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review 2016-11-05 14:14
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

So I finally got round to reading this. I think it's been around for a while (1985?) and some of the concepts aren't really the kind of thing you'd get for Young Adult. I found this incredible. Training a child from a very young age to fight against these aliens who wiped out billions of people from nearly a decade ago.

 

The bulk of the book focuses on the main character, Ender, who joins the Battle School and has to fight through "games" which, in one sense are just play-fighting for the other children in the Battle School - but in another, very real sense, are linked to the strategy of fighting the aliens in reality. Plus, everyone takes it very seriously.

 

I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. As Ender improves, he goes up from team to the next until eventually...it's for real.

 

But here's one thing I don't get. He's six years old?

 

And by the end of the book he's 11? And killed billions of enemies? He's become a battle-hardened commander? He's probably become really traumatised and messed up inside. Does this count as child abuse? I'm not sure. Child soldiers, certainly...

 

His brother and sister are a few years older than him and are talking about mature topics and politics and all these other very "adult" concepts and...it just doesn't feel right.

 

I...just don't get it. None of the children act like their age. They act like they're 20 years older than that! (Maybe ten, if they're ultra mature.) They demonstrate all these ridiculous understandings of technology, fighting skills, strategies, as if it's nothing at all. I can't even begin to wrap my head around this.

 

Also, the n-word is used. Once, I believe. Just in case anyone's sensitive about it, but this was written over 30 years ago.

 

I did enjoy the characters - some of them, anyway. They just didn't feel like they really were children at all? It's like they'd been brainwashed and engineered from a really early age and it just felt weird.

 

But with all that aside it was an impressive book. Just bear in mind that it wasn't written in this generation, it's probably not for everyone with all the concepts it brings to light, and I still can't get over the fact of six-year olds killing each other with their bare hands.

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review 2016-08-31 04:48
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card

Well. Now I can finally say I've read it!

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text 2016-07-05 06:15
My May Reading (and why this post is so late)
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
Divergent - Veronica Roth
The Choice - Nicholas Sparks
Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) - Orson Scott Card
The Scorch Trials - James Dashner
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian - Sherman Alexie,Ellen Forney
Where Sea Meets Sky - Karina Halle
City of Bones - Cassandra Clare
Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, #1) - Ann Brashares

I am so behind in my blogging!!  I've got three major posts to write and they all need to be done ASAP as they are all late.

 

My household had a dreadful problem with mysterious middle of the night internet usage that led to everyone being ordered to turn their devices off whenever they walked away from them for more than an ad break's length of time so that we didn't go over our data limit and in order to keep track of who was using the Internet when.  The next problem happened when it was decided that our password needed to be changed to eliminate the possibility of a hacker getting into our system in the middle of the night.  For unknown reasons after the password was changed our modem extender was no longer recognised by our devices, which meant that internet usage was restricted to only one end of the house (unfortunately, not the end I tend to sit in).

 

With all these problems and restrictions I got out of the habit of logging on to Goodreads and Booklikes every morning and started eschewing the trials of trying to use the Internet for the fun of continuing a large cross stitch project that I put aside about five years ago.  Now that the mysterious midnight internet surfer has been foiled and the extender has decided to behave itself again I've gotten back into my old 'internet all day, every day' habit, but I hope to continue on with doing my craft projects.  There's enough time in the day for three hobbies, right (reading, wiritng, and sewing)?  With the occasional day off from one activity to focus more intently on another?  Anyway, that's what I'm going to be attempting for the rest of the year, which will mean slightly less time on the Internet.  So, while I will continue to review every book I read (that's a lifelong goal), I won't be around to comment as much as I have previously been.  So please don't think I'm ignoring any of you, I will reply to your comments/questions/messages, it just might not be today.

 

Anyway, to the books I read way back in May.  May was a pretty good month for me, 13 books, although that did include two DNFs which ended up being the last two reads of the month which caused mixed feelings of disappointment that the month ended on a sour note and relief that I was done forcing myself to read books I wasn't enjoying.  You can find links to my reviews of those books below.

 

1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, you can read my review here

 

2. Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth, you can read my review here

 

3. The Choice by Nicholas Sparks, you can read my review here

 

4. Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) by Orson Scott Card, you can read my review here

 

5. The Scorch Trials (The Maze Runner, #2) by James Dashner, you can read my review here

 

6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, you can read my review here

 

7. Where Sea Meets Sky by Karina Halle, you can read my review here

 

8. City of Bones  (The Mortal Instruments, #1) by Cassandra Clare, you can read my review here

 

9. Vision in Silver  (The Others, #3) by Anne Bishop, you can read my review here

 

10. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Sisterhood, #1) by Ann Brashares, you can read my review here

 

11. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare, you can read my review here

 

12. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, you can read my review here

 

13. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, you can read my review here

 

My Reading Stats for May

 

  • 13 books in 31 days, that's an average of 0.41 books per day
  • 5135 pages in 31 days, that's an average of 165.64 pages a day (that's quite an achievement!) and 395 per book
  • 13 books with an average rating of 3.3 stars
  • My fastest read was Vision in Silver, 400 pages in less than 24 hours.  It was such a fantastic book that I could probably repeat that performance every time I read it (which I will do every year or so as it's likely this series will become my all-time favourite series)
  • My best is a no-brainer, clearly it's Vision in Silver.
  • My worst is also pretty clear.  I may have more than one single star read of the month and two DNFs, but the award has to go to the book that will stick with me (in the worst way possible) for the longest - Lolita.  Even now, two months after I finally finished it (not the first time I tried to read it, but that's a whole other story that you can read more about in my review) some of Humbert's words/ideas still make me shudder.  As soon as I finished  I immediately had to start reading a happy book to try to erase those horrible images.

 

Well, that's another month done, now immediately on to June's post as I'm running a bit behind with these things.  Talk to you all later and have a great day.

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review 2016-05-13 05:56
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet, #1) by Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) - Orson Scott Card

Spoilers!!

13/5 - Now this is how you do the first book in a series! I just finished #2 in the Maze Runner series feeling pretty pissed off because nothing was properly explained and it featured another massive cliff hanger ending. Thank God that didn’t happen in Ender’s Game!!! This book/author had a completely different problem… :o

After reading this book I’ve come to the conclusion that Card is obsessed with naked little boys and their butts. And if that’s not the case why are there so many scenes with naked boys? Why are the aliens called ‘buggers’? Why does every fight Ender’s in end up with someone getting kicked/punched/grabbed/etc. in the groin area? I really enjoyed the general plot, but I don’t understand why all of the above was necessary. One of those plot points would have been fine (although, it would still be too many naked little boys for me), but you put them all in the same book and it comes across as some kind of purposeful theme (and this from the queen of missing themes).

I loved that this didn’t really end in a cliff hanger, especially after what I went through with Dashner. If Card had died before writing the next book it wouldn’t really have mattered because you’re not sitting there on tenterhooks wondering what’s going to happen next. Sure, there’s a lead in to the next book, but you’re not left wondering if someone’s going to die or not or some other similarly frustrating ending.

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review 2016-03-10 00:00
Ender's Game
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card I read this book as an audiobook, which, according to the author's note at the end is his ideal form for people to read it in.

Maybe because I read as an audiobook, I thought it was fast-paced. I thought it was exciting. I didn't love Ender, but I didn't hate him either. I felt bad for him. The adults were seriously messed up to do what they did to him. In someone else's review I read that they believe Orson Scott Card to be sexist. I was slightly offended by the statement 'too many years of evolution working against them' in regards to why not many girls were in the military, but beyond that I didn't think that the author seemed sexist. He had two strong female characters, Valentine and Petra. I feel like both girls, but especially Petra, could have gotten a lot more plot attention then they did, but never the less, there were strong female characters in spite of the author's bizarre statement.

One area that I truly thought could have been explored more was the ban on religion. Both of Ender's parents were born into illegally religious families (the mother was Mormon, the father was Catholic.) It was mentioned that, despite outwardly rejecting their parent's religions and resolving to obey the oppressive laws the government had enacted, the father, over the mother's objections, baptized all three children. It was mentioned that most of the great military leaders were Jewish, but I'm not sure if they meant Jewish as in the religion or the ethnology. One character Eli said 'Shalom' to Ender several times, but that is the extent of how the illegal religion idea was explored. Maybe it's because I read and loved [b: I Am Margaret|22677852|I Am Margaret (Book 1)|Corinna Turner|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1404824695s/22677852.jpg|41847408] and its sequels, but I felt that the anti-religious sentiments of the government would not have been accepted with the level of passivity that was portrayed. Then again, it would have had almost nothing to do with the plot if they'd fought against the restrictions, but I still wish there at least would have been a little more detail. Given the fact that they were trying to have a war against an enemy with who outnumbered the human race, I don't understand why there was a limit on how many kids people could have.

I was quite horrified by the things that were done to Ender and by the things that, because of his treatment, Ender did. I can see how, after suffering from the abuse from the adults and other children in his life, Ender would have had issues, but it still wasn't easy to read about them, and for the adults to do those kinds of things to kids, and let kids do awful things to one another, just shows how twisted they were.

I wasn't especially crazy about the ending. It wasn't satisfying, but I'm not sure the book was intended to be satisfying. I haven't decided yet if I am going to read the further books in the series.
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