Howdy there! I know, I know, it’s hard to believe – regular updating! I can’t believe it either! But that’s the glory of Christmas break – the time to catch up on a whole bunch of stuff, the least of which is my much-belated book blogging! I feel it necessary to say that a lot of these books I read a while ago and just didn’t have the time to blog about, so if some of the reviews seem vague, it’s most likely because I can’t remember all the details by this point in time! Anyway, on to the books!
Another read for my children’s literature class, Card’s Ender’s Game was actually a re-read, and one that I’m REALLY, REALLY glad I decided on (especially because it was in a violation of my self-created rule for no re-reads this year). The book is about Ender (Andrew) Wiggins, who is selected as a six year old to go to battle school, an institution that uses games to teach Ender and a whole host of other brilliant children how to operate militarily in order to, eventually, go to battle against the Buggers, an insect-like alien race that threatens to destroy the world. Essentially, Ender is the “Chosen One”, and the adults abuse him his whole life (keeping him from making friends, subjecting him to grueling physical tasks, mentally breaking him down) in the hopes that he will survive long enough to save the world. The book isn’t very long, and is very science fiction-y (be prepared for some long passages of battle descriptions and the like) but it’s absolutely fantastic. Ender is precocious and a genius, both in battle and in life. The thing I always liked best about him, even when I read it as a kid, is that Ender is fully aware of the fact that the adults in his life are manipulating him. Although he can’t do a lot to change it, at least he is aware of it. It’s one of the few thoughts that help to keep him sane. I also love the few friends that Ender ends up making, especially Bean, a child at the battle school who is younger than Ender but just as smart and with just enough attitude. In fact, Bean was eventually given his own series of books (starting with Ender’s Shadow) which I actually like more, as a whole, than I like the Ender series. But the best thing about the book hands down is the fact that Ender is just so damn smart! He’s only six when the book starts, and is barely twelve when the whole thing wraps up, but even so, he is smart enough to do well in school as well as to challenge every rule he comes across. He’s a rebel, and you can’t help but love it!
This book would most likely make a wonderful second step into the world of science fiction, especially if Feed is looked to as the first step, because although the plot is a lot more full of science fiction, the characters are just so easy to relate to that it doesn’t matter! If you like Ender’s Game I would suggest skipping the next two books (Speaker for the Dead, Genocide) and skip straight to the Bean books (Ender’s Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, and Shadow of the Giant) not because the other two Ender books aren’t good, but he loses a bit of his cuteness once he’s not a kid anymore, and Bean remains adorable no matter what. Either way, if sci-fi is your thing (or if adorable, precocious main characters are) then Ender’s Game is a classic you have to know! Happy reading!