And, as usual, I take away something new from it. Love this book.
Okay, to start with, I read this book ages ago, and absolutely loved it. But I just recently re-read it so that I could give a fresh review on it. Good news? Its just as awesome on the re-read as it was the first time through.
So, Andrew (Ender) Wiggin is this little boy that was basically bred to be a savior. “They” had tried two times before him, and one was too hard, one was too soft… Ender, like the littlest bear in Goldilocks, was ‘just right’. Oh my god, they (the Battle School people) were so horrible to this little boy, who was taken into the school at 6 years old. So horrible, and they knew it and they did it anyways for the ‘greater good’ because they knew this kid had a chance of kicking ass. It was abuse and neglect, what they did to him. Flat out.
Ender, in perhaps a strong argument for nature over nurture, does not do what you would expect other little kids to do. He doesn’t cry, beg, etc. No, he grits his teeth and deals with it. Now, in most other books, I’d be sitting back and going “Nope. Nu-uh. Not believable. He’s six.” I HAVE a six year old and I can tell you definitively that if anyone did half this crap to her, she’d be a blubbering mess. However, OSC writes it so well that you buy it. He sells it, and you buy it without even blinking. THAT is the mark of a freaking awesome writer who knows exactly what he’s doing.
Ender perseveres. Even when it seems like the whole bloody world is against him, he not only keeps going forward, but he kicks ass while doing it. The book quickly takes you from just being interested in a cool looking science fiction novel to rooting with all your mind and heart for this little boy to keep kicking ass. You become so invested in this character, in what his life becomes, that each of his victories make you glow, and the hardest points in his life… make you admire him. Ender Wiggin is not a character that wants or needs pity. He’s a survivor in a way so many of us only wish we were.
He will not be broken. Even when he wants to break.
Also, this book holds up amazingly well! Some science fiction books date themselves horribly. Ender’s Game, which was first published in 1985, does not. It really is a timeless read. The very definition of a classic science-fiction novel. I think its because OSC doesn’t overwhelm you with details. He keeps everything fairly simple, and only tells you the stuff that you need to know as it pertains to Ender’s Situation.
Ender’s Game is a book that every single person who considers themselves a science fiction fan needs to read. Period.
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