Steve (riverc0il) wrote in thebookreport,

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Author: Orson Scott Card
Title: Ender's Game
Paperback ISBN: 0812550706
Published: 1994 by Tor
Rating: 4.75 / 5.00

Several years ago I read Hart's Hope by Orson Scott Card. Ever since reading that amazing slice of Fantasy, I have been trying to get into the mood to explore Card's other works. However, I have never been overly enthralled with the Science Fiction genre preferring a complete escape into Fantasy in which everything is fake and has many medieval characteristics compared to the pseudo-science of Science Fiction. However, Card succeeds like no one else at the most important element of the best Science Fiction writing: futuristic elements should only exist to develop the characters and enhance the plot. Writing about space ships and aliens for their own ends is nothing more than the worst of fictional wanking and it happens all too often in Science Fiction.

But Orson Scott Card is better than that. Card uses the futuristic situations merely to manipulate situations that surround the character. Morality and psychological issues take center stage in Ender's Game. And Card uses Science Fiction merely as the vehicle to deliver morality and psychological burdens to the main character, Ender Wiggin, who finds himself trapped in a gauntlet being manipulated by those around him in such a way that his own free will is often pre-meditated and determined for him based on the situations he encounters. Ender is pushed to the breaking point by the leaders of the military school to the point that he does the opposite of what Ender believes the leaders want him to do, which is what they actually wanted all along. An unknowing pawn in a war of questionable morality, Ender exists to fulfill a great goal in the war, unbeknownst to him. Intention and Morality come front and center in a tragic ending of manipulation and control, of will and determination. The novel succeeds in breaking out of the Science Fiction realm of novels and into a category reserved for truly great must read books.
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