard within the scifi genre is about all I knew of it. This is not a lighthearted book by any means. Much like 1984, it paints a harsh picture of the future, but Ender’s universe does leave room for hope. Although much of the book is focused on various battle simulations in the form of Zero-G games, they are described so that even someone like me who is not terribly familiar with tactical arrangements can follow along and understand the action that is occurring.
The story never seemed to drag along, as it does in so many books, and each chapter left me wondering what would happen next in Ender’s journey among the stars. The ending, likewise, took me by surprise. I would definitely recommend this book to any lover of scifi, and suggest that even those who aren’t so fond of the genre (like emmegail!) give it a try. You won’t find a lot of technical jargon here, and the story has less to do with aliens or high-tech gadgetry than it does with the struggles of humanity. Just don’t pick this when you’re looking for something upbeat!