This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
Oh Ender, our favorite Third and boy genius. In Ender’s Game, written by Orson Scott Card, Andrew Wiggin (aka Ender) captivates readers with his constant internal conflict and boundless ability to solve any problem thrown his way. One of my favorite aspects about this book is how the SciFi is incorporated. This is not just a “Humans vs Aliens” book, but is a more realistic SciFi based on real science, physics and an actual possibility of extraterrestrial life (yes, I believe it could happen – sue me). This story is based around how the International Fleet (IF) must try to groom Ender for the Third Invasion against the Buggers. While the book is mostly written from Ender’s perspective, there is a snippet of information in each chapter written from IF characters. This allows us as readers to gain additional insight into the inner workings of a master plan that Ender is not even aware of. During Ender’s timeline, it has been seventy years since the Second Invasion, but there are no taking chances on when the next attack may be; therefore, the IF must move quickly to prep their best hope against the Buggers. In this version of Earth, there are reproduction limits for each household to 2 children (not such a crazy idea now as it’s already implemented in parts of the world) unless there is approval from the IF to have additional children, in hopes that one will be the great commander in the Third Invasion. Ender was one of the approved children and is considered a Third – but being a third is an opening for mockery and considered something to be ashamed of. His older brother, Peter, is what we would consider borderline psychopathic (oh joy isn’t he a delightful character). He preys on the destruction of others while deceiving those in authority around him. Peter is just as genius as Ender, but with murderous tendencies, he is uncontrollable to the IF and so they are unable to utilize him (why doesn’t the IF do anything about this??). Valentine, their sister and middle child, is the polar opposite of Peter in that she is so compassionate and loving of others that the IF sees her unfit to inflict necessary pain against their enemies, even though she is just as genius as her siblings. Ender, the Third, was approved in hopes that he would have just enough traits of his other siblings to maintain balance.
Ender’s story starts at the age of 6 and he is already an expert with internal struggle and conflict. As the unwanted Third, he is constantly mocked and picked on by bullies at school. Then, he comes home and is tortured by his older psychopathic brother (now that’s a fun time). The only pe
rson he truly loves and trust is Valentine, who is always there to protect him. But now that Ender is 6 and shows great promise, the International Fleet is ready to ship him to Battle School where he transitions from being a Bugger Lovin’ Third to being a Launchy (as if being a launchy is much better and yes… at the age of 6). Battle school tests his limits further than he could have imagined. He must figure out how to fend for himself and find a place of authority among the mix of other child geniuses. Not only is he isolated and alone in this new school by his peers, but the instructors of the school have no plans to make his stay easy (as if he needed more troubles). The Battle Room is what the children of Battle School live and breathe for. All that matters are the standings and beating your opponent. If you want to show promise to the IF, the Battle Room is where to do it. Ender constantly fights battles both in and out of the Battle Room. In the Battle Room, he can use his genius to defeat his enemies with tools that everyone knows and is trained with. Outside of the Battle Room, Ender must use his own creative resources to fight his battles. Not only physical though, Ender frequently struggles with the idea that he is like Peter, a murderous child with one objective – winning. As much as he hates it, a part of Peter is also a part of himself and he will need to learn how to cope with that.
Orson Scott Card does a wonderful job of keeping the minds of his readers entertained. Not only does he beautifully portray Ender’s journey and progression, he also describes what is happening with the rest of the world in Ender’s absence and how his siblings will take place in that under the names Demosthenes and Locke. This fictional read is enrapturing by challenging ideas and painting a picture of what the world could become (if not already). Throughout the entire book, you see countering points of view and how everything comes together in the end for Ender.
Ender’s Game is truly one of my favorite books and was actually introduced to me by my dad … maybe 10 or so years ago? This really is a classic SciFi book and there are many sequels to read to keep the story going. If you haven’t already read the book or have only seen the movie … go to the link below and buy it – you will not be disappointed, I promise. Actually, even if you have read the book, but don’t own it, you should. I can’t even count how many times I’ve read this book (1, 2, 3, 4 … see I lost count). There will always be a special place in my imagination for Ender Wiggin, my favorite Third and boy genius.
You can find both e-reader and paper copies of Ender’s Game in the links below:
*Note that the e-book is from Kindle e-books, you do not have to own a kindle to download the book, the kindle app is free to download on any device. You can download for FREE here Amazon.com - Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices*
Paperback: Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet)