Because all of life is stories.
Since the movie is finally coming out after all these long years, I think I should do this one before the hype picks up.
Ender’s Game is the book that really made me want to be a writer. It’s the one that set me devouring books to this day. I read it every year, sometimes more than once. I own several different copies of it. As I mentioned in previous reviews, it is my favorite book of all time.
I should say beforehand that Mr. Card and I find ourselves on very opposite sides of the scale when it comes to things such as politics and our own personal beliefs. But he is allowed to think what he wants as much as I am. And for that purpose I’ll judge in this review the only thing we do agree on. His writing.
Ender’s Game takes place sometime in humanity’s future, as most sci-fi novels are tend to. Earth has been attacked twice. The first attack nearly destroyed humanity. In the second, humanity got lucky. It was led by one of the greatest military minds humanity had ever produced: Mazer Rackham. But that was decades ago, and Mazer is gone now. The human race needs to be prepared for the next wave. And to do that, they are scouring the planet for the best and brightest that humanity can produce. Anyone deemed worthy is taken into Battle School. The Battle School is a space station tasked with providing training for the world’s elite. Even though they are only children. Around the age of ten these young geniuses are taken. Because humanity is running out of time. And they need a magic bullet. The next great commander. Someone who is as fierce as Attila and as cunning as Alexander.
What they got was Ender Wiggin.
Younger than nearly anyone ever taken, Ender is set apart right from the start by Hyrum Graff, the man that runs the school. Graff makes sure that Ender believes he never has any friends, and that when he is in trouble, even mortal danger, no adult will ever come to his rescue. It seems harsh, but it is because of what Ender is that makes it necessary. Ender is brilliant. Ender is adaptable. Ender can love. And he can destroy. With ruthless and final precision. He is humanity’s last best hope. And time is running out.
Back on Earth, Ender’s siblings lay plans. Peter, deemed too violent to be accepted to battle School, and Valentine, deemed too kind, see that all is not well on Earth. They know that if Ender wins the war above mankind will fracture from the peace the alien menace has created. They plan to be ready for it. And Peter means to fill the power vacuum left in the wake. But they, like Ender, are children as well. Nobody will believe the words of a child. So through the anonymity of the webs they cast their nets, and slowly but surely, set their traps and build their influence.
Back in space Ender begins to feel the weight of pressure crushing down upon him. He has nightmares when he sleeps at all. Some nights he wakes up bleeding, and others he can’t sleep at all. But Graff and the rest of the adults, the ones Ender is starting to see as the enemy, can not afford to let up on Ender now. There is news from the front. And if Ender can’t hack it, they need to break him and find somebody else.
Only trouble is…time has run out.
Card’s books are always listed among my favorites. What I love most about Ender’s Game is how it has stood the test of time. How it doesn’t pander or play down to the lowest common denominator. It is smart, and it is wonderful. His characters have depth, his settings are wonderful, and his insight in to the human soul is a wonderful thing to behold. I think perhaps the teen section of most bookstores is missing that somewhat. I hope you read it. Because it is beautiful. The other books in the series are as well.
Now if only he didn’t believe gay people should be criminals.