Initially I had no desire to read Ender’s Game. I’m not a very big fan of science fiction and the thought of pre-teens in space fighting aliens didn’t really appeal to me. After the urgings of my law school friend, okay actual friend, Melissa (=P) I decided to give this novel a try and boy am I glad I did! I actually can’t believe I put off reading this for so long.
Ender’s Game follows Ender Wiggins as he is plucked from his childhood home, loaded on to a space ship, and enters Battle School in case of an attack by the buggers, alien life forms that attacked Earth but were successfully repelled. At Battle School Ender is the youngest but he is constantly put in situations he doesn’t appear equipped to handle. Ender has to overcome isolation, loneliness, fatigue, and other psychological endeavors in order to become the person society needs him to be.
Does it make me a bad person if I say I enjoyed reading about Ender’s struggles? Ender is so young and yet he has to deal with so much. His character goes through so many turning points that I felt like I was growing up right along with Ender, readying for battle and defending against the buggers. The novel was completely engrossing and action packed. Saying that it was all action though belittles the plot itself. The story is about so much more then action, it is also ripe with political commentary, personal fears about turning in to someone we don’t want to be, and lessens on what it means to be a living being and a leader.
The supporting cast was just as amazing as Ender himself I loved Ender’s platoon and how those around him followed Ender and accepted him as their leader despite his age. Even if the other characters could not be his friends they still respected and admired Ender. This fact made me both happy and sad. I was happy to see Ender finding success but I was sad to see a very young boy without any friends to support and love him. This is something I feel a lot of career driven people have to deal with and I liked that parallel.
I must also say that the technology described in Ender’s Game was phenomenal. This novel was originally published in the 80’s and yet there was something akin to the internet, tablets, all manner of futuristic devices that are still futuristic despite this novel being written almost 30 years ago! This impressed me because I think it shows the depth of Card’s world building, he was truly immersed in this society.
I understand that at present there is controversy surrounding Orson Scott Card, the author, and while I do not agree with his personal opinions I really enjoyed this novel. The originality, and intricacy of the plot surprised me and I’m so glad Melissa talked me in to reading this novel! I am now super excited for the movie which is coming out November 1, 2013