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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enders justify the means
Ender Wiggin is a very unusual boy -- he's a brilliant tactician, a genius, and a despised "third" in a future that only allows two children. He's also six years old.

And despite the fact that Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic is about a little boy learning how to be a warrior, "Ender's Game" is a pretty gripping and sometimes grim adventure...
Published 6 months ago by E. A Solinas

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book manipulates and dehumanizes; it is an empty book.
Before considering reading this, I think that one should
look to Norman Spinrad's review of it as it appeared
in Issac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Failing that,
at least realize that the entire book is a deliberate
button-pushing saga, following the patterns of human
mythology that are older then history, in a completely...
Published on Dec 22 1996


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Enders justify the means, Feb. 24 2014
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Ender's Game (Paperback)
Ender Wiggin is a very unusual boy -- he's a brilliant tactician, a genius, and a despised "third" in a future that only allows two children. He's also six years old.

And despite the fact that Orson Scott Card's sci-fi classic is about a little boy learning how to be a warrior, "Ender's Game" is a pretty gripping and sometimes grim adventure story. The descriptions of children being taught out how to be cold-blooded warriors is pretty creepy, but the well-developed future world that Card comes up with is pretty awesome.

After a fight with a gang of bullies, Ender Wiggin is approached by an army officer who wants him to join the elite Battleschool, where kid geniuses become soldiers -- basically because aliens are about to attack Earth AGAIN and may end up wiping out the human race. His brother Peter is too wild and cruel, and his beloved sister Valentine is too mild-mannered.

Ender accepts, and quickly finds himself in a dog-eat-dog space school where he soon becomes loathed for the special treatment the teachers occasionally give him -- when they aren't observing his every move. And it soon becomes obvious that Ender has a natural ability that exceeds that of most of the Battleschool recruits: he instinctively knows how to outmaneuver his opponents and protect himself in a fight, even if he annoys some of the "army" commanders who don't like being outshone.

Back on Earth, his brother and sister try to alter the increasingly unstable politics of Earth by subtle manipulation of the public, a situation that may bring the ruthless Peter into greater power. And as Ender reaches the end of his training, he faces both the buggers and the knowledge of what he is capable of.

"Ender's Game" is kind of an unusual space opera, because the actual war between humans and buggers is not front-and-center until the last act of the story. Up until then, it's about following Ender and his equally unusual siblings as they develop prematurely into adulthood -- these are genius kids who can reshape entire worlds, but you're not really sure that they SHOULD.

Card writes in a detailed but brisk style, with pretty realistic dialogue and some ugly dark spots (the description of Peter flaying a squirrel... for no reason). Ender's time at Battle School and Command School feel rather slow at times, only for things to blossom in the final laps of the novel -- Card suddenly turns all our feelings and expectations on their heads. The tragedy of children turned into soldiers becomes even more tragic as we discover what the war is actually all about.

As you'd expect from Fascist Hogwarts In Space, there are a lot of kids at Battle School who are developed to certain degrees. But the center of the story is Ender himself -- and despite being a tactical genius with loads of natural ability, Ender never seems like a Wesley Crusher. Like a boy destined to be a Spartan warrior, his inborn skills are what will keep him from ever finding peace. His childhood is sacrificed for war.

The other part of the story rests on Peter and Valentine -- Valentine is too nice, while Peter is gradually revealed to be a ruthless genius who works anything and anyone for his goals, which may or may not be self-serving. It's oddly fun to see the growing influence of "Demosthenes" and "Locke" on the cruel government.

"Ender's Game" is an intelligent, gripping space opera with an undercurrent of intense tragedy -- it's kind of slow at times, but the strong writing and intriguing main trio keep it afloat.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rightfully considered a masterpiece, Feb. 19 2006
By 
William E. Hunter "Ummagumma" (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ender's Game (Paperback)
For years I've wanted to read this book; it is considered one of the classic works of SF. Recently I did, and surprisingly enough, I wasn't disappointed.

It tells the story of Andrew Wiggin, the Third child of a family living in a future, overpopulated world where families are restricted to only two offspring; except where traits of extraordinary intelligence in the youngsters leads the government to believe that a budding military genius might be in the offing, one who can lead the armies of the Earth in a hopeless battle against a ruthless Alien species. Andrew, nicknamed Ender by his loving sister Valentine and despised by his sadistic brother Peter, shows so much promise that he is whisked away at the tender age of six to an orbiting Battle School by military men unsure whether he will even survive the training, let alone actual battle.

While author OSC maintains a sparse descriptive style with the surroundings, he concentrates on filling out Ender into a living, breathing person of many facets who we feel deeply for as he is thrown into a grinding military program out to wring the last bit of humanity from him.

I loved how easily this book read, while at the same time presenting some serious ethical issues and allowing us to truly enter the mind of a child progeny and experience his arduous journey along side him. I'm not the only one as well; my wife, curious as to what was keeping my nose in the book for long stretches at a time, perused the first few pages and then delved headlong into the book right behind me. I ended up fighting for reading time just so I could finish before her!

Ender's Game is a terrific read; being touching, rollicking, and insightful all at the same time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book manipulates and dehumanizes; it is an empty book., Dec 22 1996
By A Customer
Before considering reading this, I think that one should
look to Norman Spinrad's review of it as it appeared
in Issac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Failing that,
at least realize that the entire book is a deliberate
button-pushing saga, following the patterns of human
mythology that are older then history, in a completely
manipulative way. Read Frank Herbert and you'll see that he
wants to show the emptiness of the Messiah complex; Card
celebrates it. Herbert wants to explore what humanity is
about; Card wants to explore how much money it has.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Harry Potter, you will love Ender's Game, July 15 2004
By 
Shon Tamblyn (Carmichael, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
ENDER'S GAME is my all time favorite book. Having been introduced to this book roughly 20 years ago, I have read and worn out many copies, and couldn't even tell you how many times I have read it. I have given away many copies as well, buying new ones as I use up or give away the old. At 226 pages (hardcover) the book is so compelling it can easily been read in one sitting.
It always amazes me when I run accross people who list this book as their favorite because to me the Sci-Fi genere has always seemed too obscure, and there are not many Sci-Fi books I enjoy reading.
As the Harry Potter series has successfully emerged, I have often drawn some comparisons between the two series and why they have attracted so much attention.
Both Ender's Game and Harry Potter have attracted an audience that would normally not indulge in the generes of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Children's books. While the Harry Potter series had attracted many adult readers, Ender's Game (which is not a children's book) has attracted many adolecent readers and acts as a bridge moving them into adult literature. Both Harry Potter and Ender's game tell the story of a young child (Ender is only 6 when the book starts)entering a dark and scary world, with a power neither one of them knew they possess. Both have enemies that they as children must conqure, with the fate of the world on their shoulders.
As a child (I believe I was eight or nine when I started reading Ender's Game)I believe it was those themes, along with the powerfully written characters that drew me to the book. As an adult I particularly enjoy the social issues the book raises, and seeing some of the science fiction become reality (the internet plays a heavy role in the book, even though it was non-existant at the time). Over time I have only grown to love and appreciate this book and would recomend it to anyone who loves to read fiction of any genere.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fine classic science fiction novel ., July 6 2004
Based on the 1977 novelette "Ender's Game," the Tor novel debuted in 1985. It was both a Nebula and Hugo Award winner, which shows that both fans and fellow science fiction writers thought this was a novel of distinction. I heartily agree, having originally read the novelette more than 25 years ago, the novel at least twice in the first year it was published, and having contemplated the social questions it raised many times in the intervening decades.

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin thinks he is playing computer-simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever-harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when it begins. He will grow up fast.

Since the original stories publication, our language and society has changed so dramatically, that it is good to see how well the original theme has held up. Unfortunately, the later books in the series (After 'Speaker for the Dead') did not have the verve and impact to keep my attention. The character "Ender" was distorted by time, age and experience - creating a less sympathetic being than the one portrayed in this far-future coming-of-age story.

Please do read this novel in the context of the time it was written. Reagan was president of the US, the Soviet Union was still his "Evil Empire," rap and hip-hop had not filled every niche of society with swear words, personal computers were just making slight in-roads into society, and there was still a bit of innocence in the world. A fine novel - highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Please Make it End, July 2 2004
By 
Jaydekitten (Detroit, Michigan United States) - See all my reviews
When my friend highly recommended this book to me I should have know that it wouldn't really be my thing. Our tastes in everything pop culture are completely different. So where to begin. Ender's Game in not a horrible book, nor completely without merit. I have never read another book quit like it, so it IS unique. But there are a few things about it that irked me enough to make me not enjoy it.
*The name-calling in the book was utterly ridiculous. Now mind you, I enjoy a bit of name calling now and again, but at least make it above a kindergarten level! There's only so many times you can hear the word "farteater" before a book loses its literary value altogether. It's as if Card was trying to portray how he though children would speak, but it went horribly wrong. I mean, weren't these kids supposed to be geniuses? I would expect them to be more creative than that.
*The characters are really corny and stereotypical. Not much originality there. Good brother, bad brother, sweet innocent sister caught in the middle. Tough love major general. Furthermore, I didn't feel any real attachment to any of the characters.
*The book seems dated to a time when video games first hit mainstream.
*I admit, some of the concepts were interesting. For example, the constant evolving game Ender plays on his Notebook was really fascinating. After awhile, however, the Battle School Ender attends and the battles themselves get repetitive.
I'm not the biggest Science Fiction fan, so maybe this book just wasn't for me. But if you enjoy this genre, you might liked this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "One Of The Best Sci-Fi Novels Ever", June 28 2004
By 
An awesome character journey presented by Orson Scott Card. With Earth testing children to see who will be their next great military leader to battle an alien race called the buggers, Ender Wiggin stands out from the crowd. While his grasp of military strategy is incredible, it's his inner conflict that will engross the reader. There are times when Ender loves the war games at Battle School, when it seems he is forming a solid core of friends. But the more Ender succeeds, the more the teachers at Battle School make his life a living hell. Advancing him quicker than normal students, presenting him with almost impossible odds to overcome, all in an effort to see if he can be broken. At times, it looks like they'll succeed. Through this the transformation of Ender is incredible. Despite his genius, we see how lonely he is, even how he sometimes longs to return home to a dysfunctional family and a psychotic brother. The last 80 pages have so many incredible revelations that you'll be scooping your jaw off the floor over and over again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars From Ink to Celluloid: Ender's Game Movie Announced, June 12 2004
If you haven't read the book yet, you have two years to do so, as the Ender's Game movie is slated to be in theatres within the year of 2006; otherwise, you will be labeled as one of those people who read the book after you saw the movie, which is of course oh so not cool to the people who wear the buddy holly glasses. Nonetheless, you should read the book anyway as it is a very forward thinking story, upholding such a simple premise: we value children we raise and how we raise them, as they are the future of human society.
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The book seems well liked by males, even more liked by gifted children, as the book focuses a lot on the woes that gifted children, the children that will create the future, face while growing up.
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Even today's kids could relate to Ender and his schoolmates as they battle on their rotating space station that lies near the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter; normal kids today might not have to play battle games in null gravity, but they do undergo the same stress. Whether it's between them and schoolmates, parents, tests, team sports or hormones, the average kid is always in a battle... struggling with their own game.
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Ender's Game is not the one played in the battle-rooms, but the one he struggles with every day, it's his life; though, his life is not just any, it's the life of a person who holds the lives of others in his hands. More than science fiction, Ender's Game philosophizes what could happen if our future, our children, understood how much of humanities fate lied in their hands.
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It will be interesting to see how much of the book's premise will be illustrated on celluloid, but nonetheless, the movie will surely be delivered with a high emphasis on special effects, action, general production design and star power. After you read Ender's Game, consider Ender's Shadow, as the film will be a hybrid of both books. I have been awaiting the announcement of this movie for years, I can't wait to be the first nerd in line.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ender's Game, June 8 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Ender's Game (Paperback)
Have you ever encountered a boy who was only 6 years-old and was as intelligent as a 12 year-old? Well this is the case in a book called Ender's Game. A 6 year-old boy named Ender Wiggin is accepted to become a soldier in the army, but when he gets to a place called battle school he thinks of it only as a fun little game. The object of the "game" is to eliminate the opponent using hand-held flashers to deactivate the opponent's shields.He is sent to be the commander of his new fleet. This is when he meets his new fried called Bean. They become close friends at the training center and become quite good when put together with other students. Ender's team comes up with a whole lot of new tactics and stratagies such as zapping his own team and using them as human shields!
When Ender becomes 10 his team still hasn't been beaten by any opponents at anytime! Ender starts to fight battles that has him outnumbered 10 to 1, and he wins them all! Eventually his trainer, Col. Graph says that he wants to challenge Ender to a little battle, and Ender accepts. But there was one little problem, it wasn't actually Col. Graph who didn't really fight Ender at all! What Ender thought was Col. Graph, was reallythe alien mennace called Buggers! They wanted to eliminate the human race and wanted to take over the earth. I give this book an A+ easy! I recommend this book for all ages (that is all ages that can read.)
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4.0 out of 5 stars The unfiished game, June 8 2004
By A Customer
Have you ever been alone and afraid well Andrew "Ender" Wiggin had to feel this. First the military chooses Ender to be trained to fight off the aliens which the people called "Buggers" General Graff the principal of the military picked Ender up. In order to get to military school Ender needed to ride on a shuttle plane at the time Ender had no friends. On the plane Ender made his first enemy, Ender borded the plane right when he sat down a kid kept hitting him in the back of the head. After about five blows to the head Ender dicided to take action he tried to calculate the next shot and he grabbed the kids arm and flipped him over the seat. Ender found out that the kids name was Bernard and eveyone called him Bean and that Ender broke his arm. He met a kid named Aali he was Bean's right hand man but Ender didn't care so he asked adi to ge his friend and Ender made his friend. After a couple years , Ender was truely the best. There was only one more game to go for Ender until he mastered every game. It was a game that you had to destroy all the buggers , Ender stasred the game he wiped out all the buggers and all he had to do was kill the queen and he would have mastered all the games. His statigies were so good he took out all the buggers and then he faced the queen, he thought he was hearing things comeone that someone was cummunicating with him in his mind he finally figured out that it was the Queen, Ender felt her pain. If you read this Action/Adventure book you'll find out the Exciting conclusion.
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Ender's Game
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 18 2002)
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