Ender's Game (Ender's Saga, #1) Ender's Game question

Better as a stand-alone?
John Butziger John Jul 23, 2014 04:57PM
Did anyone else feel that Ender's Game might have been better as a stand-alone novel? I enjoyed this book so much that I was a bit disappointed in the later books, though they were good themselves...

I mostly agree; but I did find Speaker for the Dead very compelling for its own sake.

What a great question. It is a very different type of series than one is used to reading. All of the action is in the first book with the rest of the series dealing with the personal fallout in some form or another. I think Ender's Game is integral to the series, but it would have made an excellent stand alone.

What I have noticed is that Ender's Game shows up in the YA section of the book store and the rest of the series does not. I wonder if that loss of innocence is why the other books are not as well received here. Remember, Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead both won the Nebula and Hugo awards and Xenocide was nominated for both the Hugo and Locus. So it is not like they were not important.


I liked the continuation of the story, but not the actual books.
The parallel series... I will admit, I accidentally skipped Shadow Puppets and when I went back I struggled through 50 pages, put the book down, and never looked back. I think that's the only Ender book I haven't read, though. Again, I liked the story, and there were some amazing moments (the ending of Shadows in Flight was heartbreaking) but I also kind of wished it didn't exist.
I felt that the writing deteriorated into mindless, overly complicated politics, especially in the Shadow ones. The rest of the books felt very separate from Ender's Game... I don't know. On the one hand I read and liked them, on the other the later ones were really weird and kind of not so good.

I think that you have to look at the entire series as a whole and accept the fact that as Ender matures the storytelling evolves into something different. I think that Ender's Game might be my favorite but it is very close. I feel like the goal of each story is different and if the later books were just more battle school it would have been boring. That said I did enjoy Ender's Shadow.

I loved Enders Game but did not read the others when I found out they were completely different. Enders Shadow, however was awesome and I loved being back in that world. Bean was always interesting and was totally deserving of his own book.

I quite agree with you. All other books fell short of this one.

S.R. (last edited Oct 17, 2014 11:59AM ) Oct 17, 2014 11:58AM   0 votes
I read Ender's Game, but not the rest of the series. I thought the ending was perfect and didn't want to ruin a wonderful novel by reading its sequels. I wish the world had more stand-alone novels; actually I just wish authors knew when to stop writing series that only bring down the credibility and special beauty of the first book.

Melinda Brasher I think some of it is pressure from the industry. I thought my novel, Far-Knowing, would be an easier sell because it was stand-alone YA fantasy, but ...more
Oct 17, 2014 01:45PM

I enjoyed Speaker for the Dead. I admit that I did struggle through Xenocide and did not like it as much as the others. But as many other have said, if you liked Enders Game, you might enjoy the Shadow series more than the direct follow ons to Ender's Game. I actually enjoyed Ender's Shadow more than I did Ender's Game.

Melinda Brasher Yeah, I think I liked Ender's Shadow a little more than Ender's Game too, which totally surprise me. ...more
Oct 17, 2014 01:46PM

deleted member Jul 23, 2014 09:35PM   0 votes
I agree, the later books were very disapointing. However I really did like its parallel novel, Ender's Shadow, and I'm glad that one was written

deleted member Sep 07, 2014 06:03PM   0 votes
No. In fact, Speaker, Xenocide and Children all surpass it by miles and now that I have read them, I have a hard time in seeing a reason to read it if you aren't going to read the next three. Ender's Game was great. The next three are a masterpiece.

I haven't read any of the following books at this point. I think this novel was very impressive and I'm looking forward to the next ones. However, if there were no other books, I would have definitely loved this novel just as much. I think it did great on its own.

No, I don't think so. I feel like Ender as a character was so compelling that it needed more.

Wow, you guys make some good points. I loved Ender's Game, and I liked other books in the series, but not a lot. There is a huge disconnect between Ender's Game and the other books. It's only in the near-future, so it's still a world that's somewhat relatable. It deals with themes like growing up, making friends, making enemies, dealing with adults, and an unbelievable amount of stress. There are moral dilemmas and a multitude of gray areas. The rest of the books just seem hollow by comparison. They are ok, but they are just the sterile, predictable sci-fi stuff that everyone was doing at the time. They aren't even in the same league. I feel like Ender's Game was a fortunate accident, because Card hasn't really shown that he is capable of doing something that good again, which is maybe why he's resorted to telling the same story again and again, but from other ppl's point of view.

I enjoyed Ender's Game, but I have no desire to read the other books. The first book was enough for me.

I didn't read any of the other books because they looked so different from the first one. I don't really mind that they exist, though.

The rest of the books fell short of Ender's game. However the Shadow saga was quite enjoyable and gives you closure on the fate of the rest of the characters from the first book.

I actually hated Ender's Game, but LOVED Speaker for the Dead and enjoyed the rest of the direct sequels.

Definitely! I loved Ender's Game. The next few were so different they colored how I felt about Ender's Game.

According to the author, he wrote Ender's Game in order to writer Speaker of the Dead. I think that was the title. I haven't read any of the others, just Ender's Game. But Card said Ender's Game was a necessary step to tell the story he actually initially wanted to tell.

I listened to the audiobook version of Ender's Game, and at the end, after the book is over, he talks about this.

Hellread (last edited Aug 07, 2014 02:49PM ) Aug 07, 2014 02:48PM   0 votes
Yes. The whole semi-religious alien resurrection mind communication thing or whatever (I haven't actually read the later books, in case you can't tell) took away from the finality of humanity's (Ender's) victory. It felt shoehorned in the ending and I can't imagine that many more books dealing with his... travels. He had his culmination.

Ender's Game was definitely a standalone book. It took me a bit to get into Speaker for the Dead. Once I understood the new story line, the series came alive. The rest of the series seemed like another story to tell beyond Ender's Game. Ender's Game was a set up book. I enjoyed the side books about Bean more then the Speaker for the Dead. And they seemed more a part of the Ender's Game world then the rest.

I'm not a huge fan of the following books, but I LOVED Ender's Shadow.

I didn't really know it was a series until I finished the first book. Definitely think it would be better as a stand-alone. As someone above mentioned before, didn't really bother to read the rest cause they seem too different.

deleted member Aug 05, 2014 04:30PM   0 votes
Yes. I felt like the first one was wonderful, and I liked A War of Gifts and Ender in Exile but after that, I felt like the series went downhill. At that point, I began reading the Shadow series, and I preferred it a bit to Ender's series. I loved Ender's Game (the first sci-fi I ever fell in love with), but I felt like Bean was more interesting to read about. I'm not sure why. Maybe because he wasn't considered perfect.

I definitely think Ender's Game would have been better as a standalone book.

Ed Sep 08, 2014 03:51AM   -1 votes
I've read Ender's Game (ok), Speaker for the Dead (good), and Shadow of the Hegemon (not impressed).

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