Ender’s Game is not a book my mother would like. I took her to see Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events once, which ended with her leaving the theater mad that I “subjected” her to kids who were in a helpless situation. We didn’t even get to finish the movie, and I was so confused at her reaction. I totally thought of that moment when I read this book, because…well the Bauedelaire children had it easy compared to Ender Wiggin. And to think I almost read this book to my mother. Ha!
I’ve seen this book referred to as a “military-academy Harry Potter,” but I don’t really see the comparison. Ender gets accepted to Battle School and it’s no Hogwarts with magic, butterbeer and quidditch. Its military boot camp in space with grueling hours, exhaustive exercising, and constant wargaming where the future of the human race depends on how well you play. Almost every situation in Ender’s life is deliberately made worse so that he can learn to think and fend for himself.
Not to mention Ender is always picked on for being a “Third”….a third child is extremely rare in this future setting,but Ender’s birth was authorized by the government. He seems to be Earths only hope against an alien race. Did I mention this kid is only six, and by the end of the book he’s only twelve?
“How do I love thee (Ender)? Let me count the ways…”
I love that Ender is a peaceful character forced to make difficult decisions and yet he still maintains his humanity. I love that Ender doesn’t even seem like a child, yet we are constantly reminded of his frailty. I love how he is constantly worried he is turning into his brother Peter (who is a freakin’ psychopath) and he totally isn’t. I love his sweet relationship with his sister, and his immense compassion and empathy. Even when the odds are stacked against him he manages to shine. I love, I love, I love…
Despite the immense pressure all the children were put through and some of the violence Ender had to deal with, I liked the story. It’s obvious that Mr.Card has an interest in military science. I found myself interested in the battle-simulations and strategy Ender used. I always wondered why Ender’s Game has such a huge following within the military. Now I know it’s supposed to teach critical thinking. So if you like the idea of reading cool battle strategies and don’t want to read Bruce Catton’s three-volume Army of the Potomac then by all means read this. If you get queasy, throw a tantrum and cry at the thought of watching Lemony Snicket’s then you should probably pass.