Review – Ender’s Game

This book falls into the books I’ve always meant to read but never got around to stack. This ended up being the June pick for the online book club I joined, and though I read it earlier this year, I thought it was a good time to finally post my review.

Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is all of six years old when he is recruited to battle school to train as a commander to fight against an alien race that’s threatening to take over Earth. He leaves behind a distant and unhappy family on Earth — a sadistic older brother and parents that are terrified to become attached to a son they know they cannot keep. His sister, Valentine, is the only one in his life that has ever shown him love and in return, he holds onto her memory tightly. At battle school, Ender excels but loses all sense of himself — why he is there and what it might mean for his future. All he knows is that he must defeat the aliens and save Earth and all humanity.

Ender is one sad child. In fact, all the children at battle school are sad. They have no idea what it means to be children and will never be given the chance. They’re training day after relentless day to save the planet, yet, aren’t even allowed to know the planet or the people on it. It’s no wonder he’s an aloof little person suspicious of every adult in his path. And to be honest, they’re all trying to size him up as the next savior and that would make anyone an anxious mess.

I didn’t particularly like Ender. While he’s genetically perfect, a blend of all that’s needed to save Earth, he’s just boring. His situation is what I liked though. The psychological impact of what the children are put through is like watching a little experiment take place and I was generally surprised by the ending. I was reading this on my Nook so I didn’t read ahead so I didn’t know what was going to happen. It’s also creepy in how the children are treated as adults yet are essentially playing games they don’t understand and think they’re training to be fighters and question nothing. Ender does question the commanders but he’s a child trying to understand adult combat and life and death issues. Do the math on that one.

Am I glad I read it? I am. Sometimes when books I’ve ignored finally get read, I feel letdown, especially if they’re books others rave about. If I had read this as a child, I think I would have loved it more but that’s what I get for waiting to read it as an adult. Perspective, hindsight? Who knows.

Have you read it? Thoughts on this one? If you’re interested, here’s what the BHA Book Club thought about it.

Ender’s Game

By Orson Scott Card

Doherty, Tom Associates LLC/St. Martin’s

ISBN-13: 9781429963930

3.75 stars



9 thoughts on “Review – Ender’s Game

  1. I know what you mean about Ender, but he does get more interesting in the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. I thought that was a better book than this one despite a couple of things that really bugged me (not saying anything for now to avoid spoilers).

    • I wasn’t planning on continuing the series but maybe I’ll think about it now. I can see so many ways for this story to go.

  2. Pingback: BHA: “Ender’s Game” « The Cheap Reader

  3. I read this first as a teen and since then Ender has always been one of my favorite characters. I found him really sympathetic. In the later books his personality didn’t quite come across as strong for me (but I haven’t read Ender in Exile yet, so can’t say for sure.)

  4. I read this book years ago in highschool and really enjoyed it, but have been putting off a reread as i bet I will have a very different perspective now as an adult. My man recently finished the series on audio and recommends I give them a listen. Thanks for the review!

    • I do think this might be good as an audiobook. There’s so much to visualize that I can see that working.

  5. I thought that Valentine was a lot more interesting than Ender… the whole Locke and Demosthenes thing was one of my favorite parts of the book.

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