That’s what I am, someone who has just read Ender’s Game for the first time.
Do not tell me how it continues. Do not tell me why the writer, Orson Scott Card, managed to upset all the women in this world, if internet is to be trusted. I’ve just and only finished book 1 in the omnibus of 5 and I’m not upset in the least, more like floored. If you haven’t read anything yet and wish to discover it for yourself, stop reading right here.
But if you wish to know my fresh-eye opinion, read on. I cannot understand how I’ve come to read this book only now. It’s been around for so long, since 1985, and yet it comes off so fresh. I have never even heard of the writer. In the introduction he tells us that military schools use this book as training material. I don’t like military. I don’t like schools. Especially I don’t like American military schools, war heroics and the like, for which I had to stop watching Hollywood films (together with most of the world, I’d say).
I started to feel doubtful about whether this book was right for me after all, no matter how highly recommended it came to my booklist where I collect someone’s favourites. Which reminds me:
I invite you all to be that someone! Come over and have a look to see if your favourite book(s) is (are) already on this enormous and joyful list. And if not, amend in a comment. (My favourite comment came from an unknown guy, telling me that this list was just too long. Said no man ever.)
As for Ender, I needed half the book to realise that his name comes from ending it. It thought it was Hungarian.
I’m so… unwilling to talk about it, all of a sudden. And isn’t this cool – I don’t need to! Nobody is paying me to write a review! Glorious.
Suffice it to say that he kept reminding me of my amore. He is Italian, but friends call him Tedesco (“German”). Nuff said. (He is also the best. When I told him this he said: “You don’t know how much.”)
I like the book because:
- I haven’t been reading much lately and it awoke my hunger.
- I have never been reading much science fiction, it tends to scare me, films too. But this one scares me for a whole other set of reasons. Which one of the siblings am I? I came first, didn’t I. Where is my and sister’s Third?
- I recognised the truth in behaviours, emotions, reasoning. I could feel the urgency with which Ender ends that wasp on the raft just because it’s of a dangerous species. Before it can sting first.
- I admired the forward-thinking regarding computers and internet (I was blown away, actually. How could he have known all this so early??)
- I admired (and recognised) mind-fucking and it actually made me think about my own high school. Why the hell did they put together in the Spanish-as-a-second-foreign-language class (even though I requested French or German) 35 girls and 1 boy who had one thing in common: high(er)-profile parents? Do they know what they achieved? They turned me into even a bigger rebel and contrarian with no chosen career (because choosing one would eliminate all other options) to whom ambitious girls could never look uglier. Not so well played, morons. (The class has produced one minister in Slovenian government though. And it’s not the boy. :D)
- I like the style of writing. It is not for its own sake. It’s story-telling. The story wins over style, ego, time. It is so timeless and not dated at all, considering when it was written. (It might appear contrary to computer wiz-nerds: I’m not one to pay attention to technical stuff.)
The very last part of the book is rushed, though. He could have written books and books based on the last few paragraphs alone. I guess he had to move the action promptly into the second book (which I’ve just started) that opens in a completely different period. He wrote three more books after that though, and now I’m about to read them all.
I would love to hear your opinion but would be grateful if you base your comments on book I. only (you know, the grand Third Bugger Invasion and how they lied to him that he was only playing, whereas in fact he was the invading commander himself.)
As in life, what is coming I don’t wish to know yet.