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Ender's Game (The Ender Quintet) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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 an alternate Audio CD edition.
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This book perfectly tells the tale of Ender Wiggin, a young child, at the start of the story, who has been bred to be, and is, "humanity's last hope". Despite this, however, the book does not dwell on the impending peril, but instead focuses on Ender's experiences and growth as a person. Personally, I found/find it impossible not to love the kid, and to both relate to and respect him. I found all of the characters believable and sympathetic.
The introductions to each chapter are an excellent literary tool, and work perfectly in this book. Additionally, the further characterization of Peter and Valentine (Ender's siblings) adds so much to the book and the world Card creates. Every time I read this book, I have a different favorite part and a different favorite character. Depending on my mood, there is always someone for me to relate to and empathize with.
In later years, I have learned more about he author (which, in this case, is not a good thing), but it is really a testament to how amazing this book is and how successfully he wrote these characters that Card's own actions and reputation have not marred this book for me. Whatever I think of his personal beliefs and politics, he wrote an amazing book, and one that I think everyone should read (probably best around ages 9 - 14 for the first reading, I have been told that it is not *as* good/life-changing if you read it as an adult).
In the future, Earth has endured two invasions of the Buggers, an insect-like species that is trying to colonize our planet. Expecting another invasion, the military has resorted to finding genius-level children to train into the ultimate force, with one special child as the Fleet commander. It was inevitable that the "big plot twist" would have been spoiled for me with the book out for nearly 30 years. Never-the-less, the story and protagonist sucked me in immediately and the ending still managed to hold some surprises. Card weaves his "technobabble" seamlessly into the plot so readers can picture this world without feeling lost, and though supporting characters don't get enough development, Ender is never less than real. I think everyone has felt like an outcast at one time or another, and struggled with who they want to be rather than who others want them to be. This makes Ender instantly relatable, which is critical since the book is told almost exclusively from his POV.
Where I think the book falls down a bit is the ending after the big reveal. This book is very short, and the conclusion makes that glaringly obvious. It was rushed, and Card added more than one "epilogue" to the tale that felt tacked on. It was almost as if he was sure the book would be a failure and he wanted readers to know where the world would end up. I wish he/his editors had fleshed out the conclusion to give it the weight and substance it deserved.
Overall: Ender's Game, though flawed, is still a brilliant work of SciFi that deserves the awards and praise heaped upon it. I enjoyed it immensely and will definitely read some more of the series. It's been said, but bears repeating: if you love Science Fiction, you owe it to yourself to read this classic of the genre.
Now, the write of the series has since said a lot of things that I very much dissagree with and I'm not sure if I would have bought this book had I known his point of view earlier. However I did love the book so I'm happy to at least have had the opportunity to read this either way. Whether or not I agree with Mr. Card personally does not mean he's not a good writer.