I think I first read Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card when I was in year 9 or 10 at school. I remember that when I read all the way back then, that I was completely blown away. Twelve years later, my feelings towards this book have definitely not changed – I was completely enthralled and mesmerised by this book, just as much as the first time I read it and I now have a greater appreciation for it.
Ender Wiggin is a “Third”. Literally, the third child born in his family, in a time on Earth when families are limited to no more than two children, unless they are given special permission from the government. But six year old Ender is no ordinary child. He has been created to be the perfect soldier and one day the perfect leader, for the entire human race is gripped with fear that an alien army, already twice repelled from Earth, will return to finish the job they started. Ender is sent to battle school and he soon learns that the fate of the world as he knows it, does indeed rest on his shoulders.
When you read this book, you forget that Ender is only six when you first meet him. As the story goes on and he gets older, you forget that the majority of the other people around him are all no older than twelve years of age. The maturity and at times violence of these characters, makes you think you are reading about people in their twenties. Not children, some of whom are young enough to still be learning to read and write. But this is the world of Ender and these children are geniuses, made for the sole purpose of the defense of the human race. I think this particular aspect (children acting older than they are) of the book is particularly relevant now, rather than the many years ago that I originally read it. It’s not often these days that you see a six year old, acting as you did when you yourself were six – these days they have portable gaming devices, iPods (what the hell kind of music do they listen to anyway?) and in extreme cases, mobile phones. It almost seems as though the days of Barbie dolls and toy cars are all but gone. Probably not the message that the author was trying to convey, but the meaning which can be taken out of a good book will change every decade with the times. In another ten years I’ll probably be saying that the book was a great example of the effect that a good preemptive strike would have had in whatever alien war we are involved in. Anyway, I won’t say anymore otherwise I will certainly spoil the book for you.
Is Ender the saviour that everyone is looking for? You’ll have to read the book to find out, but it will certainly be worth it and I can guarantee that it won’t take you long to read, as you will not be able to put this book down once you start – and look out for the twist at the end people!
RATING – 10 out of 10. The only word to describe it is amazing. If I was able to narrow all my favourite books down to a list of five, this would certainly make that list.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – Everyone, including you.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE – It’s difficult to not feel any affection for Ender – you’d be inhuman if that was the case. But another favourite of mine who has always stuck with me, is Bean.