Title: Ender's Game
Author: Orson Scott Card
Series: Ender's Saga
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 4.27
Published: July 15th, 1994.
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.
Here is a tricky review for me. It's sort of bittersweet. Let me explain....
I have heard of this book for YEARS (and no wonder since it was written before I was born...1977) by way of recommendation, Amazon.com's "you might like", magazines, reviews, friends, etc. So of course the hype was huge. I merely went to B&N to browse books as usual and found this for the first time since I've never seen it on the shelves. For 6$ it was a bargain and It's reputation was solid. Good $ and a good cover as always draw me in as well.
The book starts out, as all do, with intros, back-stories, and trying to introduce the key characters VERY early (or so I thought). We meet Andrew “Ender” Wiggins, his sister Valentine, and brother Peter just to start. The dynamic right of the bat of these 3 is incredibly mature, scary, and a tad bit psychotic even. Not what you would expect from three children who are all under the age of 10… lol. All of the trials and tribulations Ender faces are with kids his age, except everyone is a genius who will make you feel stupid at times. -_-
Through the first two chapters you discover the setting and course the book will take, but not completely described. This in particular I LOVED because being written in the first, and sometimes second person, one really doesn't get a direct explanation like almost every book written in third.
If felt a little like slow read sometimes but it really wasn’t. Ender deals with personal and “professional” issues that make him literally start to go crazy and moves the book along nicely but subtly. The vocabulary, situations, and abuse in the battle school make you CONSTANTLY forget your reading about children!!! It’s a unique experience I haven’t had in any story I’ve read EVER!
The ending was my favorite part by far!! The angles and confusion the author takes during the last chapters differ from the book almost entirely! For you out of the box thinkers (like me ;P), you will realize what’s happening almost instantly, but it will still leave your jaw dropped!! I thoroughly enjoyed the way it ended and how the characters’ stories don't end. Leaves you hanging a bit.
Bottom line, this is a solid book I would read between another series you might be waiting for or just to take a break from another story. I really liked it, but the spark of love just wasn't there for me.You can probably tell from the feel of the review.... hehehe