Thursday, March 20, 2014

Review: Ender's Game

Ender's Game is no Bridge to Terabithia — but it's darn close.

And no, that's not a compliment.

Unlike Bridge, I did not wish to throw Ender's Game across the room. Instead, I wrapped my arms around myself and let the tears come.

Had I read this as a child, I probably would have grown up jaded and mistrustful of all adults. However, as an adult, I thought the observances by both adults and children were cruel but brilliant.

Ender is the third child living in a future dystopia in which Earth was on guard for attacks by an extraterrestrial species that were similar to insects, or "bugs." Andrew is the youngest child in a family of particularly brilliant children who were nurtured (or bred) to cultivate  the "stuff" to become brilliant bug-fighters. The eldest was too cruel, the second was too empathetic. The third, however, was perfect — and herein lies the story.

Ender is the perfect child and almost the perfect fighter. All he needs is a push. Maybe more than one. And his battle-ready personality is cultivated without his knowledge, but with his full cooperation.

Frankly, I thought the story brutal and cruel. Orson Scott Card, like other "young adult" authors, wrote the story for himself as an adult. Had I read it as a child, I think I'd be much more cynical and perhaps a little more calculating growing up. (That may not have been a bad thing.)

And the end — well, just when you think the tale can't get any "worse," it does. The thought-providing conclusions spill out in waves, and I re-read the last few pages repeatedly to see if there was something I missed that would make it less [insert your word here].

And yet, I plan to share it with my godson. It's a brilliant story with amazing plot complications, and it's a morality tale that should be read. We will discuss it.

I'm not sorry I read the novel, but iI am sorry it was such a hard story to read. I don't plan to read the rest of the quintet. I don't want to return to that world. Once was enough for me.

I recommend this with great caution. I can see why it's a classic, but it still made me weep.

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