- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 2 hours and 26 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 30 Oct. 2007
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ7SM2
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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A War of Gifts: An Ender Story Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
It's okay. It's a nice little story. Emphasis on the little. A total of 126 pages and the font is big and there is a lot of white space. It could easily have been condensced to 60 pages without causing eye-strain. The sleeve of the hard-back feels like it was designed for a bigger book than it is, and the pages have been cut in such a way as to create the illusion of a manuscript.
It's not worth the money. Really. It's a nice little story with Ender playing the important but not lead role. Dink plays a bigger role, if you liked the old characters. Perhaps I should outline the plot a bit. It's set in the battle-school whilst Ender is there. A young boy named Zeck has been selected for training and he goes up there. On Earth Zeck is beaten by his father who's some kind of Minister: claiming that he is beating the evil out of him. In order for Zeck to not consciously hate his father he gets the religious bug, big-time and generally infuriates everyone else at the school by being so pious. Dink and a side character decide to celebrate Christmas (this is set whilst Ender is Rat Army). Zeck gets pious and gets ostracised as a result. Ender then comes in and heals Zeck of his personal demons and all is well in the end.
This should really have been available as a $2 download. Honestly, OSC has done some god stuff - but this takes money-grabbing and playing on the "Ender-brand" to the Nth degree.
Buy it if you're obsessed with Ender. Get a copy out of the library otherwise.
Hopefully OSC wil release a proper book from the Ender-verse at some point.
But Orson Scott Card gives it a good try in the megabrief novella "A War of Gifts." Despite a rather abrupt ending, it's a pleasant little story with a dark side that one doesn't expect from a Christmas story, and a Scroogian main character who's hard to like.
That character is Zech Morgan, son of a fanatical preacher who condemns everything, and "purifies" Zech by beating him. Even when he's drafted into Battle School, which does not allow outward religious observance, he shows nothing but pious contempt for his classmates and superiors. But on Sinterklaas, one Dutch boy slips a gift into another's shoe. Zech sees and reports it, but their superior doesn't care.
Soon the other children have decided to pull a "Santa Claus" -- they'll exchange little gifts and favours over the holidays. But since Zech believes that Saint Nick is a tool of the devil, he disrupts the festive favors -- and it may take Ender Wiggin to show him what the real problem is.
Just a warning: this book is very short. Very short. As in, 130 smallish pages short -- if rendered in normal pages, it would be a fair-sized short story. But despite its brevity, it is a pleasant little story.
Half is a story about kids celebrating the spirit of Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Ramadan) despite their sterile, grim surroundings. Lots of fun, goodwill, and general holiday spirit. But about halfway through, it suddenly becomes darkly unfestive, as Ender tries to force Zech to confront -- without any "my father says" or Bible quotes -- the painful truth of his own feelings, and his father's cruelty.
Okay, readers will have picked that up long before. But Card imbues plenty of feeling into the story, including one bittersweet chapter about the Wiggin family Christmas without Ender. The main problem is that the ending is very abrupt -- it feels like Card lost interest after Zech and Ender's conversation, and wrapped it up as quickly as he could.
Zech is one of the most unpleasant lead characters in a Christmas story since Ebenezer Scrooge -- snotty, fanatical, hypocritical, and deliberately irritating. But Card inspires some pity for his miserable life, although thankfully Zech doesn't magically become lovably outgoing by the end. Ender's brief appearance is solid, but Peter's contemplation of his family situation is even better.
"A War of Gifts" is a bit darker and less festive than most Christmas stories, but still a nice little read for the holidays. Just don't expect more than a short story.
However, both these books were poorly written and without much purpose, they didn't further the original story in any way and were written purely to cash in on the success of the earlier books.
I was a big fan of Card before buying the above two books, but after wasting my money on them I don't think I will be buying any of his books in future. If you want to try another Card book I'd recommend something other than the two mentioned above.
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The quality of hte book manufacturing was abysmal.Read more