Jonathan's Reviews > Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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Sep 23, 2011

liked it

I read this a while ago - as in a year to two years.

If I could I'd rate it three and a half stars. I enjoyed the unique ideas and science fiction elements of the story. I did not like the writing as much as with other science fiction I have read. I didn't mind the messages and themes about war behind the novel, I felt the ending was abrupt and to be honest this novel gives me mixed emotions. I like it many ways and there are others I just have the strangest feeling about it. Some of it by far simply seemed too weird for my taste (much like Kurt Vonnegut). When going for the weird sci-fi I prefer Douglas Adams who I believe achieved what he set out to do with his style all up. Ender's Game however had mixed styles and tones which made it awkward for me.

After further thought I have realised that particularly the ending of this novel did not work for me. I found it unsubtle, a touch moralising and rather patronising to be honest. As I've debated before I do like morals in novels. However it is important to me how an author writes morals into their works. In this case I feel that Card tries too hard to impose his own views on impressionable readers rather than indicating a situation and suggesting and questioning whether what occurred was acceptable. Unfortunately many novels for children tend towards being slightly patronising, as if children are incapable of thinking for themselves and have to be guided into understanding. Whereas experience indicates to me that children are far more capable of working solutions and answers out for themselves and rather than being 'empty vessels' are more naive or impressionable. Being patronising therefore does little more than to irritate children as most readers can pick up when something has been 'dumbed down' for them

Despite my feelings, on the whole I have to admit this is a novel that deserves to be read. It is a intriguing piece of science fiction fantasy that is very readable even if - like me - you disagree with some ideas present or suggested by the text's didactic side.
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Quotes Jonathan Liked

Orson Scott Card
“Perhaps it's impossible to wear an identity without becoming what you pretend to be.”
Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game

Reading Progress

03/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Bethadilly I agree with your view completely.

I will be interested in seeing how the movie is.

Jonathan As of now I've also realised how much some of the ideas are blatant sci-fi cliches and archetypes and yet this seems to be a near universally loved novel. I think the movie will be decent enough as a film. I care nothing for the whole attempt to bring the movie into controversy by associating it with Card's views. In general while I respect the fact that he holds true to his opinions I do not really respect his opinions if that makes any sense.

Fayley I'm really surprised that you didn't enjoy this, (and that you thought it was a children's novel). I loved it and Enders Shadow too, but then I often like novels where you hear a lot of the characters thoughts. Don't bother with the movie, it was 1/10th as good as the book, and if the book was only a 3 for you to start with then the movie has no chance.

Jonathan Well, I actually enjoyed the film far more than the book. I like the ideas within the book (save for the ending) more than the writing, so it doesn't work as well for me as a book. I found Card's writing to be slow, somewhat patronising and not that engaging to me as a reader. I did like the whole Peter aspect though and hearing the character's thoughts as voices as you say. The film highlighted several elements I didn't like in the book, but helped me to understand and appreciate them better. It also had some genuinely decent acting in it in my view so it worked as an adaptation for me.

As for it being a children's novel... Well it's generally called that (a YA novel is the same thing to me more or less) by most readers who I've read reviews or dissertations by so I think of it as a children's novel. It's certainly approachable enough for a child around twelve years or so (as long as they are a mature individual I think...).

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