Ender's Game

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Ender's Game

Ender's Game - Hardcover - USA - 1st Edition.jpg

Hardcover - USA - 1st edition.

Author Orson Scott Card
Published 1985-01-15
Type Fiction
Genre Science Fiction
Themes School, Science Fiction, War
Age Group Teen

Ender's Game is a teenage military science fiction book by Orson Scott Card first published on 1985-01-15.

The story revolves around Ender Wiggin, a child protégé who is pushed through military school at an accelerated rate in the hopes that he can become the best military leader the planet has ever seen to protect them from an alien invasion that will otherwise undoubtedly wipe out the human race.

Personal

Own?No.
Read?Audiobook read by Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, and Gabrielle de Cuir.
FinishedJuly 2015.

This book often ranks in the top ten best science fiction ever written, which is why I read it. However, I found it to be extremely overrated.

Review

Overall:

Rating-3.svg

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • I liked the description of null-gravity motion.
  • The fantasy video game that Ender plays at his desk sounds really cool by using human psychology against the player.

Bad

  • For a fleet commander who would never use any close-quarters combat, and only direct pilots who also would never use close-quarters combat, why did Ender's teachers make him spend the majority of his training in close-quarters combat?
  • It was a bit annoying that Ender created so many strategies that nobody else had considered. He was the first person to consider using a frozen body as a shield, first person to attack an army the moment it came out of the door, first person to try and go through the door before the opponent's teams was defeated, etc. The only conclusion I can come to is, the collected minds of the battle school (teachers included) are not as smart as one six-year-old. Maybe they should have just let the Buggers put them out of their misery?
  • The book glossed over why children are needed to defeat the bugger army. I understand that it was beneficial for the commanders to not know they were committing genocide, but since only the top brass knew that the test was actually real, why would it matter if they used adults?
  • The rise to fame of Peter and Valentine on the "nets" as bloggers who become globally syndicated and treated with more respect than most politicians and CEOs in a matter of months, while still remaining anonymous, is a very naïve pre-Internet idea of how the Internet would work.
  • The ending is a bit drawn out and dull.
  • It seems very unlikely that the military would allow colonists to go to the Bugger's home world without first snatching up all their technology, or at the very least, making sure all the queens were really dead.

Ugly

  • I had this book partially spoiled in a video by Rebecca Watson who pointed out that if you assume it was written by a nerd who was bullied as a child, it plays out less like a kid dealing with adversity, and more like childhood revenge porn. Ender cripples or kills every bully he meets, but we're repeatedly told, heavy-handedly, that his motives are pure, and he's morally good.
  • Ender is way too perfect. At age six, he's smarter than everyone, including all of the best teachers, but he's not just smart, he's also physically phenomenal, easily defeating bigger opponents without even trying. He can out-fight, out-strategize, out-hack, and out-teach everyone in his school. Sure, he was hand-picked as the best child on Earth, but so are Olympians; that doesn't mean one Olympian beats all other Olympians at their own game, every time, even when the opponents get to cheat. This made the book lose any sense of suspense. Of course he would win, he always does, no matter what.

Links

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