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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotio…

Ender’s Game

by Orson Scott Card

Overall Book Review:

Certain books are referenced as the perfect example of their genre.  Ender’s Game is one of those books.  Set in a future world that doesn’t feel that far away, Ender’s Game takes the reader through the rigorous space combat training program reserved for only the best genetically enhanced battle strategists, who happen to be children. They have only one purpose:  save the world.  

Orson Scott Card’s story about Ender is fascinating.  It addresses and can be applied to many topics.  Philosophy, ethics, strategy, religion, history, family, politics, civilization and war are all woven into the fabric of a simple story.  When you boil it all down the true genius of the tale is its simplicity.  The science fiction is not “off the wall” or hard to follow and the author sticks to his rules that he has created in his world.  This makes the story read like it is plausible, that in the near future these things could really happen.  Best of all, though the story is simple, the thought provoking ideas and commentary on everyday society is insightful and numerous.  The book can be talked about or referenced in many conversations or subjects and each reader will take something different from the book.

Science fiction has many great books but one of the best, one that I would recommend to someone new to the genre, one that embodies the genre completely is Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. 

Content Analysis:

Language/Profanity: 6 Religious exclamations; 20 mild obscenities; 3 religious profanities; 22 derogatory names; 4 scatological words; 11 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore: Blood and gore is used when describing the alien invasions the details are related second hand or depicted on news programs; several fist fights among children, two of the fights are heavily detailed and involve kicks to the crotch, punching and head butts, they both end in death of one of children; one fight ends when a character breaks an arm; a training video game has goring details involving the characters in the game: death in numerous grisly forms including acid, fire, savage creatures, drowning, falling, crushed; several verbal threats; several implied occurrences of violence; casualties of armed conflict are referenced but non-detailed description of death.

Sex/Nudity: Characters are sometimes nude in the coed barracks of the training school, non-sexual in nature and non-detailed.

Reviewers Note: It should be noted that the story involves intense physical and psychological training of children age 14 and under.  Ender, the main character, is only 6 when he starts his training.  Some may find the intensity of the training unsuitable for children but remember this is fiction and in their world they were made for this, which may be offensive to others as well.

Mature Subject Matter:

War, death of a child, death of family member, political factions and their maneuvering, psychological training, population control, genetic research and manipulation, bullying.

Alcohol / Drug Use:


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About the Reviewer

I didn’t like reading at first. It was boring. It took me awhile to find out that great places, amazing people, and fantastic things were found in the pages of books.