John Ho

Ender’s Game

By: Orson Scott Card

Rating: 4 Stars

Ender’s game plot is driven by conflict between humans and Buggers (called this because they have a insect-like appearance). The Buggers have already defeated humans twice and the likelihood for a third battle is high. The International Fleet has been looking for the next commander for the army. Andrew “Ender” Wiggins, who is six years enders-game2old, has a mixed personality of his sister, Valentine, who is compassionate, and his brother, Peter, who is ruthless and vicious. Ender is chosen to train at Battle School, which only allows talented children. Immediately after Ender arrives, his extraordinary intelligence makes teachers single him out as the most talented student. Many of the other children dislike him because of jealousy, which makes Ender isolated and lonely. However soon, they realize to seehim not as their peer but their superior. Ender advances levels at rapid rates and is sent to Command School, 6 years earlier than he is supposed to go. The demands of the school are so tough that he goes through psychiosis. In his final test, he leads an outnumbered army at the ratio of 1000-1, into battle. He purposely destroys the enemy’s planet to break the rules so he can return home. However, after the “simulation”, he finds out this was real life and he destroyed an entire race. Ender is shocked and goes through a coma, but when he wakes up, he is known as the human savior.  He becomes governor of a new colony of human beings on the remaining lands of the Buggers. He later reaches contact with a Bugger Queen and makes a treaty to never fight each other again. Ender finds her a place to restart their race.

When I was reading this book, I thought that this book was meant for younger students because of the plot of the story. Just the plot itself seemed a bit unfitting for high school students. However, this book was a real joy to read. It was creative and it was breath taking. I was especially into the book during the war scenes with the Buggers. Add the fact that this book is actually made up of war scenes made it even more enjoyable. However, there was one concept I was really drawn into. I love the concept of an underdog overcoming obstacles and reaching his goal/destination. Ender is looked down at among his peers and comes out alive and respected by everyone and becomes governor. His army is outnumbered 1000-1 and he still wins the battle. Me being an athlete, I cheer on an underdog and personally, I’m seen as an underdog too and it is gratifying to see an underdog come out on top. I definitely enjoyed this book and recommend it to others seeking a thrilling read.

There was one interesting aspect in the writing style of Card in this book. Ender’s Game is written mainly in a third person point of view. However, it often changes into first person. This is used to show the reader what the character is thinking. In this case, this style is used to show the thoughts of Ender. This is effective in showing Ender’s character. Like I said in the paragraph above, one of the themes in this book is underdog. Ender has to go through many obstacles and tough times. He has to adapt to the temporary hatred his peers show to him, homesickness, going to a tough institution 6 years earlier than the previous youngest student, being ridiculed by his brother, and many other problems. Another important theme is alienation. From the beginning of the book, he is different and envied. Stilson, a bully, bothers Ender endlessly. Even his brother torments him because he is jealous. At school, he is under constant scrutiny from other students.

Orson Scott Card was born on August 24, 1951 and he is mainly seen as a science-fiction author. Ender’s game is his best known novel, which has won both the Nebula and Hugo Award. He was born in Richland, Washington and was raised in Santa Clara, California, Mesa, Arizona, and Orem, Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young and the University of Utah. His vision for the setting of Ender’s Game was derived from living in Greensboro, North Carolina, which he currently lives in. Ender’s Game was originally written as a short story when Card as writing at a BYU press. He has used five different pseudonyms in his career, mainly when he was writing in magazines.

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