My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ender’s Game (1985) by Orson Scott Card is one of those books that cleave to the reader’s interest as the story flies by on the page. Card has a story to tell and it shows in each and every sentence. The author is not writing for poetics or the beauty of language; he is writing for the story alone. I call this “precision writing.” Clean. Sharp. To the point. And what a story it is.
Earth has been invaded twice by an alien species called Formics, or “buggers,” which are insect like. In order to prepare for a third invasion, the International Fleet (I.F.) is training young children in hopes of preparing them for a final solution to the bugger invasion. I.F., however, intends to invade the buggers on their home world.
Ender’s Game can be divided into three sections. The first section is Andrew Wiggin (aka Ender) on Earth and at school. In a world where families can only have two children, Ender is a Third, and he is also a genetic creation of modern science, making him a genius. At age six, Ender then is picked up by the I.F. and taken to Battle School.
Most of the book takes place at Battle School where Ender (from age 6-11) learns how to work in teams and take command of other soldiers who are children. While at Battle School, Ender becomes a legend and he graduates early.
The real exciting part of the book (which will likely be most of the movie) takes place at Command School on Eros. Ender and friends are further prepared for the third invasion by playing computer games, or flight simulations, using star fleets. Ender is pushed to the brink of insanity in order to prepare him as the top commander that will lead the star fleet against the buggers.
But first, he must pass the final examination. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Peter, Ender’s older brother, is planning to take over the world under the alias known as Locke. The surprise ending–during and after Command School (i.e., on Ender’s World)–really takes this book from story to epic.
So begins the Ender Saga.
Personally, I could not put this book down and finished it in about three days. It is such a great story and reminded me of the Dune Saga (1965) by Frank Herbert with Paul Atreides and company. Ender’s Game is classic Sci-Fi and a real page turner. A very strong recommend for those who love stories told extremely well.
CG FEWSTON was born in Texas in 1979 and now lives in Hong Kong. He’s been a Visiting Fellow at Hong Kong’s CityU, and a Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome (Italy).
He’s the author of several short stories and novels. His works include A Father‘s Son, The New America: A Collection, Vanity of Vanities, A Time to Love in Tehran, and forthcoming: Conquergood & the Center of the Intelligible Mystery of Being; Little Hometown, America: A Look Back; and, The Endless Endeavor of Excellence.
You can read more about the author on Facebook @ cg.fewston – where he has 275,000+ followers