Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It’s now an assignment for high school. When did Sci Fi novels become assigned like those mind numbing books like Lord of the Flies? Seems pretty cool. Wonder when Percy Jackson or Harry Potter will become homework?

At any rate I decided to read this first book so I’m prepared for the movie. I’ve heard others rave about this series and Card as an author. Some even call him “Uncle Orson”. As a member of my church, he pioneered the Mormon Sci Fi or Fantasy author field. His books have been on the shelves for decades and he’s become an icon in the field.

But now that I’ve finished his first book what do I think of him? Card has a pleasing appeal as an author. I can relate with his writing. He tells a story in such a way as I’m not lost in heavy description and I can understand the characters.

Well, some of the characters. Peter is downright scary but that’s the point. I found Valentine sweet and caring, a joy to share time in her head. The main character is Ender Wiggin and I certainly could empathize with him right off the bat. I felt sorry for him and as the book continued I couldn’t help but feel sad for all that he endures.

Again that’s the point. Orson Scott Card paints a world where over population and war are handled differently. Children grow up incredibly fast. I read somewhere that the age of your protagonist determines whom your book is for. A main character who is 10 would have to be junior reader. A main character whom is 12 has to be Middle Grade. A main character whom is 16 has to be Young Adult. No young adult or adult would want to read about an 11 year old. Sure it happens but that’s an exception so tow the line and forget about. Please color within the lines and don’t rock the boat.

Yet in this book Ender is “Junior Reader Age” and yet everything he experiences is meant for adults. He even thinks like an adult right from the beginning before all the horrible things occur to him. Of course this is explained away as he and his two siblings are geniuses so they think older, but still this book stands out for its older thinking kids.

And I feel this doesn’t hurt the book one bit. It’s worthy of the decades of praise set upon it. It is rough and hard and full of shocks but certainly worth a read. If you like the rough future of Hunger Games, you’ll like Ender’s Game too. It’s completely different but still hard and full of tough questions and thoughts.

Personally I won’t be chasing down the other three books in the series too soon, nor will I begin reading the companion series about supporting character Bean called Ender’s Shadow. Apparently the Ender’s Game movie is a blend of this book and Ender’s Shadow. But I won’t visit Ender’s world for a bit. It’s a rough world and I personally need a break. I will return later though because it’s definitely worth it.


Jinky said...

Spot on review! --I didn't know they're making this into a movie. Cool! I enjoyed this read. I wasn't into sci fi but after reading this book, my eyes don't pass that section in the library. :D

Scott Bryan said...

Thanks! I'm looking forward to the movie. Cool avatar!