Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game
I picked up Ender’s Game from the library a couple of days ago. I started reading it around 4 pm. I finished it the following day at 10 am. And I got a full eight hours of sleep. Magic, you ask? Well, I thought I was a long way removed from my pre-adolescent days of crashing on my bed with a sci-fi novel and a bag of Cooler Ranch Doritos, but Ender’s Game really hooked me, and I just couldn’t put it down. It’s a fast-paced novel about kids — and one kid in particular, named Ender — who are trained to fight as warriors against some intergalactic threat (the video game Halo meets ancient Spartan agoge). The battle sequences read like you’re watching a video game, but the book is more than just fun and games — it also raises issues of ethics and wartime morality, among other themes (in fact, it’s apparently recommended on The US Marine Corps Professional Reading List).
As a genius kid, the mantle of responsibility lays too heavy on Ender’s nine-year-old shoulders, and he turns whiny and pathetic. It’s annoying, but it’s probably the way most of us would respond in a similar situation. Rand al’Thor does the same in the Wheel of Time series. The only thing that matters is if our hero can rise to meet the ultimate challenge in the end.
Anyway, this book had been recommended to me for a while, and I read the synopsis and didn’t think it sounded particularly interesting, but I’m glad I came around. It certainly didn’t change my life, but I liked it, and now I’ve got C. reading it — if it makes him read, then I consider it a smashing success.