Friday Favorites: Ender's Game

Friday, July 16, 2010

I strongly resisted reading this book. Everyone who recommended it to me liked the sci-fi genre and I didn't. For that reason alone I thought that it wasn't for me. When I finally caved and picked it up I couldn't put it down. I tore through it and went on to rapidly read seven more books in the series.

Andrew (Ender) Wiggin is a young boy recruited for battle school. The earth is in the midst of a long war with an alien race and they've been trying to train kids to be war generals.

The book deals with moral ambiguities, children's rights and genocide; all big enough issues on their own, but together they create a book of epic proportions. It spawned two separate trilogies, a companion book and additional sequels and short stories.

In the midst of all these reasons to read it is Ender. He and the other major characters, Petra, Bean, Valentine, etc. are what make the book stand apart from other sci-fi novels. They are such strong, complex people that you can't resist them. Bean's character even got his own book, Ender's Shadow, to explain his past.

Ender's intelligence, along with his helplessness in the face of an overwhelming situation, is a big part of the book's allure. It's easy to forget that at the beginning of the book Ender is only a child. He is taken from his family and forced to train for war. No matter how brilliant he is that would still be incredibly hard.

This is the book that opened my eyes to genre stereotyping. It's the book that made me decide I shouldn't judge by covers or genres. I may not love sci-fi or bibliographies or whatever else, but I can certainly love books within those genres. I think there are books that are so wonderful they rise above any category you could put them in and knowing that has taught me that I should give each book someone recommends a chance. I never know which one will be the next I fall in love with.


Jenners said...

I loved this book too ... I read it ages ago though so I wonder if I should reread it. I never did read any more of the books in the series though!

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this book too, but I would never have read it without the encouragement of bloggers - that spaceship on the front just doesn't appeal! Who'd have thought there would be such a thought-provoking book between those covers!

Kathy said...

Ahhh, this book is on my TBR list for some heretofore unknown reason--I kind of feel the same way about it as you felt before reading it. But now I think perhaps I might enjoy it!

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I am not a sci-fi fan but I absolutely, absolutely loved this book -- it delves into so many things and the ending alone is what makes me still think of this, 12 years after reading it!

Becky Hill said...

I agree with you about loving books that fall within genres you don't really like. I have read a lot of science fiction, but am not a big fan of certain types of science fiction. You should try Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea trilogy! That's another classic you might like.

Jeanne said...

Did you know Ender's Game was originally marketed as SF but in the past decade was marketed primarily as YA? I love all the sequels--there's two kinds, the Speaker for the Dead series and the Ender's Shadow series. But don't buy his books unless you want some of your money to support Mormon homophobe causes. Get them out of the library.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Jenners - I thought the Shadow series was better than the Speaker for the Dead series. If you're interested in reading more I'd try that one.

farmlanebooks - I know, the cover is awful.

Becky- Thanks for the recommendation. I'll have to check it out!

Jeanne - I've heard some crazy things about the author. I've gotten all of my copies from the library or from used book stores.

Jeanne said...

I've read both the Shadow series and the Speaker for the Dead series--the Speaker ones are more thoughtful, and the Shadow ones more action-packed!

Laurel Hasner Photo said...

I really like this! I can't stop at one review! And I know what you said, but I actually do want to borrow Ender's Game! After kick boxing, who knows WHAT I can do! (or read!) :) Love you!