Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{June 13, 2013}   {Review} Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (Enders Game #1)

901From Goodreads: Once Again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a front assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens.

But who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Recruited for military training by the world government, Ender’s childhood ends the moment he enters his new home: Battle School. Among the elite recruits Ender proves himself to be a genius among geniuses. In simulated war games he excels. But is the pressure and loneliness taking its toll on Ender? Simulations are one thing. How will Ender perform in real combat conditions? After all, Battle School is just a game.



In my book club, my librarian and I decided the next novel we’d read with our students would be Ender’s Game as the movie rendition is slated to release this coming November.  Truth be told, I never would have picked this up on my own, so I’m glad my librarian brought it to my attention.  That, and it was inexpensive enough that the club could buy multiple copies… so we read it.  Truthfully, it was a very well written book, even if it was a little too detailed for my liking… I’m not a spatially inclined person, so trying to figure out the gravity issues and techniques Ender and his peers used throughout the novel was way beyond me.  But, even so, the story was phenomenal! 

I will say that it was a bit long—there were a ton of details that I felt prolonged the story, and I could have done without them, but the fact that there were so many details just solidifies Card’s writing genius.  This novel originally released in 1985, before the internet became popular and so fully developed, before virtual video games, etc., and Card visualized it all and created an alternate universe.  A lot of the elements concerning the games and technology were way before its time, and I loved that I could connect with it.  The sheer thought that most of the technology Card discusses wasn’t even invented yet boggles my mind.

The one issue that drove me crazy throughout, though, was the fact that the nakedness of the children in the space station was touched on so much.  It’s just a sentence here or there, but I just couldn’t get over it, and we discussed this element in book club because it irked me that much.  I felt like it was an unneeded aspect, but half of my students didn’t even notice it, and another teacher said he felt it went to show just how little control Ender really had over his life.  He wore what they gave him, and if he didn’t, he was naked.  Most of the kids at the station were male, but there was a female who ran around naked sometimes, too (though the boys weren’t allowed to do so around her), and I just was floored by the repetition throughout the novel.  It’s just one line here and there, but that’s all it takes for me, I guess.  Perhaps my co-worker is right and this repetition was used to make him feel less in control and on his own, but I don’t necessarily see how that would make him feel that he couldn’t rely on anyone.  Instead, I feel that it would make him feel as if they’re more so comrades because they ran around naked… but, whatever.  That was the only thing that really bothered me, and it’s really no big deal, right?  Four stars.

4 stars

I borrowed this novel from the library at school.


et cetera
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