Title: Ender’s Game [amazon]
Author: Orson Scott Card
Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; Reprint edition (July 15, 1994)
Book Number: 12
This entry contains spoilers about the ending of this book, so if you’ve not read the book yet, I suggest you stop here.
I wrapped up Ender’s Game last night right before I went to sleep. It took me about two and a half days to read it.
All in all, I loved it. At first I wasn’t crazy about the bulk of the characters being between ages 6 and 13. I was afraid that, since the main characters were children, the book would be childish. In fact, I didn’t read the book for quite a while because of that concern. It was a poor assumption! The only really childish bits were some of the dialogue from the kids, like when they called each other such things as “farteaters.” Other than that, it was actually quite mature.
The ending of the book caught me off guard. I kept expecting Ender to finish Command School and then be sent off to fight the buggers. Even though the International Fleet had been deceiving him basically since the beginning of the book, it never occurred to me that they were deceiving him about what he was really doing at Command School. That he had actually been commanding real fleets and taking out the buggers was rather cool. While I wasn’t fond of how the I.F. treated Ender throughout the book, after seeing their ultimate plan, it made sense.
Regarding subplots, I enjoyed the exploration of Peter and Valentine, Ender’s siblings, becoming influential political figures on the “nets”. I found it particularly interesting probably because, with a bit of planning, someone could do that now. I was hoping Peter would be taken out by someone eventually, but that didn’t happen. In fact, it went the other way.. he rose to political power!
I’m anxious to read Speaker of the Dead, the sequel, to see where Ender goes with the last bugger queen. I’m even more anxious to see where things head once the buggers come back, which I assume they do.
As a last note, there was really only one thing I hated about the book: “buggers” as the name of the alien race the humans went up against. It just sounds silly. Perhaps I feel that way because everytime I read it, I could hear some Brit yelling, “Bugger me!”
Update: Having now read the first couple of pages of Speaker, I have to admit: “piggies” for an alien race is even more stupid sounding than “buggers.”