In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Ender's Game is the winner of the 1985 Nebula Award for Best Novel and the 1986 Hugo Award for Best Novel. (summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
Ender’s game is written from the perspective of a young boy, but the book is certainly not just for kids. Particularly if taken within the context of the full series, Ender’s Game questions many human nature and societal rules in war. Don't let this keep you from sharing with young adults though; despite heavy topics when I read the book at 12 I still loved it!
Ender is just a kid who wants to be average and have normal relationships. Unfortunately for him, he an is one of the best candidates Earth has in a war with the Buggers. He is extremely smart and easy to empathize with. As the reader journeys with Ender, they are forced to question what their own choices would be in the war.
Rating: 4 stars!
Who Should Read It? If you enjoy science fiction, you should have already read this book. If you haven’t generally read science fiction I would still recommend giving it a try; this may be the book that wins you over.
Want to read the whole series? See my reviews of other books in the series by following the links below: