nicole's Reviews > Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
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's review
Mar 20, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012

The classic science-fiction novel, in which children are monitored, selected for Battle School and groomed to destroy the buggers. Ender is a Third, allowed to be born in order to possess the best traits of his high-testing siblings. His childhood becomes the pawn of adults who are grooming him for something no man has done before.

Phew, finally crossed another title off my Librarian Pile of Shame. But much to my surprise, I wasn't crazy about it.

In this particular edition, OSC discusses some of the complaints that readers had regarding the dialogue of the child characters. His thoughts on that clouded my entire reading. The age of the characters were an awkward match for their feelings, articulation and understanding of power. Had this been written today, I wonder if he'd had aged up to the sacred YA demographic.

In turn, that sort of made me angry at myself, because the very things I loved in The Hunger Games are the things I can't stand in this book. In both, children are pawns of adults who quickly realize the rules of the game and turn things around so quickly that they are able to bring about great change -- even if high-level mental abilities or physical violence are required.

But the logistics of Ender's world kept me from throwing myself as whole-heartedly as I had into the HG arena. Like many of the Battle School soldiers, I found it impossible to orient myself to a gravity-less playing field and unlike poor Ender, I saw the story's denouement way before he did. And even worse was knowing that the rights have been sold and this is going to be made into a movie and I constantly was trying to figure out how they were going to account for this or do that or get away with this or make that.

I'm glad I read it (thanks Jim!) but I'm pretty bummed I didn't like it like all the other geeks do.

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