Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

October 23, 2007
By Gena LeBlanc, Purcellville, VA

I’m the sort of person who simply needs a cozy chair, a good book, and a free afternoon to satisfy me. Out of the many books that I have read over the years though, one that immediately comes to mind when asked my favorite, is the novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. It takes the reader from the safe confines of their home, or school, and whisks them off to a very different, and dangerous planet Earth. There are infinite reasons why this book tops my favorites list.

When one first opens Ender’s Game they are met with unexpected twists and turns, all in the first chapter. It is a rare type of book that is difficult to put down even when one knows they should be doing their homework or chores. A child prodigy, Ender Wiggin, is recruited to help save the Earth from an alien species called the Buggers and is sent to Battle School along with other children. At Battle School though, Ender receives more than he bargained for and realizes that dealing with the other children might be more treacherous than the Buggers. He is constantly harassed and threatened by the other kids there, because they know what a genius he is and feel that his small size means he’s easy picking. But throughout the story he works his way up in the ranks of Battle School and eventually gains the respect of countless there.

One author (Stephenie Meyer) spoke of the Ender Quartet stating, “Shakespeare could make human reactions to impossibilities like fairy love dust and ghostly kings seem utterly realistic. Orson Scott Card does the same thing with space ships and invading aliens, ” and that couldn’t depict the book any better. Orson Scott Card’s use of words and language is very direct, yet it flows as well as authors such as Jane Austen or Shakespeare. Another intriguing detail about the novel as well though, is that throughout the story, the author never completely explains the futuristic devices or the state of the economy at that time; much like the author Ray Bradbury does with Fahrenheit 451. Card’s intricate play on human emotions is accurate down to the last grin or giggle. He allows the reader inside the head of the characters and their every thought is laid before them.

Bestsellers through the course of history more often than not have a moral or deeper meaning of some sort; the same can be said for Ender’s Game. Ender begins the novel by setting out on what could be called a “quest” to save the Earth. Along the way he encounters multiple hardships that strive to break him both physically and emotionally, but he continues to stay determined and unwavering in his path. With his world on his shoulders, Ender must fight even though he is basically being used as a pawn by a government that isn’t concerned with whether he lives or dies. Not only does he manage all this, but Ender also is able to stay true to the few friends he makes at battle school even when the entire student body is against them.

Ender’s Game is a book that I can read an infinite amount of times. Whenever I read it once more, I can distinguish new details and clues that I had not noticed before. I will be eternally grateful to my friend that introduced me to the novel. No matter what anyone says or thinks, Ender’s Game will forever be a classic to me.

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