Series: Ender's Quintet #1
Also in this series: Speaker for the Dead
Published by Tor Books on April 1st 2010
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Source: Gift (Not From Author)
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Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.
But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military's purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine's abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.
~from author's web site
Ender’s Game is truly one of the best written books that I’ve read in a while. Orson Scott Card does a brilliant job of telling Ender’s story. I read some of the reviews online and I wonder if these reviewers know that this is a 30 year old book. Some of the complaints are about sexism and how most of the children in the battle school were boys. Even though I can see their point, things were different 30 years ago.
In fact, to add credit to Card’s characters, next to the Ender, the next best developed character is his sister Valentine, even though she doesn’t get nearly enough page time. She is really the reason that Ender makes it through a lot of the truly hard times that he faces.
Sometimes in the story it’s hard to remember that these are children you’re reading about. Their intelligence is off-the-charts. I wish that there was a little more explanation about how Ender and his siblings are smarter than the average children. Perhaps we’ll get an explanation in a later book. I plan to read the whole series and hopefully get to Ender’s Shadow.
Overall the book was great. I’m surprised that the book is only 200+ pages. I read about 1 hour a night for over a week [with interruptions of parenting]. I’d recommend this book to adults and teenagers, but not children. Although most of the characters are children, the story does have some violence.