Wednesday 15 September 2010

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest novels in the world - yet very few seem to know about it. This story of the disturbing use of a child in an attempt to eradicate an entire species is Card's best work (and it is not without competition - let's not forget Songmaster or Treasure Box, and I have yet to read the Alvin Maker books).

The novel takes place in a future where Earth has been attacked twice by the Buggers, insect-like extraterrestrials with technology far more advanced than that of mankind. In order to prepare for a third attack, promising children are taken to the Battle School where they learn all about tactics and warfare. Ender is the most gifted student, rising far above all others his age, but he is troubled and has gone through a great deal at an early age.
There are numerous "sequels" with Ender, as well as the novel Ender's Shadow which takes place at the same time as the "main" novel - a sort of behind the scenes, as it were. I am no great fan of any of these. I think Ender's Game should just be left alone; it is brilliant in its own right.

Technically, Ender's Game is a book for young adults, but any adult who likes good science-fiction will love it as well. I wrote my bachelor's thesis on it, doing a deconstructive analysis regarding the hero - villain dichotomy. So, as you can see, the book has many levels - and I promise, you will enjoy all of them!

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