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Ender's Game

(Ender's Saga #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  1,131,916 ratings  ·  43,337 reviews
Alternate Cover Edition ISBN 0765342294 (ISBN13: 9780765342294)

Once Again, Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a front assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens.

But who?

Ender Wiggin. Brilliant. Ruthless. Cunning. A tactical and strategic master. And a child.

Recruited for military training by the world governm

Paperback, First Starscape Edition (US / CAN), 324 pages
Published February 2002 by Starscape (first published 1985)
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Popular Answered Questions
Brian Beasley Gina I think you took Master's question too seriously and missed the word "bigoted" in the question.

To Master I take it you are being sarcastic with y…more
Gina I think you took Master's question too seriously and missed the word "bigoted" in the question.

To Master I take it you are being sarcastic with your question but I will bite anyways. I don't know why people accuse this book of the things they do (actually I do). Yes, Card is a conservative and he's admittedly a homophobe as well but neither of those things come through in this book. You have to look pretty hard to find anything "bigoted" in the book and the themes in Ender's Game have nothing to do with any sort of bigot revolution or anything. If anything there is a strong pacifist message that you would think would be the opposite of most conservative's mentalities. (less)
Zchantie I know this is an old question, but I wanted to add to it since I read the books in an order that I regretted.

So you have the first Series: 'The Ender…more
I know this is an old question, but I wanted to add to it since I read the books in an order that I regretted.

So you have the first Series: 'The Ender Quintet'
1. Ender's Game
2. Speaker for the Dead
3. Xenocide
4. Children of the Mind

The parallel series that follows the character Bean who appears in the first Ender's Game book and then gets his own series known as the "Shadow Saga"

1. Ender's Shadow
2. Shadow of the Hedgemon
3. Shadow Puppets
4. Shadow of the Giant
5. Shadows in Flight

Then there is the 5th book of the Ender's Quintet called "Ender in Exile" which actually takes place between "Ender's Game" and "Speaker for the Dead". I read this book directly after Ender's Game (as suggested) and regretted it immensely.

Within this book is also an important part of Bean's story. If you have any interest at all of reading The Shadow Saga, DO NOT READ Ender in Exile. As then you will know the end fate of all of the characters in Shadow Saga.

My recommendation. Read Ender in Exile after you've finished both series if you're interested in knowing what Ender was doing between the end of Game and beginning of Speaker.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  1,131,916 ratings  ·  43,337 reviews

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Kat (Lost in Neverland)

DNF at 52%

Dear Orson Scott Card,

There are over 3,310,480,700 women in this world.


Sincerely, Women.

Dear Fans of This Book Who Are Probably About To Make An Angry Comment On This Review:

Please leave now if you don't want to get all huffy and insulted and make a comment defending the author or whatever other shit that is this book.
Or, if you want, go ahead. If you're going to comment, at least read the whole review and not just a quarter of it. I'm so sick of repeating myself over and over in the
Oct 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
[I have a new website where I review awesome books & more!]

I wanted to like Ender's Game. I really did. It's a wonder that even after more than halfway into the book, I still clung on to the foolishly optimistic notion that the book would somehow redeem itself. That it would end up justifying the tedious, repetitive, drearily dull chapters I trundled through over the course of several days (which is unusual, since I'm generally a fast reader).

It pains me to say it, as a hard
Jul 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: precocious children, smart kids, clever adults
This was the first book I picked up and read all the way through in one sitting. Technically, it's not a difficult read but conceptually it's rich and engaging.

"They have a word for people our age. They call us children and they treat us like mice."

If you can't understand that statement, you probably won't like this book. It's about intelligent children. Not miniature adults- their motivations, understanding, and some-times naivete clearly mark them as children. But at the same time their intell
Mark Lawrence
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this story quite a while back with no special expectations. Like most books I read it just happened to be lying around the house.

I read it, was hugely entertained, and went on to read three or four of the sequels.

I've heard since all manner of 'stuff' about the author but what's true and what isn't I don't know and I'm not here to critique the man behind the keyboard. All I can do is report on the contents of the book and those I can thoroughly recommend you check out.

The main character,
Aug 05, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J.G. Keely
I was savaged by a miniature poodle the other day--wait--no, someone protested my review of The Giver the other day. If you have any pent-up rage from that college lit teacher who forced you to think about books, be sure to stop by and spew some incoherent vitriol--my reviews are now a socially acceptable site of catharsis for the insecure.

In any case, one of them made the argument that children need new versions of great books that are stupider, because children are just stupid versions of norm
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone -- i'll even buy you a copy!
i think 'ender's game' is the only book i've read three times. for me books often don't have repeat reading value in the same way some movies have repeat viewing value. it's probably because a movie takes two hours of your time while a novel, for me, takes a week or longer. so for someone like to me read a novel twice, not to mention three times, is really saying something [and yes, i realize the inherent snobbery in that statement].

i've thought long and hard about what makes 'ender's game' so a
John Wiswell
Aug 13, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hardcore sci fi fans
This is a novel that blows past conventional ideas like "disbelief." Apparently humanity, a species whose only real claim to fame is war, now stinks at war, and can only be saved by a child genius who is one part prophecy, one part bad science, and one part wish-fulfillment. Thanks to this plan, we are treated to a gaggle of super-intelligent children who seldom appear particularly clever (in fact many behave with adult maturity rather than abnormal intellect) and achieve greatness not through a ...more
Mar 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good book.

On its surface it is a great story about a young boy who goes through tremendous struggles. On another level it is a brilliant psychological character study and an observation of group dynamics. On still another level it was an intelligent allegory for violence and bellicosity in ourselves and our society.

There is a listopia list that calls this the best science fiction novel.

Mmmmm, maybe. I can see why someone would say so. I have heard where military organization
Jun 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I fail my exams this week, I blame this book.

Ah Ender's Game, how you have sat on my bookshelf for over a year before I got to you. You have been so nicely received by the sci-fi community so why did I put you off? BECAUSE I WAS STUPID, THAT IS WHY.

My stupidity aside, I hope you guys will still consider this 5-star review to be credible and valid. I'll list off the pros and cons to this novel and you can decide.

An adorable main character.
Ender (Andrew) Wiggins was a breath of fresh air
Kyle Nakamura
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: just about anyone
Recommended to Kyle by: found by chance in a library when i was a kid
This has to be, hands down, one of the best science fiction books written. Ender's Game is set in a disarmingly straightfoward sci-fi setting: a near future earth threatened by a hostile alien species with superior technology that seems determined to destroy the human race. The story centers on a young boy who is drafted into an all-consuming military training program at the age of 6. The program he's inducted into seeks to forge a new generation of military commanders out of gifted children, a ...more
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ender's game is pretty awesome, when it's not being boring.

and of course it is just me - in class yesterday the parts i mentioned as being boring TO ME were other people's favorite parts. and this is all due to a design flaw in me: i am physically incapable of visualizing action sequences. in movies, they make it so easy. in books, i frequently have to reread scenes a few times before i can orient myself. throw in zero gravity and weapons that don't actually exist, and i am loster than lost.

Polemical indeed


I decided to read the novel basically because the incoming film adaptation (it was "incoming" at the moment that I read the book) and I wanted to read the original book before of watching the film.

I am aware of the controversial opinions about sensitive social subjects, but I want to keep that out of this and only commenting about my impressions about the book itself.

First of all, I doubt highly that the film adaptation will be so crude in
Lots of people have already read this book, and it's pretty much universally acclaimed, so it probably doesn't really need another review. So I just want to point out one thing that bothered me both times I read it (with a decade at least in-between at that):

Isn't it weird how much time the kids in this book spend naked? The entire time Ender is at Battle School, Card constantly tells us how everyone is always sleeping naked, or walking around the barracks naked or jogging naked. And one of the
Rebecca Watson
Once upon a time, there was a tiny 6-year old boy who all the other kids picked on. Little did they know that he was very special and all the adults secretly loved him even though they didn't stop anyone from picking on him, and also he knew karate and he didn't want to hurt them but he would if he had to, and it just so happens that he has to. Often. Also he spoke and thought not like a 6-year old boy but as a smug 30-year old man with a fair amount of unresolved bitterness toward his childhood ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet #1), Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set at an unspecified date in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species which they dub the "buggers". In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult g
Dec 11, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: thousands of the book's fans
Hmmm, I find it hard to understand the level of following this particular book gets.

Ender's Game is the type of sci-fi that doesn't interest me much. 225 pages about a boy playing video games, battling in zero gravity, and learning about how military works? I can work up some interest for these things, but there has to be some characters I care about. However, how exactly am I supposed to find compassion for a boy who goes from one task to another never failing and always being the best at EVER
Full review now posted!

Some books define different aspects and periods of your life. Ender’s Game for me represents the loneliness of childhood when you’re different. I first read this book when I was 9 years old and just starting the 4th grade. I was the only kid in my small class in the Gifted program at that point, which set me apart. I was an odd child, athletically challenged and socially inept and physically awkward. I had teeth too big for my head, ears too far large for my face, and hair
Will M.
I can't believe it took me forever to finally read this. I chose to watch the movie first last year, because I remember not having the physical copy of the book yet. That was the biggest mistake of my reading life.

The book is way better than the movie. I know you've probably seen that phrase a million times, but I can't fully express how it truly applies to Ender's Game. I can't find a flaw even if I wanted to. Everything seems perfectly written and constructed. I'm going to be honest and say th
Ugh. Okay. I'm officially giving up on this one.

So, a little disclaimer here. I do not like Orson Scott Card. As a person. I think he's a shitty human who's used his award-winning author status as a platform to advocate the denial of other humans' rights. This is detestable to me.

But that is not why I rated this book 1 star.

The reason I gave this book 1 star, and have given up even trying to read it, is because I do not like Orson Scott Card. As an author. This was the second book of his I've
So nice to read it again. I suppose I can point to this book as being one of the very first to open my eyes to just how much can be accomplished in SF.

I mean, sure, I first read Chriton's Sphere right after King's Tommyknockers so I was feeling the love already, but Ender's Game set a new standard in readability, emotional impact, and sheer cussed F***ed-up-ness.

Since then, I've read over twenty novels that shared echoes of this novel. And yet, I keep coming back to this and its companion, Speak
David Putnam
Nov 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really a great read. Loved the story and the characters. But if you peel back all of that good stuff, I also found that the way the author endeared the reader to the main character, how that character won over the other kids was a brilliant study in leadership. How to earn respect. (Which, I think is missing more and more in our society today). That underlining leadership theme is really what carries the story. The recruitment, training and battles were just the way the author got that p ...more
Mike (the distracted librarian)
Bumped my previous 4 star up to a 5. Great book! I'm a huge science fiction gerd (geek-nerd), and this is probably my favorite YA space opera.

Edit: I meant to say space opera, not favorite YA novel overall. I like LotR, Harry Potter, and a few other picks from different genres more. The classics. Which reminds me, I forgot about DUNE. Looved that book.
Jul 30, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I read this book in 7th grade. I remember it so exactly because still, to this day, I distinctly remember sprinting up the stairs to get to the bookshelf to read the next chapter. It is an absolutely engrossing tale of a small boy involved in a big war, filled with heartache and camaraderie and betrayal and cleverness.

The problem is that Orson Scott Card hates queer people and liberals so much that he's written a number of novels entirely about how awful they are. He posts screeds about how gay
Dec 27, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: badbooks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Duncan
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, some people find this book kind of juvenile and have trouble suspending disbelief long enough to enjoy it. For those folks, you might want to move along from Ender's Game.

Ender's Game is the twenty-five year old science fiction classic that's soon to be a major motion picture. Actually, the film comes out in November of 2013.

Unlike many hard-core science fiction titles, this book is particularly appropriate for a younger audience. By the way, this new young adult edition of the Hugo and Ne
Michael Finocchiaro
Orson Scott Card's science fiction classic Ender's Game is about the fate of Ender Wiggins, brother of the psychotic but brilliant Peter and the his beloved sister. It is a dystopia in which a child army is raised against the invasion of the "buggers" which are barely described in the book. There are some conventional Mormon views expressed (thinly veiled anti-Semitism, racism and a bit of sexism) through out which makes me want to take the review down to a "2" or "3". However, the plot advances ...more
J.L.   Sutton
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I enjoyed Ender’s Game (I think I’ve read it 3 times now), I first read it after reading Ender’s Shadow. This means I already had a take on how things went down at Battle School (and that was from Bean’s rather than Ender’s perspective). That said, I wholeheartedly recommend Ender’s Game not because I think it’s better than Ender’s Shadow (I don’t), but because Ender’s Saga is fantastic (especially the next two books in the series, Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide). The premise of Ender’s ...more
Not my cup of tea. Considering that the author probably intended the reader to sympathize with the main character, I disliked the main character way too much, right from the start. Also, many people will probably disagree with me but I think this book is rife with the author’s personal prejudices. Off handed comments about women and different nationalities just threw me for a loop, left me wondering why they were included when they offered absolutely nothing towards the story. Additionally, I di ...more
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.

Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th

Other books in the series

Ender's Saga (4 books)
  • Speaker for the Dead (Ender's Saga, #2)
  • Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3)
  • Children of the Mind (Ender's Saga, #4)

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