It is essential to start by saying that this book easily makes my top ten favorite. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card uses a celestial scenario to get across a message far beyond the boundaries of ordinary science-fiction. Without having to decipher long descriptions or difficult passages, Card indirectly tells a story of human wrong and revoked innocence.
The most important aspect of a story is how it ends—whether it because it is unexpected, or simply because it has a strong resolution. When the protagonist, Ender, finds out the truth of his training, it is a complete surprise to the reader. One can feel both the excitement and shock of the people around him and the betrayal and disappointment of Ender himself.
Ender’s reaction and thoughts in response to the truth are spot-on in character. Ender is still a child, who has been taken in to be this hero without ever being told. Through his innocent thinking, the reader is exposed to a statement that goes against human instincts: the enemy lives too. Ender learns of the Buggers, the enemy, and he is haunted by the thought that by defending his own people, he is simultaneously destroying another race. He remains unable to comprehend how, then, defending earth is the right thing to do. This concept sticks with the reader even after one has finished the story.
There is nothing I did not like about this book. The story is simple but the meaning is deeper. It could be both enjoyed just for the premise as well as the message that Card discreetly gets across. The characterization is strong and exposes stereotypical falsities of all-good heroes and all-bad enemies. I look forward to reading the sequel to see how the story line progresses, though Ender’s Game standing alone was phenomenally executed.
If you read and like Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, I also recommend you read Dune by Frank Herbert.