Chance Lee's Reviews > Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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did not like it
Recommended for: No one

Ender's Game is basically Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War but in space. Kids are mean! They beat each other up! The plot is virtually non-existent. Ender and co. bounce around in zero gravity for at least sixty pages, training in a banal combat game that doesn't provide its participants with any useful skills (nor the reader with anything resembling entertainment) to fight the buggers, the stupidly named alien race that almost wiped out humanity decades ago and might wipe us out again. Or something. The majority of the bugger plot, the only remotely interesting plot point in the entire 324-page book, is crammed into the last two chapters.

Card's writing style is dull and boring. He clumsily shifts between third- and first-person perspective for no good reason. He fails basic Writing 101: show the reader, don't just tell. Valentine and Peter create online aliases for themselves: Locke and Desmosthenes. The two have lively Interweb discussions. Or at least Card says they do. Not a single article, post, or debate is actually written, so we have to take Card's poorly written word for it. "They began composing debates for their characters. Valentine would prepare an opening statement, and Peter would invent a throwaway name to answer her. His answer would be intelligent, and the debate would be lively, lots of clever invective and political rhetoric. Valentine had a knack for alliteration that made her phrases memorable." Perhaps if Card had the same knack for alliteration some of his phrases would be memorable. They're not. The dialog is bad, the jokes aren't funny, and the kids sometimes slip into a weird pidgin English when insulting each other. It doesn't make sense.

Also, all the adults are Bad. "There is no teacher but the enemy," one of Ender's mentors tells him. Anti-authoritarianism can make great drama when it has purpose. This just sounds like the long-winded, non-sensical rebuttal of a bratty student who did bad in school. Probably in his writing classes.
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Reading Progress

January 19, 2011 – Started Reading
January 19, 2011 – Shelved
January 19, 2011 –
page 26
8.02% "and have yet to formulate an opinion."
January 21, 2011 –
page 133
41.05% "and shouldn't have read the introduction first. Once I read that Card was Mormon, I equated him with Stephanie Meyer, and this feels like Twilight in space. With fewer likable characters..."
January 23, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Amelia haha, this review made reading the book worth it :)


Chance Lee :) Thanks, Amelia! Writing the review almost made reading the book worth it. Almost...


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