Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card is one of The Nerd’s favorite books.
As we started watching all of the nerdy things that he loves — Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, The Big Bang Theory, Stargate (all three of ’em) — and I start to love them, too, I’m beginning to trust his judgement.
So, I *finally* picked up this novel, expecting to suffer through it.
I mean, I love my man, but his taste in books is not exactly great. He reads all the campy Star Wars novels, for instance. Shudder.
Let me just say — he was *dead on* with this one.
I *loved* it!
We listened to the audio book on our recent trip to Austin, and I didn’t want to get out of the car because it meant I had to stop listening to Ender’s Game.
Ender Wiggin is the kind of character you can relate to. He’s *so* smart — but he’s just a little boy. I had to remind myself constantly that he was just a kid.
This novel is *gritty.* There’s death and violence, and it’s not handled with kid gloves. Heck, Ender isn’t handled with kid gloves. The adults use him and do so intentionally. I can’t imagine the kind of burden this poor kid had to deal with.
The fate of the world is *literally* in his hands. And the adults make no bones about it. If he fails, the world ends. There is no loving, guiding adult that makes everything better, like Harry Potter had in Dumbledore, and even in Sirius. There is only Ender: His witts, his intelligence, his ingenuity.
The story is so complex and the issues it confronts are so unimaginable. I still find myself thinking about it at night.
How could they put that burden on an 11-year-old kid?
How could they sacrifice him — his childhood, his mind, his morals — for the fate of the world?
Was it worth that?
And you see the consequences of this burden in Ender. You can tell he isn’t right in the head. I can only imagine the emotional and intellectual scarring that the situation caused.
The author does an *amazing* job of thinking all that through.
And the ending! Oh my geeze! There has not been a book in a *long* time that surprised me as much as this one. I never saw that coming in a million years.
This is one of the most complex, thought-out stories that I’ve ever read. There isn’t a lot of action, but it’s a purely story-driven read that will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what happens when the fate of the world is in the hands of an 11-year-old boy.
It’s an amazing story.