"Any decent person who knows what warfare is can never go into battle with a whole heart. But you didn't know. We made sure you didn't know. You were reckless and brilliant and young. It's what you were born for."
I read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card for the Science Fiction Experience. I wanted to get in some of those “standard” sci-fi reads and I had heard many good things about this book. And the book deserved them.
In Ender’s Game, Earth has already experienced two invasions by an alien race they call buggers. The military is anticipating another attack. Child geniuses have literally been bred so they can be trained as military commanders for this third attack. Six year old, Andrew “Ender” Wiggins, has been selected to attend the Battle School. He’s exceptional and he quickly proves himself to be a tactical genius so that he is then rushed through his training with impossible situations thrust upon him. He’s being groomed as the savior and because of that his training is grueling and cruel.
It’s scary thinking about these children doing nothing but learn battle tactics. Ender is six when he’s chosen for the Battle School and it’s so horrible the way he’s manipulated in this book, even by his own brother and sister - child geniuses like Ender - near the end, who had taken up false identities to spread their political ideas. But you keep reading because you want to find out how Ender overcomes his struggles and this book is well written. There are parts that left a lump in my throat, you can feel his loneliness. All Ender wants is to make friends. But each time he does they are then taken away from him. It was so hard to read it and not want to cry for him.
And then I get to the end. The last page and a half, actually, and it just really disappointed me. Throughout this whole book I’m cheering Ender on, hoping he gets through his trials. I don’t want to give it away but when I read that a book was written, explaining the buggers and their motives, I was excited. Until I found out how the book was received and it turned into some sacred religious text. That was the last thing I expected to come out of this story. We already had Ender, this boy built up as the last hope for mankind, then throw in the "good book" to wrap up the religious undertones in this book in a nice package. I think I've stated on this blog I'm just over religion and I don't want to get into it any further so I'll just stop.
Overall I did enjoy this book. It started out a bit slow but from Chapter Three on it’s a page turner and I’m really looking forward to see what the movie will be like. I’m actually looking forward to this one rather than The Hunger Games movie because that book has nothing on dystopian fiction when compared to Ender’s Game in my opinion. That is if you want to see children pitted against each other in battle situations done right and a future that seems more realistic!