By: Orson Scott Card
First off, I didn’t actually READ this book, I listened to it (is that cheating?). And oh how glad I am that I did! The handful of readers on the audio book did a fantastic job and quickly made this one of the most entertaining audio experiences of my life. I enjoyed listening to Ender’s Game so much that I wasn’t surprised in the least when Orson Scott Card himself recommended the book be listened to rather than read. To the best of my memory he said, “Enders Game was intended to be performed in an audio setting and not for video”. However, after years and years of failed attempts, Hollywood has finally succeeded in producing an Enders Game movie.
Ender Wiggin is a 6 year old boy who has been monitored by the government since he was 3. He holds in his inexperienced mind the talents necessary to save the planet from the alien ‘Buggers’ who had invaded the earth some 70 years before Ender was born. After unknowingly proving himself in a number of character tests Ender is snatched from his family (with only minutes to say goodbye) and flown to Battle School, which is in space within the earth’s orbit. After years of training Ender advances quickly and soon finds himself in commander training.
Things back home on earth are a confusion of political unrest and Ender has no way of knowing that his own brother and sister are at the heart of it all. There are other things Ender is not told until it is too late. His sympathy and compassion are valuable traits that make him a good battle commander but ‘IF’ Commander Hyrum Graaf underestimates how deeply Enders sympathies run.
Enders Game was written in 1985 – I was impressed with Card’s portrayal of the future. Although, nearly 30 years later, we still aren’t flying to and from space for the weekend there are some things from the book that we are getting amazingly close to living. The idea of every person having a ‘desk’ where nothing is actually stored but rather the data is transferred around on ‘the NETS’, now seems totally plausible. And who hasn’t heard of some teenager or another who outsmarted the system to log on and contribute to an online discussion under a phony name? The video games where Ender makes decisions that lead to a number of possible combinations of results also seems quite normal today. Who knows, in another 30 years maybe we will be flying to space for a weekend vacation!
Written for the enjoyment of children, Enders Game is a great read for all ages. The creativity level is off the charts with an intensity to insist on knowing what comes next.