This weekend I sat down for a movie read. Ender’s Game based off the popular novel by Orrison Scott Card, will be released on November 1 of this year. As I had not yet had a chance to read it, I knew it was time to see what this book was all about. So last Saturday evening, I sat down with my boyfriend and started to read to see just what this book was all about, and why there was all the hype. After all, nearly 5000 reviews on Amazon alone have been favorable.
Ender’s Game is a book set in a futuristic world. Mankind is still split into different factions, but those factions had to band together to repel an attack from Bugger’s. In the Ender’s Game version of Earth, family size is strictly regulated, much like in China where families are limited to one child, in the future; families are limited to two children. Anything more can be cause for shame, or embarrassment. In order to repel a Bugger attack, mankind has taken to gene manipulation in order to develop the perfect soldier to save humanity from the dreadful attack. The Wiggin’s are a special case, when Peter is born; the government thinks it has found the perfect battle commander. In order to facilitate selection, each child is given a monitor that keeps track of their actions and the decisions they make. Consider it a spying device, that is ever-present and ever recording until taken off. Peter however is not chosen, and it’s found that his personality is too…fiery, he has no compassion. So the IF (International Fleet) requests that the Wiggin’s have a girl next. After all, perhaps she will get more compassion, thus Valentine is born, but she too loses her monitor, even earlier at the age of 3 (whereas Peter had lost his at 5). So the IF comes back again, requesting that the Wiggins have another child, a third. By and large, this is a taboo practice, however in hopes for the continuation of society, and the destruction of the Buggers, Ender (Andrew) is born. The monitor on Ender is active until he is 6. Not only has he beaten out both of his siblings, but also most of the other children, that on top of his stigma as a third child makes him a prime target for bullying.
What follows in Ender’s Game is a wild journey. Ender is selected for his compassion, yet ultimate willingness to get the job done. While Ender will seek to avoid conflict, at the end of the day, he will do whatever it takes to ensure that he is not attacked again, to make enough of a statement. Ender is 6 when he is taken to battle school. He does have a choice in going, and he ultimately decides to go because he wants to feel accepted, to feel wanted by someone more than his sister Valentine. Unfortunately, such is not to be. Upon arrival, he’s immediately singled out, never given a chance to properly interact with his peers. The officers of the school are willing to do whatever it takes, including to rip away Ender’s childhood and ultimately his happiness.
Ender’s Game is a book that makes you think. For anyone who felt on the outside looking in, Ender’s Game is going to resonate. When I was growing up, I often felt similar to Ender; it was hard to relate to my peers. I was always the one that didn’t get the joke, or didn’t care to laugh. Despite the fact that Ender’s Game was written for a teen audience, individuals of all ages will enjoy this book. It’s witty, intelligent, and evocative. Card’s words allow the readers to construct in their own imagination a whole new world with all the intricacies therein. You’ll be able to enjoy the tale of Valentine and Peter when they create Locke and Demosthenes, a look at politics on future Earth. I could not put this book down; I started it in the evening and finished in the early morning. For this reason, I am giving Ender’s Game 5 buggers out of 5 for a wonderful job at creating an immersive environment to escape into. Thank you Mr. Card, I cannot wait for the movie release and only hope it will live up to the world my imagination created.