By Sara Lyon,
After two invasions by an alien species, Earth waits in the shadow of terror for a third attack. Humanity has no intention of going down without a fight. The military has used the decades since the last �Bugger War� to try to find or create someone capable of leading Earth’s forces in a final battle. Andrew Wiggin is shaping up to be the best candidate so far. The problem? �Ender� is only six years old, and humanity is running out of time.
Orson Scott Card’s masterfully written Ender’s Game is a must-read–and not just for science-fiction fans. The story touches on a diverse range of interests, such as philosophy, psychology, military strategy, politics, and education, among others, and addresses many issues pertinent in society today, including the morality of war, and the plight of the gifted child.
Despite the weighty subject matter, Card’s straightforward storytelling moves quickly from one plot element to the next, keeping the reader, through Ender’s perceptions, constantly on top of every new development.
Because Ender is so incredibly brilliant and insightful, it is easy to forget that no matter how much he appears to understand, he is still only a child. But like any child, he overlooks some vital details, allowing for a startling twist at the end.
Despite his youth and position as the archetypal messiah figure, it is easy for us to empathize with Ender. Card opens each chapter with discussions between the people in charge of Ender’s future. We watch as they stack the odds against him, trying to bring out his potential.
But it is not only his superiors making his life difficult–Ender is trapped in a constant struggle for acceptance by peers who are determined to keep him down, refusing to allow him to be better than they are.
Always just one step ahead of being beaten, Ender somehow manages to pull ahead. Card brings out Ender’s character in such a way that the reader always wants him to succeed; his numerous victories never come across as superhuman.
Ender’s greatest challenge, however, is overcoming the shadow of his brother, the terrifying force of his childhood whom he would do anything to escape. Underlying every battle is his horrified litany, �I�m just like Peter…�
Ender’s Game is definitely a worthwhile read, whether for pleasure, study, or to gain a touch of inspiration from this little boy with the fate of the world on his shoulders. Orson Scott Card pulls us into a world of fear and deception, but releases us back into our own world with hope and understanding.
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