Book Blog - Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I’m a creature of habit and there’s a number of books that I reread on a (typically) annual basis. ENDER’S GAME by Orson Scott Card is one of these. For those of you this is The Hunger Games before there was a Hunger Games. From the author’s website:

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.

It’s a brilliant story with a mastery of world-building, character, and pacing. The timeless part of the book, though, is the emotional resonance. From the moment you meet Ender, then along the fantastic twists, and until the final line, I care so deeply for the boy. It’s amazing that after countless re-reads, I love him just as much. Many people may shy away from ENDER’S GAME because it’s often packaged as hardcore SciFi or (recently) as an Artemis Fowl-ish Middle Grade, but don’t be fooled for this is a classic that transcends the meager.

Note: On the 2013 read-through, I listened to the audio version – which was very well done and almost a light dramatization with a few different readers for different characters. Also, highly recommended. 


I loved this book, Bret. Orson Scott Card is masterful.

This is my favorite book. Well, it's tied with Ellen Raskin's THE WESTING GAME. Both have game in the title, though, so that's OK.

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