Ender's Game (Ender Saga) Paperback – 1 Dec 2011
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Almost impossible to put down (LOCUS)
An incredible ending that knocks you sideways (SUNDAY EXPRESS)
The worldwide bestselling and award-winning classic science fiction novel - to be released as a major motion picture starring Harrison Ford on 25th October 2013See all Product description
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It would have been nice to learn a little more about how the Commanders got to their respective positions. Also how the previous bugger wars were conducted, as these obviously motivated and coloured the current conflict. The danger is that Enders battle appears an excessive use of force, without a grounding in the past. There is the suggestion at the end that Ender certainly feels this way.
Ender is by far the most developed character, concentrating on his skill as a leader, his intelligence, risk taking and intuition. Demosthenes and Locke are extensions of Valentine and Peter, but are a little obscure. We learn very little about their influence or political views, only that they are influential. Equally we do not learn too much about Valentine and Peter, only that they are Enders older siblings. Ender and Valentine appear to be close, but he wants to distance himself from the cruelty of Peter. Perhaps distance is the key theme in this work, as Ender never gets close to his toon or squadron leaders, letting them bond with each other, but staying aloof.
Visually it is not difficult to imagine the battle rooms, the bugger planet and the games Ender plays on his desk. This is particularly important when you are creating a fictional place with no reference to the readers’ immediate surroundings.
The ending is consistent with Enders compassionate side and establishes the starting point for a sequel, without denying the current book a satisfying conclusion.
The book follows the child Ender who is being groomed to become to the world saviour in a war against Earths enemy, the Buggers. The problem is Ender is only 6 at the beginning of the book.
This is a hard book to really love, I feel, as the themes in raise some really hard questions for me. Is it acceptable to treat a child like this? Is it acceptable to sacrifice one for the sake of the world? Is war really the answer? How violent should children be allowed to become without censorship?
If the main characters in the book were older then I wouldn't have any quarms with this book at all. The action was great and at a good pace. The story built up well and the end had a few twists and turns to keep me guessing and interested. Saying that the borderline child abuse in this book really didn't do anything for me other than upset me and make me question a humanity that could agree and carry out the treatment that Ender received.
If you can not question themes and plots and just enjoy the story then this is a good book. But if, like me, books get you to thinking about the worlds and societies within them, this one will have you shaking your head and wishing you were not part of the same human race.
Some of that sounds clichéd, but the way it is done, it is not. The ‘battle to save humanity as we know it’ aspect is the background that makes the story seem important, not the story itself. There is more than one surprise towards the end.
The author says in the preface that he has a post-graduate degree in literature and could have written in a ‘literary’ style with ‘themes’ if he wished. Instead, he uses language more simply as a means to get on with the story, not an end in itself, although there is an occasional memorable phrase e.g. ‘Ender’s anger was cold, so he could use it; Bozo’s anger was hot, so it used him.’
The name the American author gives in the book to the colony insect-like (or ‘bug-like’) aliens may cause British readers to blush; the word ‘Buggers’ evidently does not have the meaning in the USA that it does in Britain.
I understand there is a whole series of sequels, beginning with ‘Speaker for the Dead’ (which I tried but gave up on) but they are quite different kinds of story. Enders Game as a satisfying book by itself whether or not you read further.
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I was truly thrilled to read that - even though I saw the movie first. Book is worlds better!