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In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister. Back on Earth, Peter and Valentine forge an intellectual alliance and attempt to change the course of history.
This futuristic tale involves aliens, political discourse on the Internet, sophisticated computer games, and an orbiting battle station. Yet the reason it rings true for so many is that it is first and foremost a tale of humanity; a tale of a boy struggling to grow up into someone he can respect while living in an environment stripped of choices. Ender's Game is a must-read book for science fiction lovers, and a key conversion read for their friends who "don't read science fiction."
Ender's Game won both the Hugo and the Nebula the year it came out. Writer Orson Scott Card followed up this honor with the first-time feat of winning both awards again the next year for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. --Bonnie Bouman
Winer of the Hugo and Nebula Awards
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
- Ender's Game
I have been a big fan of Orson Scott Card since first reading Ender's Game many years ago.
I moved and lost my copy so when the opportunity came to purchase the hardcover version, I jumped at it.
The book and the subsequent ones that follow Ender Wiggins through his early years, his training at Battle School and subsequent winning of the Bugger Wars and beyond show Card's depth of understanding the human condition.
The visual ideas imparted by his use of vocabulary allow the reader to clearly 'see' the story which for me makes it even more entertaining.
- great book for you and the kids
This is a fantastic book that inspired me to go our and read all of the Orson Scott Card books out there. He is a really talented writer. I heard they are making it into a movie but imdb does not have much on it. I had the pleasure to meet Orson Scott Card one time and why I don't agree with his political views, he was a great guy and remains one of my favorite writers....more info
- An interesting approach to leadership
Ender's Game is one of those oft-praised award winning books with a cult following, and I've been meaning to read it for years. Retrospectively, I wonder what sort of affect it might have had on me in middle-school or high-school. I liked it now, but I think I would have liked it even more then. As an adult, I found the most interesting aspect about this book to be the way it portrays leadership, and I could easily see some professor incorporating Ender's Game into a "leadership through literature" class alongside Henry V and The Odyssey. As a six-year-old living in a future US, Ender Wiggen is noticed for his inherited genius (shared by his siblings) and his potential to be developed and trained to become the next great commander to lead humans against an invading alien race. Ender is sent to the Battle School, an orbiting satellite/station with a special zero-gravity room where genius young soldiers-to-be practice tactics in a three-dimensional environment. The concept is brilliantly realized, as are the details of training and the Battle Room sequences themselves. The plot itself is well-paced and gripping. My main complaint is the lack of emotion and relationship between the characters and, when it does exist, it feels forced (Valentine & Ender's relationship). OSC did a better job fleshing out minor characters like Dink in the recent novella War of Gifts, letting them show real affection and human empathy for each other. The surprise "twist" at the end was good, but not that surprising, and the last 30 pages of so simply did not fit the story thus far and ground everything to a halt. Despite it's flaws, this is definitely worth your time....more info
I read this book in about a week because I had to travel a lot by subway. The cover is a little embarassing but the book was excellent. Actually it was the last several pages that made me really love the book, beautiful ending....more info
- It's awesome
I don't use awesome for hardly anything, but I loved this book. I've re-read it off and on for years, and I don't re-read many other books.
Ender is a young boy who is sent to a military-strategy school to learn how to win battles. The book follows his training experiences as well as his journey to learn about, understand and destroy humanity's greatest threat(with a twist).
A great classic in science fiction. ...more info
- Ender's Game review
I just finished reading the science fiction novel called Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. It was a decent story about a fast thinking child, who is shipped out to battle school to be trained as a soldier in the expected alien invasion. Because the battle school instructors have seen his ability to think fast, and innovate, they know that they cannot treat him like a regular student. They make him 100% accountable for himself, even when people are out to get him. When he shows himself to be true leader material, the battle school administrators throw every challenge, twist or turn they can imagine his way.
As I do not wish to spoil the story, I will not talk about Ender's progress from this point. Ender faces many hardships with the daily grind during his training, his battle school teammates and enemies. He struggles as well with the mental demands everyone has for him, and the mental stress caused by the family he left behind. Throughout the story, you begin to feel the same emotions as Ender, which are not all bad.
I would recommend this book to any reader under the age of fourteen. Although I enjoyed the book, and it was on the honors reading list at my high school, I think that the concepts of the children engaging in outer space battles would be much more enticing to a younger audience. But over all, good read, good story, good book.
Thanks for reading.
Please give feedback.
- One of the best.
Hands down one of the best books I have ever read.
Card's book has vivid characters, ones you come to love (or hate), a plot that sucks you in and twists you around, and the timing and pacing are all spot on. His jumps in time are barely noticeable, they're so smooth, and that is one mean feat. It's nearly perfect the way it is. Adding description or more advanced language would slow the book down, and distract from the main point. Only someone following some irrelevant convention because it makes them feel more academic would think otherwise. Until I came here I honestly had not considered this as something to complain about.
No my only complaint is in one, and yes, only one, scene of the book. SPOILER ALERT (I hate reading reviews that ruin the end): When Ender fights the final battle and destroys all (but one) of the buggers, I honestly thought he was just going to blow everyone up, including his own ships. He thought it was a game. He wanted to cheat, rebel. Why not? And it was a big, no, colossal gamble on their part that he wouldn't. A friend, however, tells me that there is something in a later book that basically makes this concern disappear. Awesome. Almost doesn't matter however, for in any book you must suspend at least some disbelieve, and that is much easier when the book has touched your soul.
I can truly say I have not been this emotionally invested into a character in a long time. When the truth is revealed, I was in shock. Then more truth is revealed and my heart was wrenched in my chest. I stared into space, deep in thought for a long time after finishing this book. Which is something I've been looking for from a book, for a long time now.
- Sci-fi at its best
Sometimes books are labeled fairly in a certain genre, although they may appear to people who do not normally enjoy the given category. "Ender's Game," by Orson Scott Card, has to be categorized as a science-fiction novel. But luckily for the reader, it's much more than that.
True, one of Card's central influences was Isaac Asimov, a well-known sci-fi writer. And while Card does wonderful work on the space and technology side of this book, he pays close attention to the numerous psychological aspects of humanity.
Ender is the name of a child who some high-level officials believe will command worldly forces against an alien race, or the "buggers." Ender's two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are extremely intelligent and have leadership qualities, but are secondary compared to Ender. That's the reason Ender is jettisoned to Battle School in space, where he befriends some of the students. At the same time, though, Ender and nearly everyone else is aware that he is gifted, which leads to numerous issues amongst the children.
As Ender continues to climb the military ladder, his brother and sister begin a quest of their own on earth. Valentine, the sister, is torn between helping Peter, whom she perceives as being the evil brother, and Ender, whom she dearly misses.
From a futuristic standpoint, this book nails many of the theories involving humanistic thinking and how to lead through the usage of highly intelligent reasoning. Regardless of technological advances, there are certain aspects of mankind that remain pretty much the same, namely the basic foundation of reason. This book would be a hit not only for anyone interested in science fiction, but also those interested in politics, psychology and philosophy....more info
- Ender is a genius
"Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
Many thanks to Borders and Barnes & Noble for allowing me to read this in the store while my wife checks out books and magazines for herself.
This is quite the story.
Ender is a genius. He has been followed by some 'monitor' (inside his head or skin? Or just hovering around him?), so the government/military can make sure of his growth and development as well as his safety. He has grown up in a normal enough family: Mother, Father, brother and sister. He has just started school and is adjusting to this new life. There is a stigma associated with excess children, the world being a closed system, it can only support so many people. One or two children is all that is normally allowed; a third is taking advantage of everyone else, and is given a very bad social stigma. This is what Ender is: a third. When the 'monitor' is taken away, nobody knows it is just another test for his quality or fitness to be who he has to be. He passes and is taken away, after appropriate fussing and fuming, from his family to command school. It happens to be miraculous how prescient and adept the teacher Graff is in helping Ender become great, but it is fiction, so I guess the author can have the story do whatever he finds necessary.
It is hard for us 'normal' folks to understand all a genius thinks, so Mr. Card does not go into that, he just gives the impression of quality and intelligence exhibited in the actions and conversations of the heroes. I have read this sort of thing before (Robert Henlein). There I felt that the heroine was not shown to be such a great genius, in fact, she showed some very silly mistakes, not at all what a genius would do, as far as I am concerned.
In the edition I read, Mr. Card wrote an introduction. It was funny how different people took the notion of exceptional children. A teacher said it was all bosh. A bunch of exceptional children said he really got the problems and attitude shifts they use very correct. But some of that is odd, because he puts Ender in a school of exceptional children, so why the problems, etc.?
Mr. Card developed a full story. He gave the characters something to do and problems to work out, and in the end you felt very good about the future of the characters....more info
- Great Book
I am a freshman in high school and I thought that Ender's Game was a fantastic book. Ender is a six year old boy that gets taken into space to be trained for war. While it is hard to believe that a six year old is getting trained for war, it is amazing to read about everything these young children can do. The adults and the world leaders actually believe that the children have potential to help the world, instead of just being worthless children. Orson Scott Card describes the different places and events so well that you really get drawn into the book. It makes you feel as if you are there with the characters watching the story unravel itself. Card also brings in many different challenges and he shows how Ender copes with all the difficulties. An example is that Ender had many people that hated him and even wanted to kill him. When these people attacked Ender, he had no choice but to fight back. Even though his enemies were all bigger, stronger, and older than him he was still able to beat them by using his amazing strategist skills. All of the different plot twists makes the book very interesting and you never get bored while you read it. The book also shows how a very hostile alien race, the buggers, was planning to kill all of the humans, and take over Earth had some kind-hearted members that wanted to live in peace with the humans. Ender found a queen from the bugger race that survived and wanted to rebuild the bugger race to live in peace with the humans. This relates to our world today because it shows us that we should not stereotype against a group of people because even though some people are hostile it does not mean that every person with the same ethnicity is hostile....more info
- A Lot To Like
I am not a fan of science fiction literature in general (though I love science fiction cinema), however I will be the first to suggest "Ender's Game" as a rather exceptional little novel. There's a lot to like in "Ender's Game", and while it's probably not the perfect novel many fans make it out to be, the characters are memorable, and the story moves along at a fair pace. Indeed, it becomes particularly engaging once you hit the middle, and anticipation builds as the story weaves towards a possibly cataclysmic end....more info
- My ideal novel...
For me, this was an ideal novel. I felt pulled me in right away, I cared about the characters, and the story line kept me excited from start to finish. It touched my heart and stimulated my mind. Perfection!...more info
- Card is one of the better writers of fiction (not only sci-fi) alive today
I picked up a copy of OMNI magazine decades ago and read a short story by Orson Scott Card- I think it was "Unaccompanied Sonota". Brilliant! Around the same time I also recall reading (probably in OMNI) a precursor novella of Ender's Game as well as another story, "Songhouse", that became the novel Songmaster.
I have since given "Ender's Game" and other Card works to more people than I can recollect. It's like turning someone onto the Beatles. Card is that good.
My middle-school aged daughter (who has read everything under the sun from Jane Austen to Mark Twain) completed Ender's Game in 2 sittings and is almost finished with Speaker for the Dead.
She is now turning her friends onto the Ender universe. And so it goes with Card. Both adults and young adults appreciate his stories, style, and penetrating view of humanity.
My only complaint is with the truly awful cover on the current paperback edition (the one with the hand). The original paperback and hardbound editions have great covers, but the copy to get is the gift edition hardback which is budget priced (at just over 10 dollars) and also uses the classic cover.
I can't wait for my sons to read Orson Scott Card....more info
- Ender's Game book review
Orson Card Scott is an expert when it comes to science fiction. He knows how to attract young readers, like myself, to a good book. In Ender's game, he has a strong emphasis on children and in order for us to grasp the main idea, he shows things from their point of view.
Card, now in his late 50's, has been fascinated by military strategies and crucial roles of leaders in an army ever since he was in high school. He has spent two years as a Mormon missionary in Brazil and attended Brigham Young University. The idea of the Battle Room came to him when he was 16, but he chose not to write about the story till years later.
The book is all based upon the concept of games. All of the important concepts in the novel are interpreted on the idea of a game. The first way a game comes into the novel is "buggers and astronauts". This is a game played by Ender and his brother, Peter. All the kids in Ender's society, at the time, played the game. However, in Ender's case the game is more than it seems, because Peter hates Ender and beats on him upon the course of the game, so that Ender never wins. Later on, at Battle school, Ender faces two different types of games, the mind game he plays on the computer and the war games that he plays in the Battle Room. The final game is the greatest one Ender plays, where he is commander of the Third Invasion. He cannot sleep, his eating is scarce and he is forced to command the people he cares for (which causes the friendship bonds to break). The writer accomplishes a goal in this book by showing how sometimes, the playing of a game can have profound impact on life, and that the game can unexpectantly become reality.
This book was very well-written and had much strength. One strength is the relationship between adults and children (respectively in this book). Although many times in the book the adults manipulate/control the children, sometimes the children take over. For example, Peter and Valentine, two kids, dominate the worldwide political systems through adults in their forums. This book has no weaknesses.
- Best book EVER
This is such a though provoking book. Once I started it, I couldn't put it down. Then afterwords, I wanted more. Definitely the best of the series, but Ender's Shadow comes close.
It follows a child and development of his psychology as he is forced to survive his environment. In this futuristic world, it is fascinating to discover some of the technology is similar to what we have today (seeing that the original book came out in the early 1990's).
GREAT BOOK!!!...more info
I have read this book over and over and find it new and heart pounding each and every time. This one is for anyones shelf. even if you aren't into sci-fi or fantasy novels... the characters are live, and the threat is real. it is written as an absoute page turner. one of my altime favorite books!...more info
- Childrens Crusade in Outer space
This is an engrossing story of a young boy who has been selected for training at a space academy. Earth is under threat by aliens. The initial battles in space have not gone well. Earth's only hope is to find and train the leaders who can defeat the aliens in the few years breathing space that has been won before the aliens return. Children are evaluated to see if they have the qualities to be those leaders, and the few that show they are intelligent enough, determined enough, and ruthless enough are sent into space to be trained. The regime is brutal and brutalising, but the main character, Ender Wiggin shows compassion and regret as he is forced to take actions he would rather not. You feel for this small child who has the hopes of humanity riding on his shoulders....more info
- Yay for Ender!
Sadly, this took me ages to read. But when I finally got around to it, I was amazed and touched beyond words.
On the surface, this is a fairly typical sci-fi novel, but what makes it stand out as the modern classic that it has become is the deeply felt emotion. This remembers to be a book that is about people and how we treat one another.
A war is occuring, an attack on an alien species affectionately known as the Buggers who have attacked Earth twice before. Understandably Earth is sick of it and doesn't want to be wiped out this time. So they twist the Golden Rule and begin an army to make this aforementioned attack. To do this, they train young shoulders to be commanders, pilots, whatever. This is where the boy genius Andrew "Ender" Wiggins comes in.
We get to watch Ender go through incredible and heartbreaking training that forces him to be more than the little kid he needs to be. On top of that, we see intriguing perspectives of other characters that surprise us in their effects on the plot.
This is a well-written story that manages to be driven equally by both character and plot, with plenty of emotion and philosophy in both.
Basically, I bawled through this. It was that good. ...more info
- fantastic novel
This book has become a sci-fi classic in a short time. Fast read and will always be remembered! Highly recommended....more info
I read Ender's Game when my 21 year old daughter finished it and told me "read it, you won't be sorry." I did, I wasn't. In fact for the first time in my entire 40 plus years, when I finished it, I turned to the front and started it all over again! This time I even read the authors intro!! I am not a science fiction fan by any means, but this is just an amazing story that is almost impossible to put down. So as my daughter says: "read it, you WON'T be sorry!"...more info
- Ender's game- I keep having to buy new copies because no one will give it back
I read a lot, and this is a book I can always come back to and I love it all over again. Even though it is an older book, it feels like it was written for our times. The desks are computers in the school, for example. I keep giving books to friends and family with diverse reading tastes, and they all love it so much that they won't give it back. If you are looking for a book that teaches heart, bravery, honesty, integrity, what it means to work as a team, and how to overcome adversity. . .you've found your book. It is simply amazing! ...more info
- Get Into The Game
Ender's Game is a great book for all ages and genders. This book is the story of a young boy, Ender, who is blessed with super human intelligence. He is taken to an area in space called Battle School where the government has bred super human commanders. As the boy grows, you go with him on his journey where the adults isolate him and destroys every last mental gate so that the government can use him as the ultimate weapon. This book is a great book for someone who doesn't like books that take their time. This book jumps right into the action and engrosses the reader through the whole story. From when Ender is a six year old boy trying to fight his way through simulation battles, to when he is twelve years old sending his army into a battle that would save the world. I this book think could be a considered a classic.
Even though Orson Scott Card, a great Sci-Fi writer, has a great choice of words, sometimes his plots can become convoluted. Because he is trying to come up with a new world, parts of the book feel a little bit dense or overworked. In the parts where he is trying write about how Ender learns to fight and how he teaches others are almost too detailed. This wouldn't be a problem with the book since the rest of the book is fast paced. I enjoyed a book with a lot of plot, but, I think that he has created a world that is ingenious. You never feel that he is just rambling. We feel for Ender, even though he has been pushed beyond the brink, and feel he is still loveable and has a great voice.
In the end, Orson Scott Card has found a way to revolutionize Sci-Fi books. He can explain his world in a way that is meticulous and perfectly crafted. This is a great book and can be enjoyed by everyone.
- Encapsulating read
From cover to cover, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is a page turner. If I had one criticism, I'd say the flow of the book speeds up a bit abruptly toward the end. Overall a wonderful book - I look forward to reading more from Orson Scott Card.
The binding of this paperback decided to destroy itself within a couple hours of reading, with normal use (not opening it too wide or folding it)....more info
- The reason I read
Seriously. This book is the reason I ever began to read for pleasure. After a random grab from my English class' book shelf I was hooked. I couldn't begin to describe the many levels this book is amazingly amazing and won't try. But I will say again that this book started it all for me....more info
- A Sci Fi Classic
This is a great read and a classic sci fi story. It opens the mind up for thought on a wide variety of topics including war, imperialism, government, good vs evil, genetics etc. A large portion of it is about the changes the main character, Ender, goes through. Towards the end however, the books offers several plot twists that really deliver and set up the stage for the series. ...more info
- One of the Best
This is simply one of the best books you will ever read. Five stars....more info
- An absolutely brilliant novel on a number of levels.
A wonderful "coming of age" story.
A great sci-fi novel.
An insightful look into how the young are brainwashed into the "game" of adulthood.
And incredibly prescient considering it was written in 1977. There is an Interent with bloggers and the kids all have wireless laptops are a couple of examples....more info