Science Fiction Classic “Ender’s Game” – The Horror of War

Book Review : Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Spoiler Alert!

Earth has been attacked twice by aliens, the “Buggers”, and they are coming for a third strike.  To thwart annihilation by the aliens the military has a new training program. Children begin their training program in “Battle School” at six years old. Military training is accomplished through the use of games.

Ender Wiggins is in a class by himself, a genius of strategy. He out plays every game and everyone, he knows he must win if he is to survive. He is the most potent weapon the military has ever created. The military is out to save the world and they will not allow anyone to stop them even if it means destroying the very weapons they have created.

Adult Point of View

Ender’s Game is brilliant. It is also brutal and disconcerting. Classic science fiction is used as the vehicle to explore social issues, moral dilemnas and delves into our motivations behind human behavior. Ender’s Game is a classic because it creates a new universe that redefines our thinking about the society we live in and choose to create.  Originally Ender’s Game was not intended to be for middle and high school age children and some will believe it is better for adults to read because of the subtle shifts of thought and symbolism. For some children it is a wonderful book to read because of the intensity and the development of thought to analyse situational ethics, also some children are disillusioned about their world and are ready to explore this theme as they reach their own adulthood.

The world in Ender’s Game is very harsh. The characters seem to be on edge all of the time making it feel realistic that they are under the shadow of war. I enjoy the intelligence of Ender and his creative thinking. Ender is also one of the most lovable characters because of his internal moral compass which is at war with what he must do for survival. It is appalling how the government has manipulated Ender into being coming a lethal, killing machine. Some of the violence is perpetuated by children on children, and and other acts of violence are cerebral perpetuated by the adults. Peter and Valentine are more one dimensional as characters because they are pieces of Ender’s personality. The only character that we fully know is Ender, which isolates the reader as Ender was isolated, to feel greater empathy for the protagonist. Of course, the point that Card wants to make is that violence is sickening. It is a very thought provoking novel, one that I can only read occasionally because of the violence and intensity. I vividly remember pieces of this novel  even when it has been years since I last read it.

I hesitantly allowed my 13 year old to read it because of the overt violence and the role of adults manipulating children to commit a genocide disguised in games. This is NOT a novel that is appropriate for every child because of the extreme violence. I would hope that parents would review it for themselves. I am listing is as 4.5 stars because of the extreme violence and crude language.

4.5 out of 5 stars

– the Mother

Teen Point of View

I thought Ender’s Game  was an amazing book. Ender is so smart, and the ending has a huge twist that I didn’t suspect at all. I was totally amazed. The whole book is raw, which I enjoyed. It made the story more exciting. While reading this book, I couldn’t put in down. I think that every young person and older people should read this book. It is good for all ages. I rate it 6 stars out of 5.

– the Daughter

About Tales Untangled

I am a mother of four children and have a passion for reading. I love sharing my treasury of books with my kids. I also do experiments in cooking which includes such things as Indian Tandoori Chicken slow-cooked in a tagine. I write stories and illustrate in ink.
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