Book Review: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
So this week I finished reading Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. This was my second time through the book and I have to say it is worth it. For those who aren’t in the know, Ender’s Game is set in the far future when mankind has already been through two space wars with an alien species known as the Buggers. It is worried that the Buggers will make a third invasion soon, so possible future commanders are being trained and prepared as early as 6 years old. This book follows the story of one particular future genius, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. The book follows his training through what is called “Battle School.” The school is a training ground to get children into the mindset of war. Ender has many troubles through Battle School, but ultimately proves the genius he is and gets the respect he deserves, despite his age.
The one thing about Ender’s Game that I love is how these “children” act. They aren’t children. They never have been. They’ve been born and bred to become killing machines. They don’t know what its like to go outside and play. They only know how to fight wars and win. This image of a humanity that is so desperate to survive a future alien invasion that it will sacrifice the minds and innocence of children is haunting.
One of my favorite parts of the book is the sub-plot involving Ender’s older siblings, Valentine and Peter. Both of these siblings are just as smart as Ender, yet they were not chosen for Battle School. But while Ender is training to become a commander of a star-fleet, Valentine and Peter decide to change the course of world politics. They do so by becoming two political writers known as Demosthenes (Valentine) and Locke (Peter). Through their writings, published anonymously on the Internet, they slowly change the course of politics on Earth. This portion of the book sent chills down my spine since this book was written in the 1980s, before the Internet and blogging were prevalent. I think Orson Scott Card has a good eye for what can happen in the future, lets just hope that it isn’t all true.