This past March Out of Print had their annual March Madness for best titles and this year the genre was fantasy/sci-fi. I was a bit perturbed when, for some time, Ender’s Game was ahead of The Hobbit. Surely you jest internet. Who was voting in this??
But don’t worry, wisdom won out and The Hobbit made it to the Final Four (only to lose to Harry Potter). I was ready to have someone hold my earrings. So I took it upon myself to pick up a copy and see what the fuss was all about, since, I’m scared to admit, I’d never heard of Ender before. And if it put up a fight against my beloved Tolkien, then I needed to study the enemy.
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.
My first thought after finishing this book was, why did the aliens have to be called Buggers? My second thought was that I didn’t expect that ending! I kept trying to think of ways it was going to end as I drew closer and closer to the finish, but I can honestly say I wouldn’t have called that one.
I thought, for me to like this, it would have required a much different crazy non-stop ending, but if anything, it made me enjoy the book more. I had some pretty high expectations (you win awards, you better wow me) and as lame as this is going to sound, I was hoping it would be terrible so my Hobbit love would have been justified. I know, issues folks.
So even though it was a bit different than I was expecting, I still enjoyed it. It leaves you with some life lessons and if you love sci-fi, I think you’ll enjoy this one. One more thought, I kinda felt bad for Ender. Anyone else feel me on that?
Oh and it’s a movie soon!! Check out the trailer: