Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)

Review by CJ

Page count:



Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggins is the third Wiggins child in a future with a worldwide two-child policy. Ender’s life is due to his older brother and sister’s progress through a training program designed to create the best soldiers from a young age for the battle against alien insectoids. Ender’s brother Peter was too hostile and sister Valentine too empathetic to be successful, but their intelligence and potential meant Ender had a chance at life and glory.

As Ender progresses through battle school and makes a name for himself as the youngest and brightest star, he must survive the worst that humanity can throw at him to save humanity from the worst that its intergalactic enemy can bring.

Ender’s Game is the first novel in the Ender’s Saga series.

I was a bit hesitant about reading Ender’s Game because I generally don’t love science fiction novels. However, it was recommended to me by someone who said they also don’t usually love this sort of book so I thought I would give it a try. And now I need to read the next three books in the series.

Ender’s Game is a well paced journey told from a variety of different third person perspectives. My favourite was Ender, which is what you want from a main protagonist, as he is a reliable and strong character who develops well throughout the novel. Valentine, Ender’s older sister, was my second favourite as she is a conflicted character with depth beyond her page time. In fact, many of the main characters, are shown to have great depth as their journey through the novel progresses.

The young genius characters in Ender’s Game are well written. You do need to suspend some disbelief as they are written as young geniuses and are not your average child. The things Ender and his colleagues experience before they are 10 would have most adults in a quivering heap by the end of day one. But it is not their age, but their abilities and actions that define them.

I loved the ending to Ender’s Game. Despite being a 30+ year old book, I will not spoil it because I was glad to have discovered it in due course. But I thought the ending was logical yet unexpected.

Even if you’re not a big fan of science fiction novels, Ender’s Game is worth a look. Much like how The Walking Dead is primarily about human nature and survival with zombies on the side, Ender’s Game is primarily about human nature and survival with science fiction on the side.



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