Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sci-fi November: Book Review: Ender's Game

Ender's Game is one of those books that everyone likes that I read and think, "Okay, I understand why people like this but...I have a lot of problems with it." It's not that I didn't enjoy this book, I just had a really hard time with it. So let me break this down by what I didn't like about this book and then I'll discuss the things I liked about it. 

Things I didn't like about this book:
  • I had a really hard time separating this great sci-fi story with the author's shitty behavior. It was really hard for me to not contextualize his bigoted philosophy within his novel. The book itself doesn't really show much of this, but there were a few parts that left a sour taste in my mouth. Particularly the way woman are portrayed in the novel.
  • Ender is so pretentious. I understand that he is a genius child with one of the top IQs in the world, but did you have to make him so damn pretentious? The beginning of the novel really threw me for a loop because Ender does not talk like a 6-year-old. I don't care that he's supposed to be smarter than everyone else, I just don't think Card knows how to write in a child's voice. Even if that child is a genius. 
  • I didn't really care for the ending. Not the ending where you find out what the military really has these kids do, but the ending where Ender is older and writes the book Speaker of the Dead. I think this gets explained better in the second novel, but I'm definitely not going to read anymore of this series. For me the ending just felt flat. 
Things I liked about this book:
  • The plot of this novel is what kept me going. I wanted to find out how Ender was going to get himself out of certain situations. I also knew that more action was going to come so I wanted to get to that point as soon as possible.
  • The science fiction in the novel was really impressive. Card talks about these kids playing these games on "desks", which sounds an awful lot like laptops. I had to double check that this novel was written in the mid-'80s because that was some impressive prediction. Overall the concept of the "games" they play was also really interesting.
  • Towards the end of the book Ender gets a new teacher and I was really surprised to find out who that was. You also learn the truth about what the games really are, and I did not see that coming. This might have been predictable to other readers, but I wasn't really expecting it.
So I didn't exactly hate this book, but I don't think I'm going to be reading the rest of the series. I have a friend at work that is heavily into Sci-Fi and he said the second book is really bad, but that I should read the others. I'm done with suffering through bad books, so I think I'm just going to skip it this time. Overall I think this book had some issues, but it also had some really great sci-fi elements that are still influencing the genre today. I'm giving this book a 6.5 out of 10.

What did you think of this book? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reads, Everyone!