Monday, 12 August 2013

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card

Hello, people of Earh.

So I read 'Ender's Game' recently because of all the hype it's been getting, with the movie coming out and all. See, I like to read the book before I see it's cinematic adaptation, because I watched the movie before reading the book once before and was severely disappointed, not knowing that the book was actually epic (it's Percy Jackson, by the way. I'm looking at YOU, Chris Columbus). I watched that like a year ago, and I'm still pissed off about it.

So, yeah. I read Ender's game. Great read. Seriously good: great storyline, badass characters and fast, action-packed pace. I'm a fan, and I can't wait for the movie to come out (oh, and Harrison Ford is going to be in it, making it even more awesome). So, before I ramble on about the book, I'll let you who haven't read it get an idea about what it's about. Ready? Set? Boom, here goes the synopsis:

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.

I was pretty hesitant about reading this book for two reasons: first, because it's 25 years old and second, because I'm not that keen on science-fiction. This book may have changed my opinion on the latter, though. Despite being a book about children playing battle up in space, this book has quickly become one of my personal favorites.

Some people are put off because of the age of the characters, but that's irrelevant to the storyline, all that matters is the theme they're being used to convey: what are human beings capable of doing for the "greater good"? The whole story revolves around this theme, with the main character, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin being highly conflicted and constantly waging psychological battles with himself.

The idea was brilliant, I loved it. The whole battle-room atmosphere and the competition between the kids at Battle School is a greatly refreshing idea, making it an exceptional read. I know that there are loads of YA novels set in schools (Variant, Harry Potter, Hex Hall...), but the concept was original enough to make it seem like a completely different way of going about YA fiction. No sappy love story, no paranormal romance, nothing to detract from the action and the break-neck pace of the story. Beautiful.

We find some wonderfully complex characters in the novel, my personal favorite being Peter Wiggin, Ender's slightly sociopathic brother who shows the most character development in the book. I love how he goes from being a power-crazed moron to becoming a halfway decent guy. Well played, Orson Scott Card. Well played.

The only problem I had with this book was the fact that the author is a complete and utter dick. I love his books, and I think he's an amazing author, but his obnoxious rants against homosexuality really put me off him as a person. I know a lot of people boycott his books because of that, but I can't bring myself to, because I just enjoy his books too much. I respect the fact that people do that, but I enjoy his books too much to deprive myself.

 I'll be watching the movie when it comes out, and I think you guys should too (after reading the book, OF COURSE), because I don't think you should miss out on something possibly amazing. Anyway, my recommendation to you guys is to stop what you're doing right now, go and buy the book and read it as quick as you can. Seriously. Do it. Now. I'm watching.

Keep reading, 



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