“Once again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens.
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.
I didn’t like how it began, but by Chapter Three, I didn’t want to put the book down.
Ender’s Game is a brilliant book. Simply brilliant. There’s no other word for it, and I’m babbling because I don’t know how to start talking about the book without just gushing throughout.
If it isn’t obvious yet–I liked the book. Very much. And I am definitely recommending this book to anyone who is looking for a young adult dystopian fiction novel that they’d want to read.
Ender as a main character is amazing: he’s a great mix of protagonist, antagonist, with a healthy dose of childish angst. And you don’t get annoyed with his angst because he deserves to whine–especially since we are also privy to the decision-making of the adults who put him in Battle School to begin with.
Now, if there’s anything readers need to be warned about with regards to this book, it’s that it likes to jump points-of-view. Most of the time, I’m not a fan when authors do this, but in the case of Ender’s Game, getting a view different from our protagonist’s actually helps develop the characters. And I am very much a fan of character development.
Ender’s struggles in Battle School is also handled with a lot of realism. Sure, Ender does end up getting the upper hand even when he loses (by taking the higher ground), but what do you expect from a genius? He knows how to pick his fights. But yeah, that’s not the realism I’m talking about.
What I’m actually referring to is the subject of bullying. The whole book, in a way, is about bullying. And power. One person has it, the other doesn’t.
Throughout the book, just when Ender is starting to learn to cope with one kind of bully, situations will be manipulated that the power shifts again to put Ender in a place where he can and will be helpless. And every time, it is made sure that he doesn’t get any adult help.
In a way, that’s exactly what happens with real-life bullying, doesn’t it? In my experience, anyway. Just when you think you have one bully in control, another one arises. Just when you think you have power over those who don’t understand you, they use that power to undermine you instead. And make you feel worthless. And then it’s up to you whether you will let them do that to you.
Ender’s Game, as I said, is a brilliant book. And it’s one that, I think, should be read by kids in today’s generation; because it shows the many ways of dealing with power and with bullies, and how violence might sometimes be the answer–but it is never the right one. Of course, due to the violent nature of the book, some parental guidance might be needed.