ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card

This is one of those rare books that scored both the Hugo and Nebula Award for best novel in a single year and judging the readers' ongoing response from an online poll, it remains the most popular Sci Fi novel in the last century.

The Introduction part by OSC really sets the tone for me to look for that greatness that this novel promises to deliver and I would have completely agreed with it and should have given a five star rating if I was reading this novel as a young adult. But reading it as an adult, I would have chosen a different novel.

Make no mistake about it, it's a good book by Orson Scott Card, much better than his Seventh Son (Book 1 of the Alvin Maker historical fantasy series) which I enjoyed loosely in the past. Maybe my expectations are high and I'm tired of reading another alien race-or alien 'bugs' that are too becoming common and cliched as Robert Heinlein's bugs in Starship Troopers. Even the major plot twist here is not hard to imagine and anticipate but I prefer to focus both on the things I like and the things I dislike to make this review more useful.

First, I like the idea of using a weapon that is NOT nuclear. Nuclear weapon is a cliche. Second, even if Andrew "Ender" Wiggin sometimes whined like Holden Caulfield, when authority dictates to do an immediate action, he's there. Ender did kick some a$$. The Battle School as a military institution for children is just the way as it should be. Interferences and manipulations in world politics by Demosthenes and Locke is quite interesting. The science of space travel here is at least, reasonable and the training school without gravity is just apt for maneouvering in 3D space.

Now, final addition to the earlier stated downsides, I expected a love interest for Ender. If there's a source of aggression (Peter), there must also be a source of affection. Of course, Valentine loves Ender and vice versa, but they are siblings. Harry Potter had Cho Chang before Ginny Weasley. Han Solo had Princess Leia. Maybe there was a clue somewhere and I saw it, but I just don't want to believe it for the lack of 'light' or rather, details.

Despite the mixed reaction, the book as a whole passes the threshold and I do look forward to the sequel Speaker for the Dead given the author's story in writing it. I even look forward to the film adaptation before the year 2013 ends because my idol who played Han Solo, Blade Runner, and the President of the United States will be playing the role of Graff. And even if  issues surround OSC on his beliefs and ideals, I still respect him as a person and as a human being. This culture of hate will never end if you just hate the hater.

Memorable line:
"Don't start apologizing for them, Ender. Just because they didn't know they were killing human beings doesn't mean they weren't killing human beings." -Mazer Rackham

Genre: Sci Fi
Rating: 3.5 rays of Dr. Device

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