Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ender's Game

Ender's Game has a great ending, which almost makes up for the rest of the book. I struggled to get through the start of this book. The writing seemed fairly vulgar and juvenile - almost as if it were written by the young children it was about. The general theme also seems overdone today. I was thinking Harry Potter as I read about the initial "trials" of Ender. He was a kid that adults expected to lead the military. However, he still wanted to find a way to make it through his youth. (To give credit, Ender's Game was written a decade before Harry Potter. Maybe it took a decade for authors to develop a more readable style.)
The part that I found most interesting was the story of Ender's two siblings. Their characters were much more richly developed. I found their subplot of attempting to take over the world through the "nets" more intriguing than the main plot of Ender's adventures in school. (The use of the internet makes this book seem like it was written more recently than 1986. However, the Soviet-American rivalry puts it squarely back in the cold war era.)
It is not until the end of the book that Ender finally starts to develop as a character. However, he suddenly seems to jump from being a young child to being an adult. (Though, I'm sure many children would love the opportunity to save the world by playing video games.)
The book does have some interesting ideas, however, those ideas may have been better off in the original short story.

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