Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
five-star rating


God, please give a brother like Ender Wiggin. I promise myself not to be Peter.

I’d been hearing a lot about this book since before I read Ender’s Shadow. And after reading the parallel book of this book, I knew then that it was wise plan to read this book. I wouldn’t have read this book if it wasn’t for my friend who gave me a copy of this book along with durian candies. Hands to Kwesi.

All because that he’s the third child, intelligent and young, the world seemed turned against Ender Wiggin. When he entered Battle School, he became a magnet of enviousness. He topped among the students of Battle School and had impressed his teachers. But behind his excellence, some of them are angry at him. Can he resist not hurting them if they are the ones offering already to be hurt?

Card has made an excellent work with this book. I’m truly impressed at how he made the character of Ender Wiggin. I’m even amazed at how he managed to smear this sci-fi book with politics. Ender Wiggin depicts the real stand of human hero. His intelligence is undeniably extraordinary, but the origin of it isn’t questionable since it was open that his siblings are genius as him. But the mere fact of his existence being a third child is one reason he is meant to be separated from his family and be a commander. And because of his mature knowledge, he indisputably fitted being a leader; knowledge in a way that even grown-ups would be outsmarted. Just imagine yourself as one who’d been outsmarted when you won’t still be impressed at the person who did it.

Beyond his physical appearance, a strong lion is alive. He was absolutely small but I suggest that it’s a bad idea to misjudge him just because of how or what he looks like. It’s still incredible to think that his body could kill bigger and older people who want to bring him down. But in spite of these killings, he himself meant not to hurt them. I liked how Card handles this: a hero who wants not to kill enemies but accidently killed them through a trick, if not, enemies are offering themselves to be killed. But then again, in that case, he killed them not because he meant to but because he had to defend himself from their dark motives.

I believe that Card made Ender a total or a complete package hero: genius, a fighter, an innocent and a light-hearted. Imagine, behind Ender’s performance, there’s only one thing he wants the most. Love of his brother. I was touched at how Ender craves for it. He insisted not to be a killer like his brother, but deep inside he was longing for Peter’s care.

However, since I started reading first the Ender’s shadow which, of course, a parallel book of this series and apparently a point of view of another character in this book—Bean. Once again I’d like to bring up my statement that says: I loved the story of Bean so much. Let us say, it would be unfair to choose Bean as the better character since Ender has made it first to impress other people. But let’s save the fact of publishing date and the sudden rise of Ender’s Shadow. Let us even say that you have read first the Ender’s Shadow than Ender’s game. The definite vote would arise to Bean as the more interesting character over Ender. Although I’ve enjoyed the Shadow, when I finished this book, I was bothered by how inconsistent the story of Shadow has become. There was rough connection between the two series that obviously led to inconsistency. From the idea here that Ender Wiggin topped among the other students suggests how wrong Bean is with what he believed being the top ranked student in Shadow. And it really implies how sudden Card decided to have a parallel book and basically, I guess, because Bean somehow made an impression in this book.

The conversation of officers about the students is even strong evidence that Card hadn’t think about making Bean’s book while making Ender’s Game. In Shadow, they were dismay about Bean’s knowledge while they were impressed at Ender’s intelligence. But in this book, I haven’t even read the officers mentioned Bean’s name. Look, if Bean is really as great as Ender (in fact, in Shadow he was even better.) he might have had mentioned by the officers. But come on, I was disappointed at how this book lacks the existence of Bean. Somehow, Card puts Bean in a spot light in this book for the reader to know that there is still a student who is secretly genius. And one thing I’ll confess, I noticed these things because I was anticipating for Bean to show or even mentioned in this book.

Fans are torn between two characters of to whom they would raise they hands for. I’ve decided, yet they are both likable, to embrace the character of Bean over Ender. I highly recommend this book to people who are dying of sci-fi and looking for a truer form a hero. Whether you read first this or the Shadow, I can assure you that the two books won’t disappoint you. Love me or hate me, whether you swallow my preference or not, Card is on my top ten list of best YA authors. Salaam.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you chose to read Ender's Shadow before the original. Orson Scott Card did a great job of showing the same story from two perspectives - and you must have had a different experience than I reading about Bean, then Ender.

Have you read the rest of the Shadow series? You really fall in love with Bean, what a smart guy! I highly recommend them.

Rollie said...

@Alexristea: Yes,he did a great job of showing same story from two perspectives. :)
I have read the Shadow of Hegemon, and I love it too. And still looking forward to have/read the rest of the series. :) If falling in love with the character you would call it, then I guess, I do. :DDD I want his brain, if you may ask me. :) Thank you. :)