I recently read a fantastic novel by the name of Ender’s Game. It’s science-fiction, something that I don’t read much of (if anything, I’d read more fantasy than sci-fi), by a Mormon man named Orson Scott Card. I’d previously read a book by him on how to better your writing skills, and his easy-to-read conversational tone and interesting examples made me curious to see what else he had out there.
He states in the introduction to this novel that he wanted the story to be just that: a story for story’s sake. Sure, you could play the literary criticism game if you wanted to, but he wanted it to be enjoyed primarily for the story it presented. I loved it. I also couldn’t help but take note of the various themes and issues he brought up, such as the meaning of family, leadership, war, invasion and free will.
To sum up the plot without any spoilers, it’s about a boy, Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin, who is selected at an early age to train in space to become part of the Earth’s fighting force (in preparation for the Third Invasion of the buggers, an insect-like alien race). It’s about his journey into adulthood well before his years, but also about how this backfires, and his subsequent reticence into revealing his true self. It is clear he is exceptional, but is he being pushed too far because of it?
There were a few not-so-exciting chapters, or, at least, they did not speak to me as strongly as Ender’s parts did. They were the ones describing his brother’s and sister’s lives back on Earth, and got rather political. However, I did find them somewhat necessary to enjoy later parts of the story, and overall, they did not ruin the flow of the tale much, if at all.
AND THE ENDING. Sublime, in my opinion. It was almost too fitting – there’s five more books in the series, but I’m content with ending it there. But then again, I’m eager to go on another journey with Ender Wiggin.
There’s also a film version coming out sometime this year, and, needless to say, I’m quite excited about that. But maybe my high expectations will ruin my cinematic experience. What say you?