Monday, August 19, 2013

Ender's Game Book Review

Okay I was at the movies a while back and saw a trailer for Ender’s game and it seemed interesting and as this was not one of the books we were forced to read in high school….well….I do not think we had summer reading until the summer before my senior year…but I digress. Anyway the trailer looked interesting and you guys know me by now and my obsessive need to read a book before the movie comes out. I recently finished the book and I am all ready to go. 

Amazon Review: Intense is the word for Ender's Game. Aliens have attacked Earth twice and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding military geniuses -- and then training them in the arts of war... The early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of 'games'... Ender Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games... He is smart enough to know that time is running out. But is he smart enough to save the planet

My thoughts; The book Ender’s Game was written by Orson Scott Card (1985). It was originally a short story that was published in 1977. The book will now have a film adaption of the same name directed by Gavin Hood and starring Asa Butterfield as Ender. It will be released in November 2013 and Card is co-producing the film. 

The book was an interesting read and did have a compelling story line. The ease of use of racial slurs did make it an uncomfortable read at times but as the book progressed it lessened. That was odd but it made it a better book as it went on. 

Ender starts in Battle School at the age of six after fatally wounding classmate on his way home from school. He also fears his older brother who threatened to kill him. Apparently there is a limit on the amount of kids people are allowed to have. Ender is a “Third”. As he is called this in the book you get the feeling that the “Third” is one of the worse things you can be. Therefore as he steps onto battle school he already has a check against him. 
Next you have Graff who is the leader of Battle School who singles him out as being the greatest. Graff does this to isolate Ender and it works too well. Ender is picked on from the beginning. He does find ways to right this wrong and fit in with the group but it seems as soon as he is fitting in Graff moves him to throw him off. It is interesting to see the psychology behind it but then you realize that you are talking about a seven year old being psychologically beat down and you realize that it is wrong. 

Ender becomes the best at playing the small unit based war games and soon becomes promoted to having his own Army. It is interesting to see him take on the concept of zero gravity and make it work for him. He thinks up of innovative techniques to win the game and he forms an army that is just as innovative as him. However they turn the game on him again making it increasingly harder to win but he is able to despite the cheating. 

The interesting part is to know that at this point Ender is 10 years old and is now going to the Official Command School on the planet Eros formally inhabited by Buggers. All the while on Earth Ender’s siblings are becoming noteworthy people on the internet through fake names. The oldest brother Peter, who appears to be a sociopath waiting to happen, is working his way to control the whole world and by the end of the book actually succeeds. 

At Commander School, the real psychological warfare begins. Ender is not even allowed to associate with others and is being trained by the hero of the first alien attack. It made me feel good when I read that Ender was reunited with his old team members who are now leaders under his command. They are now playing a huge war game against Bugger ships. Ender does the unthinkable and destroys the ships as a last ditch effort to destroy them all. The heart wrenching reality sets in when he is told that the War game was in fact the actual battle and he essentially sent real men to die. Ender basically breaks down completely and is in a vegetative state for a few days. I think at this point he is only twelve years old. 

Ender becomes a hero on Earth and is asked by his sister to go to one of the colonies that they are starting in the old bugger homes. Throughout Ender’s time in battle school he has been playing a game on computer that is almost like a choose your fate. He somehow is able to take the game farther then anyone has done before and the leaders are baffled. Near the end of the book while at the new colony Ender goes exploring and starts to find the world that was in the computer game and realizes the Buggers made it for him. He makes it to the mirror that always stumped him and behind the mirror is an egg containing a Bugger Queen. She is able to communicate to him via his mind and let him know that it was all a mistake. They did not realize that humans were intelligent life and when they did they decided to leave them alone. They realized it was too late when the humans came back for the third invasion and wiped them out. It made the book really turn dark and sad at that point. 

I overall enjoyed the book despite the racial slurs. I am sad to hear that a lot of the characters in the movie will not be true to the ethnic make-up of the book because Hollywood believed it would not sell well. Maybe Hollywood was scared of the backlash that occurred from The Hunger Games. I believe I would look forward to this as a movie but I worry about the violence and psychological aspect being translated appropriately in regards to kids. I mean look how they watered down Carl on The Walking Dead. Either way, I would recommend the book and look forward to seeing how Hollywood translates this movie.

No comments:

Post a Comment