Andrew "Ender" Wiggin isn't just playing games at Battle School; he and the other children are being tested and trained for war. Ender is the most talented result of Earth's desperate quest to create the military genius that the planet needs in its struggle against an alien enemy. (This is a portion of the blurb on the back of the book.)
Every time I think of the phrase "Ender's Game" I think of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and they're actually rather similar books. Both deal with children being put into situations where they are manipulated and even pitted against each other--the one big difference being that the battles in Ender's Game had an impact outside the group of children and was for a military purpose, while the Hunger Games were a sick kind of entertainment.
I wasn't quite sure what I would think of Ender's Game. When I picked it up at the library, I had absolutely no idea what the book was about; I only got it because I'd heard of Orson Scott Card and wanted to read some good sci-fi. Honestly, I probably would have read Ender's Game before now if it weren't for my tendency to shy away from science fiction. This tendency stems from my earliest experiences with science fiction, which led me to believe that the genre was cliched and boring. In reality, I found Ender's Game captivating, well written, and easily relatable (quite a feat, given that I am not a six year old boy put into military training in order to fight against another species of intelligent life). I pitied Ender for having to grow up so fast and, in fact, sometimes forgot how young Ender was because he was forced to think and act like a grown man. Inevitably, the fact that he was a child shone through at moments that were both heartbreaking and rather uncomfortable. Ender is being forced to play a game that never ends--one in which he is expected to be responsible for saving the world and one in which he is depended on by adults nearly ten times his age.
Ultimately, Ender's Game is a compelling, exciting adventure story with a very important human element, and I would recommend it to both science fiction fans (although if you're a sci-fi fan you've probably already read it) and those who just enjoy a good story.
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5 years ago