Book Review – Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Title: Ender’s Game

Author: Orson Scott Card

Format: Paperback

Published: 1991

 

As of late I’ve been simply hunting for books to read. I’ve been wanting something different something science fiction in nature and I don’t know what else. I’ve been struggling to find books for what I was in the mood for and decided to suck it up and read Ender’s Game. Not that I have issues with Ender’s Game. I guess it was just a matter that I read the first page once before and it didn’t grab me and it is a book that has been raved about to me before. Now as a blog that talks about books and gives recommendations it seems almost hypocritical of me to reject a recommendation, particularly when I say I take recommendations rather seriously but there is a difference between a person saying, “I think you would like this book or, I really like this book and think that everyone should read it.” Versus “This is the best book ever you got to read it! See look there is a movie so yeah read it!” The Rave I had received was a long the lines of the latter and it felt like it was a matter of the recommendation being part of the movie craze rather than being a legitimate recommendation.

 

Any way, I finally check it out of the library and started to read it and found my self uncertain. I kept reading knowing that as early into the book as I was that I couldn’t say it is bad and give it up. I kept reading and before I knew it I had devoted a whole night reading finishing the next day only because I couldn’t remain awake long enough to finish the last twenty pages, otherwise this would have been a 1 day book.

 

Normally for me a one day book indicates that it is that good of a read but I think it was more a matter that I was very much in the mood to simply read a book and Ender’s Game wasn’t bad and had a bit of intrigue to it. Over all, it is hard to say what my official opinion about the book is. The story is chiefly about a young boy named Ender who is hoped to be the answer to a long fought battle. Thus at the young age of 6 Ender is taken off to Battle School where he is pushed to his limit s to become the commander they hope he can be. The book goes through Ender’s struggles and his training and the extreme conditions that he finds himself placed under.

 

Over all, it is a bit of an odd book and in a lot of way s though it was written between the two book felt a bit like a mix of the Hunger Games and Lord of the Flies. With it obviously pre-dating the first and post dating the later. Having read both books, I feel that the shock value that this book could provide did not for me. In the end I think I would give this book a 3 out of 5 page review stating that you are not wasting your time with the read but it isn’t a book I’ll be running to tell people about. Though if you have read the book I would gladly welcome a discussion about it because I do feel it is a good book to have a discussion on, much like Lord of the Flies.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steven M. Moore
    Jun 12, 2015 @ 12:20:23

    Hi Misheal,
    You talked about this book being a good one to have a discussion on. Might I recommend Ender’s Game and Philosophy, a book I reviewed for Bookpleasures. It digs deeply into issues and probably would add to that discussion.
    Like Crichton, Card has received a bit of flak for his positions. They provide an example of why I say an author’s positions don’t matter if s/he can tell a good story. The book I mentioned analyzes some of these positions, though, which could add to the discussion,
    Yours in reading and writing,
    r/Steve Moore

    Reply

    • Misheal Crocker
      Jun 14, 2015 @ 06:43:57

      Thanks for the comment Steve! I’ll have to keep that book in mind. I agree with you that the position of the author doesn’t always matter as long as the story is good. I am sure that a person could probably have a field day about political statements and things of the like when it comes to this book and while that could prove to be an interesting discussion, I find looking at the what if’s to be highly more fascinating. Such as if Ender figured out what he was doing was actually not part of training but the real deal or something of the sort – not that is a very good what if but just the situation as a whole is an interesting idea, particularly when we learn about what Ender will potentially go on to be and do.

      Of course, I know that there are additional books that Card wrote that answers that question but I prefer some of it to be left to my own imagination and I was told by a friend who has read beyond the first book that things get a little ‘weird’ in later books. Something I have not found the courage to test just yet at this point.

      Either way, happy reading and writing and thank you for your reading recommendation!

      Reply

      • Steven M. Moore
        Jun 14, 2015 @ 12:49:04

        Hi Misheal,
        The book I mentioned is written by psych and philosophy people, so let’s just say it’s not for everyone. I once read a book on the poetry of Dylan (Bob, not Thomas), so that type of non-fiction makes a connection with ye olde genre fiction writer.
        Your what-if is treated in the book I mentioned, though, along the lines of “Can a government use kids in military situations?” and “Do the ends justify the means?”
        Later Ender books do become weird as Card dabbles into oriental-like philosophy and mental self-flagellation and guilt for what he’s done. #2 also presents a very alien ecosystem that doesn’t seem sustainable to me, but Card is already trending away from hard sci-fi and space opera to pure fantasy. After Ender’s Game, his best book is Characters and Viewpoint.
        Did anyone see the movie? I missed it, but it looked like another Hollywood special effects extravaganza that would have destroyed my fond memories of the book. I read it at a very young age–that book and Heinlein’s Podkayne series were models for my own YA novel, not in theme or plot but in how to depict young characters in futuristic settings. I wish the Hunger Games author had read those books.
        r/Steve

    • Misheal Crocker
      Jun 14, 2015 @ 17:08:21

      Steve,

      You telling me that the book is a psychological and philosophical discussion has piqued my interest all the more! I fancy myself an amateur psychologist and what fascinates me most when it comes to literary discussion is why characters behave the way they do, what makes them tick. So I will be all the more certain to seek this book out.

      Any way, as to the movie, funny you should mention it as I had just gotten it from the library and had plans to watch it. Thus I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a watch before I responded back to you. To be honest the movie was decent, they didn’t destroy the book. They actually kept the spirit of the book alive and followed it rather well in my opinion. Of course, while this blog just game out it’s been months since I actually read the book but the gist was there. They cut out the Peter and Valentine bits of them doing their political campaign but everything with Ender was accurate they simply condensed a bit and didn’t reveal the truth of his first fight. They also condensed things when it came to Ender ending up on the planet to discover the egg as that was the base of operations for command school, but where they condensed they condensed well I didn’t feel like it was a spx extravaganza. It’s one of the few movies to do decently well in comparison to the source material.

      Reply

      • Steven M. Moore
        Jun 14, 2015 @ 17:39:33

        Hi Misheal,
        Sounds like the movie would be a good rental.
        Hollywood has a mixed record for translating sci-fi lit to the silver screen. Jurassic Park was good (forget Jurassic World, though); Blade Runner was better. Most of the Phillip K. Dick stories have made good movies–Scream is an exception (they completely changed it). Other genres aren’t immune, of course. Casting Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher was certainly a low point.
        Thanks for previewing the movie, though. The trailers didn’t impress me, but now I’ll look to rent it.
        All the best,
        Steve

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