Ender's Game was a freakish and far-fetched science fiction novel. I have never read a science fiction book, so I have no basis for comparison. I found the book very odd, and it lost my interest because of its impossible story line. From the beginning I was not enthused about the selection of this book as a holiday assignment. It took me two weeks to read this book. I forced myself to read one chapter each day. At no time did the book catch my interest enough to go past this self-inflicted requirement. One of the few things that I did find interesting about the book was the futuristic setting of Earth. There are few people left on the planet because of two attacks by an alien race that feels their destiny is to destroy earth. Children on this futuristic planet are regarded differently than present day children. Monitors are placed on the necks of children at the age of three and left there to the age of six. During this period they are observed by the academy to see if they display any traits of genius. Another thing that I found slightly entertaining was the way the author described some of the characters. I also admired the authors style of writing. He used a great deal of dialogue which helped in understanding the characters.
The main thing that I did not like about this book was the highly improbable theme. The main character Ender Wiggen, a six year old is considered to be a genius among geniuses. He is able to master all war games and simulations that enable him to win the war against the aliens. I also found it rather far fetched that adults would allow children to train for and fight wars. In no way was I entertained by this story line. Also, there was not any detectable mood in the book. The mood should have been overwhelming as most of the human race has been destroyed and another encounter with the alien force is imminent.
I would suggest Ender's Game to anyone who deeply enjoys reading science fiction or fantasy books. Also, if one is tired of reading the same old stuff he might want to try this book. It certainly is a departure from ordinary fiction and non-fiction. However, if he does not care for science fiction, he will most likely find this book to be long and drawn out. I do not plan to read this book again anytime in the near future, nor do I plan to read any other book by Mr. Card. Ender's Game would make an excellent movie, although it would be expensive to produce because of all of the special effects. The high energy battle scenes would overshadow the story line. I wish I could have seen it instead of reading it.
I can not say that I learned anything from this book. This was not the kind of story that teaches any moral lessons. The only really memorable scene, in my opinion, took place in the first chapter. Ender defeats the school bully and scares his gang. Any school age kid or adult who can remember back could relate to this. My appreciation of science fiction was not affected by this book. I will still go to see the movies and continue to leave the books on the shelf.
Review by: JP Bishop 04/96