Review: Ender’s Game

10 January, 2014 / 4 Comments

book review

Ender’s Game (The Ender Quintet #1) by Orson Scott Card

My Copy: ePub eBook, 352 pages
Publication Date: 1985
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Borrowed
Genre: Dystopian | Fantasy | Science Fiction | Young Adult

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.

My Review

Okay, so I really don’t get it.  I just don’t get it.  The majority of people love this book, including my sister, who recommended it to me, and including my husband who read it with me.  But, I just didn’t.  I was bored throughout the majority of the story and just simply could not get into it.  I really do not understand what everyone loves about this book.  I wish I did, but I just don’t…

This is one of those times where I just really don’t want to write a review.  I feel like I don’t have much to say about Ender’s Game.  I wasn’t into it, I couldn’t connect with Ender or his story very much, and the book was constantly trying to put me to sleep!  Plus, this book is so loved by others and I hate telling people how much I didn’t like a book that everyone else loved.  But, I will do it anyway…here goes…

Ender’s Game started off kind of confusing to me.  There was a definite lack of world-building at the beginning and I just couldn’t get a sense of the setting or really anything about the world.  We also don’t find out anything about the aliens (buggers) — not even a visual of what they look like, or where they are in the universe — until the 78% mark!  I found that very frustrating.  I like to be able to picture what I’m reading and, in my opinion, it is the author’s job to describe these unknown fictional creatures to me so that I can have some kind of an idea what to picture.  But, Orson Scott Card decided not to fill me in until very late in the story, which I didn’t appreciate.  And once we were finally given this previously lacking information, I was pretty disappointed.  That’s not what I expected and I thought it was kind of a dumb idea.  But, that’s just me.  And maybe if it would have been explained to me sooner, then I wouldn’t have had to make up something in my head and have it not turn out that way and then become disappointed because of it!!  I’m still unsure of where exactly the Buggers reside in the universe.  Where is this planet of theirs?  All I know is that it’s very far away, considering how long it takes to get there.

I couldn’t connect with Ender at all.  I’m not sure why.  It wasn’t that he was a bad or unlikeable character, but I wasn’t able to feel that connection and, therefore, I was mostly uninterested in his story.  I was actually more interested in the side story of his siblings, Peter and Valentine.  But, that only came up a couple of times.  Those were the times that I was more alert while reading, though.

I could not get into this book and I was bored almost the whole time.  I can’t figure out exactly why this was, but it was.  I will say that the last 40% was better than the first 60% though.  It did gradually get better and my interest in the story was greater by the end.

Now, the book wasn’t all bad.  Even though I didn’t like the story and didn’t get the characters, I can still appreciate the author’s work.  Card’s writing was very good and the concept of the story was uniquely crafted.

SIK’s Short ‘n’ Sweet Version (Point-form Style)

I Liked:
– The writing quality.
– The uniqueness and creativity of the story.

I Disliked:
– The story.  It bored me and I just couldn’t get into it.  I was often trying to keep my eyes open throughout reading this book, as it seemed to just want to put me to sleep!
– The characters.  I could not connect with them.
– The lack of world-building at the beginning.
– Being kept in the dark about what the Buggers looked like (or any information about them), even though we were “seeing” them in the story.  Why did I have to create my own image of them (and then we learn what they truly look like much later and of course my image of them is wrong)??

2.5 stars blue

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4 Responses to “Review: Ender’s Game”

  1. I hate it when I read a book that everyone loves and I just don’t see it. I actually never made it through The Hobbit – I got bored!! I still haven’t read this book, but I’ve read other Orson Scott Card books that I loved (many eons ago), so I do really want to read this one.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  2. Isn’t there a movie of the same name? If it’s the one I’m thinking of, that I’ve seen previewed at theatres, no surprise that you didn’t enjoy the book because I thought the movie looked completely boring. But perhaps I’m mixing this book up with another movie…?

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