Ender’s Game – A book review

Reading Ender’s Game a second time through in anticipation of the upcoming movie was a similar experience to watching The Sixth Sense after seeing it the first time. You know what’s coming and because of that, you tend to pay attention to more of the subtle dialogue and interaction of each character to see if it points to the overall payoff.

In some ways, this made the book a better read. For the purposes of review and because of my previous reading experience, I tried to pay more attention to some of the details I would normally gloss over for the sake of getting to the end (the compulsive need to finish a book wanes heavily with this guy). I digested the conversations between Valentine/Peter, Ender/Bean, and Graff/Anderson a lot more slowly than I did the first time around. This gave the book a lot more weight and meaning for me as a reader.

Though I struggled with the whole premise that kids had the ability to influence adults in incredible ways (aka Peter and Valentine taking on the roles of Locke and Demosthenes), that whole idea worked and paid itself off in the form of a beautifully written conversation between Valentine and Ender. In it she says “While you’re governing the colony and I’m writing political philosophy, They’ll never guess that in the darkness of night we sneak into each other’s room and play checkers and have pillow fights.” Card is able to encapsulate the idea that, yes, kids are being asked to do insane things, and in fact they are doing them successfully (with sacrifice of course), but he uses Valentine as a way to say “but we are still kids, and we can still hold on to that as long as we are kids.” In some ways, I think Valentine is the strongest of the three Wiggin children.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Card’s debut novel into this “enderverse” as I’ve heard it called. While the book didn’t leave itself to motivate me to read any future stories (which are vast according to Wikipedia), it is one that I would recommend happily to anyone who loves a good character exploration wrapped in good fun dystopian sci fi.

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