Oldie but Goodie: Ender’s Game

Oldie but Goodie
Oldie but Goodie will be about books that came out over 10 years ago, but are still great reads. I wanted a way to highlight books that aren’t new releases or some of the books that I read before I began blogging (but still love).

This week’s Oldie but Goodie:
Ender’s Game
by Orson Scott Card
Published in 1985

Who might like it:
I chose this book for this week’s Oldie but Goodie for fans of Veronica Roth’s Divergent.  First off, Veronica has it listed as one of her fav books, and while I was reading Divergent, I noticed lots of parallel themes and ideas that probably subconsciously came from her love of Ender’s Game.

Here’s a few similarities between Ender’s Game and Divergent:

  • Training via competition and ranking
  • Physically small protagonist who compensates for size with strength of mind
  • An evil character named Peter who torments and bullies the protagonist
  • A protagonist who feels like they have to hide their strengths to keep friends
  • Corrupt and manipulative authority figures
  • Society structure that encourages violence as strength and character building
A lot of similarities, right?

Summary:
Ender is identified as a child prodigy and genius, and taken by the government to a Training/Battle School in space for future military leaders.  At school, Ender is isolated by his young age, genius, and success.  He struggles to find his place as a friend, student, and eventually leader whilst being attacked by other students at the Training/Battle School.

What I Love:
Ender is one of my favorite characters of all time.  The way his brain works is fascinating.  The struggles he faces make you want to wrap him in your arms and give him a hug.  And ultimately, he is one of the most admirable characters I’ve ever encountered for his strength, integrity, and sympathy for others.

The setting of a Training/Battle School in space is one of the coolest settings ever, perhaps only rivaled by Hogwarts.  Despite the violence at the school, I wanted to go away to Battle School so I could play their intense game (a form of zero gravity laser tag) and earn my ranking in the mess hall.

Age Appropriateness:
There is some cursing as well as intense violence.  Though the violence is no worse than Hunger Games in my opinion.  I’ve had middle school boys read this book, with a warning ahead of time.

BONUS
After over 25 years, they are finally making Ender’s Game into a movie!!!  I’m so excited!
Here’s a link to the cast list:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1731141/

Some highlights of the cast:

  • Boy from Hugo = Ender
  • Harrison Ford = Colonel Graff
  • Abigail Breslin = Valentine
  • Ben Kingsley = Mazer Rackham
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10 comments on “Oldie but Goodie: Ender’s Game

  1. Aylee says:

    I've been putting off reading this for so long because I'm unsure I can get past my bias due to the fact that the author is such a horrible person. But ultimately, I know I will get around to it sometime because I really do hear nothing but great things – just have to keep my personal feelings out of it.Heh, a love that all you put for Ender is "Boy from Hugo".

  2. LHughes says:

    Whenever I'm not a fan of the author, but want to read a book… I get the book from the library so that at least I'm not giving that person my $$$. There are a couple authors that I feel that way about…

  3. Oh my goodness they're making a movie!! I adore this book. I, like Aylee, have heard some pretty awful things about the authors, so I'd never buy his books, but I think it's fine to read Ender and enjoy it for what it is.

  4. LHughes says:

    I haven't read anything else by Orson Scott Card. Just Ender's Game, for my 9th grade summer reading back in the day. But Ender's Game is in my top five fav books of all time.I'm really curious how he's gotten such a bad rep. Google time!

  5. Okay, you've convinced me! I've wanted to read it for years, but I was put off by the controversy surrounding OSC's homophobic remarks. Still, EG sounds like a must-read, and that movie cast is inspired! Thanks for posting the review.

  6. LHughes says:

    I definitely recommend reading it before the movie comes out. A lot of fans of the book are worried that the true essence of Ender's genius and vulnerability won't be realized in the film as it was portrayed in the book. The boy who was cast as Ender is turning 15, and in the book Ender is age 6-12.I really hope you like it. The characterization is one of the best I've read. But it is a little heavy in the sc-fi realm if that is or is not your thing.

  7. fakesteph says:

    Ender's Game is one of my favorite books!!! I hope the movie is epic!

  8. LHughes says:

    Me too!!!I can't wait to see how they do the Battle Room scenes!

  9. This is on my Bucket List of books. I must read it some day and can't believe I haven't yet.

  10. LHughes says:

    It's excellent!Ooooo! I should do a Book Bucket List!

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