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Ender's Game - Orson S. Card

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Author: Orson S. Card / Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

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    11 Reviews
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      13.11.2011 10:26

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      Excellent scifi for everyone

      Ender Wiggan is a third (a third child, that is). In an overpopulated world, being a third almost a crime. It wasn't his fault though, the government autherized him to be born, why was he picked on for it?

      They need him though, his brother and sister were smart, very smart, but not what earth needed. The alien "buggers" will be back, they have tried to take over the earth twice before. they almost succeeded. They had better technology and vast numbers, we've just been lucky so far. we learned from them, though, our technology is better now. when they come back we must be ready.

      That is where Ender comes in, he's our best bet as commander of the space force. He is only 6 though, and there is a lot of training needed if he's going to succeed. So they sent him to battle school in an orbiting space station, somewhere where being a third doesn't matter, all that matters is that you are smart and work hard. somewhere Ender could finally have a friend, somewhere where he could fit in. The trouble is, the commanders of battleschool don't want Ender to fit in, dont want him to have it easy. That doesn't make good commanders, and he has to be the best.

      This book is fantastic, it deals with a lot of novel ideas and morality of war but it just feels like a good read. I would recomend almost everyone read this book. weather you like scifi or not. even my GF liked it and she wont touch most scifi. Its one of the few books i will happily reread.

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      26.04.2010 15:00
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      Absolute classic must-read. Again and again.

      This came highly recommended to me, and I am grateful for that, as it is simply one of the best science fiction books I have ever read.

      The Earth is at war with a complicated alien enemy, "Ender" is a young boy selected before birth for battleschool. There he trains through computer and war games to one day play his role in defeating the threat. Battleschool is tough, but little does he realise how high the stakes are.

      What I love about the way this is written is that it focuses as much on the characters personal view as it does on the grand story and action. Card's ability to make aliens seem truly *alien* is another bonus.

      I have reccomended this to friends time and again and no-one has ever been disappointed. This is something different, thought provoking and easy to read, I couldn't put it down!

      Pick up a copy for yourself and a spare as you are sure to want to loan this one out.

      In fact, I think I shall go read it again now...

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        07.11.2009 13:42
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        A perfectly crafted novel

        I have never really called myself a fan of science fiction, and very rarely enjoy a novel in the genre. Someone recommended Ender's Game, suggesting that it would change my opinion. As an English Teacher, I have read my fair share of books, and I was particularly enthralled in this one.

        I won't regurgitate the plot, as that can easily be found on one of many websites, but the strength of the writing, and the emotional journey that the reader follows as Ender realises his fate is gripping.

        The description of Ender's interaction with other characters,and the development of his relationships allows your imagination to delve into his world. If you enjoy being transported to places worlds away this is definitely a book worth reading.

        Many websites place this book in their top-ten. I completely agree. It is an absolute pleasure to read; shocking, twisting and lurching along and carrying you with ease along the way.

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        18.07.2009 15:57
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        Superb Psychological Sci-Fi

        I was recommended the book when I was but a child myself. Although I enjoyed it immensely, I realise now that I have read it again recently that there is no way that I would have understood it's brilliance the first time I read it.

        This is a science fiction story set far in the future. After an invasion by a race of insects, the earth is looking for potential leaders for the future and instead of looking in the barrel, they go to the tree.

        Children are tested from an early age to see whether they have the potential intellectually, physically and most importantly psychologically to lead the earth in the defence of the planet for a future war against an old enemy that almost destroyed the earth once.

        They are fitted with monitors so that the military can observe their every move for years as they grow. Their every decision is analysed and compared to determine how they would react and adapt to conditions that they may face in the future.

        The successful ones are taken from their families to Battle School, a space station where children are formed into mock armies so that commanders can be forged from not just games but from the pschological situations that the best of them are exposed to every day.

        One day they will be asked to lead armies against the enemy, the unfortunately nicknamed buggers which probably doesn't mean the same to Americans as it does to us British.

        The story itself is simple but fantastic because of the depth of the central characters that the author describes. He goes to such extraordianary lengths to describe each emotion, frustration, hope and fear that you feel that you are side by side with the main character Ender Wiggin. Thus the story is a fantastic one because you are thoroughly engaged by the character from beginning to end.

        Add to this the thought that has gone into the levels of every comment and decision that the characters and sub-characters. Imagine a cross between a work of art and a chess game. Orson Scott Cards characters don't just have a surface reaction, they think ten moves ahead. Every inflection and choice of word is calculated and analysed to build more tiers and subliminal meaning.

        You are constantly kept on your toes by an exceptional author that uses his quite obvious understanding of the human psyche with all it's flaws and strengths to make you relate and fall into the mistake of thinking you have it all figured out, but then make you realise that you missed something earlier and he can then turn the story in a slightly different direction than where you thought it was going.

        If you are a fan of pschology and science-fiction or either of the two then this book is all your christmas presents come early. Even if you are not interested in either but want to be entirely consumed by a writer so accessible but utterly interesting that you cannot put the book down, this is your entry point to Orson Scott Card if you have not discovered his work before.

        When David Gemmell passed away, I didn't think that I would find another author that would be able to move me and enthrall me, but now I am steadily working my way through Mr Card's work and loving every single word of it.

        I heartly recommend Ender's Game to anyone who has not read it and remind those who did read it to read it again.

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          13.11.2005 15:52
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          A classic book that must be read!

          When i first read the blurb at the back of the book, i thought, 'oh, it's a sci-fi plot, all about boring aliens.' But when i read it after being persuaded by a friend, the first thing to strike me was that this was no average alien tale: that merely remained a base for the real story.

          The story is really about the deep psychological understanding required to manipulate and foresee the character of six year old who cannot really be termed as a child. Ender.

          O. Scott Card has so deeply and geniusely portrayed Ender's character that the reader not only sees but also understands what the authority is doing to him in order to mould him into the worlds greatest commander to save the world.

          I am not going to tell you how the world was in danger or the nature of the society: though interesting, far more interesting is the mind of Ender.

          I came to love this character who was so compassionate that he could love human beings yet so lethal that he could murder for his survival. An isolated boy who had always been bullied for his differences, in the next five years becomes a impartial leader with an intact conscience.

          He remains a tool for the survival of Humanity and is used exhaustively, but never tricked into it.

          At the school of geniuses that he is taken to we see the changes made in him and how the authority push his limit to the extreme brink of madness so that they can leech out the best of him.

          Here the emphasis is on the Game on which everything focuses and only few like Ender try to see beyond the game. But in reality, everything for Ender is about the Game- from mind games that work on his psychological behaviour, to physical competitive games that develop the leader in him.

          Ender has an adults perception of the world which can be frightening. He can be coldly calculating, yet he understands and loves those less than him and even his enemies.

          I could go on and on about O. Scott Card's brilliant characterisation. The style is hugely engrossing and does not fail to shock and sicken the reader at points. It does not fail to homour or entertain either- a well-rounded book.
          I feel this is one of those books one must read because it makes a difference to how one perceives the world.

          A thought provoking and thoroughly interesting book. Suitable for both adults and children. I highly recommend it!

          ----------------------------------------

          Amazon:

          List Price: £6.99
          Amazon Price: £5.59
          Publisher: Orbit
          Language: English
          ISBN: 185723720X

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            18.07.2002 04:30
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            This makes "star wars" look like a child's game, funnily enough that is exactly what "ender's game" is, a clever book for children and grown-ups alike which I clearly remember for its "in your face" reality and desperation. Orson Scott Card is one of the very best storytellers around and I wish him all the luck on his forthcoming (we hope) "Ender's Game" film (should be an above average sci-fi flick, Card himself is the scriptwriter but he's revised the script way too many times for my liking.) If you liked Ender's Game you HAVE TO read its sequel "A speaker for the Dead" which is much better and quite simply a marvellous book. Forget Star Wars, Ender and his contemporaries will show you the way. Non-sense ends here..

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              25.04.2002 19:07
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              If you're not into science fiction you probably won't be reading this review, which, apart from making this sentence a waste of electronic paper, is also a great shame because Ender's Game is one of those rare books that would be universally enjoyed. On the face of it Ender's Game is a story involving inter-stellar conflict between humans and aliens. Take a look beneath the covers however and the ingenuity of the author is fully revealed. Early novels by Scott Card, such as 'A Planet Called Treason', showcase an excellent writing style combined with creative ideas. Ender's Game inherits both these qualities but Scott Card combines them with a rare grasp of the reader's longings, so much so, it is impossible not to become attached to the central character Ender. Add to this a sub-current of social commentary and you can begin to appreciate just how good this novel is. I will not relate the storyline to you due to the fact that it is merely the tasty icing on a very substantial cake. What I will say is that between the covers of this relatively small volume are superbly crafted themes including: leadership, cruelty, genius, teamwork, individualism, survival, murder, innocence, guilt, heroism, peer pressure, misinformation and two faced ethics. And that these themes are handled so well by the author and at such a sub-current, that the fast paced story is enhanced rather than weakened. If you don't enjoy this book, take it back to the shop and ask the attendant to check whether they have, by accident, inserted the wrong pages between the cover. If no fault is found with the book please feel free to use any other positive reviews I write to cross books of your buying list.

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                11.03.2002 19:51
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                OK, I am going to try and do justice to this book in the following opinion. If you read the book afterwards, you will realise nothing can do this book justice. First things first, a brief overview. The story is set in the future after an alien race has attacked the Earth. Humankind was almost defeated and on the brink of defeat until one commander with exceptional tactical skills managed to single-handedly fight off the invasion. Because of the attack and the demonstration of what a good commander can achive, the Earth's military set about a program whereby all children showing above average intelligence are continously monitored through childhood and if found suitable, at around the age of 8, are sent to a space-station called Battle School to train to become the commanders of tomorrow for the Earth's proposed counter attack on the aliens. The Ender of the title is Ender Wiggin, one such boy chosen. However, he is a third. Because of the Earth's population problem, parents are only allowed 2 children. However, because both Enders older brother and sister showed brilliant intelligence, Enders parents are allowed another child. Being a third child is a terrible stigma and adds to Enders isolation, which is one of the main themes of the book. Ender goes to Battle School and excels in everything, despite being younger than most others. This leads to resentment amongst the other children. I won't say any more about the story. If you read this book you will find out why and thank me! I honestly cannot praise this book enough. I have read it 3 times and each time finished it in a day. It is so engrossing you just cannot stop reading. The style of writing is brilliant to read and you can read the entire book without seeing a single word. You begin reading and the story plays out in your head. The story itself is brilliant. All you Sci-Fi phobes are sat there thinking "yeah, aliens and spaceships - h
                ow boring and sci-fi", but all this is just an environment to put the story into. The central themes of isolation, hopelessness, destiny and childhood are masterfully interwoven into a story that no-one can fail to be awestruck by. The story ends with a absolutley remarkable plot twist that will have you reading it all over again but from an entirely different point of view. Please read this book. I guarantee you will not regret it. Enders Game is followed by 3 more books, Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. These are written differently to Enders Game and are not quite so easy to read. However, they are well worth reading as they complete the entire story. Enders Shadow is a book set at the same time as Enders Game and follows another Battle School pupil. Again, this is a good book, but not as good as Enders Game. Overall, I cannot stress how much I want other people to read this book. You may be thinking I have shares in the publishing house or something the way I am carrying on. But I just want people to be touched the way I was went I first read this book. You will never, ever forget it.

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                  19.10.2001 19:19
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                  For those who have not read any of Orson Scott Cards works I would recommend this as the starting point and after this enders shadow, as although written some time appart these companion novels are definatly some of his best work. From start to finish I was unable to put these books down (my boss was not happy when I was late for work due to being so immersed in the book). Ender is the youngest of three incredibly intelligent children and also the brightest. He is chosen by milatary intellagence as having that something special needed to be sent to a specialist tactical space school where mankind is training children to defend the planet against a percieved threat. However, don't expect the plot to be so simple! Without spoiling the book for you I will say that it has a few unexpected twists and relavations which keep the reader gripped and in my case I will admit this book made me cry(not something common!). The companion novel, enders shadow, complements this one as although you have already heard the story this retells it from the point of veiw of another child at the tactical school named Bean and through his insights you learn much that was kept from the origional character Ender, giving the world created by the author more depth and realism. Overall all i can really say is I would thoroughly recommend this book, and its companion novel, to any sci-fi or fantasy reader as it is in my opinion an excellent read

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                    30.08.2001 16:58
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                    Ender's Game is an extraordinary book, and already a sci-fi classic, and one of only a handful of books that I have read in one sitting, not being able to tear myself away from it. Andrew (Ender) Wiggin is a Third, an additional child that the government of this future Earth has allowed his parents to bear because his two sibling precursors have shown genius of their own. As the government hoped, Ender is more brilliant than Peter or Valentine, and so they recruit him to Battle School. The children in Battle School, a space station, are being trained to be the future commanders of Earth's interplanetary military forces, and Ender is being groomed to be the saviour of mankind in the war against the Buggers, a hive civilisation that has attacked Earth and is now a continual threat against which an extraordinary defense must be mounted for humanity to survive. In this novel, Orson Scott Card explores the major theme of his work: the family. Ender must play many games, and all of them set him apart from any family he ws born into or makes for himself. He is the icon of the isolated genius, and as such, is the perfect protagonist for a story set in Card's universe, where all things lead back to family, and all characters swirl inexorably into family groups. The brilliance of this novel is its melding of excitement, compassion and artfulness. Readers seeking a fun space opera will love it, and readers seeking the best sci-fi can offer, its reaching towards literature, will be invigorated.

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                      05.02.2001 02:33
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                      This book is an enthralling read, charting the progress of a young boy, Ender, with an innate genius for tactical violence, who enters a harsh military academy (set in the future) where he participates in a gruelling selection process which whittles him down to take control of the remaining of Earth's space forces in a last ditch attempt to defeat an alien race that is threatening Earth's existence. The characters are realistically set, evoking sympathy and empathy from the reader and the plot enables you to completely emerse yourself in Card's future world. The technology is believeable and the twist at the end is well worth the read.

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                    • Product Details

                      With humanity under threat from an alien race, six-year-old Ender Wiggin leaves his family on Earth to journey to the Belt. There he enters Battle School and is strictly disciplined in mind games and mock battles. In instinct, compassion and genius he is unequalled, for his is a unique destiny.