Saturday, April 7, 2007

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I remember all my nerdy friends reading this in high school. I was a nerd as well, just not quite as big of one as they were. I didn't know how to say anything in Klingon. However, had I read this book while I was in high school I would have loved it. Although I am sure I would have been tempted to steal ideas from it, since I was constantly working on a "novel" set in space. I really wish I could find my unfinished "novel". I am sure it would be absolutely hilarious.

I bought this book in the children's section at Joseph-Beth, but I don't think it is a kids book...maybe young adult. The candy-coated cover of this version (there are more adult-looking versions) belies the violence and serious themes within the book. Beyond that, I think that many kids would not understand much of the political content of the book.

The basic plot of the book is that the people of earth are in the middle of a war with an alien race that the humans referred to as buggers since they look like insects. Children are monitored throughout their lives to see if they would make good commanders or pilots. If they show promise, then they are sent to a space station set up specifically for training children for battle. The book follows a boy named Ender Wiggin throughout his training.

The author, Orson Scott Card, provides excellent descriptions. This is not to say that he went all "Tom Clancy" and spent four pages describing a laser gun. Card does a superb job of describing something just enough and then allowing the reader to easily fill in the rest. While reading, I realized that the vivid mental images of the battle rooms, simulator rooms, and barracks were really of my own creation, since Card did not described any of these places in detail. The writing was good, and the characters were developed very well.

I loved this book. It was like Lord of the Flies meets The Matrix meets StarFox. What's not to like?

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