In the future, Earth has succesfully repelled an invasion of aliens known as the "Buggers." Wanting to head off another attack, the government starts an international Battle School for gifted children, located in space. They are trained to be the future generals of the Earth's next offensive. Star of this school is recently recruited child genius Ender Wiggin. He will undergo physical, emotional, and psychological
manipulation tests in order to be ready to defeat the Buggers once and for all. But how long will Ender play their game?
Ender's Game is more than just an intense sci-fi novel in which young kids train in space to fight insectile alien invaders. At its heart it's really a novel about the struggle between fear and love. The society of Ender's Game is ruled by fear; fear of overpopulation, fear of their alien enemies, the "Buggers." And it's ruled by people who are willing to exploit that fear even as they themselves are enslaved by it.
But then there's Ender. He's a brilliant child prodigy, a despised "Third" child, but still very much a product of his society. The cultural struggle between love and fear is exemplified by his siblings; his kind sister Valentine represents love, and his bullying brother Peter represents fear. Ender's refusal to be ruled by fear (Valentine's influence) makes him a brilliant strategist, but it's his surrender to fear (Peter's influence) that makes him ruthless. Ender has to deal with the consequences of these dilemmas. In the end he is called to forsake fear for love, and it's when he obeys that all of his struggles are finally laid to rest. A little deeper than your average sci-fi novel, perhaps, Ender's Game is a sci-fi classic that's not to be missed.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
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