Blogging B&N.com's Teen Must Reads: Ender's Game
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Synopsis: It’s the future, and the earth has barely survived two wars with the buggers (aliens intent on destroying humanity). The world government, certain that another war is on the horizon, now “breeds” military geniuses, hoping to find “the one” who will save the world once and for all. At age six, those geniuses who make the cut are sent to Battle School, where, through elaborately manipulative and sometimes harmful methods, they’re molded into perfect soldiers. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin was literally born for Battle School, and if he can survive training without too many nervous breakdowns, he just might be “the one” that everyone’s been waiting for.
Is this a “must-read”?: Absolutely.
Why?: This is one of those novels where you go in thinking you know what to expect, but as you read you can practically hear the author giggling somewhere and going “You thought this would be like Starship Rangers, didn’t you? Well, we’ll see about that.” More than a science fiction story, Ender’s Game asks some serious questions about the human condition, and it does so in a beautifully subtle, non-preachy way that just makes the message all the more impactful (I promise that’s a word). Orson Scott Card does a brilliant job of developing all of his characters, particularly the Wiggin siblings. Even though all three are geniuses, they’re still children, and Card never lets the reader forget that, even as they write political commentaries and develop complex battle strategies.
Battle School is completely horrible for Ender, but it does its job. Even while you despise the teachers for what they put him through, you’ll find it difficult to argue that the human race isn’t worth one child’s mental health. That sounds terrible, I know, but a part of you has to agree. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what’s called a major theme. This is another one of those books that could definitely be a classic someday. If pressed, I really think I could write a decent essay on how Card handles the themes of communication and empathy; and he does such an amazing job with even the minor characters that you could easily discuss them for pages. Even better, Ender’s Game manages to be both profound and enjoyable; once you start reading, you won’t want to put it down. It will surprise you at almost every turn, and I promise you won’t see the ending coming.
Next time: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
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Have you read Ender's Game? What did you think?
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