Friday, May 20, 2011

Alli's CBR-III Review #15 - Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card came highly recommended by a friend at work, so I gave it a go. I don't normally read science fiction because it has always been something that my brother was really into and we are like oil and vinegar so I always stayed away but I generally enjoyed this book.

Ender's Game is set in "the future" although since it was published in 1985 (and parts of it are from a short story published in 1977) in all reality it could have been intended to be set in our present day. Certain aspects of the book certainly are actually eerily accurate to the way things are now. The characters in the book have "desks" that seem to be like iPads, and there is discussion of "the nets" and discussions on them that are a more intelligent version of the internet.

As for the plot, we start out the book from the point of view of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin. He is a third child in a society that has a limit of two children per family. The Wiggins got an exception for Ender since his older brother tested very well to the international fleet, but he was too vicious to qualify for battle school. The fleet is looking for someone to train to command their fleet for the third invasion of the buggers. We follow Ender through battle school, then onto command school. In these schools, they are trained using a variety of games, hence the title. He is tested, pushed and isolated, but ultimately still succeeds.

Parts of the book focus on the other two Wiggin children and their life after Ender goes up to school. Peter is the aforementioned vicious brother, and there is also a sister named Valentine. Ender and Valentine have a close relationship and it helps him survive throughout the book.

Although on it's surface it is a science fiction book, it is really about relationships, manipulation and the mistakes and perils of war. I would recommend checking it out.

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