Review: Ender’s Game


  • Author: Orson Scott Card
  • Genre: Science Fiction

I purchased this book.*

I don’t own or read a whole lot of Sci-Fi.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it.  It just takes a lot more to catch my interest with Sci-Fi than with Fantasy, and most of my Sci-Fi favorites are TV shows, such as Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica, and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  I love Doctor Who so much that I’ve bought quite a few of the mass market books that I’ve come across in used bookstores, but they’re still sitting on my bookshelves, along with, up until about a week ago, Ender’s Game.  So, when I started listening to the audiobook version that I also own, while I waited for podiobook suggestions, it was only because the only other audiobook I own (Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White) wasn’t something I was in the mood for at the time.  I’m glad I finally got around to finding out just how good Ender’s Game is.

Had I read this book about a decade ago, I’m not sure if I would have taken away as much from it as I did reading it now.  After having served in the military, there were a lot of Ender’s thoughts and emotions that I could directly relate to, since I had many of the same ones throughout my career as a soldier, though the experiences that brought them about were vastly different, of course.  I’m not knocking the military, nor am I saying that you have to be a veteran in order to understand this book.  I’m only saying that my personal experiences brought this book to life a little bit more, and caused some of Ender’s experiences to hit a bit closer to home.  One part that didn’t have anything to do with my adult life, but struck a chord with me to the point that I had some flashbacks to my childhood, was the bullying Ender experiences.  I know first hand that sometimes you have to defend yourself with your fists.  Sometimes it’s the only thing you can do to insure your survival, and it’s sad that anyone has to learn that lesson at such a young age.

This book is likely to bring up emotions for anyone who has been bullied, forced into a fight, felt like everyone but themselves had control over what happened to them, had to grow up too soon, or has had any kind of military training.  There’s also the shock that all of the events in the story are happening to or are done by children, many of whom are barely teenagers.  With the way that Ender and the other kids think, that can be easy to forget at times, and so the reminders cause that initial shock to be repeated at various points throughout the book.  Last but not least, there’s the overall message of the book, but I won’t spoil that for you.  If you haven’t read this one already, I highly recommend giving it a try.

*While I do believe that the personal is political, I don’t believe in censoring my reading because of an author’s beliefs.  Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs, regardless of what they might be, and if I refused to read every book who’s author had beliefs I disagreed with, I’d be missing out on quite a lot of great reading.