Ender’s Game = 81 down, 19 to go

22 Aug

Science fiction
Ender’s Game
Orson Scott Card
384 pages

After being attacked by an alien race, humanity begins breeding soldiers who are removed from their families as young children and sent to Battle School for extreme training. Ender is identified by the government as the commander of the army that will be sent to destroy the alien race once and for all.

He is removed from his parents home and parted from the violent brother who has tormented him and the sympathetic sister who loves him more than anyone. Not aware of his decided fate, he faces deliberate isolation and extreme training at Battle School. He quickly advances through the ranks and excels at the games the school uses to teach the necessary skills and leadership. And before he’s old enough to officially be a teenager, he’s given “command” of an army during what he thinks is his final and ultimate examination. Ender has no way of knowing whether the exam is a game or a fight for the survival of the human race.

Ender’s character is shown as a sympathetic one, one torn from his family at a young age and told he won’t see them again he is old enough to legally make his own decisions. He is deliberately isolated so that he will turn into the leader the world needs to survive. Twice after he leaves his home, he is attacked, and twice he is forced to defend himself against perpetrators that he mortally wounds. This book is an interesting exercise to see the seeming justification of violent actions because of how the character is portrayed – in a way that results in the reader, at least this reader, even agreeing with Ender’s actions.

While science fiction is not my first choice for genres, this is the first book in a series that grew out of a short story – a series I may be more likely now to pick up at a later time. I guess this is a good example of how this book challenge has allowed me to move outside my reading comfort zone.

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