Book Review: ENDER’S GAME, Orson Scott Card, 324pages, $6.99
Some time in the future, children as young as three years old have a monitor inserted in the back of their necks. This so it may be determined if they have the right stuff to be sent away to IF Training School. Everything about them is watched by a monitoring team, how they think, speak and resolve problems. Ender’s cruel older brother has been rejected for being off balance, and his slightly older sister has been rejected for being to empathetic. But all three children are recoginized as geniuses. When Ender has his monitor removed, it’s assumed he’s fallen short of the monitors’ criteria for soldiering material. Until family breakfast is interupted by the door bell.
One teacher in particular believes from the beginning that Ender is the one who can eventually take command of the forces and defeat the enemy. But in order to make a leader of him he is isolated and pitted against the other students and never allowed to make friends. He’s been chosen for his compassionate nature, but also because the monitors know that deep down, Ender has the nature of a true killer. But more importantly he has the makings of a true leader.
This story follows Ender from a fearful boy in his early days at the I.F. Training school as he neutralizes the powers of the school bullies, forges allegiances, and gains the respect of his schoolmates and instructors as a first class military strategist.
Written in 1977, this book seems to have predicted the Ipad, voice recognition software and indeed, software itself, in a time when one computer could still fill an entire room and the individual computer was still the stuff of Science Fiction.
In clean nearly adjective free prose, Orson Scott Card has written a fast moving and addicting read writing insightfully about the emotions of a young soldier whose childhood has been taken away from him for the good of humankind. Can a 10 year old take command of a fleat of Starships and save earth from an enemy that will stop at nothing to eliminate its inhabitants?
This is a good clean easy read, full of action and hard won friendships, conflicted emotions and winning against nearly impossible odds. Perfect for boys from twelve years and up to middle age who like good science fiction with a lot of action.