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Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 2013
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A Reading Guide for Ender's Game.
THE ENDER UNIVERSE
Ender's Series: Ender Wiggin: The finest general the world could hope to find or breed.
Ender's Shadow Series: Parallel storylines to Ender’s Game from Bean: Ender’s right hand, his strategist, and his friend.
The First Formic War Series: One hundred years before Ender's Game, the aliens arrived on Earth with fire and death. These are the stories of the First Formic War.
The Authorized Ender Companion: A complete and in-depth encyclopedia of all the persons, places, things, and events in Orson Scott Card’s Ender Universe.
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. Back on Earth, Peter and Valentine forge an intellectual alliance and attempt to change the course of history.
This futuristic tale involves aliens, political discourse on the Internet, sophisticated computer games, and an orbiting battle station. Yet the reason it rings true for so many is that it is first and foremost a tale of humanity; a tale of a boy struggling to grow up into someone he can respect while living in an environment stripped of choices. Ender's Game is a must-read book for science fiction lovers, and a key conversion read for their friends who "don't read science fiction."
Ender's Game won both the Hugo and the Nebula the year it came out. Writer Orson Scott Card followed up this honor with the first-time feat of winning both awards again the next year for the sequel, Speaker for the Dead. --Bonnie Bouman --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
As for the book, I freakin' loved it! I didn't go into it thinking I'd like it so much. It's was just fascinating! I'm not very familiar with Card's work, despite knowing very well who he is (we share a religion) but I can say now with absolute confidence that Orson Scott Card is a genius.
Ender is the youngest of three children. But he lives in a society that limits most families to two children in order to control the population. His parents had to get special permission to have him. He thinks they only did it to put him into school. Card does a good job of showing that, even though Ender thinks his parents never truly wanted him, the opposite was most likely true. Ender just can't see it. When he is asked to join battle school, he feels obligated to do so, so that as a "Third" he will not be an embarrassment to his parents.
There's a lot of sadness in this book from the get-go. Ender's older brother, Peter, is mean and violent, showing serial killer tendencies such as killing small animals. Between him, and other bullies at school, Ender gets beat up a lot. He's small, but smarter than most, which is why he makes it to battle school and why he's often the object of bullying. There were parts that brought me to tears. (I'm looking at you, scene-with-Valentine-on-the-lake).
This may sound like a typical anti-bullying middle grade read, but it's not. Not at all. The science is interesting, but it's really being inside Ender's head and seeing him run through all his strategy that makes the book truly addictive. The characters are young children (Ender is six as the book begins) but they are so intelligent, that they think like adults. So they have more book smarts than most normal adults will attain in their lifetimes, but they still have the emotional vulnerability of children. Sorry to keep quoting Mr. Spock, but simply fascinating. I really couldn't put this book down. I totally loved it and would recommend it to absolutely anyone. Totally gonna go shove it down my younger brothers' throats and tell them to read it or no Thanksgiving pie for them! Okay, I really won't. I'm not that mean. But I am going to tell them to read it. Because everyone should read this book once. Especially young boys.
That, and I need someone to geek out about it with. :D So yeah, go read this one. And then you can see the film. :D Come back tomorrow for my review of that story medium for this book. :D
The story is almost an unthinkable sequence of events: Earth has been attacked by "buggers". Why? Because they do not believe humanity is a cognitive species. "Buggers" are use to collective thinking, where everyone knows all that is known by every one else. If you are a Trekker, then this would mimic the Borg, who had a rather similar opinion of humanity. In any case, the "buggers" attack unprovoked, and while humanity loses round 1, they able to win round 2. Leaders know that it is only a matter of time before round 3 comes. When it comes, it is not losing that concerns humanity, but complete annihilation. Under those conditions, the smartest of the smartest children are culled into groups that play war games, constantly, over and over. Imagine 6 and 7 years old in that predicament. Ender passes all the trials and tribulations, going through familiar childhood experiences. What set's Ender apart from the other children is his ability to think in an adult manner, to look for weaknesses, and exploit opportunities to succeed.
The last 20-30 pages of the book presents an almost unbelievable set of circumstances. Ender's ability to focus, to succeed, and then to understand, the ramifications of war, of human relationships, and the need for remembrance, even of the "buggers".
I have not yet started Keeper for the Dead, nor have I seen the recent movie of "Ender's Game". All in all, this has been one of the most interesting books I have picked up in a very long time.
All that being said, it is the story of the indomitable human spirit embodied in one little boy named Ender Wiggin and truly the weight of the world rides on his shoulders. We've all felt like that...as though the weight of our own world rides solely on our own shoulders and we've felt the things this young boy feels - and it's how we dealt with it and how Ender deals with what is handed, thrown at and forced to that makes this tale magnificent. It's one of those books that is a keeper for the library and a book you'll want to read again...I sure know I do.
Happily in this multiple story book - there's plenty more to read! From a monetary standpoint, this is an excellent value - from the standpoint of an excellent set of reads...it's like winning a lottery.
Orson Scott Card is excellence personified. His books are diverse. I discovered him when I read his book Magic Street - an outstanding book. This is excellent. He gets into a kid's mind and stays there and grows up with him in outer space.
Most recent customer reviews
I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Scholar, military, or any political persuasion.