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As you come across this book in a bookstore, many of you will probably leave it alone just because of its thickness. Actually, time won’t be a problem (I read it in two days.)
The novel tells the story of a young boy, Ender Wiggin, who is sent to a training academy named Battle School, located in orbit above the Earth, built to train people to become soldiers that will one day battle against a vast alien race known as “Buggers”. Ender goes up there, trying his best to become promoted in the difficult training scheme; his brother and sister are trying to restore the world and to make it a better place. For Ender, the training is tough. He is granted a very special teacher, who will help him to become a commander to save humanity from the Third Invasion.
Ender’s Game (written in 1985) is a science fiction novel written by the American author Orson Scott Card. The book came from the short story with the same name, published in ‘Analog Science Fiction and Fact’ in 1977. Card later wrote more books to create the Ender’s Game series. An updated version of Ender’s Game was released in 1991, updating some political facts in the book to accurately reflect the era. Themes of the book are love, hate, prejudice (Ender is socially excluded for some time in Battle School), strength and courage.
Card was born on 24 August, 1951. He is an American author, critic, public speaker, essayist, columnist, and political activist. He has written books in several genres, but is primarily known for his science fiction. His novel “Ender’s Game” and its sequel “Speaker for the Dead” (1986) both won Hugo and Nebula Awards. Thanks to this Card is the only author to win both top US prizes of Science Fiction in consecutive years.
We meet many characters in the book. We see Ender’s family (which includes Ender, his mean brother Peter and his sister Valentine). Ender also meets lots of friends (and enemies) at Battle School, some of them being Petra, Bonzo, Bean, Alai, Dink, Crazy Tom, Hot Soup and Carn Carby. We also have Colonel Graff and many other people of authority, and even The Queen, from the Buggers. All of these people have different personalities.
Ender is brave, determined, but whether he is kind or mean changes as he progresses through Battle School. He likes to find consolation together with Valentine. On the opposite side, Peter is less friendly. If he was assigned the mission to kill someone, he might as well have done it. He even horrifies Valentine.
All the boys (and girls) at Battle School behave differently. Some are friendly, some are unfriendly. Together, they create interesting relationships concerning Ender.
Ender’s Game has an interesting narrative style. Card has placed descriptions where appropriate, and he always narrates in an exciting manner. One way he provokes tension in the book is by having an unidentified narrator at the beginning of every chapter. At the beginning, the reader has no clue about who is narrating; at one time I suspected it being the Buggers, which can be quite chilling, as the unknown narrator knows everything about Ender. Only gradually does the reader come to understand who the narrator is. Not only do we have an unknown narrator, but some chapters also switch between Ender’s perspective and his family’s situation.
To conclude, I would recommend this book to readers over 12 years old, who are mainly interested in Science Fiction, or who are interested in knowing more about how people behave. The language is moderately strong, but also somewhat complex for younger readers.
The reason why I liked this book is because it follows a busy, unpredictable, action-packed plot, but the end of the novel is still sad and strong enough to make us reflect on our behaviour and on the book’s events. It is also gripping and exciting, and the reader never knows what will happen next. For example, at one point, another random day turns into a battle in a washroom.
The beginning instantly grips you, as the reader is thrust into a new and unknown situation. So much is unknown in the book; slowly everything is explained, as you constantly gather more information about the situation. If you were to start reading from the end (I actually tried it) you would have no idea of what was happening to whom.
Overall, I would recommend this book to readers because of its excitement, meaning and unpredictability.
Source: The Guardian
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